Monday, August 22, 2011


The Daily 5 is a book (resource) written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also know as "the sisters", which focuses on literacy instruction and independence.   It is currently being used in many classrooms across the country.
There are 5 literacy components:  Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing.

The most important discovery that I've made after getting started with the Daily 5 was this: Make It Your Own. The Daily 5 is a structure and management piece for a lot of the things you are already doing in your classroom.  As with most things, there is more than one way to do the Daily 5. You have to make it work for You and Your classroom. 

Digging In
When digging in with the Daily 5, you'll want to focus on your classroom library.  My books are arranged in baskets, which I keep on top of counters, and others are displayed on shelves.  My classroom library is a combination of books organized by reading level (GRL), genre, theme, topics, and units of study.  In fact, how books are arranged is not that important.  What's more important is that your students know how to pick "Good Fit Books".  One of the first focus lessons that you will teach is the "I Pick" lesson, where you teach students how to pick books that are a good fit for them.

Meeting Area
Another important component of the Daily 5 is creating a meeting area within the classroom.  The meeting area is a place where students come together as a group for mini-lessons or focus lessons, book discussions, checking in, and sharing/reflecting on learning.  Many teachers anchor the meeting area with a large rug.  The rug helps to identify the meeting area for your students.

Finding a way to get the attention of your students and bringing them back to the meeting area, is the purpose of the signal.  There are many creative signals that you can use.  I use chimes in my classroom.  I love the calm sound of the chimes.  For me, it's a calm and quite way to signal my students that we need to stop what we were doing, and go to the meeting area.  Music, drums, spoken signals, etc. are other great ways to reconvene your students.

One of the best aspects of the Daily 5 is that it builds independence.  As the students are working independently on their daily 5 choice, the teacher is able to work with students.  This structure allows the teacher time for conferring one-on-one with students, while the rest of the class is busy working on their Daily 5 choice.  Choice is key.  Having the ability to choose what to work on, engages students and promotes the independent work habits that are so important to a successful Daily 5 round. Take a look at my conferring bag below.

If you would like additional information on the Daily 5, like my conferring bag, refer to my post on Ten Tried and True Tips For Using the Daily 5.

In my next few posts I'll focus on the 5 different components of the Daily 5, so stay tuned and Dig In.  You'll be glad you did. 


  1. Great tips! My first day of school was a success! Although I think doing all of the suggested lessons/activities is a little unrealistic for the the first day, but by the end of the week we will have covered quite a bit.

  2. That's awesome. It's sounds like you are making it your own. It is a lot to take in all at once. Keep digging in. I'm sure you're off to a great start.

  3. I like the idea of having a conferring bag to keep the all items handy. Thanks also for the encouragement to 'make it your own'. This will be my first year embarking on this journey and your ideas and tips will certainly help! Thanks.

  4. I love the conferring bag because everything I need is right there and I don't have to keep students waiting while I grab things I need. Hope it works well for you too. I'm excited that you're starting Daily 5 this year and you're planning to 'make it your own'. Every classroom has its own unique circumstances and we put too much pressure on ourselves when trying something new. When we 'make it our own' our creativity shines through. Enjoy your journey!