Monday, September 16, 2013

Launching The Daily 5- Read to Self

I have been successfully using The Daily 5 for over 5 years.  For those of you who are not familiar with  the Daily 5, please visit The Sisters website to learn more (  In short, the Daily 5 is how I structure my literacy block in my classroom.  According to The Sisters, "The Daily 5™ is more than a management system or a curriculum framework - it is a structure that helps students develop the daily habits of reading, writing, and working independently that will lead to a lifetime of literacy independence.  Since I started using the Daily 5 I have seen an increase in my students reading and writing abilities, but more importantly, they are learning the importance of working independently at their very own level of skill.  

It is important to get started with the Daily 5 as early as possible.  It is super important to build the children's stamina to do "work", independently, for a longer period of time.  The very first thing that I teach my kids is that everyone in the classroom are readers.  We talk about 3 ways to read a book. When the children find out that looking at the pictures is actually one way to read, a huge weight is lifted off their shoulders.  They have learned that they can read a book 3 different ways.  1. Read the words   2. Read the pictures  3. Retell the story.  

Then I introduce the very first Daily 5;  Read to Self.  After talking about behavior expectations for Read to Self,  we all went book shopping.  For the first couple of weeks, the children will be picking Interest Books.  This means that they are picking books solely based on their interest.  As we become better readers, we will be choosing "Just Right " books.  After each child went book shopping, we read a story called The Best Place to Read.

This is a great story about a boy and how he is looking for his best reading spot.  Next, I have each child choose their most perfect reading spot in the classroom.  We practice sitting in our spots and looking at our books.  The children know that during Read to Self they must have a silent voice, read the whole time, and stay in the same spot.  The next thing we talk about is STAMINA.  Although this is a hard word to understand, we talk about stamina as being able to do something for a longer time without getting tired or giving up.  

In order to build our reading stamina, we have to practice read to self everyday.  I show the children a stamina graph and I tell them that in a couple weeks, we will be able to Read to Self for 20 minutes.  They all thought that was a really long time, and it is.  We talked about how we have to start small and build up to 20 min.  On day 1, I challenged them to do Read to Self for 2 minutes.  They all found their perfect reading spot and I started the timer.  THEY DID IT!!!  I was so proud.  The next day we tried for 4 min.  They blew me away and we were able to color our graph all the way to 4 min.  Today, we tried again.  I challenged them to read for 6 min.  They gladly took the challenge.  They found their special spots and I started the timer.  THEY DID IT AGAIN!  6 whole minutes.  The kids were proud of themselves this time.  They are able to see their growth on our chart and they are excited to keep going.  

Here is a sneak peek at the boys and girls working hard in Read to Self.  There will be more pictures shared during my Curriculum Night presentation, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. My first grade class is building stamina in Read to Self, too! Love your graphics, and the fact that you share. I'm getting the Best Place to Read book ASAP. Your classroom has lots of great places to read!