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The Daily Five Discussion


Full Member
Welcome to the Daily 5 Discussion! Here's a little overview of the first chapter to get the ball rolling...
The Daily 5 consists of:
1.Read to Yourself
2.Read to Someone
3.Listen to Reading
4.Work on Writing
5.Spelling and Word Work

"The Daily Five is a student-driven managment structure designed to fully engage students in reading and writing." (page 12)

Also, here is a direct link to their website for those of you that are new to this: http://www.the2sisters.com/the_daily_5.htm

On page 13, the Sisters go through and explain that the first weeks of school are dedicated to launching the Daily Five and instilling literacy habits that allow for independent work.

My question is for those of you that have already done this in your classroom how did you set up the Daily 5. What works and what didn't work? Were you able to do the Daily 5 everyday or every other day?


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Teaching kindergarten with the Sisters

This book is what hooked me into wanting to teach again. I haven't taught in 16 years because I've stayed home with my kids. Last year I did renew my teacher's license so I could sub. A half-day kindergarten position came open for this fall in my kids' school and the principal asked me if I'd like to do it. I said no. But in the process of trying to help one of my children who is struggling with reading, i came across this book. After reading this, I decided to say yes to the half-day kindergarten! I am still working on the modifications considering my limited time with a half-day class, but I really am excited about teaching with their model.


Full Member
I also have a question for people who have already implemented The Daily Five. My school has a 60 minute reading block time where we share students between grade levels and classrooms. Students are grouped by their reading levels. Classes with at or above grade level students are in larger groups and classes with below grade level readers are in smaller groups. Every grading period students can (an do) move, depending on their new reading level. Often times, a core group of students stays the same. With this already in place, will I be able to implement The Daily 5?


Full Member
I am excited to hear more about what works. I implemented this last year with my sixth graders, and I was not happy with how I ran things...(they were a rough group which added to that). I am also interested in people who have done a room designed according to the sisters. I am planning on watching the dvd and setting up my classroom according to their theories, but I would love ideas/advice!


Senior Member

I'm curious if anyone has done Daily 5 in a scripted LA program.

My Reading First school has to follow Houghton-Mifflin to the letter except the writing portion (because it is so bad). My morning (95 min) is pretty much teacher-directed and scripted. During my guided reading, the other students have to follow a very restricted "must-do" list, which includes specific wordwork but no writing. Writing can only be done during WW. How could I integrate the Daily 5? I've been wanting to do ever since I read about it on PT.


Junior Member
When to start?

I am wondering what is the best time to start? Would you start day 1, day 2 or Week 2 of school? I personally wouldn't start day 1...too hectic. Maybe not week 1 either...there are generally late entries at my school so you may not have all your students then. I am leaning toward week 2 of school since most students that are going to be in your class should be there by then. What do you all think?


Full Member
some ideas (long)

I have been doing the daily five for two years now. Both in first and second grade. I don't start on the first day of school but usually within the first week. We begin with Read to Self... I intro the concept of what it is and then we go from there. To implement the entire Daily Five it usually takes 6 weeks and I recommend not trying to rush it. Practice, practice practice and patience patience patience and it will pay off big time!!!

As for using it with your already structured program, I think you will be able to implement some parts. I have made some modification to it for myself because I enjoy doing reading workshop, so I make that my "read to self" part of my day while I conference with students one to one.

I use the rest of the components along with some read to self during my reading block. We do guided reading at our school so I am meeting with small groups while the students are doing the daily five. What I usually do is pull students over to read with me and during their time in the daily five.

I love the Daily Five because I don't have to come up with a bunch of "busy work" for the children to do in "centers". They are working on their own writing, sometimes I give them guidance and sometimes it's their choice, they listen to books on tape and then respond in a journal or on a sheet of paper, Word Work is usually tied to our spelling for the week but I can change it up if want to include other phonics activities and partner reading is done with big books or any other book and of course read to self is self selection or a guided reading book.


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Word Work

I love the idea of the Daily Five. What are some word work activities you have your students work on during the Daily Five?


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I'm interested in learning more about this as well--this year our school is introducing an Intervention/Enrichment time in the afternoon for the last 45 min. of the day. It is seperate from our language arts block which is all morning and it is supposed to be language arts based. I'm thinking of implementing parts of the Daily 5 during this time while I meet with the low groups to "double dose" guided reading/writing. I can't do the same centers as I do in the morning b/c the kids will get sick of them!

As usual I'm posting the link to Mrs. Meacham's website. She uses the daily five and even includes pictures. http://www.jmeacham.com/ I'm looking forward to getting the book and reading more about it! Thanks for all the input!


Full Member
Great website!

Thanks KT1st for the great website!! What a great resource! I got a lot of ideas to implement this fall!
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Senior Member
I love the Daily 5 and will try to answer some questions (as best as I can!).

I do the Daily 5 everyday. It worked really well in my classroom. My students make their choices when they come in in the morning (3 choices a day-unless they were title or ESL-2 choices). They must do read to self or read to someone as a choice. I used the 100s pocket chart. Each student had a pocket for their name, and then 3 pockets after their name for their choices. I liked that it was visual. If they were meeting with me in a group, I had a color card in one of their choices (to show their reading group which were colors). Then they knew not to make a choice for that rotation.

mlbfirst-I think you could definitely do the Daily 5. You would have to have the same expectations for each group since students can rotate in and out based on their reading levels. Also you may want to revisit your I-charts and Daily 5 expectations more frequently-whenever needed and when groups change (every grading period).

cvt-You could do the Daily 5 during your guided reading time. The scripted "must dos" for word work could become your word work portion of the Daily 5. You would just call it "word work" instead of must dos". You could also add other word work activities. You wouldn't have to include writing. Many teachers do "the Daily 4" and keep writing separate. I started work on writing after Christmas break.

LHuff-Last year was my first year with The Daily 5. I didn't start until after a few weeks either. This year I will start on DAY ONE! I will not waste one day getting started. I broke the lessons up into smaller lessons than the Sisters teach in the book. They put 2-3 lessons into one day, where as I may only do one. For this reason I will start on day one!

Deer01-Here are my word work activities. I change them up through the year, and I don't have them all out when we first start the WW portion of the Daily 5.
magnetic letters
wikki stix
chalk on colored paper
painting with tempra paints, water colors
writing on white paper with white crayon and painting watercolor over the white crayon
read the room for blends, number of letters, digraphs, etc
word family stamps (our spelling is word families/chunks)
finding word family words in books and writing them down
another kind of magnetic letters
putting words in ABC order using a transparency
white boards
draw a picture of each word (the meaning)

I love Jessica Meacham's website! Her pictures of each of the Daily 5 components are great! These are what I use to mark word work and listen to reading bins. I also use them in the 100s pocket chart for my students' choices.


Senior Member
The first few weeks are really important.

It's so important to lay the groundwork like they describe in the book.
That way, the students are able to develop the sense of urgency and the responsibility that they need to make the Daily Five work. The discussion about the "good fit" books is really good. The kids love getting involved in that. Another important thing is to let the kids model the correct/incorrect ways to read to self and read with a partner. The book suggests letting a child with difficult behaviors be the one to model trhe wrong behavior first, and then have the same child model the correct behavior.
I did the Daily Five for the second half of this year. I wasn't able to do all the preparation that the book suggests. But I felt like it went well because we did a lot of modeling of proper behaviors for centers at the beginning of the year. Many of the behaviors they learned for centers carried over to the Daily Five.

merry heart

Full Member
Thanks for the great information. When I go to Meacham's website and get the tour, I get a message that says -may not display properly because it was compressed by codec which is not supported on my computer--I have windows media player and can hear her voice, but can't see the video--any ideas from techies? Thanks!


Full Member
As someone new to the Daily 5, I was wondering if it is applicable to fourth grade students/classrooms? I haven't previewed the book - so I'm not sure if it is primarily for the primary grades or if it could work in upper elementary classrooms as well. Any input from upper elementary teachers inmplementing this program would be helpful!


Full Member
I'm not sure if this will help but...you could right click on the link to her video and "save as" to your computer. Then you could try opening the file from your computer? You may delete when finished then....just a thought.


Senior Member
Great Discussion

I love this discussion! It helps put some reality to the book.

AD - what grade level do you teach?

I like the suggestion of starting on Day 1! I had wanted to try that this year. Since the lessons can be broken down and the beginning "stamina practices" are so short, it should be good to start right off.

Do you wait until each step, starting with Read to Self, is in place, or could you begin with the writing piece at a different time of the day while still developing stamina on Read to Self?


Full Member
using it in the upper grades

Go to the website www.thedailycafe.com. They have tons of articles and video. I'm not sure if you can watch the video or not if you don't join, but one video I'm thinking of shows them teaching various thinks (like an I chart) to a 4th grade class. There were others as well.


Senior Member

Ok just want some clarification as I am new to all of this. Is daily 5 like rw and ww or is it totally different? If you do rw and ww do you do daily 5? If so how? I think I am getting all of this really confused. If someone can walk me through this I would sure appreciate it:o


Senior Member

When I go to Jessica's site, I can't find any tour, nor can I find where she talks about the Daily 5, or the video. Can you help me? Thanks.


New Member
How long?

How long do each of the daily 5 areas last? Do you have all of the children rotate to the next activity at the same time? I haven't purchased the book yet but plan to on my next trip to the city.


Lisa P

Full Member

Jessica Meacham calls her daily 5 'literacy corners'. She didn't want to get into trouble with copyright laws I think. I just downloaded oodles of great ideas from her site lastnight.



Full Member
Jessica Meacham's classroom video tour is under her "classroom pictures" link and her daily 5 materials are under her "Literacy centers" link.

Have fun--she's a great resource to have!


Senior Member
starting on the first day of school

I don't follow the D5 format, because I prefer to do reading workshop and writing workshop (I only have 100 minutes for literacy, including reading, writing, grammar/spelling, word study, etc).

But I do borrow a lot from the D5 approach when teaching my children to read independently and read with a partner. I love the D5 approach to teaching stamina! It goes like this:
  • create an I-chart
  • correct model
  • incorrect model
  • correct model
  • short practice session (stop after a few minutes OR as soon as the first student gets off-task, whichever comes first)
  • check-in
  • short practice session
  • check-in and share
I started with independent reading on our very first day of school (this was for grade 2). Here's my plan for the first day of reading workshop:

Launching Read to Self (from Daily Five, p. 111)
  • You guys have the best job in the world! (see Growing Readers)
  • Think-pair-share: why is it important to read?
  • What should children be doing during reading time – create I-chart (as per D5)
  • Invite a child to show a correct model what we should see when someone is reading
  • Incorrect model, followed by correct model
  • Building stamina – 4 minute practice
  • Check-in: what worked? What didn’t?
  • Model again
  • Building stamina – 4 minute practice
  • Check-in: what worked? What didn’t? (praise and appreciate)
  • Closure: you will have the chance to read every day in this classroom
Over the next week, I kept increasing the practice sessions. D5 has you stopping the class the instant that someone is off-task, so that no one can practice incorrect reading behaviours. Starting the second week, I stopped doing the mid-way check-in and just kept extending the independent reading time. We made a graph showing how long we read independently. The children were VERY motivated by the graph and they were independent much more quickly than my students have been in the past.

On the first day of week 2, I introduced read to a partner, using the same procedure.


Senior Member
voice levels

I did love Mrs. Meacham's website. I have only read chapter 5 of the book. Truthfully, I was hoping that the Daily 5 will save me work, but as usual I worry about students being self-directed. I liked Mrs. Meacham's poster illustrating loudness of voice. How do you teach children to use soft voices. Another confession--because I have a loud booming voice, I think the students mimic my tone. It seems that I always have a loud class.