Why Should You Use The Daily Five in Your Classroom? June 25 2010

There is a moment - usually during late October - when I look around the classroom and realize that (mostly) everyone is engaged in reading, letting a story or task carry them away for awhile. And when I have to tell them that reading time is over, whether I'm reading aloud or they're reading to themselves, there are groans and comments similar to, "Can't we have some more time?"

Those are sweet words.

I don't think you can get those sentiments through the use of reading worksheets.

However, I know that this teacher resource entitled The Daily Five, by Gail Boushey and Jan Moser (known as "The Sisters") is a great way to set up a system that allows your kids to develop a love of reading.

What are the Daily Five?

The Daily Five are blocks of time during the day that include:

  • Read to Yourself
  • Read to Someone
  • Work on Writing
  • Listen to reading
  • Spelling/word work

These literacy components are balanced, and through the routines and strategies provided in The Daily Five, kids are able to build skills in reading and writing as well as independence.

The strategies are based on years of research, and the book is clearly written, concise, avoids jargon, and is written for effective - and immediate - implementation.

Good for Everyone in the Classroom

The Daily Five provides lesson plan structures that are appropriate for primary and intermediate classrooms. The purpose of these structures is to have students of any age engage with reading and writing material. The main focus to begin this program with students at any point of the school year is to build students' stamina for longer periods of independent work, freeing teachers up to work with small groups or individual students. The quality of this material makes it ideal for incorporation into center time with younger grades, also giving teachers better instruction with less prep.

Practical Considerations

One of my favorite pieces of this structure is that it provides a way for teachers to effectively and strategically provide small-group instruction while students are directing their own learning. This kind of training for students is invaluable with the current focus on RTI and Reading Recovery. The Daily Five can be started at any point throughout the school year, and there is a sample schedule for those first vital weeks of school for building independent reading habits that can also be used to begin the program at any time. The authors also offer practical advice regarding teaching of behaviors, management, assessment, and an extensive bibliography with references for further reading and research.

The Daily Five is one of the best resources for teachers out there, especially when it comes to building skills in reading and writing as well as self-direction.