Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Getting the Teacher Started" Series

One major concept I gained from learning more about the Daily Five is the importance of consistency. If you are going to use the Daily Five in your classroom, you'll want to consider what exactly your students will be doing for each of the dailies before you introduce it to students. Yes, I realize that seems like common sense... so let me explain.

For years, I thought I had to come up with new activities, recording sheets, centers, and games to "change things up" for my stations. Every week or so, I'd spend hours making new "things" for kids to do. Here's where the Daily Five is different. By keeping the same 5 dailies all year and by keeping the activites within those dailies the same, children are able to focus on the actual reading and writing that is taking place. Instead of tuning in to the new file folder game for contractions (which will take me at least 10 minutes to explain and practice,) students can grab their post-its and find contractions in the book they're reading. Daily Five is a time for children to practice the skills in the context of real reading and writing, using the tools they've been using all year. One of my favorite things the Sisters said at their conference was that, too often, centers become "Reading Arts and Crafts!" Focusing on the reading and writing, not the novelty of the tools, is the goal.

Does this mean you can never, ever add something new? No. It just means you don't want children to focus on the novelty of the "shiny new toy" instead of their reading and writing. For example, last year in January, I introduced blogging to my first graders. By March, they were begging me to add it as a choice for Work on Writing time. How could I say no? :)

What I intend to do with this series of posts is to walk through each component of the Daily Five and what exactly my first graders do within those components. It might be helpful if you start thinking about what you want to include as options for each component.

In the meantime, if you have specific questions, please add them to the comments! Stay tuned!

~Komos :)

5 comments:

  1. I have seen tweets and read from the Sisters that the word work materials stay the same all year. I'd love to learn what your experiences have been with word work and if you kept the materials the same and if so, how did the kids respond?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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  2. Hi Laura and Karyn,

    Thanks for starting this blog - it's going to be a great resource for current Daily5-ers and those considering starting it in the future. Even though I'm over here in Australia in a school system that has some very different aspects to yours, our why and how of starting Daily5 and CAFE seem remarkably similar!

    Picking up on Karyn's question above, I've been tweeking my word work a lot since the start of the year (this is my first year using Daily5), but seem to have settled on a combination of games on spellingcity.com from teacher set spelling lists, using mini-whiteboards to do look say cover write check with a partner and a small selection of board games focusing on short vowels, and blends. I've set up a roster to show which students do which activity on which day of the week. I'll probably be happy to relinquish some of this control, but would prefer they stick to at least the same order of those three activities.

    Thanks again for setting up the blog, Laura!

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  3. Hey, Mitch!
    Thanks for the glowing review!! It's nice to "meet" you... all the way from Australia! So many Twitter peeps have been chatting about Daily 5 start up. Karyn has already been blogging her journey to Daily 5 start up. It led me to believe I might be able to help, too! And yes, I agree... those of us with some Daily 5 experience can still learn from each other! Speaking of which, I love your idea of look, cover, write, check on whiteboards. See? Now why didn't I think of that? :) Thanks for the idea! Look forward to future learning!
    ~Laura :)

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  4. Hi, Karyn!
    I'll include more details in my Word Work start-up post... but to answer your question, yes and no. Hahaha! I try, try, try to keep it the same. However, sometimes things that are out of my control force me to change things. Two examples; play dough dries out and we don't have any more... and alphabet stampers are a total mess on the kids, tables, containers, everywhere!!! Both of those happened last year, so we had to "limit" our tools a bit for Word Work! :)
    ~Laura

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  5. Hi, I just found your blog. It looks great!
    I have read The Daily 5 and a few other teachers at my school and I borrowed The Daily 5 Alive! dVD from a teacher at another school.
    Now our principal has informed us that we may be able to use some left-over professional development money to order some Daily 5 or Cafe DVDs for next year.
    Do you have any suggestions about what I should order? If you were to prioritize the DVDs, what would you recommend?
    Thanks!
    Carolyn

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