After a great conversation with my friend Nicole (@OhioNicole) yesterday, my mind keeps going back to something that we talked about. I know that I've been talking a lot about conferring with individual readers and dabbling in using strategy groups with my first graders. However... the Daily Five absolutely can and does work well for those classrooms using the traditional guided reading format!
For the past three years, I was meeting with guided reading groups as my first graders were engaged in their Daily Five choices. The Daily Five provided the structure for the authentic reading and writing tasks while I provided the small group leveled literacy instruction. It worked well for me and my kids! Because we had the Daily Five structure in place, I was able to meet with groups without having to stop and redirect off-task children. I didn't have to stop and plead with my little learners to quiet down. Thanks to our I-charts and the time we spent building our stamina, those incidents were few and far between.
For the past 15+ years, I have been meeting with guided reading groups as the main focus of my literacy instruction. My principal for many of those years worked for the Wright Group and presented workshops on guided reading. It was the end-all, be-all of our literacy instruction. It was only after reading the CAFE book, Preventing Misguided Reading, More Than Guided Reading and many other professional resources that I started realizing that guided reading as I knew it had become too scripted, too over-valued. For a while in my classroom, it just didn't "feel right" any more but I couldn't put my finger on it. After those professional reads, I felt like I was finally coming out of the tunnel.
I'm still learning, but I am conferring with readers individually in my classroom now. I'm using guided reading if and when my readers need that supportive structure (and some definitely do!) I've learned that over the course of the past 15 years, children have changed... and I needed to change, too. That being said, I still see the value of using the guided reading structure as a part of my literacy instruction.
I guess what I needed to say is this... guided reading can definitely work with the Daily Five. Many districts and teachers are doing this very successfully!