How I Made the Daily Five Work for Me…

Summer is rapidly coming to an end, which means we are all thinking about our new year. I know that many of us are thinking of what new things we are going to attempt to put into place! I plan to write some of my new goals soon. I know many people may be deciding if they want to implement The Daily 5/CAFE.

I am not an expert at ALL, but I have used it for two years. Over time, I’ve learned ways that I can utilize it best in my classroom. So, I thought I would share a few tips from my experience.

How I made it work…

1. Before school began, I invested in these little book baskets. They have been perfect for students to store all the books they have chosen. I usually let them keep 4-5 books. I’ve heard of other teachers use gallons sized ziplocs for a cheaper option…

2. I follow the recommended schedule of introducing The Daily 5 and CAFE pretty closely. The books give you a pretty good outline of what to do starting from day one. It may seem pretty tedious, but it REALLY trains the kids to do all activities independently.

3. DO WHAT YOU CAN DO. I could only do 4 rotations per day, and it worked perfectly for me. I saved about 1.5 hours per day to do these rotations. The other 45-60 mins I had for Reading/ELA was time I spent using thematic books, the district’s reading curriculum, etc.

4. I really believe you can use The Daily 5 with any reading program you already have going. I used activities from Texas Treasures as word work activities. I planned word work activities based on that week’s spelling words or phonics patterns.

5. Daily 5 emphasizes giving students choices. This is an important principal, and children should be able to choose books they want to read for Read to Self and Read to Someone time. However, I did not always give my students choices on their word work or writing activities. This helped me get grades and utilize other activities I wanted my students to use.

6. Daily 5 is GREAT for incorporating technology. You can use ipads, ipods, computers or Smartboards for Word Work, Listening to Reading, Writing, and even Read to Self with E-readers. My kids LOVED using the Smartboard a couple times per week for their Word Work activities.

7. Small-group reading instruction is WONDERFUL! Hands-down, my favorite part of the day. There is nothing I love more than reading and discussing books with groups of kids. I used ALL kinds of books, many of which fit with our S.S. or Science themes. Plus, I saw massive improvements in my student’s reading through this framework.

8. The kids LOVE it! I rarely had any behavior problems during Daily 5, because the kids were so engaged. (Until the last two weeks of school :))

I’m sorry this post was so long, but I am very passionate about the Daily 5. So thanks for sticking with this post if you’ve made it through. What do you think? How has The Daily 5 worked for you?


6 thoughts on “How I Made the Daily Five Work for Me…

  1. Thanks for posting this, it is awesome. Especially for someone who hasn't done Daily 5 or Cafe. I'm going to try to start some of it but am a little nervous about the newness and I go back Monday (actually tomorrow for an all day Reader's Toolkit training) and haven't gotten through both books yet….thinking I might just put them both into place after Christmas break….I'm a little overwhelmed with going back, my “baby” going to college, some other meetings and trainings and trainings that I have to do this year..Whenever I start it, I'm coming to you for some help and advice:))

    4th Grade Frolics


  2. Thanks for sharing your tips. I used the Daily 5 “technique” for doing Read to Self last year and it worked wonders! My kids were reading quietly & independently for 20 minutes in no time! I hope to implement it all this year, but I'm a little nervous. I haven't read Cafe yet, but would like to do that as well. My summer is almost over though. I report back next Wednesday and then the kids come the following Monday.


  3. I used it last year in 3rd and LOVED it. However, I am debating on using it in 5th. Are you going to? If so what kinds of things will you do for word work stations?


  4. @Abby, I am not exactly sure how I am going to do it for fifth grade. I will probably to 3 rotations per day and require that 2 of them be read to self and writing. For the 3rd I'm thinking of mixing it up between read to someone and word work (probably mostly vocabulary activities.)

    @A Wedding Story, Let me know about your job!! I know how nerve-wracking interviewing can be. Best wishes!


  5. Hi Casey! Thanks for visiting my blog! (Sorry I took awhile to visit, I was up north and away from a computer!)

    I love this post. As you know, I have been thinking about how to incorporate Daily 5 into my day and this post is helpful. I *think* I have figured out a way to work it in my class and will be blogging about it soon! Thanks again for visiting me. I'm following your blog now 🙂


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