The Daily 5

  • The Daily 5 Program

    © The 2 Sisters Boushey & Moser

    There are five different elements to the Daily 5.  Each day, students complete between 2-3 rounds of Daily 5, depending on the time available.  Read to Self and Work on Writing are the first two elements of Daily 5.  After these two elements are in place, we add Listen to Reading, Read to Someone, and Word Work.



     1. Read to Self

    The more you read, the better you get! This is the first element of Daily 5. Students work on building their stamina by reading quietly on their own. 

    Important reminders for building Read to Self stamina include: 

    *Stay in one spot.
    *Face towards a wall or corner, or something to block your view of distractions.
    *Read the whole time.
    *Read quietly.
    *Get started right away.
    *Build your stamina!


    2. Work on Writing

    Just like reading, the best way to become a better writer is by practicing writing each day. Students again work on building stamina, allowing them to write for extended periods of time on their own.  

    Important reminders for building Work on Writing stamina include:

    *Stay in one spot.

    *Get started right away.

    *Write the whole time.

    *Build your writing stamina!

    *Work quietly.


    3. Listen to Reading

    Hearing good examples of literature and fluent reading expands your vocabulary, builds stamina, and helps you become a better reader. 

    Important reminders for building Listen to Reading stamina include:

    *Stay in one spot.

    *Get your materials right away.

    *Listen to stories the whole time.

    *Listen quietly.

    *Put materials away neatly.

    *Build your stamina!



    4. Read to Someone

    Partner reading allows for more time to practice strategies, helping to build fluency, check for understanding, hear their own voice, and time to share in this learning community. 

    Important reminders for building Read to Someone stamina include:

    *Sit EEKK! {Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee}

    *Stay in one spot.

    *Use a soft voice.

    *Check for understanding.

    *Put the book on the floor in front of both of you.

    *Build your stamina!


     5. Word Work

    Expanded vocabulary and correct spelling allow for more fluent reading and writing thus speeding up the ability to comprehend what is read and get thinking down on paper.  

    Important reminders for building Word Work stamina include:

    *Stay in one spot.

    *Get started right away.

    *Work the whole time.

    *Work quietly.

    *Put materials away neatly.

    *Build stamina


     I PICK "Good Fit Books"

    The students are taught from day one about choosing and selecting books that are just right for their reading level.  They are called "Good Fit Books".

    I pick a book.

    P urpose (What's my purpose for choosing this book?)

    I nterest (Does this book interest me?)

    C omprehend (Can I comprehend what I'm reading?)

    K now (Do I know most of the words?) 



    Three Ways to Read a Book

    1. Read the pictures
    2. Read the words
    3. Retell the story 


    Check for Understanding

    This is a comprehension strategy that teaches children to stop frequently and check, or monitor if they understand what they are reading. Often as beginning readers, children are so aware of reading accurately that they forget to take time and think about what they are reading, checking to see if they understand the text.  Advanced readers can develop the habit of reading through the text without monitoring if they are aware of Checking for Understanding as beginning readers. This vital strategy is not only one of the first we introduce but is also one we model frequently throughout the year. When students are Reading to Someone, one partner listens and retells what their partner has just read.  Then they switch, the other student reads as their buddy stops them to "check for understanding". 


    Book Boxes

    Each student in my room has a book box. Each book box has a student's number sticker on the front so they can find their box easily and put it back on the counter in order after each part of Daily 5. Their book box contains "Good Fit Books" I have chosen for them as well as books they have chosen and their Writer's Notebook with a pencil for Work on Writing. I let my class "Shop for Books" each week. They LOVE this part and they can't wait to choose new books each week. This builds a sense of responsibility and provides these young readers with a way to monitor their own reading abilities. The books I choose for their Book Boxes will be the books they take home for the Book-in-a-Bag homework assignment. 


    Building Stamina

    Many parents are amazed to hear their child speak about building "stamina". It's not a typical word you hear first graders say! When we begin teaching The Daily 5 parts, the first time we model, instruct, and demonstrate how to do this skill, the students start on their own for 3 minutes. Every day we add one minute, eventually building their stamina to 30 minutes. Some days we may only get to do 20-30 minutes depending on special activities, assemblies, or holiday events. The students "build stamina" for each of the Daily 5 parts. Our stamina motto is, "THE MORE YOU READ, THE BETTER YOU GET!" 


    What's the teacher doing during Daily 5?

    Explicit modeling, practice, reflecting and refining take place during the launching phase, preparing the foundation for a year of meaningful content and instruction tailored to meet the unique needs of each child.  After weeks and months of modeling, practicing, and building stamina for each Daily 5 part, the students become very independent and are on "auto pilot".  They know these routines, and they look forward to them each day. This automaticity allows the teacher to work with students one on one or in small groups.  The teacher can give assessments or practice skills the students are ready for.  Teachers can confer with students individually to discuss how they are developing as readers and writers and discuss their goals.  

    For more information about The Daily 5 program, click the link below for The Sisters Daily 5 web page.  There you will find an endless supply of information and details about this phenomenal program!  It really works!!