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Daily 5– Read to Self
15 Jun, 2012. 9 Comments. Back to School, Daily 5. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Read to Self 
(Part One of how I use the Daily 5 in my class) 

I had said earlier that I would blog a bit on how I use the Daily 5 in my classroom. Now, let me preface this by saying I am NOT an expert on the Daily 5. I am just a teacher who has seen this program help my students in tremendous ways and therefore completely support and use it!

When I first read the book, I will admit, I was nervous to start it. I sat down with a few of my co-workers and we chatted how we were going to make it work for us.

In reflection, I really believe that the success of the Daily 5 hinges on how you implement it, the expectations that you set, and making sure you listen to what the book says. (If you have not read the book, I suggest starting there as “the sisters” offer such phenomenal nuggets of wisdom!! The book is easy to read and understand and it reads like you are having a conversation with two of your closest colleagues.)

I started the Daily 5 on the first day of school. Much of what I do on day 1 is setting the tone for how I expect the students to obey and behave in class. We practice, practice, PRACTICE and then we practice some more. :) A big part of our first week is me selling the idea that we are a family in first grade. We talk about how we think we should behave, what it would look like, sound like and feel like in a classroom where we are a family. We discuss respecting one another and how to be part of a family. The Daily 5 fits right in with all of this because in the Daily 5 students must count on one another to try their best so everyone can be the best readers and writers that they can be!

Last year, I began by reading “No, David” and we talked about what David was doing throughout the book. We chatted about what would happen if we all behaved like David in our classroom!! (I love the appalled look they all get when I ask that question!!) I then talk about how much I love to read and then give the mini lesson on “good fit books.” I steal  use the mini-lesson right out of the Daily 5 book and bring in shoes and talk about how my soccer cleats would definitely not be a good choice if I was going out to a fancy restaurant!

The kids then get a brain break. 

After a break, we come back down to the rug and talk about TWO ways to read a book. We discuss reading the pictures and what that looks like, and then what reading the words looks like. We also make the anchor I chart of what it would look like in our classroom during Read to Self.

I then have three kids model what it would look like to practice Read to Self. As a class, we then discuss what the readers were doing well!! I then have my wiggle worm(s) demonstrate how NOT to read to self. ((oh do they ever love this part!!))

Then we all get to practice the correct way! ((I put together book boxes prior to the first day of school.))

For the first week, I give everyone their book boxes and place them somewhere in the room. I thought I was going to start off by letting them read for only three minutes because that is what the book had suggested. However, my class this year was able to read silently for 8 minutes on the first day. I stopped them after 8 minutes and we all came back, closed our eyes and did an individual check.

I really liked this part. The kids had to reflect on if they had given Read to Self their best. I had them put their fist over their hearts and give me either a thumbs up for “I tried my absolute best” or a sideways thumb if they knew they could try a little harder. I have my students all keep their eyes closed for the entire Self Check. (that way they wouldn’t compare themselves to other friends) I was amazed at how honest the kids were and how willing they were to work even harder.

All of these pictures are from the first week of school last year. My class absolutely loved enjoying their books and increased their stamina fairly quickly. We were up to about 12 minutes by Friday and I was ready to introduce Work on Writing that next Monday! {Mind you, most of them had come from a kindergarten class that also used the Daily 5.}

Stay tuned for the next installment!! Next I will write on how I implemented Work on Writing!
Please feel free to comment!! Do you use the Daily 5 in your class? What do you like best about it??

9 Comments
  1. I am trying to get into Daily 5. No one currently uses it at my school so I don’t have a reference point, but seeing how you use it gives me a great start. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve read the book (and do a variation of Daily 5) but am enjoying reading how you implement it.
    Take care!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. I am going to start Daily 5 this year.
    Are they always that peaceful and obedient during Independent Reading?

  4. Jessica- I laughed when I read your comment. :) I’ll be completely honest– yes and no. One of the biggest things the sisters say is to watch your “barometer child.” That’s the kiddo who just can’t seem to sit still. I definitely had a few of them this year but yes, even they could do it!!! The trick is stopping the activity before they become a wiggle worm. You see, you’re trying to teach their bodies to be still and to work on their stamina. We definitely had some days where my kiddos were not “on” but 90% of the time, yes, they were calm and peaceful and genuinely LOVED reading their books.

  5. Love the way your class does Read to Self so diligently. I’m jealous.. and hoping for a similarly successful implementation next year. Out of curiosity what do you do to hold your students accountable for what they read during Read to Self? Do they have a book log? Just wondering. I’ve been researching and love hearing other perspectives! :)

  6. Love your site! We are starting Dailt 5 and your blog has been such a help! I was wondering were you found your book bins for students to hold their books in?

  7. I did Daily 6 last year in Kinder and was successful. This year I am in first grade and was curious what books do you put in their book boxes the first week of school?

9 Comments

  • I am trying to get into Daily 5. No one currently uses it at my school so I don’t have a reference point, but seeing how you use it gives me a great start. Thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I’ve read the book (and do a variation of Daily 5) but am enjoying reading how you implement it.
    Take care!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  • I am going to start Daily 5 this year.
    Are they always that peaceful and obedient during Independent Reading?

  • Jessica- I laughed when I read your comment. :) I’ll be completely honest– yes and no. One of the biggest things the sisters say is to watch your “barometer child.” That’s the kiddo who just can’t seem to sit still. I definitely had a few of them this year but yes, even they could do it!!! The trick is stopping the activity before they become a wiggle worm. You see, you’re trying to teach their bodies to be still and to work on their stamina. We definitely had some days where my kiddos were not “on” but 90% of the time, yes, they were calm and peaceful and genuinely LOVED reading their books.

  • Love the way your class does Read to Self so diligently. I’m jealous.. and hoping for a similarly successful implementation next year. Out of curiosity what do you do to hold your students accountable for what they read during Read to Self? Do they have a book log? Just wondering. I’ve been researching and love hearing other perspectives! :)

  • Love your site! We are starting Dailt 5 and your blog has been such a help! I was wondering were you found your book bins for students to hold their books in?

  • I did Daily 6 last year in Kinder and was successful. This year I am in first grade and was curious what books do you put in their book boxes the first week of school?

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