I would like you to consider for a moment the reasons why you might enjoy reading or writing. If I was to answer that question, I would say that I love to browse for new titles when I go to the bookstore or the library, if I find a book that I enjoy, I spend extended periods of time reading, I love to choose my own books, I have a special place in my house where I enjoy reading the most, I like to read different genres, and the books that I read are on topics and difficulty level that are just right for me. Regarding writing, I like to choose the topics that I write about as well, although I sometimes like to be challenged to write about certain subjects. The reason I am letting you know all this, is because I want all my students to have the same level of engagement to their reading and writing as I have, and as I imagine that you have as well, so I am so excited to let you know that this year, I will do my best to make that happen with the introduction of the researched based structure of The Daily 5.
The Daily 5 is a literacy structure that teaches students the behaviors that they need to become independent readers and writers. Within this structure, students learn to slowly grow their stamina, in order to read and write for longer periods of uninterrupted time, and to develop independence. As they learn to set and keep track of their reading and writing goals, students become accountable for their own growth, and their individual learning needs are met through one-on-one interactions and small group work with me and with other students.
This structure, created by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, is based on the research that shows that students that are given extended periods of time of practice, along with short focused instructional periods, significantly increase their reading and writing skills.
The Daily 5 consists of five tasks that I will be teaching in a gradual manner during the next few weeks. The five tasks are:
Read to Self
Work on Writing
Read to Someone
Listen to Reading
Each task is introduced gradually and with a clear set of expectations and behaviors in the form of foundational lessons that I will be teaching, and that create a clear roadmap for my students to work independently during those tasks.
Once the first two tasks have been introduced, my students will be able to have the choice to decide which activity they will be doing first, and their options will increase with every new task introduced. Additionally, students will be able to have choice in other areas such as books they want to read, partners they want to read with, or places to read. And with choice will come higher engagement.
My expectation is that your child will be so excited about our Daily 5 routine that s/he will not stop talking about it when they get home, so here are a few things that you can do to maintain that level of excitement and participate in your child’s reading and writing adventure:
Ask your child to explain to you the routines for Read to Self, or even request that s/he models for you what s/he is doing in the classroom during that time.
Talk with your child about your reading and writing routines, the way you choose a just right book for you, or your favorite spot for reading.
I can’t wait to get the Daily 5 up and running this year. I am very confident that your child will become an independent and engaged reader and writer. As a final request, if you would like to contribute to our classroom library, keep you eyes open for children books on garage sales and thrift stores, or visit our Scholastic Classroom Library Campaign. We will be so grateful for any amount of donations.