learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Would I Use the Daily 5?

on September 21, 2013

For Language Arts Methods we have been reading The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“the sisters”). Throughout the time that we have been reading this book, I have been thinking about the Daily 5 with regard to whether or not I think it would be effective. There were times in reading where I though, “Yes, this could work,” but there were also times in which I had no idea how I could implement this practice into my own classroom.

ImageRead more about the Daily 5 here.

When thinking about my own classroom and the Daily 5, I thought back to my practicum experience my freshman year. The second grade classroom I was in used Daily 5 during their language arts time. The way in which my cooperating teacher used Daily 5 in her class was always positive. The children were engaged, they always knew the expectations, and they were proud of their Daily 5 work. Seeing this has had a positive impact on my own beliefs with regard to the Daily 5, but I still struggle with how I could use it in my classroom.

Here are some of my thoughts on the Daily 5:

1. The Daily 5 is a great way to build classroom community. While introducing The Daily 5 to students, they are asked to work together to come up with “I-Charts” for each task. This allows students to think about what their jobs are as students and what the teacher’s job is. Students thus feel accountable for their work during the Daily 5. This builds not only respect but also a sense of community as students and the teacher are working toward a common goal.

2. The Daily 5 provides a new level of engagement for students. Students who participate in the Daily 5 are able to choose their task order, choose what to do within that task, and they get to be independent learners. Students thrive when they are participating in/learning about something they are interested in and the Daily 5 allows for them to target their interests. Through having a choice, students are able to direct their own learning.

3. Is the Daily 5 too time consuming? This is something I still struggle with. How in the world am I supposed to implement Daily 5 while also implementing the amount of math, social studies, science, etc. that I need to include in the day? With the emphasis on the CCSS in the educational world, I have a hard time seeing how I can devote so much time to the Daily 5. Not only do I have to fit all of these subjects in, but my students will be leaving the room at various times throughout the day. I feel as though this could be disruptive to the Daily 5 routine. I know Boushey and Moser address this in their book, but I don’t quite think they address it to the extent it needs to be. Along with this, the Daily 5 can take weeks to establish within a classroom. I would feel immense pressure to “get the ball rolling” on teaching language arts in my classroom due to what is now expected for children to learn. The Daily 5 takes more of a relaxed approach on teaching language arts, as it takes quite a bit of time to actually begin Daily 5 work.

4. The Daily 5 is able to address every learner. The different tasks in the Daily 5 (Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work) are all equally important to language arts. Students will each come in with their own strengths and weaknesses in language arts, and I feel the Daily 5 address each of those. It can be especially helpful to ELL students through Listen to Reading and can help students who need to work on their own fluency in Read to Someone. Obviously the other tasks hold important benefits as well. The choice in the Daily 5 also allows for the learner to choose the way in which they learn best, such as using tactile learning for Word Work.

Overall, I think the Daily 5 is something I could see myself using in my own classroom if I am able to work within my time constraints and expectations as an educator. It is a great way to create a classroom community and student-centered learning environment. I also feel is a positive way to work with students individually and assess through observation. It is clear to me that teachers are able to see student growth in language arts through implementing this practice.

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