Daily 5


I am joining Tammy from Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten in a Daily 5 book study SPECIFICALLY for KINDERGARTEN teachers..... Yes! I hear the applause and roar from the crowd!

Let's call it as we see, huh?? Kindergarten is a whole 'nuther animal and what works for the other grades (even primary) doesn't always work for our kinders. So, we are going to take this amazing book and have a deep, thoughtful conversation about how we, as kindergarten teachers, can take Daily 5 and make it run smoothly in our rooms.

I am so excited to start this new venture.....

I am not new to the Daily 5. I used it extensively when I taught 1st and 2nd grade. However, several years ago I moved to kindergarten in a new school district. I was so excited to teach kindergarten, but I recognized that I knew nothing about how to teach kindergarten. Would I know how? Would I even enjoy it? I didn't know...

I simply was not brave enough or sure enough of my own teaching abilities (in regard to kinder) to try Daily 5 in kinder. I was worried it would be too much. After all, these kids were coming to me and they couldn't read - How would I teach "Read to Self" to a bunch of 5 year olds??? So, I opted to return to Debbie Diller-style literacy workstations. And, I have operated for the last 3 years this way. All the while I felt that there had to be a better way. While my kids learn to read....and read quite well - I feel like something is amiss.

I mean.... I am teaching them how to read, but am I really teaching them to be readers?? 

Daily 5 is about teaching your students how to develop independent literacy behaviors to the point where they become habits....just second-nature. These are the kinds of habits we want our kiddos to pick up and hold on to.

The part of Chapter 1 that sticks with me .....sticks in my gut so-to-speak is a question -- the same question that the Sisters asked themselves.....

"What am I having the kids do that is creating readers and writers?"
"Is the goal to keep them busy or make a difference    in their literate lives?"

These are fundamental questions for teachers. The answer will depend a great deal on  your teaching point-of-view. Do you believe that a teacher's job is to relay information -- fill children's brains? Or, do you believe that a teacher's job is to guide children to develop literacy habits that will enable them to progress into competent readers and writers?

There have been many times that I felt like I couldn't teach because I was too busy making sure other kids' were working, not playing, not killing themselves or others...Geez -- don't we get tired of constantly putting out fires? Sometimes it feels like we are in a 3-ring circus and I'm the performer with the spinning plates! At some point, those plates are going to fall -- no matter how good you are....

This is where Daily 5 is an answer to our prayers... Let the kids help! Teach the kids how to do it and LET THEM! They are capable of so much more than we allow them to do. We cripple them by not allowing them to help control and manage their learning. Once we take that leap of faith and begin letting them help, our need for an external behavior management system lessens. D5 is a student-driven management system. That doesn't mean a "free-for-all". That means we are going to specifically teach the habits they need to have to be successful literacy learners - then LET THEM DO IT!

I am so excited to get started on this new adventure with all of you --some who have never used Daily 5 and some will be old pros... I embrace this learning experience and I am so grateful that I have YOU to discuss my thoughts, concerns, and questions with...
I hope you take this opportunity to learn with all of us. I look forward to seeing LOTS of conversations in the comments below. I will read each and every one!

Let's Get This Party Started!!


  1. I am an old dog, trying to learn new tricks (taught 26 years, the last 7 in kindergarten). I have been meaning to read this book for the past couple of years and am committing to doing it this summer. I'm really looking forward to being able to follow along with your book study. Thanks for leading the way!!!

    Laura from The Kitty Class

  2. I love Daily 5. Purpose + choice = motivation!


  3. I am excited to learn how to do this I kindergarten. It makes sense but need help getting it going.

  4. I am excited to be trying D5 again in my classroom! I attempted it once with a very difficult class. It probably wasn't my year to be trying something new. So after a breather and some reflection time I am ready to try it once more. I can't wait to read everyone's comments and posts on how they will be implementing this in their Kdg classrooms this year.
    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

  5. thank you for answering these questions b/c they are so huge for us as teachers and for our students! I have only done a Debbie Diller Style of centers, and am a little nervous to start/try something new as I will have 20 students next year and no helper. Any advice/tidbit of info that you relay through the book study will be valued and taken to heart!
    Also, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your morning calendar routine? I need to spice mine up a bit and its always helpful to read about what others do. Would you mind sharing sometime? Thank you so very much.

  6. Jeannie, I really enjoyed reading your post! Some take-aways for me include that Daily 5 involves explicit teaching of expectations and routines/procedures. You build your classroom community by holding everyone accountable and practicing the behaviors and stamina. My kids have really responded to setting a goal for stamina and being challenged to meet or even beat it. I remember last year a group of 2nd graders couldn't believe that I only wanted them to read to self for 3 minutes! They thought they could do what they usually do- whisper, move around, etc. They were shocked that they only made it to 1 minute! But by the end of the week they were on their way! Using a chart or graph really motivated them! Last year I pulled out 8 kinders for reading enrichment. Most were already on a 1st/2nd+ grade level. I taught them the 3 ways to read a book and they were amazed that looking and thinking about the pictures was reading!
    Releasing control to the student and striving for a student-centered classroom isn't always easy, but it is imperative that we do so to create independent learners and thinkers. I liked the part where the Sisters talk about the "internal" control and students having a sense of urgency with their time and learning. If our students know we care for them, love them ( I do tell mine this!!), trust them to make good decisions, have high expectations and hold them accountable, they will rise to the occasion! 21st century learning is much more complex than it was when I was a student. Independence is crucial! I look forward to reading everyone's reflections! Lauren

  7. Fantastic ladies and I am so excited you are in for the ride! We are going to do this TOGETHER!! And each of our classrooms will be better off for it....

    Now, on to Chapter 2!!! I will post again on D5 next Wednesday (unless I find something that really pulls at my heart to share! :0)

  8. Thanks for stopping my my blog and giving me some love. I have been stalking your blog for quite some time now and I am so pumped to call myself a kinder teacher!!

    Kickin' it in Kinder

  9. I can relate so much to your opening comments. I use to teach 2nd and then moved to preschool! Whose big idea was that? haha Last year was my first year and they nearly ate me alive. I had no idea what I was doing. I found myself thinking back to how much I loved using the Daily 5 with my 2nd graders and missed it so much. And just like you, I just knew there was no way that I could teach Pre-K students how to do read to self or read together. THEY CAN't READ! As I read chapter 1 I began to realize just how much my babies can do. If there's three ways to read a book and only one is read the words then why can't they do the others? I have already decided that next year my kids will be looking at the pictures and retelling (rereading) books that I read to them as a class. As the year goes we will just add each book I read to their selection of books. :)
    P.S. I am new to the blogging world. This is my first linky and I am so excited! :) I still have no idea what I am doing. I just wing it from day to day when I blog. haha

  10. "Teach the kids how to do it and LET THEM! They are capable of so much more than we allow them to do. We cripple them by not allowing them to help control and manage their learning."

    I couldn't agree more. We want kids to be problem solvers, to figure things out for themselves, and yet, if we don't teach and model, teach and model, of COURSE they won't be, and we'll be putting out fires, so to speak, until the last day of school.

    The Daily 5 will (hopefully) be the answer to my prayers...LOVING it so far!

  11. I'm curious to see if most of you lovely ladies are full or half-day kindergarten programs? I teach 2 half-day classes and I am always up against my nemisis - TIME! If anyone has any ideas to help me fit all of these wonderful ideas into my 3 hour day, I'd be ever so grateful! :0)

  12. Just became your newest follower. Love your blog!

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine

  13. I would really like to see some full day schedules that you use in your D5 classrooms. Please post some schedules that have worked. Thanks!!

  14. I love this book study! I just got my Daily 5 book today and read the whole thing! I teach kindergarten & would love to do the D5 in my classroom but am anxious as to how to teach Kinders to "Read to Self" or "Read to Someone" when they come in not beig able to read! Hope to get good ideas here! :)

  15. I love this book study! I just got my Daily 5 book today and read the whole thing! I teach kindergarten & would love to do the D5 in my classroom but am anxious as to how to teach Kinders to "Read to Self" or "Read to Someone" when they come in not beig able to read! Hope to get good ideas here! :)