Tag Archives: daily 5

The Daily Five…A place to start

The foundational principals of the Daily Five

•Trusting students
•Providing choice
•Nurturing community
•Creating a sense of urgency
•Building stamina
•Staying out of students’ way once routines are established

The K to 3 teachers had their second meeting for the book study The Daily Five by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. What terrific conversation! We are using a protocol called the levels of meaning to guide our thinking as we read each chapter.  This is how the levels of meaning works:Participants read the chapter and then choose one sentence that grabs their attention. It may capture the gist of the chapter, highlight an ongoing concern, or challenge the educator’s thinking. Next, the educator chooses one phrase from the chapter. This is the process of synthesizing the information of the text. Finally, each educator chooses one word from the text that gets to the heart of what she understands from the text.We began be going around the group to hear everyone’s general impressions of Chapter 2 “From “Management” to “Principled” habits: Foundations of the Daily Five”. Next, we discussed each of the levels of meaning: sentence, phrase, and word.Some examples from the group include:


“What beliefs influence the decisions you make in your classroom?” (p. 18)
“Through lessons and guided practice, we gradually build behaviors that can be sustained over time so children can easily be trusted to manage on their own.” (p. 19)”


“Purpose+Choice=Motivation” (p. 21)
“highest quality of instruction for students” (p. 22)
“stay out of the way”



For our next meeting we will read chapter 3 “What’s the difference?: Key Materials, Concepts, and Routines for Launching the Daily Five.” But we will also view the video below from Balanced Literacy Diet and choose one idea presented in the video that challenges our thinking about our current practice or what we believe about students and learning. Here we are drawing upon the ideas found in Steven Katz and Lisa Dack’s Intentional Interruption.  How do we intentionally interrupt the status quo in order to overcome barriers to learning that impede permanent change?

Questions or comments? Please join the conversation.


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And….we’re off!!

Using the book study to narrow the teacher tech gap.





I am so excited that many of the teachers I  work with have decided to join one of the book studies I am hosting this spring. The K to 4 teachers will begin their study of The Daily 5 soon after the spring break. For the most part the study will make up part of their weekly PLC time, but I am hoping that they will also consider the use of either a Twitter chat or a wiki as well. As teachers are so pressed for time, I find that asynchronous yet collaborative tools like wikis are fabulous for engaging in more detailed conversation than even face-to-face. Twitter chats are are great for immediate feedback and consolidation of other work. But both the wiki and Twitter are still overwhelming to most of my teachers at the primary level. So, we will chat about the ways we can meet to discuss our learning and they will choose.

The teachers at the middle school have just completed Frankie Sibberson’s A Joy of Planning . For the most part, the book was discussed in their PLC meetings, but every second Monday, we met online and had a Twitter chat about a chapter of the book. Despite fluctuating participation, there is definitely a growing interest in online communication and collaboration. As they prepare to read and discuss Book Love by Penny Kittle, there is more talk of the various ways the conversation might happen. We decided to set up a wiki page as the place we can slow the conversation down and really think about our students, their reading lives, and what we need to do help them become life long readers. But we are also going to try using Google Hangouts because teachers from two different buildings are participating in the study and there is no opportunity to chat in person.

The last book study, Inquiry Circles in Action by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels, is what I am calling a book study review. Only a few teachers, those who are already dabbling in the inquiry process, are taking on this (in some cases, extra) book study. They are some of the most technologically advanced teachers, so we will try to push the boundaries a bit more than the other groups. So far, we have decided to work on a wiki page and through twitter, but I am encouraging them to consider blogging about the book, their work, and whether they think that student inquiry (supported by this book) is the direction in which we should be moving.

My goal here? I certainly want teachers to be engaged in the various books they are reading. I do want them to feel the power of collaborative learning. And I hope teachers, with or without my coaching, will transfer their learning to the classroom.

But, I also hope that the means by which we communicate in our book studies strengthens teachers’ beliefs in the tools while alleviating their discomfort in using them.  Bill Ferriter captures this idea in a 2010 article found in Educational Leadership.

Teachers must identify how applications like Twitter can facilitate their learning. Digital opportunities to connect with new content and communities can accelerate learning for every student—but only after teachers become efficient digital learners, too.

I am sure the next few months will witness a roller coaster of teacher emotions as we dive into these books, and play with the tools of digital learning.

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