The Daily 5

A few years ago I discovered The Daily 5 and instantly saw the power it had in guiding literacy instruction.

This video walks you through
step-by-step to success!

I looked around my classroom and realized that my students were not getting as much quality, on-level, independent reading time as I would like.

I kept thinking, “How can they become better readers if they don’t have time to read?”

I searched the internet for ideas. Lots of book buckets ideas, gimmicks and stuff floated by my screen. I was quite disillusioned because I wasn't finding what I was looking for.

Then I came across a book called The Daily Five. I had heard of it before but didn't really know what it was about.

I ordered it – and read the whole thing the day it arrived! I was in love with the concepts presented in the book. Lots of independent reading, writing and word work.


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So, I talked to my teammate and we tweaked it to fit our students, our needs and our requirements.

This is what we came up with: The Independent 3.

We have broken our reading block into 3 mini-lessons and 3 sessions of independent work.

Every day our routine is the same… and we love it. The kids love it. We are seeing growth. It’s good!

Here’s what we are doing:

  • 20 minute lesson (Read aloud / skill work)

  • 20 minutes of Read to Self (Directly taken from The Daily Five) and Guided Reading

  • 10 minute lesson (Shared reading / skill work)

  • 20 minutes of Work on Writing (Directly taken from The Daily 5) and Guided Reading

  • 10 minute lesson (Skill work, Phonics, Whatever your kids need!)

  • 20 minutes of Word Work (We use our Primary Literacy Centers) and Guided Reading

This comes out to be our 100 minute reading block.

At first we weren’t sure about the pacing, but now that are students are trained to read, write and work on centers for 20 minutes it flows like a dream.

We are also finding that with practice and repetition we are having many less behavior distractions during the independent work times than previously.

An extra added bonus is that it keeps our Guided Reading groups on track so we can meet with 3 groups a day!

Now – here are the nuts and bolts…

First, I do not recommend just leaping into a massive reading block change without reading The Daily 5 first. They explain each step in a logical, tested manner that makes it work.

The book walks you through the language of independence, the charts you create, and how to pace it so every child can be successful.

It also really brings home the fact that you have to model, model, model over and over to help the children truly gain the concept of what you are looking for.

Second, this process isn’t expensive. We bought twenty $1 book bins, The Daily 5 book and use our affordable Primary Literacy Centers. Grand total about $40 for tons of amazing academic learning.

Third, if you have a buddy to try this with you it helps. Even if it is someone in a different grade or at a different school – it’s nice to have someone to discuss this process with.

Pros of this plan:

  1. It breaks up the teaching blocks into smaller, more child friendly times
  2. The children will learn the routine quickly – so you can spend more time teaching
  3. It takes tons of planning away from centers and give you more time to teach
  4. The children will have more time reading and writing – I have already seen growth and I’ve only been doing it about 3 weeks
  5. It is building academic stamina – upper grades teachers will thank you!

Cons of this plan:
  1. It will take about 2 weeks to teach – but in the long run this isn’t really a ‘con’ because it will change the way you think about centers

What my kids are saying:

“I didn’t know I could read so many words!”

“I like having more time to read.”

“Writing is my favorite and now I can do it every morning!”

All in all I could not give The Daily Five a higher recommendation. It has changed the way I look at reading, centers, and teaching!

Happy Reading!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Incorportating Language Arts Workbooks & Daily 5 
I read the Daily 5 book last year and tried implementing it but I found it hard to schedule the centers, mini lessons, and have them do their workbooks …

Using the reading series within the Daily 5 
I have started reading the Daily 5 and researching what others have done with it. I haven't read anywhere how to incorporate the county mandated reading …

How to implement the Daily 5 in Math? 
Hi! Our school is implementing the Daily 5 this school year. I was wondering how the Daily 5 ties into Math or Science. Thanks!

Daily 5 and Grades 
I just started using the Daily 5 and am struggling to try to fit in everything. I don't want to worksheet my kids to death, but there are a few …

Writer's Workshop Additional? 
Hello! Do you do Writer's Workshop in addition to the Daily 5? Do you have any other Language Arts time slots (handwriting, spelling, etc.)? …

Group vs. independent work 
If meeting with a guided reading group happens while the rest of the class is working on writing or reading to self, do the students in your group miss …

When to update book bins? 
When do you find is a good time for your kids to go 'book-shopping' aka find good fit books to store in book bins? Right now I'm using their center …

Daily 5 Book Bins 
How many books are in each student's bin? Did they pick them from the library or from books you have in your room? How often do they change …

The Daily Cafe  
Do you use the Cafe book along with the Daily 5? If so, how do you incorporate it into your day? Thank you!

Picking seats 
This is my 2nd year to do Daily 5 in kindergarten and we love it. My kids choose where they want to go for each round which seems to work well. …

Daily Five in Kindergarten 
My school district embraced the Daily Five philosophy a few years ago. I totally "Kindergarten-ized" it and use it February through June. It …

Do we have to go to recess? 
I started reading Daily 5 over the summer and while I wanted to get started, I decided to wait. I finally started in November (right after Thanksgiving …

Second grade Daily 5 
I bought the Daily Five book last summer, read it, and sticky noted it everywhere in the book. My second graders loved the fact that they were "teachers" …

What about Read to Someone and Listen to Reading? 
I noticed that you skip 2 parts of The Daily 5. Why did you remove them? Are you going to add them in?

Scheduling issues 
My principal has given the teachers at our school The Daily 5 and suggested using it next year. My schedule from last year included Reading, Writing, …

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