Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Daily 5 - Chapter 3

What's the Difference?: Key Materials, Concepts, and Routines for Launching the Daily Five

Hello Everyone!  It's Katie Lyon from Teaching: The Art of Possibility. For those of  you who don't know me, I teach 5th grade at a private school in West L.A. and I'm also the Vice Principal there.  I also must wear a dozen other hats.....but I'm sure you all understand that and can relate!!!  Anyway, WELCOME to The Daily 5 Book Study.

I was so excited to discuss Chapter 3: What's the Difference?: Key Materials, Concepts, and Routines for Launching the Daily Five with everyone after reading it.  After all, I'm all about having my materials ready to go and practicing routines in my classroom!!!  Once I got past staring at the picture on page 17 (the first page of Ch. 2) and wishing I had a LOFT in my classroom, I finally moved onto Ch. 3.  Where I once again was teased with the loft on page 35....but I pressed on.  I really started to think about what The Sisters were saying when it comes time to launch The Daily 5.  Let's begin.

Establishing a Gathering Place
The Sisters describe the gathering place as "an open space large enough for the whole class to come together and sit on the floor" (p. 28).   I'll admit, I was one of those people who thought that my 5th graders were too old to do that.  But as I read on, I began to understand the necessity of this area in the classroom.  After all, even older students need (actually crave) a chance to move around and not be seated just in their desks.  As I began to envision this space in my classroom, I knew it had to fit the following criteria:
  • Be large enough to accommodate us all.
  • Be a flexible space - my classroom isn't HUGE.  So I need to make sure each space is used to it's fullest potential.  (I'm thinking my library would be perfect for this.)
  • Be comfortable - for me and my students.  This means a nice chair for me, pillows for those who want them, perhaps some crate seats, a rug, etc. 
  • Have space for anchor charts. 
Gathering Place Discussion Questions
  1. What do you envision your gathering place looking like?  
  2. If you already have one, what makes it work?  Any tips for us beginners? 
Good-Fit Books
After finding a gathering place for your students, it's time to begin discussing and helping your students understand the importance of finding books that are RIGHT for them.  The Sisters have done a lot of research when it comes to this concept.  I agree with them that even more so than just having books that work for our students in the classroom, we must teach the children so they are "empowered to choose good-fit books for themselves each time they go the the library, bookstore or classroom book area" (p.29).  Such a difficult concept indeed.  We've all been there.  You have the students who simply love to read, the students who only read a particular type of book and of course the students who "hate" reading.

The Sisters introduce a model called I PICK.  Which stands for:

I choose a book
Purpose - Why do I want to read it?
Interest - Does it interest me?
Comprehend - Am I understanding what I am reading?
Know - I know most of the words

The Sisters explain an activity that they did comparing picking a good-fitting book with picking shoes.  A great analogy for students of all ages!  I believe this process could take a bit of time in the beginning making sure your students are correctly choosing books that work for THEM.  However, the beginning of the year is all about establishing routines, and this is an important one.  

This is where the Book Box comes into play.  After students have chosen books that work for them individually, they now need a place to put them.  As you never want your student to have just one book, but a handful so they can choose one from their box without needing to waste time wander the classroom library.  Students should have a variety of books in their book box of both fiction and non-fiction.  I even like to give my students the option of having kid magazines which are in my classroom library. 

The book boxes can be simple like The Sisters described such as cereal boxes covered with contact paper, plastic zippered bags, or they can be more durable (or neater which is what I like).  In the past I have used the following:

1.  Magazine boxes from IKEA (which I have posted for you below and you can order from a second party since IKEA won't ship them)  These were great because the students could decorate them the first few days of school.  AND They didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

2.  This past year, I purchased book bags from Really Good Stuff.  These did cost me a lot.  But I found if I wanted my students to also be bringing books HOME TO READ, that I wanted them to be taken care of.   I also have students and parents sign off at the beginning of the year on my classroom library form about the requirements of checking out books in my classroom library and the fine for replacing these bags if they become broken or lost. 

Good-Fit Books Discussion Questions
  1. What are some ways you help your students select books that work for them?  
  2. Do you use the I PICK acronym or something else?
  3. Have you ever used book boxes before?  If so, what did you use?
  4. Do you have a classroom library?  How many books do you have?  According to Jim Trelease (2001) "children in classrooms with the most books consistently outperform their peers who are in classrooms with little or no library." (I have over 2,500 and it's a pain to keep organized but SO worth it!!)  

Anchor Charts
Anchor Charts are another way to help students connect what they are learning in class.  These charts are typically done on large pieces of paper (I love my Post-It flip chart paper - so easy to hang up!!) and reflect ideas and concepts that the students have help thought up.  We've all seen the cutesy anchor charts that are floating around on Pinterest, and while they are extremely nice, they are not necessary.  If you refer to page 36 in the book, you can see examples of basic anchor charts which introduce the I PICK method and the guidelines to "Read to Self".

For my classroom, I have no problem making anchor charts with my students, however, I always run into the issue of where do I hang them?  With classrooms seeming smaller by the day and Fire Marshalls dictating a lot of what we can and can't hang up along with how much of your walls can be covered by paper, I find that this is where I would have the most problems.  How can that be overcome?

Anchor Charts Discussion Questions
  1. Do you consistently use anchor charts?  
  2. Do you use the I PICK acronym or something else?
  3. Any tips on displaying anchor charts?
  4. How do you overcome any obstacles placed on you by school, city codes, etc on displaying materials?
Short Intervals of Repeated Practice and Signals and Check-In
The Sisters talk a lot about practicing the routine over and over.  I think the most common mistake that we (teachers) can make is by underestimating the power in this!  So often we are faced with challenges of time and not having enough of it.  Quite often, we do not put in the practice that is required therefore watching what was once a great plan and vision for our classroom fall flat.  As they say, "Practice makes perfect!" 

On pg. 37, The Sisters introduce a ten step chart to improve muscle memory.  After reviewing this chart, it is plain to see you need to give each step its due diligence.  Leaving out even one, could make the whole model unsuccessful.  The part that I found the most interesting was setting up a small amount of time to practice, like 3 minutes.  However, if you see that even just one child is off task, you need to pull the group back together.  You do so without using disciplinary voice for that child but more with the idea that "with correct encouragement and practice we can help them build stamina so that soon they will exhibit the correct behaviors and be able sustain them." (pg. 38).  This idea seems simple enough but I know it is one I will need to work on and remember when implementing this in my classroom. 

After you have allowed the students to practice over and over again, you need to set up some sort of signal to let the students know to reconvene on at the gathering place.  The Sisters mention the one they use of chimes.  However, I have seen teachers use bells, drums, a count of 1-2-3, and so on.  I think what is important is finding what works for you and your classroom and again practicing it.

Finally, check-in with your students.  Have them discuss what went well and what could have gone better.  Refer back to the anchor chart you created.  Allow students to model for the class the correct way and of course the incorrect way.  By doing so, you are laying the groundwork for your procedures.

Repeated Practice, Signals and Check-in Discussion Questions
  1. What are some tips that you have for teachers when doing repeated practice?  
  2. What signals do you use in your classroom?
  3. Why do you think check-in is an important aspect of this model? 
As I finished chapter 3, I finally understood why things I had tried to implement in the past did not work the way I wanted them to. Plain and simple, I never invested the "practice time" into it.  I was always more worried about getting through everything or what would my principal would think if she walked in while I was spending time doing this.  Now I feel more prepared with an answer if I was asked.  :-)  I leave you with the parting words of The Sisters from Chapter 3.

"The beginning of the year is all about establishing routines, defining expectations, practicing behaviors, and building stamina with children within the Daily Five framework, and it takes lots of discipline on the children's part as well as the teacher's. We move slowly to eventually move fast. 

The payoff is enormous."  (pg. 42)   

 I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Chapter 3.  I have created a freebie for you to use.  One is a bookmark you can print and laminate for your students on the I PICK method.  Simple and to the point.  You can get it here: I PICK Bookmarks



  1. Great post! I too stared in envy at that loft! If only!

    Anyway, I'm with you--when I first taught big kids I thought they were "too old" to gather on the floor together. But they aren't. In fact, some of my big kids have commented that the gathering place was one of their favorite places in our room!

    There is a book called "Classroom Management in Pictures" that has several pictures of how teachers have used their library area as a gathering area as well and it is really awesome. (Of course their rooms are WAY HUGE and mine is SO not but the idea is good!)

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  3. I've always had a gathering place in my classroom. I love to change the theme of my room so this year my theme is McCray's Marvelous Monkeys (jungle). I will have a huge paper-made tree with monkeys having from it and animal-print fabric covering the floor and furniture. I have books, rugs, teaching materials, a white board, chart paper, charts, and manipulatives. My reading corner has rugs, books, chair/pillows, headphones, and tape recorders. I have also had beach themes, camping themes, and sports themes. I really believe the gathering place should be a place where students WANT to come and a place away from distractions and set-up for learning experiences.

    My students have a lot of difficulty selecting good-fit books. I encourage them to use interest and the 5 finger rule. Each students has a book bag (I've used a huge Zip-loc bag, an apron from Home Depot or Lowes, and cereal boxes). I like to have books on display all over the classroom. I'm not sure how many books I have, I just make sure my students can always find books that interest them (I check out books from the library, borrow, trade, and buy books often).

    I really didn't understand the need for so many charts until I participated a lesson study on charting. I would walk into a teacher's classroom and think "why do they have all that trash on their walls; it's so distracting and messy." I preferred a more cleaner look in my classroom (I would now say it was probably a little sterile). I began charting more effectively at the end of this past year. I will continue this year. I plan on putting the chart of clothes hangers and hanging the on a chart holder so that students can refer to them as needed. Of course, I will display some chart on the walls.

    I agree; practice makes perfect. When practicing, be patient and CONSISTENT. I use sounds to call the students back together- depending on the classroom theme.
    Checking in with students ensure that they know what they are to do, and you know what they are doing. I use this time to PRAISE students for desired behaviors and discuss why the some behaviors are desirable and others are undesirable.

    After reading chapter 3, I am encouraged to take it slow at the beginning of the year and teach routines and procedures. I am usually so anxious to get into teaching lessons (many of our students are 2+ years behind)that I rush through the procedures and forget allow adequate practice time.

  4. I love this chapter! Coming from first grade, I know that practice, practice, practice is sooo important. Anything you want students to do well and often requires practice, even down to the small things like turning in homework or passing papers. My first year teaching the little ones, I stood in awe that no one in my classroom knew how to pass papers to their neighbor on the first day of school, lol. So, we practiced. =}

    This year, I'm moving up to fourth grade for the first time. It's departmentalized, so I'll have three groups coming to me for Reading/LA. I plan to incorporate science and social studies wherever possible (not a requirement, just a personal goal as I feel these content areas are often overlooked in favor of reading and math).

    My questions are to other teachers with several groups of students rotating thru your classrooms:

    How do you deal with anchor charts you make with different groups? Do you consolidate ideas from all of your groups into one anchor chart? When you finally do hang them up, how do the students deal with new ideas that found their way onto the charts from other classes?

    How do you deal with book baskets for each of your students? I'm envisioning 65 little book baskets/bags having to be stored someplace in my small classroom. Not a pretty picture. When I say small, I mean my room is small. I'm already concerned about how I will find room to have a gathering place. The teacher desk in my new room is already on the short list of what to remove to create more space in my classroom, lol. My new principal is not a fan of this idea, so we'll see.

    Thank you for your thoughts and ideas.


  5. This chapter has me considering my classroom. I am always reflecting on how we do things.

    Interestingly, between reading chapter 2 and chapter 3, I read Donalyn Miller's "The Book Whisperer". Now I have conflicting suggestions about a reading area. Frankly, I just don't have the room for a designated reading/gathering area. Miller's description more closely resembles what goes on in my classroom; children find a place to read that is comfortable for them. As for mini-lessons, students are at desks. This is the reality of the our classroom.

    I-PICK is as good of a guide to select a just-right book as I have seen. It pretty much models what I have taught, although I do not have a nice acronym. I just may adopt this.

    I liked the discussion of the book boxes. I am unlikely to use them as I loathe "stuff" and this sounds like stuff for 25. But the discussion is still relevant. The time to select books can be a stalling device for some students. Perhaps the book sacks for the back of the chairs would work. That is interesting, although interferes with where student names have moved to spare the space on the desktop. This is absolutely something I will need to work through. I like have a bank of books already selected to move onto.

    Anchor charts are something that are increasing in my room. Lots of time and effort have been spent the last couple months in coming up with the logistics of handling the charts, storage, where they hang, etc. This was already on the agenda for the coming year to increase use.

    I found the discussion of modeling, signals, and checking-in humorous. I suppose it needs to be included, but this is teaching 101 as far as I am concerned. My mother still comments about visiting my second grade classroom back in the Dark Ages. My older-than-dirt teacher then had signals that we all responded to that just astonished my mother.

    I am beginning to feel more comfortable with what the Daily 5 is. Unfortunately, it is beginning to sound more faddish than I had hoped. Education is replete with programs that garner attention as "the way" only to fade away as the next new thing comes to be. Nevertheless, examining what goes on in one's classroom is always a profitable experience.

  6. I use IPICK with the kids - I keep a copy of it in their book boxes and on an anchor chart near the classroom library. We talk about it before we head to the school library as well as bring their AR level cards to help with the choosing process.

    My book boxes are just plastic shoeboxes. I needed the option of stacking them to fit in my classroom. The kids decorate index cards and place them inside as a label.

    Anchor charts - love them! I've always been the teacher that went to the teaching supply store and bought something for everything, this past year I made them myself and it seemed to be more relevant for the kids since we did it together (and they made a copy for their binders at the same time.)

    Thanks for the post! I have enjoyed reviewing with everyone.
    I Love My Classroom

  7. Thanks for hosting this chapter, Katie. Does anyone have interesting ways to "check in"?

    The Science Penguin

  8. Katy I like your vision of a Loft... love it. :)

    To answer your questions:

    What do you envision your gathering place looking like?

    This year I'm moving schools and my new room is smaller than ever :( I'm also moving grades, now I will be teaching 3rd grade. I have been to my new room a couple of times. The teacher that was there still has ALL her boxes there :( but I'm trying to visualize the space, it wont be big but I will try to give them room to read, I have the "color puzzle carpet" I like those because they get their piece and they can just go read wherever they want. Will see....

    What are some ways you help your students select books that work for them?
    We use the 5 finger rule.

    Do you use the I PICK acronym or something else?

    I love the idea of the I PICK acronym, since I read the chapter I have been trying to figure out one in spanish since I teach the spanish LA of the Dual Language.

    Have you ever used book boxes before? If so, what did you use?
    I always used plastic bags, and I HATE them, you end up using a billion of them, I will try to use cereal bags, and start building my class set of IKEA magazine boxes.Since I will teach 3 different groups of kids, because of the dual language.

    Do you have a classroom library? How many books do you have?
    My classroom library is crazy, I had the books divided in IKEA boxes blue for english and red for spanish when I taught one way dual language and then divided by genre. This year I'm not sure how I will have it.

    Do you consistently use anchor charts?

    I loved anchor charts!!!!!! used them all the time. Last year for some unknown reasson decided I was concentrated on my activboard and forgot my anchor charts and for sure paid the price when testing time came along :(

    How do you overcome any obstacles placed on you by school, city codes, etc on displaying materials?

    We start calling each other as soon as the fire marshall parks in front of the school ;)

    What signals do you use in your classroom?

    I love my rain stick thats how I call them.

    Why do you think check-in is an important aspect of this model?

    I do, I have never done it but for sure I will do it this year.

    Thanks for a great reflection :)


  9. I loved the I PICK lesson with the shoes and can't wait to use it.
    I have never used anchor charts, but I like the idea and the suggestion of wall size post-it notes.
    I understand and believe in practicing the element being taught. However, it has always annoyed me that I needed to teach behavioral elements to students who have been in the classroom for several years and should know by now (I.e. talking during SSR). It is what it is, and I just need to accept that it (teaching and practicing) must be done, do it, and hopefully be less frustrated.

  10. The part of this chapter that I always get stuck on is when they say to practice each routine for 3 mins to start with and then move up. I guess my question is what do you do with the rest of the 30 mins you have planned for this block. I teach G/T 4th graders and I know practicing is necessary, but 3 mins sound like such a little amount of time.

    I also will have to find a gathering spot in my room, which is very tiny, but I do think the idea of gathering them on the floor is a good idea. My district is implementing comprehension at the core this year and in there they recommend using clip boards during mini lessons which require students to write, so I a have a set on order. I also think I will use them so they students can do word work and writing at spots other than their desks.

    I used book boxes a couple of years ago and found having to store them took up too much space, I think this year I will use canvas bags from Hobby lobby. The kids can decorate them at the beginning of the year as a getting to know you idea. The bags can hang on the back of their chairs during D5 and then on a hook in their cubbies the rest of the day.

    I did like the IPICK way for choosing books. As for anchor charts I read somewhere that when space is limited you take pictures of the charts and then put the photos in an album that the students can use through out the year, then roll the charts up and keep them in a large box in the corner of the room, so they can get the actual chart if the picture isn't providing enough information. You keep some of the charts posted year round. I think I'll try this, I also thought about printing some the pictures on paper and copying them for the students to paste into their notebooks for handy reference.

    Looking forward to reading further.

  11. Kelly,
    In regards to your question about so many book boxes, I love the idea of the large freezer zip lock bags. You can have a crate for each group of students rotating through.

    I also struggle with a meeting place for older students. This year, I'll look at my room with that in mind for my 4th graders.

    Loving this book study and rereading this book with refreshers of the D5 concepts at an oppertune time. Thank you!


  12. I too loved this really had me thinking.

    Creating a gathering space will be rather difficult...but I look forward to the challenge. I teach 5th graders...looking at 30 per classroom for next year..and space is VERY limited. i think the library section is great...a carper maybe (we have tile) shelf or easy access thing for whiteboards, markers, ...will be used for math and reading...

    Good Fit Books: I have used the shoe mini lesson for choosing good fit books and LOVED it. My students always referred to it! I have always used the Fountas and Pinnell, Guiding Readers and Writers, and the guideline provided in chapter 9 for the first 20 days. The Sisters refer to this text and though I tweak it, their anchor charts and timeline really work for me. Day 1 is selecting books and silent reading (what it looks like) day 2 how to choose a book, Day 3, making good book choices, day 4 is thinking and talking about 6 is abandoning books...Day 9 keeping a record of your books...DAy 11 writing response to your reading... I AM VERY UNSURE about the book boxes. I have a library where the books are leveled according to lexile (for Common Core) and then I have a book rack turnstile that houses every non-fiction book I can find that correlates to my current science and social studies units. Students also have the current edition of Time for Kids in their binders. I have a timer before my read to self time begins and students have 1 minute to choose their books, and 30 seconds to get comfortable and in their spot to read. Most students at the 5th grade level have novels, my lower readers may have 2 or 3 books in their desk...but I am wondering if the read to self time may go better for reluctant readers if they have the book box in front of them...something to really think about!!!

    Anchor charts: I love them...use them for every subject, especially writing!!! Mine go up and come down...are recycled a lot...or posted over. Sometimes we put them in the hallway to display next to student work. Our 6+1 writing trait posters are posted low enough that students have access to them--and both students and teacher can flip through them on the wall to remind us of what each of the traits require.

    CHeck in: Interesting concepts. I like the bells rather than raising my voice over students working. I agree with repetition and modeling of expectations on a consistent basis... especially if your school has a high turnover rate. I will need to work on the time I give students to practice, but love the idea of building stamina and really watching for students who start wandering early. i also liked having the more active students act out the incorrect model. I bet that really sets a good tone for that student and a teacher's relationship with him/her for the year.

  13. A copy of the anchor chart inside a folder, binder, or reading journal...GREAT IDEA!!!

  14. I'm a first grade teacher in a public school so I get to move kids from "I can't read."(I need a 'spoken incredulously' font) to "Can I have that book?" This is where the AR program helps for me.
    Their quizzes are a big red flag. They point me to the kids who are not in a good fit book. (60%?) Some students will pick an easy book, take a quiz, and call themselves a winner. This leaves so much time for one's social agenda. I can adjust their minimum settings so that they cannot take quizzes on the too easy stuff.
    I also guide them when they check out their library books. In the beginning they can check out books for their parents to read to them. As their independent reading develops and they can read the words, they need to pick books that are a good fit. While they wait for the others to pick books, they begin to read. The librarian has noticed that this is different from other classes (who follow the district program religiously).
    My students are worried that next year they will not be allowed to read whatever they want. In my class, I have them read whatever they can.

  15. I LOVE the anchor charts in the binder! I've also seen (and plan on using) where teachers take a color copy of the anchor chart and put it in a page protector, and then make black and white copies and place it behind the color copy. That way if students need to take it to their seats, take it home, or if there are two or more students needing to reference the chart they can have their own copy.

    This was by far the most knowledge-packed chapter yet.

    I am most definitely going to have to make space in my room for a meeting place, get book boxes, and really drive home practice practice practice. I feel like the sister's have taken every piece of GREAT teaching and put it into this comprehensive program. I feel like alot of these aspects are things that lots of teacher's probably already do, but maybe not as a daily program. It makes me a little nervous to focus on practice practice practice for such an extended period of time in the beginning of the year, but like the sister's stated: "We move slowly to eventually move fast. The payoff is enormous." I literally can't wait.

    I do have a question/scenarios and it's rather lengthy. I posted it on my blog and would really like some input on it (having to do with student's reading levels/picking good fit books). If anyone get's a chance I would greatly appreciate some response to it. I look forward to Chapter 4 and reading everyone's comments on Chapter 3!

  16. I enjoyed this chapter and kept this past year's group of students in mind. Even though I didn't use Daily 5 this past year, it helped me see I was on track with some of my ideas, but I have some improvements to make. I taught 5th grade and just assumed they would by this grade know some things already coming to me. I'm never making that mistake again!

    Gathering Place: I had almost 30 students in my room and when you walked in, you saw desks with barely any room left. It was hard to do group work let alone have a gathering place for everyone to fit somewhere comfortably. When we tried, everyone was on top of one another. I'm not sure what's in store for me for the fall because I'm without a classroom right now. :(

    I PICK: I like the Daily 5 lesson on it because I did not make it a point to discuss it as a whole or give my students the sense of urgency for this. While it was something I mentioned and brought up throughout the year, not all of my students "got it" and would continue to fumble through a book they did not understand. The bookmark is a perfect reminder for them. I also pinned this which I thought was cute and adaptable.

    Anchor Charts: I took the time to establish routines and can see how anchor charts help because it is a reminder to students what was discussed. I unfortunately did not post our routine/expectations and found myself saying, "Don't you remember our discussion..." I like that the book shows us how anchor charts don't have to be the cutsie kind because I don't always have the artistic ability I wish I had.

    Routines/Signals: Practice really does make perfect, I'm concerned about the building stamina and the 3 minutes though. How many times do you practice the one task in one day? Do you do a few runs at 3 min or practice once and move on? What do you do after that 3 minutes?

    I used a simple signal to get everyone's attention. I raised my hand in the air making the number 2 with my fingers. Any student seeing me doing this had to stop what they were doing, look at me, and also raise their hand like mine.

    I'm really enjoying learning from others and look forward to this continued discussion!

  17. I appreciate all of your good ideas. Since I'm moving to 4th grade and new to the Daily 5 style, I'm gaining a ton of great ideas to choose from for implementing. I wasn't able to open your link to the IKEA boxes, but I'm interested in seeing them. When I searched for magazine boxes at IKEA, only one style came up. Still sounded expensive when needing 30 of them. Most of my books are for middle school aged kids. Where is a great place to buy used books? Garage sales? Amazon shipping adds up in a hurry. Thanks for the IPICK bookmarks. I plan to hand them out the first week.
    Kelly- when I taught departmentalized classes, the classes preferred having their own work posted to compare with other classes, so I labeled them and displayed all of them.

  18. 5B Sigman, here's the link for the IKEA boxes-super affordable. 5 for $2.00!

  19. A teacher on my floor makes lapbooks for math resources for the students. They keep them in their desk and are able to refer to them when needed. I'm considering making anchor charts on my smartboard, printing them off and shrinking them down to size so we can fit multiple charts on a file folder. Students could glue them into the file folder, they could be laminated and referred to as needed!

  20. Wow, what a great summary. I also am so super jealous of the loft. Maybe I can convince someone to let me build one? LOL
    Check out my blog for my summary


  21. I recently got a ton of used books from a teacher who was retiring on Craigslist. Over 300 books for $50, so definitely give Craigslist a shot.

  22. Gathering Place - I'm also limited on space. I'm thinking we might move around during independent work time and then return to our desks to meet. We could possibly fit in my book corner but it would be tight.

    IPICK - We are require to give our students the STAR reading test to determine their reading level. I discuss choosing books within their reading range but will definitely add this.

    Routines/Signals - Practicing routines is something I have always struggled with and am definitely going to use those first 6 weeks to really concentrate on this. This will be my 4th year (2nd year in my current district) and I now realize that the first 6 weeks consist of a lot of testing and getting things up and running along with easier review lessons so I'm not really wasting time. I also like the chimes or like a previous poster said, the rain stick.

    Book boxes - I just looked up the book boxes from IKEA and unfortunatly we don't have one anywhere close and you can't order them online. I like the idea of a book bag b/c I teach 2 clases and they could hang these in their lockers. Now to find some cheap ones b/c I need 50.

    As far as the anchor charts I'm going to also attempt the Interactive Notebook this year. I look at it as a book of the students own anchor charts. Since I teach 2 classes I don't want to have to make 2 big posters twice so I will have 1 general one to hang and then possibly a more detailed one in their notebook.

    One thing I'm struggling with is getting enough books for my kids! Our library was so small last year and it's something we're working. on. I've bought a lot and the school bought some also but we always need more! We also have AR so they are supposed to only read/take a test on the book once. I'm going to clear books out for them if they've taken tests on them in previous years and if they are still within their reading level. I'm also going to check with our local libraries. I'm a little worried about the students losing them and I guess I will just have to have the parents sign something saying they are responsible for buying the library book if lost.

    I've really enjoyed this discussion and learning from others.

  23. I am always reinventing my gathering space. Thanks to I was able to have my gathering space donated to me.
    I have great new carpet.

    I am still checking out ideas for how to store their book boxes, bags, or whatever I end up with by the time school starts. I have used baggies and cardboard boxes, but they just don't last. Any other ideas are welcomed.

    I use anchor charts in my classroom. I am always trying to figure out where to keep them. Last year I hung them on skirt hangers with several hooks and the kids could pull the ones they needed off and hang them up on the whiteboard as needed. I was thinking about making small copies of each this year and have the kids keep them in 3 rind binders at their desks.

  24. I just checked out the IKEA site and the magazine boxes are not available for shipping. There isn't an IKEA store close to me (sigh). Ziplock bags are looking better and better to me. I used them in my first grade but had to replace them pretty often. Of course, I only had 20 students who kept their book bags in their desks.

    Has anyone used the hanging book bags that come with a wire rack? I saw them on Really Good Stuff. They look to be a pretty good size and it says they're durable. I could possibly get 3 sets.... Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

    I love the idea of putting anchor charts in student binders. I'm thinking a 1-inch 3-ring binder for ease of use and having sections for reading response, vocabulary, personal word wall, etc... I do think students need to have anchor charts that actually hang on the walls, though. Brain research shows that, even after the charts are removed, students are able to access a mental picture when they look at the spot on the wall the chart used to hang.

    I saw above the idea of using clothes hangers to store anchor charts. Love this! I have a clothing rack in storage that I've been hanging on to with the hope that someday it will again be useful. I always struggle with what to do with my charts when I remove them from the wall. Great idea!

  25. Kelly - you can order the magazine boxes from Amazon. Either do a search or use the box above in the post. It will take you directly to them. They are all through a second party since IKEA won't ship them. :-)

  26. Book Box Question-- I love the idea of book boxes, but I see three classes of fourth graders everyday for reading and social studies. How can I find the space for 66 book boxes? I don't think their desks will hold three different boxes. Any ideas out there?

  27. You can also get magazine file boxes from Uline I buy from Uline quite often, they have great deals on many things I use on my class room.

  28. I think space-wose I really am leaning toward book bags, Oriental trading has large canvas bags, 15" by 16" with 12" handles in sets of 12-50. they will hold 3-5 books and can be hung up in cubbies or lockers and if children move from class to class they can move with them. I'm all about not taking up shelf pace.

  29. 1. Gathering place - I had a friend of the family construct "bleachers" for my students to sit on. The students love it and it fits quite a few of them at at time...even my big 4/5's! Those that don't fit bring chairs or pillows when we meet. They don't take up much space and are built to code for safety and can be moved from classroom to classroom (or school to school) without much difficulty.

    2.Good fit books - This past year I bought magnetic hooks from Smilemakers and book bags from the dollar store. Students went "shopping" for just right books in my classroom library and were given some books at their reading and interest level by me

    3. Anchor Charts - I used my window blinds to display my daily 5 anchor charts this year. They could be easily rolled up out of sight if need be :) I would like to use an anchor chart duotang like a colleague uses where students receive their own copy of the anchor chart which frees up wall space in the classroom for another anchor chart....

    4. Check in - I have used SALAMI which stands for Stop And Look At Me Immediately. I call it out and they check in. The standard clapping patterns also work well for me as does cuing up certain songs like "Welcome back" from Welcome Back Kotter (thanks Tribes). Students have until the end of the song to clean up and head back to their seat.

    I have included a link from my classroom webpage that shows Daily 5 in action. You should be able to see the bleachers and the book bags in some of the shots. I allow for freedom of location for daily 5 and norms were established for this early on (staying in one spot, working the whole time, etc.).

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. This Chapter really got me thinking. I, too, will teach 3 classes of ELA to 4th graders...about 70 students in all. My room is fairly small. I redesigned it this week with a gathering place in mind. I have to accommodate 25 desks and chairs. I zig-zaged them in a maze effect...really looks more like a Scrabble board and created a space in front of my white board.

    For Good Fit books, I've been using the 5 finger rule...but I love the IPICK method. Purpose...Interest...and Comprehension really didn't get factored in before. I appreciate the book will be a great tool as we travel to the library to have their own laminated bookmark in hand. I do think it's very important that our newsletter frequently have the IPICK method printed as a reminder for parents and students.

    As for book bins...I love mine. I bought utility shelves from my hometown hardware store... The ones with three shelves made of plastic have the shelves which can be separated. So I put them under my whiteboards. I use the bins from Really Good Stuff...12 for $40...but they last year after year.
    My students shop for three books from my library each week (I only have about 300 books...but it's growing) a reader's/writer's 1 inch notebook, and a composition notebook for a journal. It's very easy to manage. They enter the room and go straight to the shelves for their bins.

    I have been fretting about anchor charts because I knew I couldn't display three different ones for each topic. Here's what I'm going to try...I will create the chart on my it as a document...print it off and have students place in their reader's/writer's notebook for future reference. I will create one chart compiling the information given from all three classes for display.

    I love the chimes/rainstick idea for signaling. I've used a timer for many years...I post it on my smartboard as it counts down. My students really like it. It works well for me and them:)

    I like the idea of checking-in. I will have to see how I can manage this.

    I love the new ideas...keep them coming!

  32. Check in: in a quiet voice "If you can here the teacher clap twice. Repeat until you have all eyes on you. Change out the direction "If you can hear the teacher touch your head etc." They notice when their friends all start clapping and it doesn't take long before I get them to tune in after one or two directions. I am determined not to raise my voice!
    Book boxes: Don't forget the dollar bin at Target. Sometimes parents are willing donors. I would tell them at back-to-school night, "If you can afford to make a donation". I am thinking of asking parents-who-can to send a pillow pet for read to self time. I have bought dog beds on sale for about half of my class. They love to drag a pillow off to some corner of the room.

  33. Wow, so many thoughts and ideas. I am so excited. I will be starting my 4th year using daily 5. The first 2 years I used book boxes. I was in 4th grade, the first year I was self contained and the 2nd I taught only 2 classes, so it wasn't to difficult. Last year and this year I will be in 6th grade. Last year I had 60 kids and this next year it will be 90. Yikes, how to find a space for all those books. I try to encourage my students to keep their library books with them and then I have a library. I'm not sure what I will do this next year, but I will keep thinking.

    I also have a gathering spot. For some of my larger students, I allow my students to sit in chairs but with in a close proximity to my gathering space. I realized 1/2 through the year last year that if I didn't bring the students to a gathering spot, I was not having the engagement I needed in the class. A gathering place is something I will continue.

    Anchor charts are an interesting topic when you have more than 1 class you are teaching. Last year I got to play with a Promethean Board for the first time, and it was so much fun. I really liked this for Daily 5 and my anchor charts. I created a flip chart for each class and created our Anchor charts on the flip chart. After all class' had created each I chart, I combined all information on a piece of poster board to post in the room. This way each class got to come up with their I chart, but their was also a visual available at all times. I also like the idea of making copies for the students to put into their reading journals.

    As for the 3 minute time frame, I understand the thought of "they should be able to do this." However, Last year I learned very quickly that my idea of how Daily 5 looks and the teachers before me where very different. My version of silent and theirs were different. My idea of a bubble space and theirs were different. So starting out with the 3 minutes and increasing time slowly. I realized this is important if I want my expectations met.

    As for signals there are a few I have done:
    1 - I say "Alakazu" and the kids respond with "Alakazam" and put all eyes on me.
    2 - I say 5 loudly and then count down on my hand till I hit zero and I should have all students on me.
    3 - I have done the same thing as number 2, but using a bell
    4 - I have had a student teacher use the McDonald's theme and the students respond with "I'm loving it."

    I would recommend finding one or two and sticking with them.

    Well, that is all for now. I am going to head over to the Two Sisters site and find some links for all this stuff. I believe they have more than one way to teach IPICK. I think they used weights as well. Feel free to come on over to Teaching, Stitching, and Parenting and check them out.


  34. I do not yet have a gathering place, although after reading this chapter I am definitely making one. I think I will use the front space of my classroom near the chalkboard. It may be a bit tight, but they will only be there a moment. My fourth graders love to move, and I've often had them find a space around the room within boundaries as we are reading or working, but this makes a nice little space to teach the concepts and have quick discussion besides in our desks. The fourth graders in my school are the oldest grade as of the last three years, and recently they have really taken on an "oldest" attitude. I think keeping them 9 and 10 year olds with a cute gathering place is important too.

    I have never used the IPICK before. I saw it on pinterest just before the end of the year and I put it in my "Next Year" notebook. I hadn't read The Sisters' take this and I absolutely loved the shoe analogy as well. In the past, I have just used their DRA scores and Star Reading (although Star Reading is not as accurate as I would like, so I tweak it). Their AR scores are also a data indicator. I would love to use something more meaningful if others have ideas on how they monitor reading levels. I am always looking to improve.

    I've never used book boxes before. I am thinking I will put a cereal box as a classroom supply students need to bring and have them decorate it the first day of school. I just need to find the space for these.

    I do have a classroom library with tons and tons of books. In the past, I had them organized by genre since I do a genre study a month. I have been trying to level all of my books so the kiddos know, but it takes FOREVER! I would like to find a way to do this more efficiently.

    I have not used anchor charts exclusively before. Usually I had the kiddos write their own as I wrote a big one. However, I really like this idea. It seemed like a more feasible thing to do with lower levels, but I can see the importance for upper as well. Add this to my goals for next year! :)

    I think practicing procedures is so very important. I used to teach preschool while in college and I really learned the importance of modeling procedures and nonmodeling. I like simple gestures and little noise unless necessary to get students on cue. Many teachers use the clap and repeat method, and I apologize, but I can't stand it. I usually hold up my hand and the students give me 5. It takes just as much time to get one student's attention then they signal me and the others follow just as long as it takes to go over the clap & repeat signal.

    I agree with a few other posts, this chapter was by far the most enlightening and knowledge packed. I am really eager to see how the rest play out. My fellow staff friends laugh at me for changing up my routine each year, but I always want to make it better and better. I feel the Daily 5 is just what I am looking for in making my students more independent in their learning. I would love to see a video of somebody actually utilizing the Daily 5 in a classroom though. I am also curious, as we have mentioned in other posts, as to how to balance Daily 5, science, math, and social studies. How does this look in regards to the former reading/writing curriculum?


  35. Kristen - Head over to It is the website of the 2 sisters for Daily 5 and Cafe. They have some videos of how it is used.

    Teaching, Stitching, and Parenting

  36. I purchased four of these chimes a few years ago and they are still 4 for $20. I hang one on each of my four walls so they are easy for me to access no matter where I am in the room. They each have a different tone, very pleasant sounding.

  37. I saw somewhere that a teacher made book boxes out of cereal boxes!

  38. Wow...there are so many great ideas, suggestions, and input being shared. A couple of thoughts as I was reading the chapter and then comments. I used IPICK in my 4th grade classroom last year and I couldn't believe the difference it made. Plus I read the book Goldilocks and the Three Libearians (not sure that is spelled correctly and of course the book is at school!)which fits perfectly with selecting books that are "just right." We also used the 5 finger rule and together those two proved so successful I will be using them in my 3rd grade class this year. I use a hotel bell or a countdown from 5 or less if I want them quicker. I have also used the timer on my SmartBoard plus I have a "Countdown to a One-derful class on my SmartBoard. I have mixed emotions regarding the effect of that one, plus I believe keeping it simple is much more effective and successful. For book bags I have used the ziplock bags and they were okay. The students keep their book bags in designated crates and they do not leave the room. This year I will be teaching two classes of reading/language arts and I am concerned about the logistics of I have enjoyed reading suggestions from others. Keep them coming! Definitely will be implementing the gathering place and check in this year. Did not use them last year and I regretted emphasizing model, practice, model, practice. Thanks for sharing everyone...great ideas!

  39. I was originally going to join this book study, but I was so eager to learn about D5 that I started a few weeks back with a group of primary teachers. I admit that as an intermediate teacher, I have a slightly different perspective, so I was thrilled to discover this discussion today! I especially liked your thought provoking questions Katie, and I'm going to briefly comment on just a few, but I will definitely add them to my blog for further personal introspection.

    I am a newbie at D5. I had heard a little about it, but never read anything (in depth) to understand it well enough and actually put it into practice. So far, between the readings and the online teacher exchanges, I’m actually making sense of the entire literacy block as designed by the sisters. I plan to implement most of the activities, but since the teacher also needs to build her own stamina, I might begin with an adapted version of the D5 until I can handle the whole program. ☺

    I wanted to comment regarding the “I-Pick” training because this is an area that I haven't been very successful at. I have built my classroom library over the past five years very nicely. In fact, I’m quite proud of the quality and quantity of the books that I provide my students, albeit, I’m not in the range of four digits yet. I always dreamed of children devouring my books (just like the kids pictured in the book). Instead my library has become a communal area to hang out and chat, rather than what I had intended it to be. Clearly I have discovered WHY!

    1. I didn’t teach them how to use the library.
    2. I didn’t teach them how to PICK a book!
    3. I didn’t provide them book boxes for them to swap!

    After reflecting on the training processes required to establish the routines that create the independent learners that I expect, I recognize that I have not given “due diligence” to teaching my students these steps. Without a doubt, I need to make this a priority if I want to finally succeed.

    I could add more thoughts…the questions are excellent, but I’m afraid that I will take a rather big part of your page! Thank you Katie! I will follow both book studies and intercept comments as I learn from all the wonderful teachers involved!


    Mrs. P
    Website: Mrs.
    Twitter: @mrspelaez
    Facebook: MrsPelaezRocks


    Mrs. P
    Website: Mrs.
    Twitter: @mrspelaez
    Facebook: MrsPelaezRocks

  40. Sorry for the double post of my contact info! Copy and pasted one time too many! :)

  41. I have used a gathering place for a number of years now and would not give it up for the world! This year, I added a very comfy, very PINK chair and it was the favourite go-to reading nook in my class.

    I had to do some rearranging of furniture in order to get a gathering place that was big enough to seat everyone. My desk got shoved into one corner of my room in an effort to not waste valuable space (let's face many of us actually spend time at the desk?!)This year, I seriously contemplated getting rid of the teacher desk altogether but I couldn't do it. LOL I swapped a round table for a rectangular table as it used the space more effectively, but probably the single biggest difference to gaining space in the classroom was putting the student desks into groups of 4 or 5 rather than in pairs.

    Before discovering DAILY 5, my 'bible' was Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas & Pinnell. They also stressed the importance of "making good book choices" and it was always one of the first mini lessons I did during the first week of school.

    I love the IPICK acronym and plan on using it this year along with the lovely bookmarks that Kathleen has so graciously provided. I think it will be a good reinforcement/reminder to students.

    I have used some form of book boxes for many years. My first book boxes were the cardboard magazine holders...they worked OK, but weren't very durable and I was always having to replace a few every year. 2 years ago I bit the bullet and purchased a class set of the plastic book boxes from Really Good Stuff (red, green, yellow, blue)and they have been great. At the end of the year I get each student to wipe/clean their box and they're ready for next year's class.

    I am very proud of my classroom library. I currently have over 1500 titles in my classroom with another 1000? at home in my basement (these are the books I used when I taught grade 6/7 and have either too mature content or are just too difficult for the majority of my current I don't have the room to house that many books in my classroom! LOL

    I have a love-hate relationship with anchor charts...and for the same reason that many others have written...they just take up too much room! I am going to try something different this year...I think I got the idea from a blog or Pinterest...anyhoo, we will create the chart as a class and then I will create a smaller (11 x 17?)version to keep posted in the class. I also like the idea of having an 8x11 copy in a binder for kids to access...although I wonder if they will actually take the time to do that?

    Fire codes? . . . what Fire codes?? LOL

    Repeated practice is a biggy with me...I was inclined to practice two maybe three times and then figured the kids 'got' it and left it at that. I tried out Read to Self at the end of the previous school year (this year??) to see if following the Sister's schedule would work and be darned if it didn't!?! LOL It went REALLY well...better than Independent reading (which is what I used to call it) has EVER gone...that hooked me!

    I have used a variety of signals...bell, "Give Me Five", and "Class...Yes?" being the most recent. I've always thought chimes would be a nice, gentle way to bring back the group but never got around to actually buying chimes and trying it out. Ringing the desk bell would work, which is what I'm considering for this year...unless I find some nice chimes, CHEAP!

    Am totally enjoying this book study and look forward to reading everyone's thoughts, ideas, and questions. :)

    Classroom Capers

  42. Great chapter summary and so many great ideas!

    I'm going to have to do some thinking about book boxes. I already have a set of 25 for math/language/social studies textbooks for the class and can't quite envision how I'd find room for more book boxes.

    I'm struggling too with varied goals for book boxes/bags. I want them to be in the classroom so students have access throughout the day to grab a book and read when they have time. But I also want them to take the books home and read there. Last year I had a lot of kids reading one book at school and a different one at home because they were too afraid to take a book back and forth. It was frustrating because it took them so long to finish any book that way.

  43. My mind is turning...
    I had a meeting space at the back of my room with an easel, but there was a work table in the middle of it, so I am going to try to rearrange my room this year.

    I purchased plastic magazine file boxes at Ocean State Job Lot a few years ago. They were a box of 8 or $6. I put a number label on each one so that I can reuse them year after year. I can fit 8 on a shelf in my library, so they don't take up too much space. It saves sooooo much time having a box filled with books. It is their morning work one day per week and I require them to have a mix of fiction/informational text and picture books/chapter books/poetry/magazines. I call them 5 at a time to retrieve their box before reading begins. Some teachers have students store them on their desk, but it takes up too much of their work space.

    We create anchor charts on the post-it chart paper and display them on the back wall and shades. I also create a 1/2 page (by creating 2columns in landscape mode and copy/paste the chart into the 2nd column) version of each chart in Word and make a copy for each student that they glue into their "Reading Reference Notebook" which is kept in their desk so that they have a copy of each one to refer to as needed. This is like an interactive notebook for reading. This has worked out well for the past 3 years, so I plan to continue this with my class of 5th graders next year.

    I do need to find a signal or 2 and stick with using them consistently. I do have my students practice our routines/expectations, but need to continue the practice and refinement all year. It does take extra time, especially in the beginning, but ends up saving you so much time in the long run.

    I am enjoying this book study and look forward to the next chapter.

  44. I was very fortunate to get a wonderful carpet for my classroom last year. It is "A Place for Everyone" classroom carpet and can be found at Lakeshore Learning. I can not tell you how much I love, love, love this carpet for a gathering place for my classroom. Each student has his/her own space, which eliminates the possibility of students playing with each other and distracting each other. Even for my third graders, having the squares is beneficial.

    My library is surrounding the carpet, which I love, because we really establish the routines of Daily Five and Good-Fit books. I also have my whiteboard easel and anchor chart paper in this area, although I am thinking about changing the way I do anchor charts--I will finish talking about that later.

    Check out the rest of my thoughts on Chapter 3 at my blog at

    I love hearing everyone's thoughts--you ladies have such great insight!


  45. I am really enjoying this book study. I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments and I think the summary of this chapter was awesome! Just a few thoughts....

    1. Book boxes with 65 kids doesn't seem feasible. I think I will just use Ziplock bags until I try it out and see what I think will work best. I really think it is important for the kids to take their books home with them. The idea of the canvas totes has got me thinking.....might check that out on Oriental Trading.

    2. LOVE Anchor charts.......have always used them with my kiddos. I really like the idea of doing them with each class on the ActivBoard and then combining into one class hard copy to display.

    3. Space......My large carpet is always the FIRST thing I place in my room. Desks are always last - I hate desks and wish I didn't have to have them. We spend SOOOOO little time in them. I use my blinds for my anchor charts - putting things on the blinds is one thing that hasn't been addressed in our fire code :)

    I am excited about doing a Daily 2 or 3 in my classroom this year. I really think it will take my reading instruction to the next level.

    Can't wait for the next chapter :)

  46. What do you envision your gathering place looking like?
    I am teaching grade 3/4 next year and will be teaching them all subjects. I will have a large carpet for students to gather for group lessons. It will have access to my smart board, chart stand and rocking chair for me. I think having a carpet area is such a valuable area in a classroom for any age.

    Do you have a classroom library? How many books do you have?
    I moved to a new school this year and brought my own classroom library with me. I also inherited two retiring teacher's classroom libraries. This was very overwhelming as there were so many books, many outdated or damaged. I spent three days weeding and sorting books. I finally was able to gift about 8 boxes of books to new homes (school library, other schools, other teachers, or for the very damaged the recycling bin) I still have more books than I can count and will have to level and catalogue all of them before September but I am excited that I have such a large library.

    Do you consistently use anchor charts?
    I use anchor charts all of the time. I find them so valuable for students they use them all of the time. I do love the idea of having an anchor chart binder for students to reference as I quickly run out of room in my room when I have anchor charts for every subject. I think I will use this often next year!

    Madly Learning

  47. Katie- Thank you so much for your reflection of chapter three. I like how you included discussion questions. Also, thank you for the adorable book marks.

    Gabby- The Fire Marshall is someone we spread the word out about also. Ours said if they are flat against a board or wall it's ok. If things are hanging, they need to be a certain length from the ceiling and hanging from a certain type of wire. Yours could be different though.

    I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and have always had a large group meeting area. I love it and would never change it. My last classroom was quite small and I really had to work for that space but it was a must have. Since my kiddos were seldom all at their desks at the same time, I did't get worked up so much about how close the desks were.
    I also had a little reading nook area. Nothing fancy- a carpet, some bean bags and pillows and sports shaped carpet squares from Target.

    Too many anchor charts up all over the room absolutely drive me insane but I LOVE anchor charts. I've been using them for 13 years. I keep mine up for while we are working on that concept. Visually they can remember it later on. One way I have dealt with too many is having a rack where the charts are connected with an O ring. The kids go up to it when they need to refer back to a chart. I also saw (on Pinterest) the idea to take pictures of them and put them in a binder as a reference tool. Thought that was a fabulous idea. I've seen where they copy them into their notebooks as a reference as well. BUT... I'm thinking the I Charts need to be displayed all year as they are procedures and you will consistently refer back to them.

    Book Boxes... hmm... Still thinking about that. lol

    IPICK- LOVE... I have used the Goldilocks method with the Just Right Book information from Guiding Readers and Writers 3-6 and the 5 Finger but am loving IPICK.

    Emily and I are following along with this on our blog also, so come check out more thoughts on Daily 5 there. She is out of town until tomorrow so be looking for it later in the evening. :)
    -Antoinette :)

  48. Thanks, Katie, for all of your thoughts on this chapter. I am LOVING reading everyone else's comments, too.

    I have a gathering space that we use daily. It is a large carpet in front of our SMARTBoard. Most of my 29 students can fit on or near it. It is not my perfect spot because we are crowded, but 29 students isn't perfect either! We do our CAFE lesson in this spot, and students participate in a lot of think/pair/share activities in this space.

    I do use IPICK. The 2nd grade teachers do, too, and that helps. There is a cute song video on Youtube, too, that we listen to as well. Every year, I have 3-5 kids who need constant review of how to pick good fit books throughout the year...

    I use anchor charts, but I don't have close to enough space to hang them all. THis year, I am going to give my students hard copies of our class-created anchor charts to put into their Daily 5 Binders. I am also going to have a coat hook in the back of my room where I hang anchor charts when we are not using them. I will display the necessary anchor charts when we are working on that skill, and students will have access to the ones in their D5 Binder as well as the ones in the back of the room. I am hoping this method works. If it doesn't, I am going to try another method I have read about, where people take pictures of the anchor charts, and students go to the flip album to refer when necessary.

    For my book baskets, I use some that I have found at the Dollar Store and Target's Dollar Spot. Kids can easy carry them to Targeted Instruction time and to other places in the room as necessary. My students know that the expectation is for them to be reading at home, so they put books into their backpacks and return them the next day. That has worked well for us.

    Thanks again! I can't wait to hear people's thoughts on Chapter 4!

    Lifelong Learning

  49. Having read the book before (it has been a couple of summers), this has been so great to slow down and really read each chapter. I have struggled to have daily 5 work in my literacy block (but LOVE it for my math...go figure!), but this chapter really changed what I was doing in many ways.

    I PICK
    The kids still remember the shoes mini-lesson long after I teach it, and it especially is powerful when we talk about how different shoes don't fit everyone. It helps with building that community and way we support each other as readers, wherever we are, not comparing who is in what level or type of books.

    Book Boxes
    I still struggle with this. I am self-contained 5th grade, and have used magazine boxes. They are great for the beginning when I put out a selection of books for the early stamina lessons, but then I find that we don't really use them. I am not sure if that is because I am not teaching how to use them effectively, or if it is that the kids are good with a couple of books on their desks. They usually are really into one or two books. Plus, I found a lot of kids horded books in their book boxes but then never went back to them. I am undecided, but thinking about NOT using them this year to save on space. I would love to know if anyone else has tried without them and how it went.

    The teaching and practicing
    OK, I thought 5th graders would think the wrong practice was silly...oh, how wrong I was! They all wanted to do it. And the best advice is having the kids you know may struggle do it. It works miracles on them as they start. I especially liked the idea that we don't want to practice the wrong way, and stopping as soon as 1 person is off task. It changed the engagement and really focused reading immediately.

    I am loving hearing what everyone else has to say...thanks for sharing!

  50. I would like to ask if anyone has problems with the books that the kids pick. My students always kept their books in ziploc bags. But they always complained that they had the same books for too long. I would like to know if anyone has had this problem too. I would also like to know if there are any bilingual teachers that have created their own Spanish version of IPICK. I teach Spanish language arts in my dual language classroom.
    Thank you for all your great comments.

  51. Hi Melinda!
    I chose not to use the book boxes last year. It worked out fine for me. i have a classroom library with leveled books in plastic bins. I have a classroom librarian who is responsible for checking books in and out and writing late notices to students. (no fines, but I do call parents if a book is missing and most parents supply a new copy or help their child find it!!) In addition, I have a space for lots of non-fiction books available. These books follow our social studies and science units. Students also have a copy of Time for Kids magazine in their desk. Many choices without taking up the space.

    One of the main reasons I gave up on the book boxes was for the same reason mentioned by another teacher--kids were reading a book at school, a book at home for their required reading homework and we may be working on a novel in class...way too much for 5th graders to keep up with. Students were not "getting into" any of their books. I had to limit it and loved the results.

  52. I really like the idea of using morning work once a week to choose books--and requiring a mix. Kudos to bookworm.
    I have always let my kids sit around the room for ssr--however, I have boys and girls alternate on even and odd days. Girls are even and on even dates they may sit anywhere they choose and boys sit at their desks. Odd dates the boys sit on floor and girls at desks. Once we do this at the beginning they never forget and they learn a little math! It just simplifies things in a small room.
    Great ideas everyone--keep them coming

  53. I am new to Daily 5. I stumbled upon it on and I am totally jazzed up about implementing it into my classroom. I have been departmentalized 6th SS/English for the last 4 years and I am going to self-contained 5th grade. Feeling a little overwhelmed. I can see the importance of all the aspects of the Daily 5, I am just not sure how to implement/manage them all. The 3 minute practice seems short to me, but from all that I have read, it is what is needed. So what do I do with the rest of the time I have set aside for this - work on other skill areas, work from the basal (yuck)? Suggestions, please.
    Space is limited in my room. I have 5 tables with pull out drawers that seat 4 per table. Then I have to use regular desks and put them into groups. Finding a spot for a gathering place will be a challenge but one that I think I can take on.
    I have a question regarding the classroom library. How do you manage check out? In the past I just let kids borrow, but so many books were being lost or damaged and it became the blame game. Then I started having them check them out through a card system. I can't seem to find an idea that appeals to me, especially if they are going to be having 3-5 books each.
    Thank you Katie for the awesome bookmarks. I can't wait to get mine ready. This book study has been great. I can't wait to read the next chapter and all the informative posts. Thanks to all who have contributed.

    Tammy Hubbart

    1. For a check out system i give each student a manilla file folder with their number on the tab. Inside are several papers stapled in. On the left side is a list of "want to reads" that they regularly add to and a list of genres, topics, and authors that interest them. Each of those is a 1/2 sheet. Then on the right hand side is a full page that is a reading log/checkout log. They write down the date, title and author. Then when they are ready to return the book they must show it to an adult in the room and get a signature that it was returned. It works out well because they end up with a log of all of the books they read. When the page is full i staple a new one on top. I give it to them at the end of the year.

      Hope this helps you,

    2. For a check out system i give each student a manilla file folder with their number on the tab. Inside are several papers stapled in. On the left side is a list of "want to reads" that they regularly add to and a list of genres, topics, and authors that interest them. Each of those is a 1/2 sheet. Then on the right hand side is a full page that is a reading log/checkout log. They write down the date, title and author. Then when they are ready to return the book they must show it to an adult in the room and get a signature that it was returned. It works out well because they end up with a log of all of the books they read. When the page is full i staple a new one on top. I give it to them at the end of the year.

      Hope this helps you,

  54. I found this link very helpful. It is the first days of daily 5. Called Daily 5/Cafe for dummies. It takes the procedures from the book and gives you lessons for each day. This really helped me to understand the layout of the first few weeks and what to do with the rest of my time. It also helps with the the next few chapters too!!

    Daily 5/CAFE for Dummies

    Madly Learning

  55. Great ideas, everyone! I took note of several new things I learned in this set of comments. I plan to start my Anchor Charts with titles (this will help me remember which ones I planned to do too) and then finish them with the 2 sets of 4th graders I will have for language arts. Some charts will be done ahead of time, however - such as "I Pick". I am also trying to decide whether to use book boxes or bags for space. In past years I have used plastic envelope with string ties to send home leveled books. With D3/5 the books will mainly stay in the classroom for Read to Self, so the envelopes probably won't work as well.
    Thank you again for all the great ideas, everyone!

  56. Ah time....there is so little of it in the classroom actually. What I gleaned from this chapter and like others is that I need to take the 'time" to build stamina with my students..take the "time" to meet more as a group...take the 'time" to meet and touch base more. I always thought I was doing this but realize I need to do it more.
    Even though I will have 3 sections of 6th-8th graders I will design my room in August to include a floor area we we can "meet." Usually I just have my students sit at their tables but I think during D5 I will actually have them move to the "hangout" area...trying to keep the Middle School lingo in teach my mini lessons.
    Anchor Charts I use all the time but of course they seem to fall off the walls as soon as I position room is either the coldest or the hottest in the building! I think I will make copies like some of you suggested and have them keep them in their notebooks for reference.
    In so far as book boxes with going from 12 to 28 I do have a bit of a dilemma. Still pondering this the past I actually purchased plastic shoe boxes..they cost a bit more but were so worth it...however I really do not want 28-30 shoe boxes floating around . Storage is an issue. I know that I will figure it out before school starts.
    Coming are my signals that I have picked up along the way... Wind Chime....I may need more.... I liked someone who said they have them all over the room. I have used words: Marshmallow( discuss that when marshmallows fall do you hear a sound?)..SALAMI..counting down from 5. If you are listening put your hands on your nose...etc...
    Thank you yet again for all the great ideas. It's nice not to feel alone in my thinking.:)

  57. Question about using tote bags instead of book boxes to anyone who can answer -
    Where do you keep the tote bags when students are out of the room? Hooks, pegs, bins, etc....

  58. I've been working on implementing D5 in my 5th grade classroom for at least two years now. Every year I think I'm improving on it, at least I hope so.:)
    I also built wooden bleachers to use as my gathering space. They are arranged in a U in front of my Promethean Board, so everyone can see both the board and one another. It is a great space for mini-lessons and class discussions! The kids also love it as a work space. They sit "backwards" on the first row, and use the back row as their work space pretty much any time I'll allow it.
    In my area, the public library has a book sale twice a year where you can pick up used books for as little as 25 cents. A $100 budget established a classroom library in a hurry!

  59. I taught 4th grade last year after teaching for 11 years in 5th and 5 years in 3rd. I implemented Daily 5 for the first time and my kids loved it. (And so did I - no more searching for worksheets and games for centers!)

    I didn't use a gathering place last year because I didn't have a rug. Now I do, so this year (I'm going back to 3rd) I am going to try it.

    I made anchor charts with the kids and they stayed up all year. They were just on the post-it charts. I had my practicum students make ones up on poster board that are bright and colorful. (Now I just have to direct them to come up with the same ideas as last year!)

    For book boxes, I used magazine file boxes that I found at Target Dollar Spot. Only 1 didn't make it the whole year (but it lasted until the beginning of June). This year I am splurging on the ones from Really Good Stuff. Since last year was my first year using Daily 5, I didn't want to spend the money.

    For signals, I use a variety of things, a timer, rain stick, bell, and a squeaky dog toy.

    One thing that helped me with check in is I made a spreadsheet with the kids' names down the side and the D5 across the top for M - F. We don't do all 5 everyday, so this helped me ensure they didn't avoid doing something during the week.

  60. I love book boxes.
    My district uses School Specialty for lots of supplies. I have their magazine boxes. They don't hold up long, usually 3 years. So each year I order 6 replacements and phase out the old ones.
    For practice, in the beginning it is only 3-5 minutes. After a few times, they recommend stopping.
    I like to switch gears are do more community building activies. It seems to fill the time until their stamina is longer.
    Read more of my thoughts and my cobloggers thoughts on the IPICK lesson and other topics from chapter 3 @


  61. I am a 3rd grade teacher and this will be my first year using the Daily 5. I'm ready to try something new!
    As for the book box question, in the past, I've used a "mailbox" holder. It wouldn't allow for them to carry it to a spot in the room, but many of my 3rd graders read chapter books so they do not change books much. I'm thinking I might keep it as book boxes???

  62. Can anyone who has the "bleacher" seating post a picture?

    I was also thinking of doing some team building activities to fill the time left after short stamina practice.

    I have a gathering space but it is far from my Brightlink board. I can't really rearrange my gathering space since I left the carpet in place with bookshelves on it and the floor was waxed around it. I'm seeing some issues ahead with trying to sit in the gathering space but use the BL. I guess I'll be using chart paper.

  63. First of all, thanks for posting Katie and posing the questions. It really made me reflect on the reading. Also, thanks for the bookmarks. I can't wait to use them in my classroom this year.

    For the gathering place, I use the front of my room at the SMARTboard. That way, we can also use the SMARTboard during our learning activities and it helps keeps the students engaged. In my old classroom I had the mats that were like puzzle pieces that the kids sat on if they wanted to but I'm moving classrooms this year so I'm not sure what I'll have this year. One thing I did find with my class last year in 3rd grade was that I had to designate where each child sat. They kept that same spot for the year unless I changed them. This was the first year I had to do that but they argued over who was going to sit where so I fixed that issue.

    I'm very excited to implement I PICK for Good Fit books. In the past, my students have always chosen books by their Lexile levels and Reading Levels. I'm looping to 4th grade with this particular group of students and they struggled getting books on their Lexile level and it always seemed to be a problem in the library with our librarian. With I PICK, I can place that on the back of their library card and they should have no problem finding the right book for them.

    I also plan to implement the book boxes. Last year one of the biggest issues that we had was several of the students spent more time switching the books they had at our classroom library and socializing than reading. With book boxes, this will eliminate this issue.

    I love anchor charts and so do my students. Last year, if we didn't make an anchor chart, they were asking if they could make one for the class. I was lucky enough to find the large Post-It Chart at Ollie's Bargain Outlet for $9.99. I love those deals ;)

    I'm so excited to implement the Daily5/CAFE into my classroom this year. I think this is just what my students need to keep them growing and learning. We have a long way to go to get caught up and on grade level but I think this will allow me the time to work on the specific skills with each of the students while they grow in their reading.

  64. Book boxes - this is something that I am looking to purchase this year. I tried them a few years ago, but most of them wound up getting trampled since I had students keep them on the floor. This year, I am going to have students keep their book boxes on the classroom counter with their reading notebooks inside. That way I can do a quick check of reading records and use the boxes as an attendance check since my reading block will be first thing in the morning.

    I-pick - I confess, I have never taught my students how to pick appropriate books. We have AR at my school and I have over relied on the program to determine reading levels and book appropriateness. I also don't have too much success convincing unmotivated readers to read. This year, I am teaching I-Pick and I am going to follow the sister's rollout schedule to build student's reading stamina. So many exciting things to plan!


  65. I have a couple of different ideas for book boxes/bags. I am not sure what I will actually use. I was thinking of the IKEA magazine holders or making my own from cereal boxes. The students could personalize them and replace them as needed with their own cereal boxes from home. Also I have thought about gift bags from the dollar store. My classroom has cubbies in the back of the room, sort of like open lockers, and they could keep them in there. What about using fabric stretchable book covers hung on the back of their chair? They could use it to hold some books,but I don't know if it would be too flimsy.

    ? - Do you have it set up for the first day filled or do you use it as a mini - lesson to explain just fit books and allow the students time to explore the classroom library? I see the benefits to both sides. I don't know which way I like better.

    signals - I think I want to use the McDonald's theme song. The student would reply "I'm lovin it!" Hopefully also reinforcing a positive atmosphere. I move around to much to use chimes even though I would love the calm sound.

    Gathering place - I am going to try the front of my classroom with my easel. I want to get a stool for the area also. I like that this gets the students up and moving. I never thought about that. I also like the idea of checking in as soon as a student is off task, then asking that student to model inappropriate and appropriate behaviors. I agree that all students are capable and give us their best. I need to learn to accept it and help them increase their stamina!
    Anchor charts - I love this idea! I just started using it this past year. I used my easel and left the pages together on rings. My students would often refer back to it and ask if they could change the page as needed. It was great to know that they were being used, as opposed to the posters I bought and hung up that they never seemed to notice.

    I Pick - I love this idea and the shoe lesson. I am definitely going to use it. I also like the goldilocks method and will still expose that to them also.

  66. I really am enjoying this study as well as all teh comments. It inspired some ideas! I like the idea of using the canvas bags from Oriental Trading. Now I am thinking about having students decorating the bag on one side and then copying the IPICK anchor chart on the other side. This will serve as a reminder of how to choose good fit books.


  67. I've already posted on chapter 3 but I am jumping back to an earlier chapter with a question while it is on my mind. I will be teaching 5th grade this coming year. A number of posts earlier talked about Words Their Way for word work. Could someone explain to me what this program is like, how it used, is it 5th grade appropriate, etc? Do I need to order the program or is it a resource book? Thanks so much.

    Tammy Hubbart

  68. Using bags - Oriental Trading has 48 bags for about $32. They are very colorful, made of polyester, and large enough for most any sized book or magazine. I thought about painting numbers on the front to match how I number my students. This makes them more economical than boxes. I just don't know where to put them in the classroom. We have bookbag hooks, but they will be full, and I have 2 classes instead of just one. I will keep pondering the idea, but if anyone else has any suggestions I would love to hear them. I may end of with boxes too (Ikea is the best deal I have seen), but I hate using so much bookshelf space with those.

  69. I wonder if I can use the smart board for anchor charts. I have so many other required items that I must display.

  70. Cheryl - could you use a clothing rack of some sort? I know IKEA sells cheap ones. That way the book bags could hang on that.

  71. Thank you everyone for the responses! I'm so glad you are all enjoying the book study as much as I am. Everyone has some great ideas - keep them coming!

  72. @Debbie: I have the same issue as you, except I teach 100 students. In stead of book boxes, i will use 2 gallon ziploc bags and I am going to put big bins at the edge of each group where their bags should go.

    I definitely like the idea of wind chimes to get students together. In the past I've done a clapping rhythm, but the chimes seem so much more "delicate".

    I'm heading over to my classroom tomorrow to begin looking at options for classroom settings - not sure if I will have enough room for a "meeting place".

    Since, I have four classes, I think I will do each period's Anchor Chart in a flip chart (Promethean Board), and then create a group chart that I will display in the classroom.

    Thanks Patti for the Daily 5 for dummies. It will help me out tremendously!

  73. Building libraries...
    Goodwill-books are $1 each!

    Keeping up with books...
    iPhone app-book retriever-kids scan books just like in library!

  74. Instead of book boxes, a colleague of mine uses bankers bags purchased from the dollar store. They zip up and can be used year after year. I plan on using these this year. In the past, I have used magazine holders but found they took up a lot of space. This year I have 40 students so that won't work.

    I like IPICK to help students choose books that are right for them. I think I will use the "5 Finger Rule" to help clarify what "I can read most of the words" means. I find students Need clarification because they have different ideas about what "most" means.

    A gathering signal...I like to use the same signal when I need students attention. Give me 5 has always worked well for me. 5: eyes on me, 4: body still, 3: mouths quiet, 2: hands free, 1: ears listening. We practice over and over until they get it. I also use a visual timer that I display using a document camera so that students can keep track of how much time they have left, but the signal is always the same- give me 5.

    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas...they are helping me wrap my head around how to best implement daily 5/Cafe. I also found Daily5/Cafe for Dummies which is quite helpful to help understand how this all comes together:)

  75. I just download the Daily5 for Dummies doc thank you Patti for sharing it helped me better understand how this will work!

  76. LOL - Katie! I have been drooling over the inviting, cozy spaces the Sisters have created in their classrooms, too! We, actually, are one of the "lucky" schools to have lofts in our lower-grade classrooms! A group of parents got together and voluntarily built them in six of our classrooms a few years ago. They have become cherished reading nooks for the K-2 students. Unfortunately, they are not conform to the union's collective agreement and hence, will be demolished this summer. There were some issues with custodians refusing to clean up there. **sigh**

    An alternative to a classroom gathering space, is to hold your meetings outside the class in the halls (if your adminstration allows it). With 24 desks for my 5th graders in the room, it leaves little space for anything else. My classroom is located at the very end of a hall, away from student traffic. Last year we held our Morning Meetings there. I have even set up our chart paper stand in the corner! If you do/can opt for this, though, make sure to clear it with your colleagues first, out of courtesy, because the shuffling can get noisy! I'm not sure if this will be convenient and practical for the practice and gathering that is suggested in the book, though. I'm anxious to read about how everyone else goes about this "gathering place"!

    I'm also curious about how everyone organizes their classroom library. I have seen it organized by theme and by reading level, inbaskets and on shelves. What has worked best for you in the past? I have an extensive collection of books (not 2000+! :-) and I'm never sure how to present it. Do you withhold some copies and introduce them as the year progesses? Do you put out theme books only during your themes? What about holiday books? I once had a student ask me for a Christmas book in May!

    The one thing that puzzled me when reading this chapter is the "if you see that even just one child is off task, you need to pull the group back together". Hmmm... Based on past experiences (not with the Daily 5, but in general), I'm wondering if we will EVER build up enough stamina if I am to stop them at the least student interruption! I understand the reasoning behind this, however I can definitely see this as being challenging for me and frustrating. Furthermore, I'm worried that stopping the entire group will penalize the whole because of a select few (or because of even one child). I know that I am going to be tempted to ignore certain behaviours in order to "get the ball rolling". What types of behaviours have warranted stopping the Daily 5 practice in order to redirect?

    Having these conversations about the book and the practices that everyone has and/or is planning to use is immensely helpful. Thank you to everyone who is contributing! I look forward to continue reading the posts and learning with you all!

    (Quebec, Canada)

  77. I enjoyed this chapter and really liked the IPICK and the gathering place concepts. I have been throwing around where I should have my gathering place, but I haven't been able to get in my classroom yet to work. I am excited to create this place. I will be teaching 6-8th grade reading this year after spending 16 years in the elementary. I used a bell(the kind you find at a post office) to get my students' attention. I love the idea of the chimes, may try that this year.

  78. Tammy- I've used Words Their Way for years. It is a book written by Bear, Invernizzi, and a couple of others. I think it's in its 5th edition now and is available through Amazon. I LOVE it! It teaches spelling in a developmental progression which allows for differentiation in spelling/word study that I find my 5th graders desperately need.
    I give one of the spelling inventories included in the book at the beginning of the year, determine each kid's spelling stage, and group the kids from there. I teach the class how to do Word Sorts and No-Peeking Sorts as part of Launching Word Work, and then have different groups of kids working with words tailored to them as they do those sorts during their Word Work time. The book covers everything from letter-sound spellers ("stick" spelled "stk") to Greek & Latin roots (Derivational Relations stage), with suggested word lists and sorts for each stage. I've been able to challenge even my most Gifted 5th graders with Words Their Way!

  79. lbbeck1701 - thanks so much for the info on Words Their Way. I went to Amazon and looked at it. I definitely am going to order it. Do you use any of the other books or just this one. Do you start at the first or pick and choose? Thanks again.

    Tammy Hubbart

  80. @lbbeck1701 - I have tried differentiating with Words their Way before. Can I ask how you manage it? Especially with giving different spelling tests? I've always wanted to give my students (5th grade) differentiated lists, but the management has been a bit of headache for me. Can you give me an insight into your process? :-)

  81. Julie - Here's a link to my class website. There are pictures of the bleachers there.

  82. I have used daily 5, but tend to get bogged down. I think the Daily 5 for Dummies is a great guide for some of us to stay on track. I have a hard time fitting in a meeting place with 32 kids in my room. I have removed most furniture from my room to make space, but it is still very tight.

    I use a Zen Chime and it is awesome. My class knows that if I have to ring in more than two times, they will owe me some of their time. The Zen chime is available on amazon for under $15, if I remember right!

    My word study is always my worry. I just find that once the kids hit my 4/5 split, it is hard to break spelling habits. Either they know how to spell or they don't. Any suggestions are welcome!!! PLEASE!
    Niagara Falls, Ontario

  83. Julie - Here's where you can see a picture of my bleachers. I shared the idea with the 2 Sisters a few years ago, and it's still posted on their site.

    Tammy H. - You can definitely start with just Words Their Way. It's not necessary to read it cover-to-cover. Since it covers such a wide range, you can utilize the chapters that are most applicable to your needs. See if you like it! You may not even need the supplemental texts. I haven't, though I'm curious to see what they have to offer.

    JoAnn- Differentiated spelling tests are a challenge. My tests take the form of a Written Sort. I give half a point for the correct spelling of the word and half a point for having the word correctly sorted.
    As far as giving the test itself, I've done it two ways. When I had an aide or intern or reliable parent volunteer, I've had them pull each group and give the test. Usually it's two groups one day and two groups the next during their Word Work time.
    The years I've had no extra help, I just sat the class down, had each group head their sections with their key words, and called out words. "Group A your first word is ______.(Use it in a sentence.) Group B your first word is _______. (Use it in a sentence.)." and so on. The first couple of weeks it seems to take forever. . .but they get faster once everyone gets used to the routine.
    This year, I'm considering recording the tests ahead of time and having the kids do it at my Listening Center or at a computer, maybe even any day they chose. . .when they think they're ready, they can take the test!

  84. I had never heard of anchor charts until reading this book and looking at different blogs. I got to thinking and couldn't wait to make some. The only thing I worried about was they would take up so much space. Someone commented on using Activ Insipre to post their charts. I really like this idea and I think this will be the way to make so many of them.

  85. I've done Words Their Way for years and usually have three spelling groups. Each group knows their number (1, 2, or 3), and I just call up each group one at a time and give a traditional say it, sentence it, say it, they write it kind of test. It goes pretty quickly.

  86. An idea for book bags: my second graders brought a Kid's meal bag from Subway to use as a book bag. I thought of this when my granddaughter had a kid's meal for lunch. Cheap, and easy to replace. Kids brought in extras so we always had plenty. I gave them each a large binder ring and students hung the bags on the bar under the desks. I have a small room, so this was a good solution for us.

  87. I know that I've never done enough practice time. I am always so anxious to get to the "real stuff" that I get sick of the practice of routines. But I can definitely do 3 minutes a day. This chapter shows me how well I can open the doors to reading for my students. I love the IPICK acronym. It is so easy to remember and so perfect for each individual child. I can't wait to implement it in my classroom. I am also getting a set of chimes. What a wonderful, relaxing way to transition. A fellow teacher of mine got her book boxes from the Dollar Tree and loves them. They look like totes, but are plastic. I think the store is carrying them again this year.

  88. I felt like this chapter had a lot of information, much of which I have been doing but not exactly like this. I think I will have to acquire book boxes for those readers who always seem to finish a book during reading time. I teach 5th grade and have only had the students come to a reading area a few times. I am interested in trying this. I went to a conference at an area teacher store this summer and the presenter mentioned that she had assigned seats in the carpet area so there were not any disagreements on where to sit. She changed the seats every quarter. I think I am going to try this with my reading area. After the mini-lesson, the students had time to find their seat around the room. I have three disk chairs and a gamer chair that are the "most special seats" and then I have a lot of pillows the students can use also. I draw names for fairness. I have acquired a lot of free pillows for family members looking to change out their couch pillows! I am excited to continue with the book study! Thank you to everyone for their suggestions, I love reading about other classrooms.

  89. Just an FYI to everyone I was at Target yesterday morning and they have put out these colored plastic book holders. I picked up 6 of them and when I went back in the afternoon they were all gone. I found them in the dollar bins and they were $2.50 a piece.

  90. Just wrote a blog post on manners and how I feel they are a necessity when teaching in a "group atmosphere." Would love feedback and/or ideas on the ways you teach and implement the various roles and stations in a Daily 5 clasroom. Thanks!

  91. I am so excited to learn and share my knowledge of the Daily 5 with you all. I wasintroduced to the Daily 5 a couple of years ago, and fell in love. I am an intermediate teacher and have modified the Daily 5 to fit the needs of my students. On Teachers Pay Teachers, I have uploaded my Daily 5 teaching bundle. The bundle will provide you with a clear picture of how to set up the Daily 5, getting started, and launching a successful workshop. The bundle is titled "Daily 5 Unit Bundle." Please let me know what you think or comments on additional resources that you need.

  92. Katie, thanks for the great summary on this chapter! It was an intense one. Through the blog I have found many great ideas like Lisa Fleckerstien's schedule of lwaaona, row iPhone app( way to include technology!) the Goldilocks book, your comments, etc. This blog has been so helpful.

    In response to your inquiries, I don't have a group area. As I read everyone's posts I have really been giving that thought. However, 31 students in a tiny space. Whew. Then I started thinking, in my classroom, the students are free to move and work wherever they want after our roll call each time. Maybe others don't do that. Like someone else mentioned, I have a spreadsheet with the students names and each of the components of the D5. I use a timer and when it rings we go through the roll call where the students call out what they will be working on next. We keep this very routine which helps a ton when a sub is in the room. Most of them haven't heard of the D5 at my school and I have heard they bag it when in my plans. So now I have students prepped to do the roll call and the subs just need to meet with my small groups. This has helped so much because my students love the D5 and get in more trouble when the routine and expectations are unknown. I don't use book boxes. Again, I reconsidered it. But, our students are in 4th grade and mostly in chapter books. They have 2 books checked out from the school library, their current reading book for the district requirement and I do have a class library available if needed. The students who are performing at the lower reading levels are the ones that tend to hang out in my library and dillydally. Maybe I will incorporate book boxes for them. The problem may be that the library is too overwhelming for them to choose from....?? Anyway, thanks for the bookmarks (I also made one for the coaching skills that I gave to students last year- helped) Love reading everyone's ideas! So amazing.

  93. I use clothes hangers (the ones that clip) to organize and store my anchor charts. Each subject has its own hanger and can be hung anywhere around the room. When a chart is needed for review, I just pull it out. The hangers can also be stored on a chart stand.

  94. I saw a great idea for anchor charts in another classroom. Rather than hanging them on the wall, they were suspended from the ceiling. I assume she used fishing line or string and clothes pins. They were hung facing and angle towards the students at her horseshoe table. They were high enough that her walls were still visible.
    I have also seen charts hung on a hanger and moved around the room.
    For repeated practice my advice based on 3 years of doing daily 5 to some extent with 2nd-5th graders is…be aware that you will have to push yourself to stay outside of YOUR comfort zone as a teacher. It will be hard to not give that off task student “the eye” or to stop them at 3 minutes over and over again. Be consistent and stick with it and their stamina will go up. Don’t ease up on them or let behaviors slide. Just stop them, reconvene and repeat. They WILL get there and you will be AMAZED at their level of independence.
    I have used hand signal check ins…both a thumbs up, down or sideways and a 1-2-3 in front of your heart. Just that small self reflection paired with a few sharing what went well or what they need to work on is so effective. The “what I need to work on” is so important in teaching them that admitting weakness is not a failure but rather an advanced skill on the road to growth.

  95. I am going to try this
    classroom set up this year in my 5th grade class.

  96. Great info and ideas here, Thank you!

    As far as individualizing Spelling tests, I've had kids pair up to give tests to each other around the room. They would take turns with partner giving the spelling tests. It worked very well and the kids were exposed to more challenging words at times as an extra bonus!

    This has been a wonderful Book Share. I've gotten so much out of it and my Co Teach partner and I are excited about trying it out for the first time this fall.