Daily 5 and Guided Reading in My Room

Hello! We are ACCESS testing this week, which means a crazy schedule and no teaching, so I thought I would look back in my files and share some more of my classroom procedures with you.

I start each class with a Problem of the Day.  Once each student has completed their POD, they can make their choices from my chart.  It's just a pocket chart with laminated cards- nothing fancy.  I don't have a listening center, and my room is pretty small, so we don't do R2Someone.  So really, this should be called "Daily 3 and Guided Reading in My Room."  Students choose R2Self, Work on Writing, or Word Work.  They shop for books once a week when we go to the library, and also as needed during R2Self.

Here's a picture from far away of my D-5 (3!) chart.  It's practical and somewhat utilitarian...it goes on the list of "things to change for next year."

Once the choices are made, we disperse to our choices.  If you were to walk in during Daily 5, here's what you might see.

Students working at my guided reading table with me, and one student is working at the writing center.  There are lots of story starters, like Tara's story bubbles, monthly prompts, and sometimes flip books that I borrow from my teaching partner.

Students reading or writing on the rug.  Normally there are two students stretched out on the rug with a stuffed animal.  I do "Hug a Book Hug a Bear" in my room, since these kids don't have many stuffed animals at home.

You might see students doing Word Work in pairs, or practicing for a Reader's Theater.  That's the only time we do R2Someone.  Otherwise it's just too loud in such a small space.

In the foreground, students are doing Word Work.  There are staples, like BOGGLE, task cards, and a few other things which rotate monthly.  I try to include math word problems in my word work.  I really like Sunny Day's word works by month- they include so many practical and useful skills in a fun way!  You can see my guided reading table (no room for a kidney table) and tablet.  I put my guided reading lesson plan and links on my tablet, and then just move it over to the table when I'm working with a group.  (My school is going paper-less.)

We use Fountas and Pinnell Fiction Focus for guided reading, which has worked so well for our students this year!  They do not have a lot of background knowledge in the content areas, so it's great to be able to give them those experiences through literature.  The current trend in ESL is toward non-fiction reading, and all content-based language; that's great for students who come to the US with some education and a strong first language- mine do not.

After we do one round of Daily 5 (3!) we check in.  I will usually do a read-aloud, start an anchor chart, or play a speaking game with them at that point.  Here's what I get to see.

After check-in, we do our second round.  It's not until after our second round that I teach any mini-lessons or start any new units, unless I preview it during check-in with an anchor chart or a book.  I think my students have really grown from using Daily 5 (3!).  Their writing has improved, their willingness to write has improved (two different things) and they are reading books on their level.  Plus, they get to have fun and make their own choices about learning every day...what kid wouldn't want that?

Things to change for next year:
1. Get a listening center and/or student computers. (I only have my tablet and I use it with my groups)
2. Change Daily 5 sign...make it prettier!
3. Get some pillows and cushions to make the reading area more comfortable.
4. Do more writing mini-lessons during check-in.
5. Change Word Work more often. (Problem is, I haven't found many that I like. Let me clarify.  I haven't found many that are appropriate for my students.)

I think that's a pretty good, achievable list!

I got so much inspiration for D-5 reading teacher blogs over the summer.  They helped me figure out what when where when!  What the Teacher Wants and Fourth Grade Frolics were the absolute best for learning how to put it all together.  I recommend starting there if you're stuck! What does Guided Reading look like in your room? Do you do a version of D-5?

Disclaimer: The Daily 5 & CAFE resources are unofficial adaptations of the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. This blog is not endorsed by the 2 Sisters. http://www.thedailycafe.com

Have a good week!



  1. What a great post!! I want to get better at implementing D5 next year period!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  2. Great post! I loved hearing about your D5.(3) Your students look really engaged in all of your pictures. It is really sweet that you have those stuffed animals for them. After reading your posts, I have made a vow to do more Reader's Theater. I have gotten away from them, and I definitely need to make more of an effort. They really are a great tool.

    Eclectic Educating

  3. Thanks for sharing, I'm a new follower. Just a tip-I found some great floor pillows at Target at the end of August last year. :)
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  4. I have a colleague who is doing Daily 5 with her fourth graders and I have been tossing around the idea of using a variation of it with my fifth graders next graders next year. Seeing how you have modified the program has helped me envision what it might look like in my room next year. Thanks for sharing, Stacy @ http://new-in-room-202.blogspot.com

  5. Thanks for the peek into your room and at your procedures! I enjoy seeing what other teachers are doing. Your students look hard at work and engaged in their work. :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  6. I enjoyed stepping into your classroom for a few minutes! You wrote a very inspiring and encouraging post. I am so glad I found your blog through TpT. I am in need of more engaging lessons for my ESL students, but it is hard to find them because mine are very low just like yours.
    Forever A Teacher, Forever A Learner

  7. Glad I'm not the only one who does Daily THREE instead of 5! I don't know how they fit it in!! :)

  8. Thank you for this! I love seeing what others are doing in the classroom in such detail. :-)

    Susanna Westby
    Whimsy Workshop


Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

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