Welcome to a new school year! I hope you had a wonderful summer and enjoyed spending quality time with your family. I know I did!! I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about my reading block. Several years ago, Stump, along with the other county elementary schools, decided to use a book called "The Daily 5" to help us revamp our reading program. This book talks about research and techniques that benefit students as they become readers, writers and lifelong learners. As a result, the structure of my reading block changed drastically. Gone are the days of sitting around the reading table with everyone taking their turn. By the way, I don't even have a reading table in my classroom. The exciting part about this technique is...my reading scores have continued to go "through the roof"! I have since embraced "The Daily 5" and haven't looked back. Awesome stuff!!!
Well, it won’t be long until you hear your child talking about “The Daily Five.” The purpose of this letter is to fill you in on what "The Daily Five" is all about, so you don’t have to nod your head while wondering what in the world your child is talking about.
The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.
When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which are comprised of:
- Read to Self
- Work on Writing
- Read to Someone
- Listen to Reading
- Word Work
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5 component. We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community. I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
One thing you’ll notice that may be a change for you is a direct decrease in the number of worksheets your child brings home. While worksheets keep students busy, they don’t really result in the high level of learning I want for your child. Instead, your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5. They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. I know the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.
As you can see, I am excited about giving your child the opportunity to be involved in a structure that will have a positive effect on their education.
Please think of our classroom as you visit garage sales or clean your own child’s bookcase. It is my goal to make our classroom library as appealing as your favorite bookstore.
I am looking forward to a very successful year with your child. Please let me know if you have questions about the Daily 5.