Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Daily 5 Chapter 6: Foundational Lessons

I'm back and on time for this chapter! I better be because I'm the host of this chapter. This chapter (as well as the previous chapter) were full of good content. There is so much to take away from these chapters. If you are interested in trying the Daily 5, I encourage you to read the book cover to cover so you can get the whole experience. :) We're truly giving you little "snippets" from the book that are important for us to highlight. 

This chapter goes into the foundation lessons for the other parts of the Daily 5. Click here for chapter 5, which talks about the foundation lessons for Read to Self. 

clip art by Whimsy Workshop

Looove this quote from the book:

If I could convey this my students, I'd be one happy teacher. 

I talked about my writer's notebook in chapter 2. One of the things that was recommended in this chapter was to cut the top corners of the notebook in order to mark the pages where students will write down their writing ideas. The sisters call this the "Think-abouts." 

I thought it would be good to do this again at the beginning of each month. In my chapter 2 blog post, I talked about how I separate my notebooks each month using tabs. 

One thing I'll do in the future is to use the page after the monthly tab page (in this case after the September tab page) to brainstorm and write fresh ideas. 

The sisters suggest giving your students time to talk about their "Think-Abouts" with each other before writing the ideas in their notebooks. I couldn't agree more! Give your kids time to talk. It seems like they always have something to say, even if they don't have anything to write. Ha! 

Clip art by Whimsy Clips

I made a few posters and book marks with all the new clip art that's out there! The voice level thing is  tough. You'll want to model and practice different voice levels. I've always had a hard time with this one because there is always that kid who just isn't aware of his/her voice level. You know where whisper is not anywhere in their vocabulary. Just like everything else, kids need to practice, practice, practice. When I taught first grade, I saved Read to Someone for the second week. I really wanted it to be special and exciting and something that they "were ready for." I really like how the sisters break down these foundation lessons. 
Clip art by Whimsy Clips

Here's a little poster you could use when introducing how partners read. The Sisters have different options for Read to Someone, including choral reading. I am not a fan of choral reading though, mainly because it gets so loud. I think it's really hard to read at the same time and keep your voice level down. That might just me me though! Plus, even as an adult, I can't keep up with choral reading. I lose my place when I hear other voices reading the same thing. Personal preference for me, but it might work in your classroom. I made this poster to communicate that both partners read with eyes and brain, but one is reading with their voice. The other person will be the one to check for understanding at the end of the page. I teach my students to read a page then switch roles for the next page. As the texts get more challenging or longer for each page, you can do another mini-lesson and teach them to take turns by paragraph.  

I also made this in bookmark form.

Here's a little bookmark you can use for when you check for understanding. It shouldn't take too long. The person who didn't read aloud will be the one who check for understanding. They simply tell what the page was about (who, what and if applicable, when.) 

(You could do this two-sided with the other bookmark.)

I created these story cards for each season. I currently use them during my guided reading groups and RTI, but my friend gave me the idea to use them for Read to Self or Read to Someone. These are for beginning readers, so they are perfect for if you are low on simple texts. Using these would be a separate lesson in themselves because you need to teach them how to use them. They look basic, but I teach my students that these cards are meant to show off our fluency. I teach them that fluency includes rate (not too fast or too slow,) punctuation, and expression. The should read these cards more than once because they need to practice in order to truly read fluently with the appropriate expression.  I love these cards because they give my beginning readers a chance to gain confidence while getting multiple opportunities for repeated readings of a text that is "just right" for them.  

When I was teaching first grade, I still used the cassette tapes. Yep, sticking with my love for the 80s. A retiring teacher gave me all of her cassette tapes and they were great. My students loved them. It was hilarious watching them with the tapes. They could be a headache though. There was still the computer option and CDs (which I never had.) Now there is the whole iPad thing. Yeah, those little ol' iPads. A whole new world. Our school uses Raz-Kids, which is an extension of my favorite If you get a subscription, your students have access to tons of books! I highly recommend this. 

My friend Molly from Lucky to Be in First has an AWESOME post about using old iPhones for a listening center. Click here to see that post.

Clip art by Educlips

When I first started, I invested in a few staples for my classroom. I got the magnetic tiles (top left,) magnetic letters, and the dice. I started out using just those for word work. I just let my kids make words and write them in their notebooks. Then I made onset and rime cards so they could match the cards to make words. During Word Work, they could also practice spelling words and sight words on the word wall. 

I kept my word work materials in bins like these. Students could take a bin to their spot, along with their notebooks to record words. 

Since the early years, I've slowly made tons of word work stations of my own. I actually use them for my RTI now and guided reading groups, but they would be perfect during word work. You can find these activities and much more in my Phonics Packs

(I've used this pack for guided reading, RTI, independent work, and word work.)

I would organize these in one of  two ways:

1. Use plastic drawers:

Keep two sets for each activity in a drawer. I store everything in plastic zip-lock bags and/or plastic sleeves. Place the sleeve or ziplock bag in the drawer. Include two for each. 

2. Use a file folder system. They could take the entire hanging file to their spot. 

I also love this storage system. Students could take the file folder back to their seat to work on the activities. Only downside is that dice don't work with these...

Make sure you check out these other posts about the foundation lessons.


  1. Thank you for all of the posters and ideas! I can't wait to dive into this in a few weeks! :)

  2. I Daily 5, but have never delved into it like this! Thanks for doing all of the hard work for the rest of us. :) xo

  3. Out of some best probable ideas that are needed to be followed down been explained here with some details and these will further bring around every good cause for the students to get involved and get success.