The Daily 5: My thoughts on the potential of this literary strategy…

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A large portion of my reading and discussion lately has been surrounding The Daily Five and it’s impact on the Language Arts classroom. It is interesting to consider how this strategy may become a part of my classroom someday, and I wanted to synthesize some thinking here as I consider this strategy.

Now, as most of you know, I am a die-hard History and Math loyalist by heart, so the idea of Language Arts instruction was initially a little scary (chuckle). In all honesty, though, it has been healthy for me to consider both Language and Science instruction as they are, despite my desire to teach middle school, a drastic reality with my Elementary Education degree. So, with Language Arts instruction undoubtedly comes The Daily 5. For those unfamiliar with this new strategy, I would encourage you to check out the website at the link below:

The Daily Five Website

…for those of you already familiar with this strategy, I’m almost positive you have both your success stories and your hang-ups.

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As I look at The Daily 5 and consider its implementation in my own classroom someday, I see a lot of things that I like. The strategies truly foster an interactive learning environment, which as I’ve made clear before, is paramount in my opinion to a quality classroom experience. Daily 5 does a nice job of encouraging all types of working strategies; from collaboration and interpersonal skills through the element “Read to Someone,” to introspective learning and thinking through “Word Work” and “Listen to Reading,” and from individual and independent work through “Read to Self,” to creative synthesis of language through “Work on Writing.”

Despite these wonderful outlets for students, a large portion of my hesitation with this strategy is the time. While the authors are adamant about building stamina in students through starting with a shorter time period and ending up with long slots of work time, my worries surround not the students ability to fill the time with work, rather the amount of time The Daily 5 consumes from an every day classroom. When operating at ‘full capacity,’ Daily 5 cycles include numerous 30 minute work periods supplemented with short 8-15 minute mini-lessons and instruction. My impression is that, unless teachers are intending to focus on two content areas every-other day and alternate instruction, it is unrealistic to expect this massive of a time commitment to this single content area strategy. There are definitely ways to effectively plan and implement The Daily 5, and I truly believe it has immensely positive impacts on students language skills, but it requires just that; effective planning. My judgement of this strategy will waver on a case-to-case basis dependent upon the teacher using it. When I look at this strategy I see a very good idea with countless benefits to students, but I also see a need for some complex planning strategies to effectively implement it correctly without marginalizing other content areas (often drawing from an already marginalized Social Studies area). All opinions aside, ultimately, given time to plan and find the best way to utilize these tools, yes, I can definitely see myself using The Daily 5 in my future classroom. Would I jump in headfirst on the first day without thorough evaluation of the strategies and the time needed to use them best? Absolutely not. …but would I utilize The Daily 5? Absolutely.

 

What are your opinions and experiences with The Daily 5? Comment below…

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