Daily 5

This year we will be incorporating The Daily 5 into our day. It is a structure that helps students develop the daily habits of reading, writing, and working independently that will lead to a lifetime of literacy independence. The Daily 5 is made up of 5 components, they are; Read to Self,  Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work. We will have three 20 minute sessions where students will be working on these five areas. Between the three sessions, we will meet together on the carpet for mini lessons and to reflect on how our sessions went. While students are working on the Daily 5, I will be meeting with reading groups and doing individual conferences with students.

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Before we start the Daily 5, it is very important to go over each of the 5 areas and talk about what is expected from both the students and myself. For each area, we will be making an “I chart”. Students will help come up with what they are supposed to be doing, as well as what I will be doing during that time and it will be recorded on the “I chart”. The “I charts” will then be posted on our Daily 5 board.  We will also have a Word Collection Box as part of our Daily 5 board. This will be an area where students can add interesting words that they come accross as they are reading. There will be a basket hanging there with cards in it. When students find an interesting word, they can write it down on a card and add it to the Word Collection Box.

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Our CAFE board will also be a big part of The Daily 5.  CAFE is an accronym for comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expand vocabulary. After I teach the students a reading strategy during our mini lessons, one of them will write it down on a sentence strip and add it to the CAFE board under the correct heading. These will be the strategies that students work on during their independent reading, as well as during reading group time.

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90 thoughts on “Daily 5

  1. I really like your blog and I like the fact that I can find recent relative responses for my questions. Thanks for being a resource.

  2. Hello!

    I love your blog, I stumbled on it on pinterest. This is going to be my second year in teaching, but my first year in second grade. The Daily 5 is a great idea and I am wanting to implement it in my classroom. Some questions were answered that I had, but I’m wondering where you get the materials for word work. I don’t know if I’m going to have a para, so students will be working independently. There aren’t a lot of materials at school, so I’m wondering where you get them.

    Thanks a lot 🙂


  3. Hello,

    I get most of my materials for word work from Lakeshore Learning. They have several stores across the US, but you can also shop online.

  4. Hello,
    I am using baskets from The Dollar Tree. This will be my third year with them and they still look brand new. They are a soft, durable plastic.

  5. Yes, student choice is very important. It’s hard to give them the control at first, but they love to have their own choices.

  6. How do you fill up the students book boxes at the beginning of the year? What books do you put in their book boxes for the first day of school?
    Thank you

    Do you also do centers?

  7. We get the students DRA levels from the previous year. I take them all back a level from their ending level to start with. I only start with 5-6 books untill they do their first book shopping. Once I started doing Daily Five I stopped doing centers.

  8. Hello again
    If you use the baskets from the dollar store , do you allow the students to keep them through out the day? How are the stored on a daily basis? That is my issue space and appearance , organization or rather neatness in the classroom.The bags I used were good for putting them away during other academic activities. However they were not durable and would often with the boys especially tip over and spill. The baskets would be practical but what about storage? Thanks in advance for your response.

  9. Students keep their baskets for most of the morning. I have a long counter in the back of my room, and my husband made me a storage unit to sit on there. It’s long enough to hold 9 baskets, and is 3 shelves high. There should be a picture of it on my photos page.

  10. I love your blog and all the information in it. Thank you so much for sharing all your experience. I am trying to implement the daily five for the first time and looking at your pictures and information have helped me a lot.

  11. I am a second grade teacher, and this is the clearest I have ever seen Daily 5/Cafe explained! Thank you!!

  12. I’m a first year teacher with a unique situation. I was hired as a sub for a maternity leave at the very beginning of the school year, so I of course used the teacher I was subbing for’s routines and procedures including her small group procedures. After the first week of school, the school hired me on full time and informed me that I would be keeping the group of kiddos that I started the year subbing for. I have reently learned about The Daily 5 through pinterest and another 2nd grade teacher at my school, but I am unsure how to start. I am even more unsure if my class will be successful since we have now been in school for a month. Any suggestions?

  13. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  14. Hello,

    When I started doing the Daily 5 three years ago, I started in January. You still need to take about a month to set it all up and build stamina. I didn’t have any problems starting it half way through the year. Good luck!!

  15. Hello,
    I am a first year teacher doing Daily 5 and CAFE for the first time in my 2nd grade classroom this year. My question is which strategies are typically used in 2nd grade? So far we have done Check for Understanding, Cross Checking, Good Fit Books, Back-Up and Re-read, and Tune Into Interesting Words. I remember seeing something that not all CAFE strategies would be used at lower grade levels. I was introducing them regularly in the first few weeks but then it almost seemed like there were too many. I would appreciate any advice you could give on what strategies you use in 2nd grade and when you introduce them! Thank you so much!!

  16. Hello,

    I actually start with the same ones you picked. I start with 3-4 comprehension stategies, then focus on accuracy stategies for awhile. Then I begin to do some fluency and expand vocabluary strategies. Good luck this year!!

  17. I’m a substitute walking into a building with two different grade levels. Your blog offers a great deal of information that may help the groupings flow more smoothly………..Thank You

  18. This will be my eighth year teaching, second year in second grade and I want to start using the daily five in my room. Do you have a reading series that you have to use in your classroom? I am just curious how you fit it all in?

  19. Thank You, is Very Little to say! I am a new 2nd grade teacher and your site has helped me a great deal! I will use my summer time to organize my classroom! I am enjoying all these new depths of teaching!

  20. Hello,

    I’m a french teacher and I want to try the daily 5 in my classroom. But I have some questions that you maybe can answer …
    You talk about 3 session of 20 minutes, so how your students can do the 5 component? Do they do 2 work in 20 minutes ?
    Hope your understand me, sorry for my bad english.

  21. Hello, I do not have a reading series that I use. I use DRA leveled books with my students.

  22. We only have time for 3 of the 5 sessions a day. Everyday, everyone has to do read to self and work on writing. Then they can pick their third session. Read to self time is approx. 45 min, and the other 2 sessions are 20-25 min each.

  23. Hi,
    Just found your blog. I have been teaching 1st grade for four years and will start 2nd grade this year. I used Daily 5 last semester and am still fine tuning it. KIDS do love it though and it frees up my time to devote to my smaller reading groups. Look forward to more fabulous ideas. Dani

  24. Hi Mrs.Short it is Rakiya remember me i was in your class i just wanted to say that you were the best second grade teacher ever!

  25. Hello Ms. Short,
    Thanks for your blog& all of the helpful insight and information you’ve provided. I’m a sub teacher for 1st&2nd grade. I’d like to know if there is a booklist for 1st& 2nd grade I can use when I introduce the various CAFE strategies. For example I’m introducing the Comprehension strategy,Back Up & Reread for 2nd grade. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,


  26. I am not aware of a booklist to use for the strategies. I usually use the read aloud that I am reading for that day. I just make sure to read it ahead of time and sticky note the part that I want to use for the strategy. My mini-lesson is usually after I do my read aloud so I usually teach the strategy after reading the read. aloud.

  27. Re: Booklist for Strategies

    Thanks for your reply Ms. Short. I’ll check available read alouds to use.

    Again thanks,

  28. You are so incredible. I have been wanting to start Daily 5 but didn’t know where to start. Looks like I found out where to start – with your blog. You give great examples. Thank you so much. Any chance you do Daily 5 (or 3 or 2) in Math?

  29. Thank you!!! I do Math Menu for math. After I teach my math lesson, the kids rotate through 3 rounds: math pages, math games, and iPads.

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