Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome to the New Book Club!

We’re reading & discussing Just the Facts: Close Reading and Comprehension of Informational Text by Lori Oczkus published January 2014 by Shell.  Why? This dynamic resource provides: 

                clear explanations on using informational text in classrooms
                 practical tips, suggestions, lesson ideas to use with students
                 digital resources and ideas aligned to the Common Core 
                 solid tools to enhance comprehension of informational text

January-February we’ll be blogging about Ch. 1-2!

Need more convincing? Here’s my top 3 reasons to join us!

1.             Implement proven ideas to use the next day requiring little prep.
2.             Find helpful K-8 lessons with options for struggling readers & EL
3.             Network with professionals from all over California

Click on Amazon on CRA’s home web page to buy it now!

Here’s how to get started:

                 Click on the blog or post you would like to view.
                 Underneath this post or blog, you’ll see Comments or No Comments (if no one has posted a reply).
                Under Post a Comment, you’ll see a box saying "Enter your comment…"
                Click inside the box and type your comments.
                Then hit publish. That's all there is to it!

Blogging is having an engaging two-way conversation. Have fun!

Please join us!

Lynn Gurnee,

Interim IRA Coordinator for the California Reading Association

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thanks to everyone for viewing and sharing on our blog. Please let me know how we can make it better? Any ideas for the next professional book?

Hope to see you at our Professional Development Institute in Oct. Can't wait to hear the Two Sisters, how about you? We hope you have a great beginning to your new school year!

Lynn Gurnee,
CRA Immediate Past President

Monday, August 18, 2014

                         Chapter 8:      The Math Daily 3

1. Why did the sisters move away from “I show and you do” lesson approach to the Daily 3 approach?

2. Explain what the three 7-10 minute focus lessons consist of. 

3. What math series do you use and how would you incorporate it with the Math Daily 3?  Give an example of a concept and the 3 focus lessons you would use that day.

4. The Sisters suggest 2 ways to organize math materials: by individual tool kits for each child or by putting like materials in container and having students gather what they need for a chosen activity.  How do you organize your materials for math?

5. The Sisters suggest games for Math By Myself and Math With Someone.  What are some of your favorite activities for these Dailies?  How do you use the math practice pages that are in the math book and what do you use for math homework?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

                                                            Chapter 7  
           When to Launch the Next Daily 5

Many of you are getting ready to return to school and are ready to launch the Daily 5 in your classroom.  Feel free to respond to these questions, ask questions, or share your concerns, tips etc.

1. When is “choice” introduced in Daily 5 (p. 111) and why is       choice important?

2. Which Daily 5 is your children’s favorite?  Which do you find the most difficult to launch?

3. Have you any tricks or advice to share in introducing any of the Daily 5 activities?  What are some activities in your Word Work
Area?  What do you use for Listen to Reading?
4. Do you use the Check-in form as the 2 Sisters suggest or do you have another system?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

     Chapter 6:   Foundational Lessons

1.  In the new edition, the 2 Sisters refer to "FOCUS lessons" as "FOUNDATIONAL lessons".  What differences do you notice about  the foundational lessons in the new edition?

2.  Appendix B-F llists all the foundational lessons for each of the Dailies.  But in looking over days 1-14 when are the foundational lessons introduced (order of intro) and why?

3.  Order of Launching the Dailies has always been a hot topic of conversation.  According to the appendix and teaching of foundational lessons, the sisters suggest this order:
Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work.
What order do you use and why?

4.  How do you see the new Common Core State Standards aligning with the foundational lessons?

5.  The new California ELA/ELD Framework refers to Foundational SKILLS, not to be confused with the Sisters' Foundational LESSONS.  What is the difference?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chapters 4 & 5: Considerable Food for Thought-Let's postpone Chapter 6 a bit!

OMG...after that 10 day vacation, I didn't realize I was a week behind on our blog!  So sorry, also been totally absorbed in planning the most awesome PDI featuring 70+ speakers on Literacy in the Common Core.  Of course,  our Keynoters on Friday will be non other than the 2 Sisters themselves.
They will also be doing a breakout session on Saturday morning so check it out at under Events/PDI and sign up now.  Then you can ask Gail and Joan all your wonderful questions in person!

I am excited to begin our conversation on Chapter 4 and 5 because setting up the classroom is so very exciting, especially over the summer break!  And my favorite Daily is "Read to Self" so here it goes!

Chapter 4  What Do You Need to Begin the Daily 5?

1.  Get Your Quiet Signal:
  Why is the Quiet Signal important?  When is it used in Daily 5?  At their D5 Workshop the Sisters pass out Chimes to the attendees.  What do you use for your signal?

2.  Gather Your Tools Not Toys.  What is in your tool box for barometer kids?  Have you started gathering things for Word Work and do you know where they will be stored and how.  More on this in chapter 7.

3.  What Will You Use for Book Boxes?  Where to buy them?  Where will they be kept in the classroom?

4.  How Will You Organize Your Classroom Library? Do you have containers for books and where did you get them?  Where will your library be in your classroom design.

5.  Map Out Your Room and Decide on Your Gathering Spot and Decide Where You Will Hang Your I Charts for the Whole Year and if introducing CAFE hang your CAFE board.

This chapter is so much fun to share.  I want to discuss all the questions right now and tell you who is having the best deal on book boxes etc.  But I'll hold my tongue for now and let you help out because I love learning from all of you and getting new ideas.  Early on I participated in a yahoo groups website for the Daily 5 and all summer we were texting all of our ideas for the above questions.  I knew when book boxes were on sale at target in Ohio and I live in CA!!!  LOL

Chapter 5  Read To Self

1.  How do you get books in their book boxes for the first day of school?

2.  3 Ways to Read a Book:  What mentor texts/books do you use when modeling 3 ways to read a book?  ( can go to and click on pinterest and find lots of cute charts for this and many other Daily Five Ideas.  But it is important to make your own I-charts in front of the children.

3.  Launching:  Okay you are ready to launch so check out page 160, 7 169 and get your stamina chart ready (check out that pinterest page) and get your stop watch ready.  When do you ring your chimes during the first encounter with Read to Self?  What do you say?  Check in?  If you are experienced, can you tell about your first day?  Did you have a barometer child and how did you handle it? More later on page 167 on barometer kids, but you need to ready for this on the first day!

4.  Good Fit Books:  What shoes will you gather for your good fit books skit? If you are a member of the Sisters Daily Cafe they have a great example for older students using free weights.  But shoes work for all ages, I've found.  How do you organize book selection time?  Kelly on page 79 has an interesting way.  What is yours?

5.  Foundational Skills:  We have already done the first 2 so it is time for "Underline Words I Don't Know How to Spell."  Also included in foundation lessons the first week are: Check for Understanding, EEK and more as depicted in the appendix 169-175.
If introducing D5 and CAFE the appendix lessons are great to follow.  If you are only doing Daily 5
(which is what I did at first) I taught and practiced each Daily for one week and did not venture into
CAFE until second semester. What are your plans?  What materials will you need to teach foundational skills the first 5 days?

This is a lot!  Let's wait until next week for Chapter 6.  Look forward to hearing and learning from all of you!

Joanne Devine (visit me on Pinterest, too!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Professional Development Lending Library

Attention Council Officers!
              Do you struggle to retain your members, much less attract new ones?
              Are you tired of trying to come up with creative ideas for council events?
              Does the planning for the event often take more time than the event itself?
              Have you ever wished you could bring in a real expert—someone like Linda Hoyt or Tony Stead? Stephanie Harvey or Debbie Miller? Have you thought it would be fun to have The Two Sisters do a workshop for your council?

We have great news for you! When you borrow a DVD for a council event, we’ll provide all the support materials needed to make it a great success—a suggested workshop schedule and facilitator’s guide, a flyer you can customize and use to publicize your event, and blackline masters for participant handouts, including a note-taking guide.

Check out the CRA Professional Development Lending Library on for titles and how to borrow DVDS NOW!

July 15- 21: Posts or blogs on Chapter 4- What Do You Need to Begin the Daily 5? & Ch. 5- Launching Read to Self: The First Daily 5

Jo should be getting us some new questions soon. Need more info. on how to publish your comment? Read on!

Click on the blog or post you would like to view. Underneath this post or blog, you’ll see Comments or No Comments if no one has posted a reply. Under Post a Comment, you’ll see a box with the words "Enter your comment…" Click inside the box and type your comments. Then hit publish. That's all there is to it!

Blogging is all about having an engaging two-way conversation. Have fun! Lynn

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chapter 3: Ten Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence

Chapter 3:  The 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence

1. The brain receives input through 3 different external memory systems: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  How do the 10 steps use these memory systems to ensure success for all?

2. The sisters make I-Charts for each of the Daily 5s.  Can you think of other purposes in your classroom for I-Charts?

3. Why is step 5, modeling least-desirable behavior, so important?

4. Purpose + Choice = Motivation.  Reflect on this statement.

5. What is your sense of urgency in implementing the Daily 5?

These 10 steps are vital in the success of your students using the Daily Five.  Take the time to teach these steps as you introduce each of the Dailies in your classroom.  It will be worth the extra effort!

Good Luck! Joanne     Need more info. on how to publish your comment? Read on!

Click on the blog or post you would like to view. Underneath this post or blog, you’ll see Comments or No Comments if no one has posted a reply. Under Post a Comment, you’ll see a box with the words "Enter your comment…" Click inside the box and type your comments. Then hit publish. That's all there is to it!

Blogging is all about having an engaging conversation. It’s not a secret code. And it’s not meant to be one-way!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 8- 14: Time to blog on Chapter 3: The Ten Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence

Wow! Time flies!

Jo's on vacation, but will post some thoughtful questions for us soon on Chapter 3.

Did you LOVE the 10 Steps to Independence I chart?! Oh how I wish I had access to this sooner. I can't count all the times my principal would ask a student, "What are you learning about?" as she strolled through my classroom. And when they replied, "I dunno," I would just pull my hair out! :( Lynn

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fifth Annual Eureka! Award for Nonfiction Children’s Books

The California Reading Association announces its fifth annual Eureka! Award for nonfiction children’s books. We hope you’ll consider submitting outstanding nonfiction titles for this prestigious award. We’re looking forward to another successful year of showcasing nonfiction children’s books. 

Below is a submission form and a brief description of the Eureka! Award program. If you have questions, please email Helen at or visit the California Reading Association’s website at

These books are excellent resources for teaching the Common Core State Standards.  There are also Common Core related activities for some of the Eureka award-winning nonfiction books posted under resources/links.  (Click 2013 PDI Resources; then click Conference Handouts; finally click Lynn Gurnee). 

NOTE: Submissions are due by September 1. 

Please feel free to forward this information to anyone you think might be interested. 

We hope you will help us celebrate fabulous nonfiction books! 

Helen Foster James, EdD
California Reading Association, Eureka! Founder

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Free Book Drawing Closed- We have a winner!

Congratulations to lucky Julie Webb from Solano ! Julie was picked at random from a pool of contestants that represented several other councils: Santa Cruz, Foothill, Stanislaus, SLO, Kern, San Joaquin, Gateway, and Ventura. Julie's Daily 5 2nd edition book will be in the mail tonight.

Thanks to the rest of you that entered. We hope you'll be an active part of our book club and also hope you'll encourage your friends to join us. That makes you all winners!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Daily 5 Blog starts Tues. July 1- Here's Study Guide for Chpt. 1 and 2!

Daily 5  Study Guide (new edition) developed by Joanne Devine

Chapter 1:  THEN AND NOW

1.    What are some of the major differences in the old vs the new editions of the Daily 5?  (p. 2-3)

2.    What motivated the 2 Sisters to develop Daily 5 and what is its purpose? (  p.7)

3.    In figure 1.2 ( p.11)   where have you been and where are you now on the “learning line?”  Self reflect and look forward.

4.    Discuss the process of initially launching the Daily 5 in the first 8-12 weeks of school.   (p. 13-17).  Share your own experiences.

5.    The CAFÉ menu provides the “focus lessons” for Daily 5.  Are you using CAFÉ or other resources for your focus lessons?

Chapter 2:  Core Beliefs, the Foundation of the Daily 5 (D5)

1.    Why are trust and respect important and how do they effect the classroom community?  (p. 22-25)

2.    Why is choice an essential core belief?  (p.. 25-27)

3.    How are students held accountable in Daily 5?  (p. 27-28).

4.    Referring to Wesson’s “rule of thumb,” Medina’s “brain rules,” and Routman’s 20/80 concept,  what have we learned.

5.    Figure 2.2  explains how many words children encounter when reading  a specific amount of minutes.  How will you use this chart to make a difference in your classroom?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Want a FREE copy of the Daily 5 2nd edition?!

Just got my Daily 5 2nd edition and it's fabulous. I have a FREE copy for one of you! Just  send me a blog that you're interested in being in the drawing for this book by July 1st and by 4 PM.

On July 2, I'll mail the book to a lucky winner! We are very excited to hear from you. This is going to be a fun online book club this summer. 

The book club starts in less than a week. Hooray!  Happy Reading and Blogging!
Lynn Gurnee,
Immediate Past President and Comptroller for CRA

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Get Ready for the Daily Five Book Study/Blog

In April of 2009 I began reading the Daily 5 book by the 2 Sisters.  I wanted to jump in and begin Daily 5 in my first grade classroom, but there were only about 6 weeks of school left.  So instead of jumping in,  I waded in with Read To Self.  Not only was I hooked, but so were the kids!  They loved being given the "time to read" and building stamina.  So I spent the summer preparing for the big launch with my new class in the fall of 2009.  I was tandem teaching with my partner of 11 years, so I bought her the book, and convinced 3 more teachers in first and second grade to try it out as well.
I typed out explicit lesson plans for my teammate and me and put everything we needed into a notebook (stamina charts, guide to barometer child,  the 10 steps etc.).  We shopped for book boxes at Lakeshore, organized our library, and prepared materials for word work.  When school began we launched on the first day and we were off and running!

Welcome to the CRA Daily 5 Book Club/Blog.  Many of you who will be joining us on our journey in July may have noticed that the 2 Sisters will be keynote speakers at the California Reading Association's Professional Development Institute on October 17-18, 2014.  This was no accident!
I had become a D5 devotee and knew that I wanted the Sisters to come to California.  In October 2012 I emailed Gail and Joan and invited them to our conference.  They graciously accepted and at that time they had never presented in California. They will give the keynote on Friday night from
7:00 to 9:00 pm and will be featured speakers on Saturday from 9:45-10:45.  At lunch they will be signing books in the exhibit hall.  So let's get ready for the 2 Sisters visit by reading or revisiting their book, The Daily Five.  See you in July!

Joanne Devine
PDI Conference Chair
CRA President-Elect

Schedule and Guidelines for Daily Five 2nd Edition Book Study

We realize many of you may be vacationing during this book study. Therefore please don’t jump ahead and blog about future chapters. However, we welcome comments or questions on past chapters. 

July 1- 7: Posts on Ch. 1 That was Then, This is Now: How the Daily 5 Has Evolved and Ch. 2- Our Core Beliefs: The Foundations of the Daily 5

July 8- 14: Posts or blogs on Chapter 3: The Ten Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence

July 15- 21: Posts or blogs on Chapter 4- What Do You Need to Begin the Daily 5? and Ch. 5- Launching Read to Self: The First Daily 5

July 22- 28: Posts or blogs on Chapter 6- Foundation Lessons

July 29- Aug. 3: Posts or blogs on Chapter 7- When to Launch the Next Daily 5

August 4- August 8: Posts or blogs on Chapter 8- and Ch. 9- The Math Daily 3 and Returning to our Core Beliefs

Thanks & Happy Blogging! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Blog (Post your Comments)

On the right, you will see Blog Archive
            ▼  2014 ‪(2)‬
            ▼  June ‪(2)‬
                        How to Blog (Post your Comments)
                        Free Book Club Blog Summer 2014
Click on the blog or post you would like to view. Underneath this post or blog, you’ll see Comments or No Comments if no one has posted a reply. Under Post a Comment, you’ll see a box with the words "Enter your comment…" Click inside the box and type your comments. Then hit publish. That's all there is to it!

Blogging is all about having an engaging conversation. It’s not a secret code. And it’s not meant to be one-way!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Free Daily 5 Book Study Blog Summer 2014

Do you like chatting with peers about what really works in teaching literacy?

Do you want to build stamina as well as excitement in your students so they read AND write well?

Then join us on this blog over the summer!

CRA is hosting a summer splash Book Club!  We are posting thoughts and ideas as well as soliciting your input about classroom experiences based on The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades [2nd edition].  This book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (The 2 Sisters) is available at Amazon.  Please go to home page and click Amazon search to order the book and help CRA’s literacy efforts!

Join us for this enjoyable networking July 1- August 8.  More information is coming soon. Stay connected!