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!)


  1. The Sister's chimes are hanging in the front of the classroom. But if I am not there I may use a set of wind chimes I bought at a drug store that hang in the back of the classroom. Another place to find chimes is in the Oriental trader. A high note on a xylophone is also a good idea. What is your choice of quiet signal and where did you purchase it? Share with us! :) Joanne CRA blogger

  2. I love chimes! I have them hanging in various places I stand/sit, so I I have access to a bell. JoAnn Fabric often carries them. You can find coupons on line or register as a teacher to get a % off. I have also seen them at Big Lots.

    Looking forward to hearing about your book box deal. I was thinking of sending a note home to have parents/students decorate a cereal box to use as book boxes, an idea I got from my nephew. It is also FREE, but the boxes wouldn't be ready on the first day of school & they would be different sizes. For the first week, I think I will have community book boxes set around the room, since I'm teaching kindergarten. In 1st and 2nd grade, I used large plastic ziplock bags and filled them with leveled books that students were reported to be at from their prior teacher. I liked using ziplock bags because they were easy to store in desks and very easy to replace if needed. Any Kindergarten teachers have ideas or experience about book boxes?

    As for the barometer child(ren), I have helped the class get off to a better start by pulling them at the very beginning for a small group lesson and then sending them off to read-to-self. I may do a quick review of an I-Chart, ask them about their book choice to engage them, or pull them for a reading lesson. I try to mix it up, so they still feel they have choice and are not always being pulled. I also found that having Independent reading first thing in the morning to be helpful. We get our book bags ready for the next morning by putting them on our desks. Students know what to do, have their books ready, and get started right away when they enter the classroom. (I also like that tardies are less disruptive.)

    Look forward to hearing from everyone.
    Thanks! Julie

  3. Love the cereal box idea, Julie! What a fun way to pull families into literacy. It may inspire them to do the same project for home too! Thanks for the tips on barometer kids too. Reminds me of a Seinfeld quote: "This is gold, Julie, gold!" lol

  4. Hi All,
    I splurged and bought the blue book boxes (they look like magazine holders and are dark blue hard plastic with a window for names and/or student number in the front) at Lakeshore several years ago. They are very sturdy and long lasting. We line them up along the front of the room in numerical order under the white board...easily accessible. A number pinned to the wall corresponding with the book box number makes it easy for first graders to replace their box when done. They were $99 for 24 several years ago. My friend Jody bought similar boxes for her kinders the next summer at Target. They were in primary and secondary colors which is great for the little ones to remember their color. I don't believe they had the plastic pocket in the front for a name or number, but she just used stickers. They were only $2.50 each.
    But the best deal is at IKEA. They are made of sturdy cardboard but I think they are 6 for $1-2 if my memory serves me. The kids can decorate them with markers, stickers, etc and take them home each year, so not a bad deal.
    The first time I did Daily Five on the first day of School, I filled the kids' boxes with a variety of books at various levels and interests. When we began our first Read to Self on that first day, I noticed Hunter stopped reading after a couple of minutes and put all his books back in his box. So I rang the chimes and simply said, "time to clean up...we made it to 2 minutes of stamina. Let's give it another try later on today."
    Later on in private I asked Hunter why he had stopped reading. He told me, "I didn't like any of those books." Now that is a strong statement for CHOICE! So at the beginning of the next recess, Hunter picked out 5-6 books from our classroom library that he preferred and on the next round of D5 he was totally absorbed.
    The next school year we had our Back To School Night before school started. So I asked the parents to send 5-6 of their child's favorite books to school labeled and in a zip lock on the first day. As the kids entered I had them deposit their books into their empty book boxes with their name and number. For the 2-3 kids whose parents did not attend BTSN, I put in a variety of books and if they didn't work out I was planning to let them choose as I did Hunter...but all went well.
    This first day book box filling has to be done only once to buy time before introducing the kids to "How to choose books from the classroom library." Setting up your classroom library and "Book Shopping" are 2 big items that you need to plan before starting Daily 5. Ideas anyone????

  5. Setting up your classroom library begins with organization,location and storage. I have purchased plastic baskets at Walmart in the past and then switched to sturdier plastic tubs from Big Lots. After looking over all my book selections I then made labels for my tubs using titles and pictures (visit my pinterest page: Joanne Devine and see my board for book tub labels). I ended up with over 40 tubs and then sorted my books into all the tubs. Finally I numbered each tub and then wrote the corresponding tub number on the back cover of all books in that tub. Example:
    Tub #1: ABC books. Every book in tub is labeled on back cover with a #1 in black sharpie. This way, when children are returning books to a tub that match the book number with the tub number. Even T-Ks can handle this task. During week one of school, when you are introducing Read to Self, train your students on understanding and using the classroom library system so the following week they will be ready to return books properly to the book bins! Make an I chart, model acceptable and unacceptable ways to return books, and have everyone practice with a couple books.
    It will be worth it in the long run and your classroom library will remain organized and tidy for the entire year!
    FYI: I actually re-organized my library over Thanksgiving Break a couple of years ago. I upgraded to the sturdier tubs and used the cute labels I have on my pinterest page. I made sure before going on break that everyone had returned all their books from their individual book boxes so that no book was left out of the reorganization.
    Hope this helps you learn from my mistakes: Invest in sturdy book bins and be sure to use label your tubs with pictures as well as titles and also a tub number! Okay..ready, set, get going on your new or renewed classroom library!

  6. So once your library is set up it is time to plan a system for book shopping. I have done it several ways. Gradual release, going from a more planned schedule with adult guidance to eventually, whenever they feel the need, has worked form me.
    In the beginning of the year I have worked with a table group at a time as I supervise their return of books and selection of new books. If you have a student teacher in the room, this is a great task for them to oversee after your initial modeling. Once they have all had a chance to trade out books I have gone to a system of Table 1 trades books on Monday, Table 2 on Tuesday etc. so they all get to trade out books once a week. After a couple of months they are usually ready to trade books on their own without needing a set schedule or adult to monitor crowding, tidiness, etc. How do you manage book shopping in your classroom?

  7. I regularly use a tone for a quiet signal. For regular transitions that don't require any direction, such as well-rehearsed clean up time before arriving at the meeting space for group instruction or meetings, I often use a clean up song. You can have any song you enjoy cued up to play easily, something that is in the 2-3 minute range and has a clear ending. With a bit of practice, students will know when the song is almost over and will hurry to join the group on time. Don't worry if a few students regularly sing or dance along; so long as they clean up and get ready on time, consider it a healthy & joyful brain break.

  8. Thanks, Nicole! I have also download little jingles to my computer and play them when it is clean up time...generally before lunch or recess etc. The jeopardy song, looney tunes song etc. work great!

  9. I'm late to this blog but thought I would offer my ideas on setting up book boxes too. I buy the standard cardboard white magazine holder boxes from Amazon, I've gone to Ikea before to get them too. They work pretty well and ,if you like, you can have students use stickers or markers to make them their own. In first grade, I have the boxes set up for the first days of school with about 4 books in each box. I put 2 alphabet books, 1-2 very easy readers, and then either a copy of Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear or an Eric Carle book. The key is to make fun from day one.

  10. I organized my classroom library by Accelerated Reader levels. I have the students pick five books (3 their level and 2 free choice). They keep their five books in a gallon ziploc bag in their desks. They must read twice before switching it. We have a reading program that students can accumulate points based off the books they've read.