Saturday, 15 September 2012

Starting the Daily 5

So I have officially completed seven full days of school. Whew! It is been a whirlwind of learning procedures and routines (the kids AND me!!! the joys of moving to a new school yet again... hehe). I can't wait to get to the point where we can actually learn something.

My favourite new things in my classroom this year is my Mimio! If you don't know, the Mimio is a small device that turns your whiteboard into an interactive screen. (It connects to your computer and projector.) I have used a SMARTBoard in the past and I think I liked it better, but the Mimio is a cheaper alternative and it's pretty simple to figure out. It comes with a pen that you have to use as a pointer. It's funny how engaged the kids can be when doing anything on it.

I have been using the Mimio a lot with the start of our Daily 5. I keep all of our anchor charts in one file so we can refer back to them each day as we start, so then I don't have to have them hanging on the wall where there is not much space. I found a lot of great ideas from Mrs. Meacham's Classroom. She has a bunch of great Daily 5 SMARTboard files to download for free. A lot of the book ideas came from her! Love it.

So we have just begun practicing read to self. We're up to a whole 6 minutes. Not bad with 26 students. Do you know how hard it is to find reading spots for 26 students? Changing books with 26 students? Everything with 26 students takes a long time. They're so slow at everything! And they take up so much space! lol. I think I was just spoiled with 21 students last year. Anywho, the first day we read the book "Look! I Can Read!" by Susan Hood. Then we wrote a list of all the people who read books.

We completed our read to self I-chart together. We kept it very simple and only had four things on the students side: read the whole time, stay in the same spot, be very quiet, and think about the book. 

Then I created a stamina chart to help us keep track of how long we can read. Love the little interactive timer I downloaded from Mimio Connect. I created two charts... one for Days 1-10 and Days 11-20. Hopefully we will make it to 20 minutes by then.

The second day of practice we read the book "Read Anything Good Lately?" by Susan Allen. This is a cute alphabet book that lists all the things you can read: an atlas in the airport, a biography in bed, etc. Then we made a list of all the things we might read.

After that we read "The Best Place to Read" by Debbie Bertram. We made a list of places we like to read. 

Then we talked about reading spots in the classroom. With 26 students all practicing at the same time right now, they need to be spread out. So I took pictures of the areas in the room (not many... no cute chairs or stools yet) and placed them in the Mimio. Then I added the students' pictures. Now I just have to move the students' faces around each time. Easy peasy! Once we get into the full swing of things, I won't pick their spots for them because there will only be 5 or 6 students at a time doing read to self. When we get into practicing read to someone, I'll do the same kind of thing to pick reading partners. Gotta make it easy with 26 bodies!

The next day we read the book "The Best Time to Read" by Debbie Bertram and made a list of when we like to read. This was good to do a little informal survey of who actually reads at home too... Very interesting!

We also started to talk about the three ways to read books. First, we practiced reading the pictures. I found this adorable wordless picture book called "Deep in the Forest" by Brinton Turkle. It's like a reverse take on Goldilocks. A people family goes out for the day and a little black bear comes into their house. I modelled how to "read" the pictures by telling my own story. Then I read the familiar story of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin, Jr. and we talked about how to read the words.

The day after we looked at the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and talked about the third way to read a book--retelling a familiar story.

We also read the book "Reading Makes You Feel Good" by Todd Parr. We talked about all the reasons why we read books. 

That's all we've gotten to so far! If you are interested, I put all my blank anchor charts into a pdf file for you to download below. There are I-charts and stamina grpahs for all five choices. If you have a Mimio or SMARTboard or other interactive whiteboard, you can insert the pdf into that software and you have your own electronic charts! Or if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can print out the posters to use. Leave me a note if you find these useful! I love the feedback!

Disclaimer: The Daily 5 & CAFE resources are unofficial adaptations of the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. This freebie is not endorsed by the 2 Sisters.

Enjoy your weekend everybody. I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning.... Mmmm :)


  1. Wow!! I wish I would have read this before I started the school year. I love the way you have it all organized and linked together! We are still working on stamina and hopefully we can keep a couple of my chatty Chuck's quiet enough to build stamina.

  2. I am totally about to read about Mimio. It looks like it'll be a while before we look at Smartboards in my district. (sniffle) This could be an alternative though.

    This is my first year with Daily 5. I can't imagine finding reading spot for that many kiddos! The other day I posted about how I'm going to rotate my D5 stations...I'm going to use a PowerPoint! (This would be cool on your whiteboard) Check out my post on it :)

    You Might Be a First Grader...

    1. I watched your video! That's such a great idea to put the slideshow on a timer... With the big clean up sign in between... Very smart! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. This was such a fabulous post, Amanda, and like Patty, I wish I would have had this before I started my Daily 5! I guess there's always next year;), and my students are doing pretty well so far, as is. We are up to 20 minutes for Read to Self, in just 18 days! Yay!
    Thanks for the freebies and the book recommendations...AWESOME!

  4. That is such a great idea! I went and downloaded the timer from Mimio there any way you can share the Mimio file you made with the graph? I understand clip art terms of use, etc., so I of course understand if it couldn't have the cute little readers up top! I just love the graph/time combo and feel like it would take me a long time to recreate.


    1. Hi Kate,

      Send me an email ( and I will send you the file without the clipart!


  5. Oh dear...I love the different books! You know how much your dad loves it when I go and add more books to my shopping cart are working on our stamina for Read to Self as well, but it's different for Gr. 3/4. The majority of my kids love to read, so I just have to work with a few to get them to buy into what we are doing.


    1. Hehe. I know what you mean! I didn't tell Ger about the last order... I just made sure I got the mail before he did! :)

  6. Thanks so much for the freebies. I have a Mimio as well (I teach K) and these will be great to use. And it's neat to find another Mimio user who knows how it all works and can share stuff! Thanks

  7. Loved the way you introduced reading and the Daily Five. I like the idea of teaching the students the different ways of reading and stamina building. I want to try this next year.

  8. I would love to get your Stamina Mimio file. I looked on your TPT site, but did not see it posted. Is there a way you would share that with me? My email is

    Thank you!

    1. Sorry Autumn, I don't have the Mimio for download because of clipart copyright issues. The stamina charts are in the download above though, so you can import the charts into a Mimio file and add the timer yourself. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I really like all of your Daily 5 stuff! It's my first year starting the Daily 5 in my first grade room and it's really slow going. It's the 4th day of school and we've only built up 2.5 minutes before I have someone out of their seat, talking, or just sitting with thier book closed. Ug! I'm trying to be patient but it's getting frustrating. Also, our school is getting Mimios this year and I can't wait!


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