By Sharon Ronavuso, Reading Support Teacher and Year 2 Teacher
Daily 5 is a literacy management system invented by Joan Moser and Gail Boucher, 2 sisters from America. The system has 5 components- read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on writing and word work. Each component is introduced separately and students work to build their stamina to be able to independently work on a learning task for approximately 20 mins( depending on child’s age). When 2 or 3 components have been introduced and the students are able to work independently for 20 mins, the students are able to choose which component they are going to work on each round. While the students are working independently the teacher is either working with individual students or with groups of students with similar needs to develop their reading, spelling or writing skills. Each round lasts for approximately 20 mins( depending on age), after which the students are brought back together as a whole group for a 5-7 minute explicit mini lesson which focuses on developing their reading, comprehension, spelling or writing skills.
These explicit lessons are taken from the CAFE menu. CAFE stands for C- comprehension A- Accuracy F- fluency and E- expanding vocabulary.
What makes the Daily 5 different from other systems?
This system is the only one that I have come across that does not assume that students know how to perform certain tasks independently. Daily 5 teaches the students how to work independently.
The other big difference is that using the Daily 5 management system and the CAFE menu enables teachers to work with individual children to set learning goals based on their literacy needs at the time. These goals are reinforced at the start of each session and students verbalise the goals they will be working on during that session. Teachers are able to differentiate to cater for individual student’s learning needs.
I started using Daily 5 and CAFE with my students after reflecting on my teaching practice and wanting to have some tools to explicitly teach reading strategies. After talking about the program around the lunch table a few other teachers decided to trial the program with their classes. In my role as Reading Support Teacher I have worked with classroom teachers to implement the program. Currently we have 9 classes working with the system as a whole and other classes starting their journey and dabbling with some components. Those of us who have used the program have seen the successes and benefits of the program for both teachers and learners. Once again our school is leading the way and we have had many colleagues from Victor Harbor, Pt Elliot, Cummins, Reynella, Renmark North and McLaren Vale primary schools visit our school to observe teachers delivering the Daily 5 and CAFE.