Reflections on Chapter 1 of The Daily 5

My "Daily 5" book came yesterday,  wrapped in its brown mailing wrapper, undisturbed as I went about my "To Do" cleaning activities throughout the day. This morning I woke up, put on my swim suit and went to the pool at 6:00 a.m. to participate in a water aerobics class. The air temperature was 57 degrees and the pool was 72 degrees! Needless to say, it took a lot of moving around to stay warm. When I returned home, I took a warm shower, dressed, and went out to the kitchen to eat breakfast. While eating and checking email, my sweet husband brought me my favorite chai latte! Ahh...... I love the summer!  As I walked past my desk, I noticed the mailing wrapper lying there undisturbed and I thought.... "Okay, I'll open it after I have done a little gardening!" So I walked over to the school garden, inspected the plants, but it looked fine and didn't really need to be weeded and watered. So then I walked back home and checked out my own flower gardens and they didn't really need me either! So when I walked back inside, I spied the brown mailing wrapper once again and thought "What the heck, I am going to open the package, go out to the patio, and read chapter 1!

Wow, wow, and more wows! I cannot tell you how excited I am to read this book and adapt it to my own classroom! As I said previously, our third grade piloted the Daily 5 and they loved it! We in kindergarten said, "It just sounds like what we are doing now with our literacy centers. We have our students rotate from group to group. Our students are staying busy and we pull children to us for small group interaction. How is the Daily 5 different?" Well, after reading both the Introduction and Chapter 1, I think I am going to find quite a bit of differences!

Gail and Joan stress the importance of routine and structure the first week of school. I feel good saying that I start routine and structure the first week of school, too. I feel this is so important to help my students feel safe and comfortable in a new environment. I also start learning centers the first week of school. Teaching the structure of the Daily 5 encourages independence early in the school year which makes learning to read and write begin early as well.

One area of the Introduction and Chapter 1 that keeps circling around in my head is the relaxed feeling they both have at the end of the day. I know that I am guilty of spending all my time preparing for centers the next week. After my cleaning is done on the weekend, I spend the rest of my free time planning literacy center rotations. I fret over which kids should work together where, which children will feel challenged by the centers, and which ones will be bored by them.

During center time, my expectation is that each child should be working independently in their assigned center. If they have questions, they are to ask each other and not bother me as I work with small groups. But it takes MONTHS for this independence to set in and I spend much of the first of the year jumping up from my small groups to settle problems, find lost pieces, and encourage kids to keep working. The idea of allowing my students to make their own decisions and cooperatively encourage and work together sounds to me like Nirvana! :)

Some questions I have: How many kindergarten kids come to school able to look at or read books for more than 3 or 4 minutes? How many kindergarten kids come to school able to write or even draw pictures for more than 3 or 4 minutes? How many kindergarten kids come to school able to operate a CD player or headphones? (Maybe in this digital age, it is more than I think, though!) How many kindergarten kids come to school able to do Word work or know how to use the Word Wall? Mary from Sharing Kindergarten has some wonderful answers to these questions and I plan to spend time taking notes from her thoughts as to how to integrate these activities into a 5 year old's brain pattens early in the year!

I am excited to continue studying the Daily 5 and would love to hear thoughts from anyone who has used the program. Click the picture above to read Tammy, from Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten's blog post about Chapter 1. Caitlyn Clabby from Kindergarten Smiles will be hosting Chapter Two.  Tammy is hosting a linky party for anyone who would like to link up with reflections!

I also am participating in a book study for "In Words and In Pictures" and when that arrives in its brown mailing wrapper, I will begin reading that as well! 

Peace and blessings, 


  1. I tried some of the daily 5 routines with my class last year in kindergarten. I didn't tackle it until January. I was amazed at how well they did reading for 15 minutes and sometimes even longer. I only had 2 kids that really struggled with this time. I'm moving up with my kids next year to first grade. But I'm looking forward to implementing daily 5 full on.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

  2. I've just linked up myself! I have experimented with the D5 over the past two years but now am ready to commit. =) I am also looking forward to not planning all of those literacy centers and yet have such meaningful learning taking place in my classroom.
    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

  3. Reading your blog gives me such a happy adorable! Thanks for linking up!

    Mrs. Dwyer’s A+ Firsties

  4. I love reading and hearing how Daily 5 is being implemented in kindergarten. I still am not TOTALLY convinced that it can be done at the very beginning of the year in kinder, but I remain open to new ideas and I continue to be excited about this possibility!Keep reading! :)

  5. How nice to be able to walk and check your school garden! Sounds like you are enjoying your summer. I think Daily5 explains nicely how to build stamina with little guys... which is something I start on that first day of school. I will also be joining in on the writing linky party... just waiting for my book!

  6. I have used Daily Five in Kindergarten for the last five years. I love it! I follow the sequence in the book, for however long it takes. Usually by October, I look around and just beam! They can do it!

  7. KinderKay first of all I love your blog and I am now following it! Second, I share your reservations about exactly how D5 will work at the beginning of kinder..... I currently use Debbie Diller style workstations and it works well - but I have used D5 in 1st and 2nd now it is truly amazing.... My hardest obstacle will be seeing them do it come August!

    Kindergarten Lifestyle

  8. One of the questions that keeps coming to mind for me..... How to find a "good fit" book for the kinders who don't even know their letters? Please keep my question in mind while reading this book.

  9. Heather, I totally agree! I am SO interested in finding out how to keep students actively engaged in an activity that they have no idea how to do! It is going to be an interesting conversation!

  10. I am glad that you decided to read chapter 1 :-) Looking forward to seeing what you think of the rest of the book.
    Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

  11. Just became your newest follower. Love your blog!

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine