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My Guide to Daily 5

How to Run a Successful Daily 5 in Your Classroom

There are a number of ways to do Daily 5. This blog provides you with a structured approach to running your Daily 5 program.

As I mentioned in my My Guide to Guided Reading blog, I divide my class into five groups according to their guided reading level. Each of the five groups attend a different center each day of the week.

In my approach, each center remains the same, with the same behavior expectations, throughout year. For example, during silent reading, the tasks are either silent reading or writing a letter to the teacher about what they have read. The only changes are the books the students are reading and the content of the letter.

This makes it easier to track student accomplishments because there are clearly defined tasks that the students must complete by the end of the center and hand in to the teacher. In this way the students remain on task to complete the expectation and your assessment can be included in the overall assessment of the reading and writing report card components.

As well, students can concentrate on the material rather than learning new centers.

Setting Up Daily 5

I introduce the Daily 5 program at the start of the school year. As referenced in the book, The Daily 5, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, I start with demonstrating appropriate and inappropriate behavior when I introduce each center.

For example, appropriate behavior for the guided reading center would be actively participating in the group discussion about the book they are reading as a group or quietly reading to the teacher.

Inappropriate behavior would be reading when they are supposed to be discussing the book or talking to other students that are not in their group. I ask students to identify and role play inappropriate and appropriate behavior, which is not only fun for the students, but it clearly reinforces the rules.

The following Daily 5 Posters and Stamina Charts are available free of charge at my TpT store.

Stamina Charts
Posters and Stamina Charts


The next step is to develop stamina by having the students practice the appropriate behavior and task for each center. I begin by seeing if the students can complete the center’s task appropriately for one minute. If successful, I will praise them for their appropriate behavior and then increase to two minutes the next day.

This continues until the students can appropriately complete the center for ten minutes. If a student acts inappropriately during this time, the timer stops and the students must review the appropriate behavior expectations and the timer begins again. The students will remain at the same timed session the next day until they can complete the session without any inappropriate behavior.

Daily 5 Centers

1. Silent Reading CenterFullSizeRender

I have a classroom library that I have color coded into reading levels. Each student is instructed to pick a silent reading book from their reading level/color. If they are reading picture books, they need to choose two books. Each student is given an exercise book.


As mentioned previously, the silent reading center has two tasks, silent reading and writing a letter. During the reading block, the students will have learned about a reading strategy. During the writing block of my language arts program, the students will have learned the proper format for letter writing and how to write a letter for each reading strategy. See my language block weekly planner below to see how I structure my language arts program for the week.

At the end of every month, students must have completed and handed in at least two letters. They get to choose the two letters I assess for letter format and the reading strategy focused on that month.

Language Block Weekly Planner

2. Listening to Reading/RAZ Center

For my second center, I use RAZ which is a computer program purchased by our school which allows the students to listen to books at their own reading level and answer comprehension questions.

If RAZ is not available to you, you could purchase or make CD books for your listening center.


The RAZ program evaluates the student’s performance for you. If you are using books on CD’s you could have the students write a short summary for the story or draw a visualization as your assessment.

3. Grammar/Word Work Center

grammarandwritingrulesbundleDuring the writing block of my language arts program, I teach one grammar concept every other week and a word list the opposite week. The students complete work sheets relating to the weekly grammar concept or word lists.

At the end of the week once all students have been through the center, they complete a grammar test or spelling test. These are included in the my Grammar and Writing Rules Bundle and units that are sold separately at my TpT store, Laurie’s Classroom.

4. Guided Reading Center and 5. Comprehension Questions Center

Please see my previous blog, My Guide to Guided Reading, on how I approach these two Daily 5 centers.


Students must read their assigned reading in order to answer the comprehension questions. Comprehension questions need to be completed in order to participate in the discussion of the chapter at the next guided reading session.

Please visit my TpT store, Laurie’s Classroom, to check out all of my teaching products and free materials.

Stay tuned for my next blog.

Happy teaching.


4 thoughts on “My Guide to Daily 5

Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’d love to see more clearly your Language Block Weekly Planner. It’s very blurry on the webpage.


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