Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Daily 5 - Chapter 1

I have joined Mel D over at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations for 
1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it?

This year I used the four blocks in my classroom and I have loved it!  My students all have special needs so I needed a framework that allows for student choice and differentiation of levels.  I am also lucky because I only have 11 students and I have 3 EA’s.  As the year has progressed, my students knew what is expected during each literacy block and were pretty good at being independent.  Next year, I am changing classrooms and all of my students will have more severe disabilities.  I’m looking to implement Daily 5 but am curious how to create the independence when my students will be so dependent on adults for many things!  I think for Daily 5 to be successful in my classroom next year, a lot of technology will need to be used!

2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers? 
I think a key way in knowing that you are creating quality readers and writers is to have a clear understanding of where your kiddos are starting.  Many of my students on the autism spectrum are “fluent” readers; however, they understand little of what they have read.  This is a challenge!  With regards to writing, I find that my students start off not knowing the “power” that writing has.  Often the writing process is impeded by fine motor issues or processing delays.  I think it’s important to find alternative pencils for many of my students.  Once the correct “alternative pencil” is found and students begin to see the “power” in creating or writing you have a quality writer!

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
Many of the activities that are included in the framework, I do in my classroom; however, the student are all engaged in the same type of activity at the same time.  I would like to see my students have more choice in the literacy activities they participate in, but I am curious to see how independent my kiddos will come!

Thoughts to Ponder:
I am excited to plan to implement Daily 5 next year.  I’m curious if there are any special education teachers out there that have implemented Daily 5?  Have your students become more independent then you expected?  How did you have your EA’s support your students?  Did you do lots of training on “supporting” not “doing”?  How did you support students that use augmentative communication devices with “read to self” or “read to someone”?


  1. What are some ideas for alternative pencils? I have 14 boys who dread writing. I think letting them type would motivate them.

    Miss Nelson's blog

    1. Hi Michele,

      I use definitely use the computer for some of my kiddos. I also use a program called "Dragon Speak Naturally". This is a speech to text software that allows students to write their using their voice and then edit. I use this program with my students who have the ability to create but their creation gets lost in the process because they have processing difficulties!

      Check out the link below for other types of alternatives pencils for student with more complex needs:

  2. I am also interested to hear from other special education teachers who do D5. I'm really glad I found your blog!

    iced lattes and interventions

  3. Thanks so much for joining the linky party! I've pinned your post to our D5 Book Study pinboard!
    Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

  4. I have done modified Daily 5 in my ED, autism and LD classes. It can be done and is a benefit for everyone. If anyone has specific questions or ideas they want to talk through, please feel free to email me.

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