Starting the Daily 5 and CAFE

08 September 2012
Well - we've been back at it for a week now, and I'm EXHAUSTED!  But it's a good exhausted, and I'm so looking forward to the year.  I've a got a great bunch of students this year, and I'm excited to share this year with them.

So, after our Daily 5 and CAFE book study at We Read, We Blog, We Teach, this summer, I've been excited to start these strategies with my class.  As I shared in my last post, I got my bulletin board set up (click HERE to read my last post and see where I got my printables for my bulletin board).  

We are doing a "Daily 4" in my classroom.  We have left out "read to someone".  We are still in the process of setting everything up.  Last week we started each class with Wise Guy's power point presentation for introducing the Daily 5.  After a few slides, and some discussion, we've been modelling good reading behaviours and building our independent reading stamina.  I started with 5 minutes on Wednesday and have been building one minute per day.  (I have many students who are ready for so much more, so I'm hoping the few that are keeping us from longer times will be on board really soon).  As you can see from the first picture, I have laminated the daily 4 signs and I am writing our daily tasks on them with a dry-erase marker.  We have also been introducing the CAFE strategies.  As I stated in my last post, I am using "CRAFT" as our acronym for CAFE strategies.  This week we were able to study two new strategies (a little slower than what the book recommends, but it's working for our classroom).  

The students are keeping a Daily 4 / CRAFT notebook (one notebook separated by a sticky note in the middle of the book).  Each time we learn an important concept in Daily 4 or a new strategy in CRAFT, the students are adding to their books.  This week in the Daily 4 section they wrote about "I PICK" for book choice, and made a web for why we need "trust" for our Daily 4 program to work (I let them work in pairs for this).  For the CRAFT side of the book, they will be recording the strategy, the "secret to success" (from the CAFE book), and "what it means to me" - where they will write a reflection about how they will use this strategy.

We've been practicing applying our CRAFT strategies during our independent reading and listen to reading sections of the Daily 4.  For our listen to reading, instead of the kids listening to reading in groups at a tape recorder or on ipods, I'm using "listen to reading" for our read aloud.  Thanks to the fabulous suggestions for read alouds given to me in the comments of this post, I decided to start our year with Wonder, by Jay Palacio.  We are LOVING this book - I'm so glad it was recommended to me - thank-you!  I have a few students in my class with different disabilities, so starting the year with a book that reminds us of the importance of empathy is so important!  When I am reading aloud, I am modelling the strategies we've discussed for CRAFT, and I am asking them questions from our Comprehension Question Fan at the end of each chapter.

The students are really responding to our Daily 4 / CRAFT strategies during our language program.  At the end of today, I gave them each a sticky note to comment on our learning goals - something they have learned or has stuck with them through the week.  I am LOVING their responses!  :)

Stay tuned for a whole new year of Math Journal Sundays starting tomorrow ... 
Happy Saturday!!!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing how you are implementing Daily 4! I teach fifth and I am also using the CRAFT board. Your notebook gave me a great idea for how to use our strategy section of our Reading notebook. I can't wait to try it on Monday. Thanks!

  2. I love how you have your students keep a journal of the strategies and what each letter for CRAFT means. We use the daily five in my school and I would like to incorporate this into my reading class. Do you ever "check" their notebooks for completion or strategies used?


  3. I love that you include photos of what it looks like - I definitely need to see the student work to get it! I also like that you include your curriculum goals. I'm in Ontario too and it makes it easy for me to connect to what we're doing at my school.

  4. I loved reading how you started everything out Jen...the work looks excellent and meaningful. I LOVE the reflective piece you are using in the journals. I will definitely be doing the same--thank you!!!!

  5. Love love love your CRAFT journal!!! Just bought the fans, too.


    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  6. I enjoy reading about your daily 4 routine. I hope that one day our school would allow us to use this in our classrooms. I think it is wonderful! I love your fans, too. I'd also like to invite you to my linky called "Fun Friday." It is all about the fun things we do in our classrooms all week long. I'd love for you to stop by and link up!

    Teaching Fourth

  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of them commenting on the learning goals at the end of the day. Genius Jen. I am DEFINITELY adding that in to my room. It really is such a smart thing to do.

    Teaching in Room 6

  8. Ack! I wanted to start Daily 5 this year. I spent SOOOO much time figuring out what I would do with each of sections (I was also doing 4 - combining read to others and listen to others into paired reading with non fiction and working on non-fiction reading strategies). However, once I got that all fit into my schedule there was basically no time left to do fabulous units. How are you fitting that in? For example I bought your inferring unit for this year. Love to do novel studies and activities that go with them. Creating larger pieces of writing. I'm not sure I like the choppy approach of daily 5 as I like to have something and run with it for a while. have you figured out how to do daily 4 and still use your units? Would love to hear your ideas.

    Love all the pictures you always include! I would love to start the sticky notes on the learning goals - get them involved and realizing what they are working on, but wold need to get much more organized first!

  9. An add on if you have time to reply to my previous question. How much time are you giving for daily 4 and will you have ELA periods outside daily 4 or will that use all of them up?

  10. Your notebooks look great! The commenting on the learning goals is perfect-I am having a why didn't I think of that moment! Thanks for your clever ideas. I am a new follower, and can't wait to hear how the rest of the year goes.


  11. I have heard so many positive things about the Daily 5! I really want to implement it in my own fifth grade Language Arts classroom, but I am trying to figure out an appropriate schedule that will work for our given time periods. The thing that worries me is that I need time to teach kids the other required Language Arts content, like Figurative Language, Poetry, and so forth. The Daily 5 does not allow time for me to do so. What do you think about using the Daily 5 only a few times a week? I was thinking I would start by designating Tuesdays and Thursdays to the Daily 5. Let me know what you think!

  12. Ms. Judson and I are in the same boat. My conflict has more to do with administration/evaluators. Direct-teach and immediate assessment is very big at our school. Next Summer I'm reading Daily 5 and CAFE and I'm going to see if I can do it. I also need to buy BOOKS!!

    BTW, I used one of your TpT activites in class, stop by to check it out...

  13. Hey Jen! I know this is an older post, but I was wondering if you continued notebooking the strategies throughout the year and how you liked it. Despite my comment above (haha) I never got around to trying it this way and I would love to from the get-go next year. Thanks dear friend! :)

  14. This version of the menu is amazing! Any chance that you have a photo of the completed board?