Note to Teachers regarding Daily 5 and CAFE in the 4th grade classroom
Due to all of the traffic on my site this summer, I thought I should add some more information to help teachers inquiring about using Daily 5 and CAFE in the fourth grade.
First, I attended a workshop with the Two Sisters, then read their books, and subscribed to their website. I think becoming a member of the site was the best thing I did. The site has links to infinite resources and short videos to help you start and organize Daily 5 in your classrooms. I'd like to say that I also read and implemented ideas from, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller, as well.
I started the Daily 5 structure from Day 1, as recommended, with the lessons and discussions as recommended. I have to say, it worked!!! The majority of students really responded to the structure. Once the few barometer children saw the results of the others, they began to respond as well. I did have three children that could not raise their stamina to that of their classmates until February, which was difficult, but I could see them progressing, so I was not discouraged. I also tended to confer with these students more frequently to help with the management of the others. When I think about the alternative of not reading, I know that they read more this year than any other year, and in that I find satisfaction.
I believe that all of the children scored higher on state tests, I know for a fact that one student raised her reading level by two years!! The children knew what was expected, and enjoyed reading. So much that on the days when our Daily 5 was interrupted by Music class, they would complain. I am very satisfied with the results and will incorporate again next year.
This year, I plan to improve on my mini writing lessons and writing workshop time with the help of these experts: Nancie Atwell (Lessons That Change Writers), Katie Wood Ray (Study Driven) and Barry Lane (But How Do You Teach Writing). I also want to get my hands on more books for the classroom library. The books I have are good and the children did not get bored with the selections, but I feel I need more so that they never bore and can always abandon a book, if needed. Another logistic is to add a few more reading nooks in my classroom. Between the writing center and reading areas, there were 11 spaces around the room where students could get comfortable and read. I would like to expand that to 15 spaces. I bought video rockers from Walmart that the kids loved, and wore well.
I hope this helps you, if you have further and specific questions, feel free to contact me here.