The Daily Five consists of five suggested literacy activities that students participate in each day for an extended period of time. I have fond memories of most of these activities being....
Although most of it seemed pretty straightforward, the component of the program that worried me the most was “read to someone”, which involves two students sitting “EEKK” (“elbow to elbow, knee to knee”), and taking turns reading aloud together and checking for understanding. I could just imagine the chaos that would ensue if I allowed my students to actually choose partners and read out loud – all at the same time??!! And yet, the importance of daily practice in reading to someone and listening to someone read aloud is well documented. But not including that aspect of the program, I would surely be robbing my students of a vital part of the literacy block, right? My trepidation grew as I met some of the actual students in my class this year... I was convinced that there was no way they would be able to stay on task while reading to someone freely anywhere in the room.
Interestingly, this part of the Daily Five has been the most enjoyable for all, and the smoothest component to implement. The children really seem to enjoy sharing books with one another this way, and happily read together each day after reading to self and before working on writing.
Looking up from a conference with a student at my desk this morning, I smiled when I saw 10 pairs of elbows and knees and heads bent together amidst a murmur of voices… finally, I thought... something that seems to be going well in here. I marvelled: They all seem so engaged! Maybe, just maybe, I am a good teacher after all!