I've finished the first book from my summer reading list: The Daily 5!
I also love how they address ways to use The Daily 5 in an upper grade level classroom. Because I teach 4th grade, I don't have quite as much time in my schedule dedicated to literacy, so I love how the program can be tweaked to address your needs. For example, I probably won't dedicate as much of my day to Listening to Reading...perhaps for my lowest students, but the majority of the class will listen to reading during read aloud or by reading with someone.
I also love that it's a framework that fits in with your curriculum. Students get that individualized reading time that they desperately need (and that can't be provided by whole group reading instruction), yet we can still use the programs that our schools have purchased and oftentimes expect (or maybe even insist) that we use. It's not enough simply to tell students to read a book when they're done. Reading a book after completing classwork is just not the same as being provided with a way to actively engage with the text you are reading.
The Daily 5 makes differentiation so much easier! Students work at their own pace, and they're given the tools that they need to be successful. Last year, I had an immature class. Wonderful, sweet children--yet very immature. They were very weak when it came to being self-sufficient workers/learners. They were more content for me to "hold their hands" through their work instead of attempting it on their own. If I'd had knowledge of The Daily 5 a year ago, I think my entire school year would have been a different experience. The kids would have been set up for success, and I could have spent more time with the students who needed my individual attention.
If you haven't read this book yet, I would highly recommend it. I'm also about a quarter of the way through The Cafe book--I'll be back toward the end of the week with my thoughts on it.
What about you? Have you read The Daily 5? Do you use it in your room? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments!