Many of you in the Seattle area may be familiar with the Daily Five, written by the Kent sister teaching duo. Since my school and much of my district is moving to Writers' Workshop, the Readers' Workshop model is also gaining in popularity. Several of us are now implementing the Daily Five as our reading workshop. I love the Daily Five because it involves really teaching kids the routines, and I have some challenges with bringing all my kids on board.
The Daily Five isn't a curriculum, but rather a framework to teach kids independence in authentic reading and writing for 15-30 minute blocks, during which the teacher can teach small groups and confer with students. The book outlines the philosophy and day by day plans to get kids working independently in 20 days. The crux of the plan is that students will gain stamina every day, approproximately one or two minutes more each day.
However, my second graders, who are mostly in year two of their implementation of the Daily Five, are stuck at around 5 minutes before off-task behaviors begin in more than one cluster. I know other teachers have seen their students' stamina vary as well. They do so well on Friday, but then comes Monday and Tuesday and they can't do it anymore. I have since encouraged students to practice our read-to-self or independent reading behaviors at home too (stay in one spot; keep eyes in your book; read quietly; get started quickly; have a quiet body; respect other readers; etc.). I'm trying to be patient while expressing a sense of urgency about their independence. I feel stuck between holding them accountable and building a safe learning environment. Oh, and I have four students who are none readers, like even with a level A book they can't really read it and probably seven who can't read most C or D books. Then there are a group of very high students as well.