Literacy/Daily Five
What is the Daily Five and why are we using it in sixth grade?
 
The Daily Five is a framework, or structure, that gives students independence and choice about their learning in reading and writing.  During The Daily Five, your child will rotate through Independent reading, Partner reading, Writing, Reader Response, and Read Aloud.  Some days we may focus on only two or three of the main components. The beauty of The Daily Five is that once your child learns the expectations for each area of literacy, they choose the course of their literacy learning for the day.  The framework allows for students to remain engaged for longer periods of time, to have a voice in the work they are completing in class, and allows me to have more one on one and small group instruction time with all the students in the room. 

For more information on The Daily Five, please follow this link:  The Daily Five Cafe

Writing Workshop within the Daily Five framework
 
One of the components of The Daily Five includes writing.  For writer's/reader's workshop, I am requiring a writing folder for holding notes, ideas, drafts of writing projects.  Your child may bring one from home or I will be happy to supply them with one.  This folder will rarely go home as most of our writing will be completed at school.

Reading Workshop within the Daily Five framework
 
Independent and Partner Reading
Your child will engage in daily independent reading several times through out the school day.  We generally start out our days with some quiet,independent reading time (sometimes referred to as DEAR [Drop Everything and Read]) and then also read independently during The Daily Five.Children will also engage in partner reading.  Partner reading at this level is meant to be a way for students at this level of reading to improve their comprehension and their fluency.  By working closely with another student during partner reading, your child will have the opportunity to practice discussing meaning in books as well as model for others fluent reading styles.
 
Reading Response
Another component of The Daily Five in my room is Reader Response.  Your child will keep a notebook (provided by me) in which to keep various responses to literature they have read.  They will also have a reading folder for reading which will hold their reading log, list of books they'd like to read, and other important reading notes and ideas.  As with the writing folder these items will rarely come home and will be used daily at school.
 
Small Group Instruction
Once I get to know all the kids as readers and we establish some routines in the classroom, I begin running records and comprehension assessments to determine current reading levels and skills that I will need to teach to each child.  I begin this process usually in mid-October and it can take a few weeks to complete.  After I have a strong understanding of each child as a reader I will begin to form small groups based on skills needed.  Sometimes your child will participate in short, small group sessions with shorter pieces of text that can be read in a day or two if we are working on a specific skill.  If I am looking at how to get themt o talk more about books they are reading I may pull your child and few peers into a book club.  I teach the children how to participate in an adult styled book club with the responsibility for participating placed completely on their laps.  This is a transition time for many of them to learn how to talk about books with others, deepen their understanding through discussions with peers, and to grow as readers. At this age,many readers just need to brush up a few skills, learn to delve deeper in their thinking and speaking about texts, and challenge themselves with books outside their normal genres of reading.  They have mastered many of the reading skills required and I help them take it to the next level.  Motivation of readers is a passion of mine and I work closely with my students throughout the year to keep them engaged and help them develop into lifelong readers.

Read Aloud
Read Aloud is my favorite part of The Daily Five.  I incorporate this in place of the listening stations that younger students may use as part of The Daily Five.  Reading aloud is one of the best ways to model fluency and also builds vocabulary.  I strongly suggest you continue to read aloud with your sixth grade student whenever possible so that you can have the same rich discussions about theme, plot, and much more that we engage in when we read together at school.  We'll be trying out lots of new books this year, and I have several ideas in mind to keep your child motivated to read all year long.  Be sure to check out the book list link on the homepage of this website for some great ideas all yearlong. 
 
Close Reading with Articles of the week
This year we are going to try to focus on more Close Reading strategies and I will be using Interactive Notebooks and Articles of the week to help with that.  Interactive Notebooks will be introduced during our Non-Fiction reading unit (set to begin in October) and will help students develop an understanding of Close Reading in the Reading Workshop format.  We will begin to use Articles of the Week to maintain strategies and for small group instruction.  For a sampling of Articles of the Week that may be used follow this link:   www.newsela.com