October 18, 2012

Daily 5/Cafe in a 6th grade classroom

So, I've been noticing around the blogging world that there are very few posts/info on how to run Daily 5 in a period based 6th grade classroom. I figured I would share what is working in my classroom...

Stats of My Classroom
-I teach 6th Grade English Language Arts
-I have seven 52 minute class periods
-I teach 25-33 kiddos in each class

Daily Schedule
-2 minute Self Start
-15 minutes of Daily 3/meet with students for individual or group strategy work
-20 minute lesson
-13 minutes practice
-2 minutes cleanup

Daily 3
-Read to Self, Word Work, Work on Writing are the 3 I do. The students are required to select one a day and they have to complete all three before they can start over.
-Students check in during self start and choose a Daily 3 to work on that day
-Students keep D3 work in their binder which stays in my classroom
-I collect D3 work once a week

Read to Self
-I purchased this Reading Strategies tic-tac-toe from Mrs. O over at Mrs. O Knows.
-Students are required to complete one activity each time they do Read to Self.

Work on Writing
-Students have 6 sets of these writing prompts to choose from
-Writing binders including pictures of our vocabulary from Inside Story with paper behind to write. The pic is in full color and in a sleeve. All vocabulary pictures stay in the binder the entire year and students can respond to any of them.
-Whole class journals with writing prompts from here. I revamped these and put pics on them as well. I will definitely upload these for you sometime soon.
-I am making a blogging bulletin board kinda like this pocket chart for my students to respond to. This is in the works and will be blogged about soon!

Word Work
-I use different spelling/vocab activities, but make them fit the season. For instance, this week my students did Spooky Sentences, A Halloween Letter, and Teeny Tiny Tricks when working with their vocabulary.

My Thoughts
-Love how D3 is working in my classroom
-Next year, I am going to build stamina on all Read to Self, Word Work and Work on Writing at the same time right at the beginning of the year.
-Would not trade D3 for anything! 
-Love my CAFE and VOICES boards that correlate with D3.

PLEASE let me know what you are doing in your class room! D3, D4, or D5? How much time do you have? How do you have students check in? I would love to know.


  1. Hooray for the reader's response tic-tac-toe shout out! Although our fifth graders don't switch classes for reading, I am loving these ideas and already thinking of ways to incorporate some of them into our reading rotations!

    Mrs. O at Mrs O Knows

  2. What are you teaching in your 20 min lesson? We are trying to roll out daily in our 4-6 classrooms and we are looking for some guidance. Where in this structure do you teach curricular outcomes?

    1. Hi! The 20 minutes + 13 minutes is where I teach the core and check for understanding.

  3. Tina,

    In that 20 minute lesson are you teaching the standards with a common text that all the students are reading?


    1. Yes! Exactly! There are days when we end up taking more time than 20 minutes and we can't get to D3. The students are super bummed on these days, but they aren't often.


  4. I love your cafe and voices board. Can you enlarge what the letters stand for?

  5. Can you give me an idea of what you do for word work, or let me know if you have something on TPT?

    1. http://croftsclassroom.blogspot.com/search/label/Word%20Work

  6. What is self start? I would also like an idea of things you do in word work! Thanks for the help!!!!

    1. http://croftsclassroom.blogspot.com/search/label/Word%20Work

  7. Even before I ever heard about D5, I'd been reading 1 or 2 chapters of above level novels to my grade 5 and 6 students every day, they'd read to themselves (silent reading) and we'd all write based on prompts and our own interests and ideas. In the last couple of years, instead of relying on them to do word work as homework, I give them time in class to do it. The results are better. I use Hot potatoes https://hotpot.uvic.ca/ to set up spelling and conjugation quizzes that they can practice at home or in class.

  8. I love the idea that you, as an upper elementary teacher, is using Daily 5. I used it last year with my 5th graders and loved it. But my principal didn't think it was Common Core and wanted me to do something else. Now that I am at a middle school, I hope to use Daily 5 in some form. I, too, am LDS. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oops! I just realized that you're probably a middle school teacher since you mentioned 7 periods. Cool.

  10. Can you share where you got your café and daily 3 letters?!