A Review of The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser

By Kelly Thunstrom

With the exception of medicine and the technology fields, education is perhaps the most changeable major a college student can study.  From the time I was a freshman studying education topics, to the time I student taught and then graduated, ideas changed.  From the time I graduated and obtained my first teaching assignment to now, things changed drastically.

Large, cumbersome, heavy computers have made way for six-pound laptops, Ipods, and Smartphones.  Textbooks are gradually going by the wayside in favor of using one of the aforementioned devices.

 

How is your child being taught the necessary skills and literacy to become a responsible citizen?  Education trends seem to come and go based on the research on any given day.  One thing never changes, however, and that is good teaching.  In The Daily Five, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser have put together a teaching framework that lets students practice and shine every day.  They have decades of teaching experience between them and are nationally known education consultants.

 

The “literacy block” has been a very common way of teaching language arts for quite a long time.  This just means that instead of having Reading, Grammar, Spelling, and Writing broken up into separate classes throughout the day, they are taught in one very long block.  Successful programs seamlessly integrate the components so that students see these subjects as “integrated language arts”.

 

The Daily Five is a step-by-step way of accomplishing this.  The block is broken into five increments…Read to Yourself, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Listen to Reading, and Spelling/Word Work.  Teachers give mini-lessons in-between and work with students during the block.  It sounds simple, but there are many classroom management strategies that must be in place before it runs smoothly.  Usually by mid-October or so, children, even the youngest ones, can handle the full Daily 5.  Many schools and individual teachers have adopted the framework with much success.

To read more about the sisters and their program, visit www.the2sisters.com and www.thedailycafe.com.

 

Kelly Thunstrom has been teaching for almost 15 years, working with the fourth, fifth, and seventh grades full-time.  She has been named to Who’s Who in Education, as well as awarded the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence in Education.  Kelly is editor and publisher of 1776books, which provides reviews of various types of books.  She also writes book reviews for Bookloons, local theater reviews for Stage Partners, and is the arts reviewer for the local Patch syndicates.

 

 

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Posted in Book Reviews on January 16th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments »
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