Daily 5 Connection: Commitment to Learning and Openness to New Ideas
Some people would be surprised to learn that Daily 5 was born when two close-knit sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, in the initial years of their teaching careers chatted about managing their classrooms. The first chapter of The Daily 5 explains how they created this widely popular and well-loved structure. Like many other teachers, they talked about how much time they spent early in their careers managing behavior instead of facilitating learning. They lamented that busywork sometimes took the place of real learning. Unwilling to maintain the status quo, they considered other options. The result of their reflection and effort was The Daily 5, a structure that empowers both students and teachers.
Today as teachers implement Daily 5, they consistently reflect on what is going well in their instructional routines and consider what needs to be modified. Responsive to the needs of all learners, particularly barometer children, they ponder what they can do to make each child successful. When they encounter a barometer child who struggles with internalizing the Daily 5, they turn inward to examine if they provided enough time for practice, if they trained students well, and if they truly stayed out of the way. They question whether they failed to include most-desirable/least-desirable aspects of modeling (Boushey & Moser, 2014). Pragmatically, they realize that each class of students is different, and that it might take one group a longer time than another to develop stamina and independence. For some teachers, journaling about their Daily 5 experiences with students can be an advantageous way to gain insight into their personal practice.
Daily 5 Connection: Staying Current. Knowledge of Theories, Strategies, and Present-Day Issues in Education Are the Hallmark of a Teaching Professional
Gaining experience with Daily 5 gives teachers a chance to develop a valuable skill set based on effective training and sound classroom management. The Daily 5 exposes readers to the timely and influential research of insightful thinkers (Ken Wesson, Michael Grinder, and John Medina, just to name a few) and encourages them to learn more. When Gail and Joan tried to problem-solve about their own teaching practices, they directed their studies to these researchers for possible answers. In their own efforts to remain current, The Sisters share changes to their beliefs and practices in the new 2014 edition of The Daily 5. Some of these carefully selected updates include the number of rounds for students based on their ability to maintain stamina, the decision to move Work on Writing to its position as the second Daily 5, and greater emphasis on brain research to determine optimal conditions for learning (Boushey & Moser, 2014).
From their continuing work with Daily 5, teachers grow in their understanding of how students learn best. They observe on a firsthand basis the importance of training students in research-based best practices. Working alongside a colleague who also implements Daily 5 provides a wonderful opportunity for professional discussions; unfortunately, not every educator has the benefit of a neighboring teacher who uses the framework. The Daily CAFE website, which is updated weekly, is another avenue for teacher study, reflection, and collaboration. Readers of the website’s offerings are a diverse international group. The website’s Discussion Board invites questions from teachers seeking to make Daily 5 rounds run more smoothly. Educational journals (digital and print) extend another avenue for teacher research. Many school faculties plan book studies around The Daily 5 and refine their practice as a learning community. Teams may collaborate at grade-level or staff meetings to link their assessment data to their teaching plans in CAFE. All of these activities keep teachers informed and actively involved in their profession.
Daily 5 Connection: Regular Examination of Practice
Accomplished teachers analyze the effects of their teaching with regularity. Always eager to grow as professionals, they seek out new learning opportunities and readily embed them into their practices. As teachers train students in the Daily 5 and observe children as they participate in the various rounds, they have ample opportunity to track both successes and challenges. From a comfortable vantage point in the midst of their classrooms, teachers can weigh how harmoniously students are working within the framework. Through their Daily 5 work with students, teachers grow in their craft just as teachers involved with the rigors of National Board Certification learn through the process. They develop their individual skillsets and incorporate their new learning into their everyday practices.