I was planning to begin Daily 5 in the first week of school. Then our school was flooded here in WV and we lost everything. Another school up the river from us lost everything, including their building which sustained severe damage. Well the county are moving the teachers and students into our little building for 30-40 days with us co-teaching. I teach 1st grade and usually have 18 students but now we will have 32 students in our room. My co-teacher has never used Daily 5 or Cafe before. What should I do? Should I wait to begin Daily 5 when I am teaching on my own. Then I will have my 18 plus 7 of their students. I am thinking it might be best to wait.






Whoa! First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about your school. How sad for all of you.
Have you heard of Donors Choose? It’s a very easy way to write requests for school materials and they are funded by interested people all over the country. Here’s a link to the website: I think your situation would certainly create a lot of interest and get funded quickly.
I know it’s hard to say for anyone not actually in your situation, here are a couple of things to think about:
–Would the other teacher be open to working with you on learning and starting Daily 5? I could see that you could build a real partnership together, and keep your learning going when you separate. Her willingness is key, for sure.
–I know that I’ve heard teachers who have classes nearly the size of your combined groups that do Daily 5 successfully. Truthfully, I think launching Daily 5 might be the best way to effectively and purposefully keep your students focused and on task.
I wish you the best in your challenges ahead, and please know there are lots of teachers here who can give some good advice.

Suzanne Lucas

Thanks, I did create a project on Do you know of anyone with a First Grade class that big and doing Daily 5? I love the structure of Daily 5, but last year was my first year teaching. I don’t know if I feel comfortable enough to begin with this other teacher in the room. She is also a new teacher. What do you think?


I just went to Donors Choose, and saw that your grant was funded. Congratulations! I’ll start following you there, and if you submit another grant, I’d be honored to give a little.
I’m lucky to teach in a district that limits class size, but have friends in the Northwest who talk about having 30 students in their rooms. Also, Joan works with a school whose classes are that big. She talks a lot about working with those teachers, and how Daily 5 is great with a class that big.
If she’s new along with you, then what a perfect time to give it a go–assuming she’s willing. Truly, having a good buddy to share ideas with would be most helpful. Have you watched some of the videos that Gail and Joan do with each other, or partnering with other teachers? Really, as long as you two have a comfort level with each other, you could really support each other. I think it would be great to have someone who knows the kids as well as you to talk over plans with. And, you’d have two people to do the conferring and help with the launching lessons. If you really are only together for 40 days, you will spend a lot of that getting the structures down and building stamina.
I see mostly positives–BUT the most important piece is that the two of you talk this through and make the decision together. Then, when you separate, both of your groups will have the rhythm of Daily 5 down–and think how small your class will feel . Then it won’t be like starting all over, but streamlining your hard work to fit your class. Just my thoughts.
Another Suzanne

Suzanne Lucas

I will discuss it with her and see if we can’t make it work. What particular videos of Gail and Joan were you referring to? I would love to watch them and ask my co-teacher to watch them also.


Short article to read :
Launching Read to self video:
Building Stamina:
On the home page, click on the Daily 5 tab and go through all the info under the Starting Out links–or start at this one, then look at the links on the right to give you all the pertinent information to get started. If you go through these together, this may help you decided if the two of you are up for Daily 5.

Suzanne Lucas

Thank you. It just was funded today. I did not ask for small library books for my classroom library because they told us we had many donations of books. I hope so, because I had over 300 in my own classroom last year. I was heartbroken when I saw our school flooded. I wished I had brought them all home with me. So that is also a problem I foresee, along with not knowing if we will have enough room. We are really squeezing in 32 students in a room that is only meant to hold 25 students. I have no idea of what shelves, desks/tables or anything else we have. We aren’t even allowed in yet. We start back August 3 and students August 8. Yikes, I hope we can get the room ready.


That’s not much time, but it’s amazing what we can do if we know we have to!! Actually, room set up for Daily 5 will take away some of the crowding–no need for desks for every child and not 32 chairs!! Have you looked at the Classroom Design tab here on the website? Lots of good ideas using not so much furniture!!
I know it’s a lot of kids, but have them help decorate the room with portraits of themselves. Another idea that the sisters recommend is to have them bring in a family photo (framed, if possible), so the room becomes theirs from the beginning.

Suzanne Lucas

Thank you. I will check it out.

Joan Moser

Hi! I am so sorry to hear about your school! The good news is that in many parts of the country, mine included, we have well over 30 students per classroom. For many years while I was developing The Daily 5 I had 30+ students. As Srea says, it is a complete lifesaver!
It may be a wonderful, new partnership and experience to ask your new teaching partner to join you. What fun!

Katherine Petersen

Two years ago I did Daily 5 with my second graders and had 29 students. It worked great. In your situation, if your co-teacher is willing, you’d have two teachers to conference and run small groups instead of just one! As srea said, I would think it would be a great way to keep the kids focused amidst the turmoil. I hope your co-teacher is open to it! Best of luck!

Molly Miller

Did your classroom with large class sizes not have enough student chairs for all kids? We have a large classroom but with all the student chairs, tables, and desks, there is not enough room for flexible seating. My solution is… get rid of some of the student chairs and desks to make room for flexible seating.

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