This will be my first year implementing the Daily 5 and CAFE. I am concerned about how to organize focus lessons when I have students pulled out of the classroom at different times throughout my literacy block. I work in a Title-1 school so students are pulled out by two different ESL teachers, a Reading Intervention Teacher at different times, and EC teacher (Exceptional Children: including Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy). It was hard flexibly grouping my children for Guided Reading last year with all of the different pull-outs in the schedule!

Any suggestions on how to keep focus lessons developmentally appropriate in length (rather than in one solid Teacher Directed Reading Block) and not have students miss focus lessons due to pull-out schedules?






Whoa! Makes my head spin :). May I ask you what grade level you teach?

Emily McInturff

I teach first grade with a class of 24 students


As you mentioned, for developmentally appropriate mini-lessons, the time should be kept to about 6-8 minutes for your first graders. Try to map out when your kiddos are being pulled, and see when you can find that much time when you have them all together. It may not be the perfect time, but hopefully, you can find those precious times throughout your block. You may have to have a round of Read to Self or Writing before you have a mini-lesson–not ideal, but you can make it work.
As far as reading groups go, I suggest you think about switching to one on one conferring rather than guided groups. I think this will be less stressful for you, and also that you’ll find it more appropriate for your students. There are a lot of articles/videos here on the site to look at that.
Here’s a link to a short article by Joan about switching to conferring :

Emily McInturff

Thank you, so much! The individual conferring was part of what really made me want to start Daily 5. It makes so much sense in a large class with such diverse needs.


I wish you the best with the beginning of the new year!! Keep us posted about how things are going.

jana fitzpatrick

Yes, conferencing is your very best bet. Just as a caution, check the Title I guidelines for pulling students during the literacy block because I think that your identified students are not allowed to be pulled during this literacy time.

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