I am using Daily 5 for the first time this upcoming school year and would like some advice from anyone that has done this before with Wonders Curriculum.






Tami,  Check out this article from the site.  It's not specific to your program, but gives an overview of integrating basal programs with Daily 5.  There are also related aritcles mentioned at the bottom of the page. Hope this helps a bit until you hear from others using your program.  https://www.thedailycafe.com/content/integrating-cafe-and-daily-5-basal-...


Katherine Heilman

Hi Tami,

I teach first grade and have used the Daily 5/CAFE for many years now. Our District has used various basals over the years and now we are currently using Wonders. 

I pare down the basal lessons, and still teach using the framework of Daily 5. We read the weekly story, whole groupI;  teach a very basic mini lesson using one of the CAFE strategies. These strategies are used by all readers, and in first grade the emergent CAFE menu is right on target and matches up with the focus skill in Wonders. I continue with 2 to 3 rounds of Daily 5, conferencing or teaching small groups. I can use the leveled books for small group instruction if it is a good fit for the kids. I also use these books for independent reading during Read to Self, for my higher readers, and for Read to Someone. 

After using the series a couple of years I know what is "busy work" and what is of value. Worksheets are rarely included in my lessons. In the grammar and writing I find using the writer's workshop, with the power of choice, is much more authentic and engaging. The skills covered in Wonders writing  can be covered in Daily 5 mini lessons. However, depending on your children, which are so different each year, I find some of the skills covered, are developmentally inappropriate. My colleagues do as well. 

I don't use the assessments for data, and rely on conferencing and Fountas & Pinnell for quarterly assessments. 

I'd be happy to share a lesson plan with you, if you are interested. 

Remember, you know your students best. One size does not fit all. 

Best wishes for your coming school year!

Kay Heilman


Thank you so much for all your information for Tami--and the rest of us.  Your plan makes such good sense, and I love your "Remember . . ." sentence :).  

Kathryn Wilcox

Katherine,  Last year was my first year using Wonders and it was a bit overwhelming to say the least! This year I have a better grip so I am excited to use Daily 5 with my class. I understand how you are explaining it and can visualize it however, I would love to see a lesson plan if you would be willing to share. Thanks, Kathy 

Kathy Sahagian

I would love to see one of your lessons.

Anetria Jenkins

Hi Katherine Hellman,

I would love to see one of your lesson plans. I currently use Treasures which is similar to Wonders.


Anetria Jenkins

Tami Viestenz


This has been so helpful.  We are just beginning to sit down and plan out our school year's lesson plans as a grade level.  We have taught with Wonders for many years, but this will be our first year to implement Daily 5 and CAFE.  I would love to see a lesson plan to see how you do it.  We were thinking the same thing about doing a focus lesson for the Wonders part.  And I absolutely agree with you that you don't need to do everything that's in the Wonders Curriculum.  The worksheets have gone by the way side for us as well.

Thank you so much!



Last year we used Wonders for the first year.  I had been using Daily 5 for 2 years prior, but took a break to really grasp the new Wonders curriculum.  I really do like it and feel it can be used along with the structure of Daily 5.  I would be interested in seeing your lesson plans if you would be will to share a week or two with me.  I am curious if you use the Close Reading Workbook?  I have considered using this along with Read to someone and have partners work on this together.  I see the importance of the skills it teaches, but sometimes I feel it is hard for my students to be independent with this especially first semester and at times it feels like busy work.  I would be interested in any suggestions of people that have used Wonders with Daily 5.  I am excited to get back to using Daily 5, as I missed it last year!

Thank you in advance!

Melissa Carroll

Ruth Lim

Hello Kay!

Your reply to this past thread had become a great resource to me as our school has begun the TX Wonder curriculum this year in conjunction with the Daily 5 CAFE materials we started last year.  Would you still be willing to share a layout of how to blend the Daily 5 CAFE with Wonders? I would really appreciate it!


[email protected]


Thank you again,

Ruth Lim

Karen Winford

I would love to see a lesson plan.  I teach both 3rd grade and 4th grade.  (One classroom, but expercted to teach each grade's Wonders materials.)  I haven't even got Daily 5 launched this year, so am hoping your lesson plan will give me some guidance.  Thanks.


My school district also uses Wonders for their reading program. I use the "key" book story as a whole group focusing on vocabulary. My students use the "lock" book during read to someone where they practice check for understanding.  I use my daily read-a-loud and mini lessons during literacy to teach the CAFE strategies. We also do a half hour daily "walk to read" where we level all of the second graders by ability.  Yes, you heard me, by ability! This ability comes from the i-ready diagnostic that we do three times a year. Using the data from this ONE assessment, we create groups based on thier i-ready scores. We use the leveled books during "walk to read". Before moving to this school district, I have always used a basic reading inventory/running record to individually assess my students. Does anyone know where I can access an assessment like BRI? The i-ready assesses phonilogical awareness, phonics, high frequency words, vocabulary, and comprehension, but nothing in the way of accuracy or fluency. I would like to do a running record where I can listen to my students, not rely soley on ONE computerized assessment.


I feel your pain ;) . I did a search on Amazon, and you can pick up a copy of a BRI book fairly cheaply.  Now, I'm not completely familiar with BRI, but you might check this out, and see if it would work for you . 


I also googled "free reading leveled passages", and this site came up:  https://mycalcas.com/2018/01/top-6-websites-offering-free-leveled-readin... I didn't dig much deeper, but you mght want to check it out to see if any of the suggested sites might work for you.  



Thank you Suzanne:)


This year will be my second year to use Wonders Curriculum in my first grade classroom. I am going to try to use with Daily 5 this year.  I am curious if and how you used the Close Reading Workbook?  

Thanks for your help!

Melissa Carroll


Tami--I hope some friends will reach out to you about your program, but until then you may want to look at this article to help you get started :).  https://www.thedailycafe.com/content/integrating-cafe-and-daily-5-basal-resources

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