Hacking the Daily Five
@MsVictoriaOlson & @MsGeekyTeach

About Victoria                About Sara

Note: Before the session begins, please ensure you are signed into your Google Account! You will need to open links & make copies of documents into your Google Drive. Don’t panic - we’ll help if you don’t know Drive & Docs!

Link Name


Daily 5 Presentation Document

bit.ly/iste15d5 (to view + follow along)

or go to

bit.ly/iste15d5copy to get your own copy for notetaking

Your own Daily 5 Planning

(Edit the red text suggestions to fit your needs. Hack the Daily 5 for yourself!)

CLICK HERE & click File > Make a copy

or go to

bit.ly/iste15d5plan to get a copy to start your own action plan!

First Edition                                    Second Edition

     The CAFE Book    


I use the Daily 5 framework in my classroom to structure self-directed and independent literacy time. By no means do I follow the book’s recommendations to a tee or structure every single aspect in the exact manner that they suggest. You shouldn’t, either.


The Daily 5 vs. CAFE

The Daily 5 is a set of 5 key literacy activities that students should be practicing daily in order to become fluent in reading and writing skills.

CAFE is a focus on specific aspects of reading skills and strategies that students can utilize - a CAFE menu - so that they can become more proficient readers.

You can use them both in conjunction with each other as authors recommend, but I just used Daily 5 this year, not CAFE (but maybe I will soon!).


Major Cornerstones of the Daily 5 Program For Us:

  1. Students self-direct and choose their own activities throughout the Language Arts period
  2. Students are responsible and accountable for work that is due each week
  3. Students learn to prioritize which jobs are more important for them to attend to
  4. Students reinforce each other as a community in the process of completing their work

1) Read To Self

5 Objectives of Read To Self (“I” Chart - self check-in for students):

Non-Tech Activities

Tech Activities

Designated Read-To-Self area and class library

  • IPICK good-fit books, 3 ways to read, and I-Chart for students to refer to

iBook libraries (iPads)

  • downloaded stories
  • books the kids have created themselves (BookCreator app)

Personalized student book bags

Links to school-wide eBook folders on cloud-based applications (Drive, DropBox)

Library visits

Access to kid-friendly sites and search engines

Read to Self Group Activity (20 min)

2) Read To Someone


Non-Tech Activities

Tech Activities

I Read, You Read

  • Students each have their own copy of the same book. They take turns reading a page or a paragraph.

Choral Read

  • Partners read the same section of the book aloud at the same time

Reading One Book

  • Partners choose one book and take turns reading paragraphs

Student pairs record reading on screencasting applications like Explain Everything or Educreations


  • Each student pre-records their own and shares with a partner
  • Students record together, including comprehension conversations
  • Listening to the playback to check their reading

Designated Read To Someone area of the classroom

  • Personalized partnerships or reading groups so that kids are engaging with peers of their ability levels

Check for understanding

  • Once reading with partner is complete, they create a PicCollage or a Popplet diagram outlining what they read

Read to Someone Group Activity (15 min)


Don’t forget EEKK and Coaching or Time!

3) Listen to Reading


Non-Tech Activities

Tech Activities

Noisy Reading

  • Parent volunteers come in to read stories to their children

Listening to an audiobook or video reading

  • Tumblebooks (link - required subscription)
  • Appropriate songs with lyrics visible on screen

Daily or Bi-Daily Read-Alouds

  • Teacher or students select books for classroom read alouds

Check for understanding

  • Once reading with partner is complete, they create a PicCollage or a Popplet diagram outlining what they read

Guest Read-Aloud

  • Invite the principal or teacher librarian to do a read-aloud with your class
  • Students have exposure to different readers

Comprehension Check-ins

  • Once listening to a reading is complete, they create a PicCollage or a Popplet diagram outlining what they read

Listen to Reading Group Activity (20 min)

* 15 MIN BREAK! *

4) Work on Writing


Non-Tech Activities

Tech Activities

Personal Journaling (with prompts or independent)

  • each student has own personal journal


  • Use a platform such as Kidblog to share writing (settings adjustable for who views it)
  • Google Docs are great to give feedback before work gets copied into Kidblog

Graphic Organizers

  • students document planning of a written piece

Read, Collaborate, and Comment on Digital Media

  • Access Kidblogs of other classes (in school or outside) and leave thoughtful commentary
  • Peer edit and collaborate on Google Docs

Paper Blogging (link to lesson plan)

  • Students “blog” on paper and share with classmates who can “comment” on their peers’ writing with Post-It notes

Collaborative Twitter/Social Media Challenges

  • Students could alternate writing sentences of a story shared to a common hashtag

Writing in Response and Reflection

  • Students write pieces in responses to another Daily 5 station (I.e. Respond from reading you’ve listened to or a class read-aloud)
  • Students write about events and learning from the classroom

Docs story builder

  • Students write a story with characters at docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/
  • They can render and share a video of the conversation between the characters getting typed out

Work on Writing Group Activity (30 min)

5) Word Work

Non-Tech Activities

Tech Activities

Word Sorts

  • Open and/or closed word sorts
  • Open: sort into categories on your own
  • Closed: sort into pre-determined categories

SpellingCity App (Paid app for feature upgrades listed)

  • personalized spelling list and games for each student (can be grouped according to ability level)

Bananagrams, Appletters, Boggle, Scrabble, Games

  • Using specific letters to build words and interact with peers

#Grammar911 on Twitter (link)

Whiteboard with Coloured Markers

  • Ex. Primary: Consonants are blue and vowels are red
  • Ex. Intermediate: Base word is blue and prefixes or suffixes are red

App suggestions (iPad - some are paid):

  • iWrite Words (early primary)
  • Writing Wizard (primary)
  • Word Bingo (primary)
  • Bluster (primary and intermediate)
  • Grammaropolis Word Sort (intermediate)
  • Mad Libs (intermediate)

Word Work Group Activity (30 min)

How to Set Up the Program

Student Accountability

Victoria had her kids create their OWN accountability lists this year. Here is the template she shared weekly on Google Classroom.

Here is the copy of what Victoria used for a Daily 5 checklist last year and here is the copy of what Sara used.  You are welcome to make a copy of it and make it your own.

 But the choices above aren’t as pretty like these:


But you pay for these (above), so… yeah.


  1. Complete replacing the red text in your Daily 5 planning document for all sections.
  2. Now is the time to ask any BIG QUESTIONS that you may have about Daily 5 implementation!
  3. Play with any apps or activities you didn’t get a chance to complete!
  4. Giveaway & Exit Ticket!

:) THANK YOU!!! :)