As of this moment, one of the bigger movements in my school district at the elementary level involves The Daily Five, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. “The Daily Five is a series of literacy tasks (read to self, read with someone, writing, word work, and listening to reading) which students complete daily while the teacher meets with small groups or confers with individuals.” The book “explains the philosophy behind the structure,” and it shows teachers how to train “students to participate in each of the five components.”
As teachers begin to implement different aspects of the Daily Five into their classrooms, many teachers have been curious as to how one would integrate technology with the Daily Five. Here is a quick list that might prove useful (and I will probably refer back to this during my own literacy instruction):
- Read to Self: There are countless websites that students can use in order to record themselves while they are reading. A few of the resources that are more user friendly are recordmp3.org, vocaroo.com, and audioboo.fm. Each service has its own pros and cons, so I urge you to do some exploring and see what works best for you. In my classroom, each student starts the year with his or her own blog, which is set up on our classroom Moodle. Throughout the year, students use their blogs to compile a collection of their recordings. Each recording is made through recordmp3.org, and then added to the blog as a new post.
- Read with Someone: As students read in pairs, they can assess each other’s work through a Google form. This form can be introduced to the students towards the beginning of the year, and it can be made easily accessible through a link on the classroom website. As students submit evaluations, the teacher receives instant feedback on student reading. Furthermore, answers can be organized by student name in order to track the progress of individuals. This is also a great way for students to learn from one another while practicing their writing!
- Writing: Rather than writing in a traditional spiral bound journal, each student can have his or her own blog that is located on the Moodle (or on another learning management system, such as Edmodo). Also, when possible, students should be encouraged to start their own blogs using such platforms as Google Blogger or WordPress. Kidblog also offers a viable alternative for student blogging.
- Word Work: Students can study their spelling and vocabulary words using such websites as Spelling City (which came out with an iOS app this past summer), Study Stack, and Quizlet. In the past, I have had my students complete word work with websites that include: Wordle, Blabberize, Animoto, PhotoPeach, ToonDoo, Glogster, and Voki. Some iPad apps that we have used for this learning center include: Comic Life, Strip Design, Drawing Pad, Doodle Buddy, SonicPics, and TypeDrawing.
- Listening to Reading: Our current Language Arts series, Storytown, comes with 120 audio books per grade (30 books for each of four learning levels). Teachers can download these books to classroom computers for easier access throughout the future. Students can read along with these books, or they can perform echo reading. There are also countless websites that offer free audio books that do not require downloading. One of the better ones that I have found is by Scholastic, and it can be found here. A fantastic iPad app for audio books is Read Me Stories. Finally, a website that contains many audio book resources can be found here.
Finally, if you have a Twitter account (and you should), the quickest way collaborate and get fresh ideas about the Daily Five is by searching for #d5chat. You can search for the hashtag at any time, and there are always scheduled sessions in which countless educators tweet back and forth with Daily Five resources and ideas. If you are afraid of Twitter (and you shouldn’t be), you can always search for Daily Five material by using Google Search and RSS feeds.
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