Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daily 5 & CAFE: Where to Begin

Some of my colleagues and I met at school today to discuss Daily 5 and CAFE. No one at our school has implemented the management system before and several of us are going to try this coming year.

We met in my room so that everyone could see how I had set up my Daily 5 and CAFE boards. Even though I have been at the school for 2 years, this is going to be my first year as a permanent resident!!! Yay! I love that I got to share all the research and items I had found and made with everyone!

I thought since it went well at school today and I hopefully helped everyone understand it better, that I should do a post about it for other newbie Daily 5 and CAFE users.

Here it is....

First, I shared my set up of the Daily 5 board. I posted earlier that I purchased the headers from Kylie at Down Under Teacher.

Up at the top I have the choice Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Word Work. Down below I have Listen to Reading, Read with Teacher, and Work on Writing. The Read with Teacher choice is not an original choice in the Daily 5 book by the"The Sisters". However, down below you will see why I think it is important to include that choice.

This is a close up of how I'm going to have the rotation work in my classroom. I only have enough time for three rotations. Each little will have a clip with their name on it for each chain. Sorry I haven't done that yet. I will post a picture later that shows exactly what I mean.

When my littles walk into the classroom each morning, one of their morning procedures will be to make their Daily 5 choices. However, one choice will possibly be chosen for them. If I plan on meeting with a guided reading group or a strategy group, their clip will already by on the Read with Teacher. So that little will really only have two other choices to make.

I am also going to require that each little picks Read to Self once per day. So really some littles might have just one choice to make for that day.

Here is my CAFE board...

I haven't had a chance to put up the goal papers for the post-it notes yet, but they will be up. This board is behind my reading table so that it can be referred to during guided and strategy groups.

Here is a close up (Sorry for the glare.) ...

Ok, now here is the best part and what my colleagues all wanted copies of. I have spent hours and hours and hours thinking and planning, thinking again and planning again on how to begin the Daily 5 and CAFE process. I'm not going to lie, I have shed some tears trying to figure this out. At one point I felt like giving up, but I didn't and I am soooooooooo glad that I didn't!

First, using the Daily 5 and CAFE book, I planned out a possible schedule as to what it would look like in my classroom. I wanted to still use guided reading groups because it is part of the reading program in my district so I had to think of a way to use guided reading and strategy groups.

Everyday of the week I will give three mini lesson each day. But the instruction I give to my small groups will look different daily.

On Mondays and Fridays, I plan on having strategy groups and student conferences.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday, I plan on have guided reading groups.

Some of my littles might get small group instruction more days than others because I might have a little in a guided reading group and a strategy group. Remember, strategy groups are to used to provide instruction to littles that need extra coaching on a specific goal and strategy. During a strategy group, each little will be reading their own "just right" book. Whereas, my guided reading groups every little will be reading the same book and at their "just right" or instructional level. Whew, hopefully that makes sense. :/

Click here to get a copy of my general Daily 5 and CAFE schedule.

The next item that I created and shared today was my Where to Begin Mini Lessons. For me, the hardest part was trying to figure out how I was going to start the process in my classroom. (This is where I shed the tears :(.) I have created a general plan of my first series of mini lessons. Once I get into the classroom I may find that this is not going to work. But it is a STARTING PLACE, and I love having something in front of me to look at and know that I always have a back up.

Click here for the Where to Begin Mini Lessons.

I'd like to give a shout-out to Jessica Meacham for sharing her frontloading mini lessons. They have greatly helped me develop my own plans.

I would love for you to follow me and leave me a comment if you use anything that I created. I love knowing that I have helped others!

These items are unofficial adaptations of the Daily 5 and CAFE Strategies management system by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. This freebie is not endorsed by the 2 Sisters. Visit for official resources.

P.S.--- I'd like to host a linky party and I have no idea how to. If someone would like to help, it would be greatly appreciated. Email me at Thanks!


  1. What a great post today!!! I have been working on my Daily 5 and CAFE Lesson plans for the first couple of days also and I keep getting frustrated or confused and then I go to something else. I can completely understand where you were coming from. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I am going to download them right now and look at them. Maybe this is what I needed to get myself going again on my plans. Blessings to you!!

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

    1. Thank you! At our school we have to make Unit Designs and I have been struggling terribly (many tears, frustration, and just wanting to give up). T just couldn't figure it out how to get all the mini lessons in using the Daily 5 and CAFE. I teach a combined K-1 classroom and it has been a struggle where to start on the Unit Design. I would love to see what your weekly plans look like AFTER you have introduced everything. Also, how do you select your books to read to your class? How do you choose what your going to teach for your lesson? MAny, many questions!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hi Kelli:) I really enjoyed hoppin' around your blog. I just nominated you for the "One Lovely Blog" award so come on by to pick it up. I am trying to become one of your newest followers but Google is doing something weird tonight, it won't let me join anyone's blog! I promise I will come back by and join up with you. I look forward to following you!

    Teaching with Z

  3. Hi. I found your blog on the Newbie Blog Hop, it's adorable! I nominated you for the Liebster award. Come on over to my blog to grab it!

  4. That is great that you are able to work together with others from your school on this. They must have loved all your ideas, and appreciated all the hard work you put into your class...
    ✿ Judy
    teaching with J

  5. Great post! I love reading about Daily 5 ideas.

    I enjoyed visiting your blog & I'm your newest follower! I've nominated you for a blogging award!
    Please visit my blog to claim your award. Here are the instructions:
    1. Thank the blogger who nominated you!
    2. Include a link to their site
    3. Include the award image in your post
    4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
    5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
    6. When nominating, include a link to their site
    7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated
    ~ Melissa
    Teacher Treasure Hunter - Discovering Resources for Teachers
    My Recent Post:
    Thanks and Thanks Again!

  6. Great Job! I love your Cafe and Daily 5 boards. I have nominated you for an award! Stop by my blog to get it.
    Ms. Jones’ Junction

  7. I love your Daily 5 and CAFE organization! I am always looking for ways in improve my organization and you have helped me so much! I nominated your for the Liebster Award! It's for blogs that have less than 200 followers! Stop by my blog to check it out!!!

    Laughing with Lane

  8. Hi Kelli,
    I hopped on over to check you out after seeing your name on another site. I'm following you now. Come on over and visit soon. I'd love to hear how your Cafe/D5 is working with first graders.
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  9. I love your explanations and pictures! I'm your newest follower through the Blog Hop, and I've nominated you for two awards, so hop by to get them!

    Oh, How Pintearesting!

  10. Hi there! I'm stopping by to let you know that I nominated you for an award! You can swing by my blog to pick it up!

    Teaching Snip-Its

  11. I found you through another blog. Welcome to the blogging world. Come check us out for some freebies and ideas. Your newest follower, Stephanie

  12. Great Blog! I love your information on The Daily 5 and Cafe. Our building was introduced to the Daily 5 last year and told to use it, but we felt all year that we were missing something. THEN we discovered The Cafe! We are so excited and can't understand why they weren't both given to us! Your helpful plans, pictures, and ideas will be a great resource for me!

  13. I'm glad my post could help you out! :)

  14. I am sending 100 hugs your way!!! I am from the USA but currently teaching in Egypt. This is my second year teaching and my first year; well lets just say, I just about gave up! Anyway I found the literacy book Daily five and Cafe and thought it was so wonderful I wanted to try it here. Like you I have been stressing so much but thanks to you I feel a slight relief! Thanks again! P.S. I just started following you!

  15. I loved this post. I am trying to learn enough about Daily 5 to decide if this is something I want to implement in August. This is the most helpful info I've come across yet. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Adventures In Teaching

  16. I LOVE the idea of adding the file folders to the bookcase. I might do this for fast finisher activities. I used the idea of the mystery walker last year with my fourth graders. If the mystery person did good they got to clip up on our behavior clip chart, if they were not good then I did not announce the mystery walker. The kids LOVED it. I had a pretty wild class and we never had a problem in line because they all wanted their name announced.

  17. Thanks for your thoughts about how to use Daily5/Cafe. I have been using centers, but am not happy with the way they have been going, so I decided to use Daily 5/ Cafe and a real focus on reading, writing and word study during small group time. I wish I could afford to pay for info at the 2 sisters site...seems that there would be a lot of great ideas there too.

  18. I am going to begin Daily 5 with my firsties this year. Can you give me some advice on what should be in their book boxes for the beginning of the year. Thanks so much! I may be reached at