Reading Choice Time

We're about to begin week 5 of school, but I'm still trying to refine my reading instruction. We are required to use the Scott Foresman Reading Street basal, but I know that I have to supplement this in order for my students to get what they need. I have been reading about Daily 5 for years now, but I have never been sure of how I could implement it in my fifth grade classroom.

I have decided this year to have Choice Time. This will be similar to Daily 5 in that students will read to self, read to someone, and do word work each week. Students will also respond to their independent reading and buddy reading in their reading journals each week. Word work will be students capturing unfamiliar words from their reading into their reading journals. They will write the definition of the word, write the word in a sentence with context clues, and draw a picture of what the word means to them. I think I will have students write their responses in the front of their notebooks, and do their word work starting on the last page in their notebooks.

I plan on helping students get started in the journals by modeling these next few weeks with read alouds. On September 19 we will start reading Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt as part of the the Global Read Aloud, and I think that will be a great way to practice journal writing since we will all be sharing the same text. I am also looking forward to collaborating with other classes on our class blog and on the Global Read Aloud wiki. What are you doing differently this year for reading instruction?


  1. congrats on diving in - when I taught elementary I was a huge supporter of this concept, we called it something different, but it is all the same. Keep working hard, I know that it takes a lot of extra planning but it is so worth it in the end! Believe it or not, I'm actually missing my "UA" time this year. I barely get to spend any time with my kids - but I'm trying to stay positive. Hoping to be back in elementary next year, and yes, it is only the 4th week of school!

  2. Thanks for the kind words! It is more work this way, but it is oh so worth it. Hang in there with those middle schoolers. I know you are making a difference in the lives of those kids!

  3. Hi! I did the "Daily Five" last year with my 3rd graders, and absolutely loved it. I couldn't believe how much my kids were actually READING (imagine that:) during the week. One thing I did at the end of the year were Booktalks. Those were fun, and they can really get each other excited to read a book. I am now teaching 5th grade, and I really like the way you are adapting Daily Five to fifth graders. By the way, I am reading the book "Masterpiece" by Elise Broach to my 5th graders, and it's awesome. :) Thanks for all of your great ideas!

  4. Amanda,
    Thanks for the encouragement! I'll have to check out "Masterpiece". I'm always on the lookout for new books for my kids. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I am really intrigued by the Global Read Aloud, but I think I am too late. Is this something that goes on year round or just once a year? Good for you diving right in, by the way. I read about the Daily 5 this summer and felt so overwhelmed that I had to set aside the idea. I like your twist on it...I may have to borrow this. What do you do during choice time? Confer? Small groups? Also, how long is your reading/Writing block and how much of it do you set aside for free choice?
    ~Mrs. P @ The Polka Dot Owl Blog