Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Daily 5: Read to Self in Kindergarten Plus a freebie!

I am so honored to be hosting Chapter 4 of the Daily 5, Read to Self. Although I have done pieces of Daily 5 over the past few years, this year, my team and I fully implemented the Read to Self aspect of Daily 5 and so I feel that I can really speak to this chapter and answer questions or concerns.

Read to Self is a segment of the Daily 5 framework when students need to be reading quietly and constantly for a set amount of time in the classroom. 

 When you first meet your "babies" (that is what I lovingly refer to the kindergarten children when they first join me), thinking of them "reading to self" for more than 30 seconds (let alone 30 minutes!) is a VERY difficult concept to grasp and believe. But, with correct implementation, patience, and kindergarten tweaking (what we all do best!), it CAN be done and done successfully.

My students loved and looked forward to Read to Self time EVERY day.  In fact, if I ever had to skip it, I was given the "What for?" from almost all of the children. 
1)  Starting the process.

I didn't start the process until November.  I felt that, in kindergarten, there are so many routines that needed to be established before I could really get the results successful results that I wanted.  They have so much to learn and get under control for regular routines, let alone how to handle and "read" books.  When I began the process in November, I don't think that it was fully implemented until January...it is a SLOW process.  You can't rush these types of routines and have to constantly tell yourself:

2) Getting children to view themselves as readers.
Getting children to view themselves as readers is probably the most daunting task of all of this Read to Self business.  It is especially hard for children who have had limited exposure to books so far in their short, 5 year life.  These children needs lots of preteaching:  What is a book?  What purpose does it serve? Why should they become "readers"?  Once you have convinced children the importance of reading (through modeling, discussions and read alouds), it is time to introduce the 3 ways to read a book. 
We created an anchor chart (see left) to refer to (A LOT).  Each time we would "read" something in class, the children would have to figure out which type of "reading" we were doing.  I would purposefully model varying types of reading throughout the day and discuss it (and not just during actual READING time). 
Daily 5 kindergarten 3 ways to read poster chart
I made this freebie just for you.  I am going to
print it into a poster size and tape it together.
We'll see how that goes!

3) Launching Read to Self in Kindergarten
I think the most important thing to remember when beginning implemenation is that it is a SLOW process.  Success of full implementation will be dependent on how carefully and intricately you launch this segment of your day.
Build it up! 
Make it exciting.  
Let these kiddos know they are about to embark on a voyage that only the most talented kindergarten students can accomplish..
(of course, isn't this how we introduce anything that we think might be a bit challenging to our little loves?).
Of course, you need to create an I (for independent) chart for what Read to Self time will look like, that you will continuously refer to throughout the process (before you start every day and when you wrap up each day).
I took pictures of what good readers look like.
Guess what?  NONE of them were staged.

4) Making students understand the importance.   I got all of my students to get that it had to be quiet and they couldn't move (by modeling, reviewing, checking in on a CONSISTENT BASIS).  I have to tell you though, I still had a couple of kiddos who didn't (couldn't?) stay focussed to read the entire time.  I provided those children with brain breaks ("Come read me a page of your book."  "Squeeze this stress ball for a minute before you start reading again." "Can you read a story to my (stuffed) bear?"  So,this will be another area I will continue to work on.  Is it possible to have an entire class of kindergarteners reading for the ENTIRE time?  Almost is my answer....even some of the "toughies" who I thought would never buy into this, did it successfully and loved it. 

5)Spice it up!
Just like everything else we do, we need to spice up Read to Self time.  Once they got to a certain amount of minutes (15-which I think is unbelieveable for kinders!), it was Read to a Furry friend week.  They got to bring in a stuffed animal or borrow one of mine to read to during Read to Self time.  I also let them Buddy Read (which they think is a Super Duper treat!) after they have successfully read to self for a said amount of time (as time went on in the year).  They love to showcase their amazing reading skills to each other, of course!
What other ideas do you have to spice it up??  Comment below to share.
And, always remember:

Be sure to follow Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business or LIKE it on Facebook (both available in left sidebar) so you never miss another FREEBIE or informative article.


  1. Thank you for hosting this Chapter Krissy. Of course, as with everything you do, it is thought provoking and well-done. I am SO glad that your 'how to read' to a partner is done with your Kinder Reader book. Since I have those books it will be a familiar reference! I LOVE it.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  2. Awesome thoughts and freebie. I can't get it to download.GRRR. Thank you for showing your anchor charts too! I am going to steal!

  3. We also have specials days to spice up read to self: we read to a special friends (stuffed animals), read to a storybook character(over time I have purchased or had kids give me characters-Lily, Arthur, Clifford, T-Bone etc..). Another thing I use are different shaped glasses I have purchased and the dollar store and let the kids wear these.

  4. Adorable freebie! Thank you. I fully implemented Daily 5 last year at the beginning of the year for my very first kindergarten class. They did great! We had lots of modeling! I really emphasized that each one of them were already readers because they could read the pictures. I did not do special days last year and I am going to try that this coming year. I love the stuff animal and different shaped glasses! Awesome.

  5. Wonderful post, Krissy! I love that your students brought their own stuffed animal to read. What a great idea!

  6. Does anyone have any advice for implementing in my K/1 class? My 1s are already independent readers and will be able to manage a lot more than my little K readers. I would prefer to have my class view themselves as a class of peers(not Ks and 1s) but I don't want to hold back my grade 1s in order to build that community. I'm just not sure.

  7. Hi Krissy, great post about Read to Self. I was glad you shared your anchor chart, as I thought it was so clever when you made it. I love the freebie, but I cannot get it to download.
    Lisa B.

  8. Great post!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I hope that you'll join me for my giveaway ♥

  9. I am really enjoying all the ideas from others. Being a teacher in Australia, finding others using Daily 5 is very difficult so you can feel very alone implementing it. What a blessing it has been to find this book study and learn from each other. Thanks so much to the person who organised it.

  10. Wonderful post. Helped me better understand what Daily 5 should look like. I am having a problem downloading your posters. Do you have any suggestions?

  11. Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts! I started RtoS on day 1 last yet, although it was modified and short! I had to give it up in November because I couldn't also fit calendar in the schedule with the way our specials were lined up, and I was missing too muh math instruction without calendar time. I'm looking forward to trying again next year!

    @Annonymous, I think RtoS will be one of your favorite times in a K/1 because everyone can participate equally! Use your first graders as models, and adjust your expectations according to each child's ability. At first, your Ks are going to "pretend read" and tell stories by reading the pictures, while your 1s will be starting to decode. I think the key will be to have appropriate good-fit books in each kiddo's book box/bag.

    To help balance out the difference in stamina & attention spans, you could conference with your first graders first, and then pull your kinders in small groups to work with you as they start to lose stamina. I've also had success to help those wiggly younger kiddos by walking around with a cool folding dorm chair or carpet squares partway through our time and handing them out to kids sitting the right way (particularly the ones who WEREN'T sitting the right way.

    Good Luck!

  12. Thank- you for sharing this! I "attempted" to do the Daily 5 in my class last year but I gave up. I had way too many ELL students and with no help I guess I felt overwhelmed. I am excited to continue to read up on it and I look forward to implementing it this year. Thanks again for your inspiration!!

    Color Me Kinder

  13. Great post! Love reading all of the ideas for implementing D5 in my classroom! I had trouble downloading the freebie as well. Is there anyway to get it emailed to me? would love a copy of it!!! Thanks:)

  14. Great post on implementing D5 - I'd love to have the freebie as well, but have been unsuccessful in downloading it. My email is wlrn 99 @ hotmail.com

  15. I did the RTS portion of the D5 this year and it was my kids favorite thing! If we did not do RTS they got upset! :)
    Ideas for start up:
    *Ask parents to send books that they read at home all the time
    *Visit the library and load up the boxes with kid favorites, abc and 123 books, as well as additonal copies of anything you have already read as a whole group
    *We sent a daily email of our stamina report to the principal and got responses urging us on! An upper grade teacher would probably do the trick too!

    Ideas to "Spice it up"
    *post it notes-the only time the kids talk was when they wanted to share what they read-we would post it and share later
    *"magic reading sticks"-I did one per month/holiday-just a craft stick (colored ones sometimes) with something fun at the top-my first was the eyeball on the stick-I also used 2 peel and stick fun foam shapes (the same) and put them back to back on a stick. This year I am having my kids keep them in book boxes in a 3 ring binder zip pouch-so there is not soo much time spent searching for favorite sticks!
    **Kid magazines-I brought in my daughter's collection and asked parents to send unwanted ones to class-these were a hit as they became better readers and added a fun non fiction component to our reading.
    I hope this post helps others! My goal for the year is to have a highly organized library so I don't have to help so much with returning books !

  16. The above post was from Steph Z K teacher in PA:)

  17. It will work because you are excited about it! I can't wait to read about it this year! I am giving you the One Lovely Blog award! stop by my blog to claim it!

    A Passion For Primary

  18. Hi- I was unable to download the posters. Thanks so much!


  19. I was also not able to download the posters....I hope you can either get that fixed or email the poster to me. It seems perfect.

    I was new to Kindergarten last year and my students LOVED to read from the class library. At first I said they could look at the books. Then I came across someone's three ways to read poster. I decided that for them to see themselves as readers I had to refer to them as readers...not just lookers. That made a big difference in how they looked at themselves.

    I have a lot of books in my classroom and getting them to sit with them was never a struggle...although sometimes I thought they switched books too quickly. In the second half of the year I introduced "book boxes" and reading journals. I had them write about a book that they were reading. Is that part of reading to self?

    Terri Izatt

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