Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Literacy Passport, pt 1: Adapting The Daily 5

As promised, here's an update to how I am integrating the Daily 5 into my teaching practice.

I have chosen to refer to my literacy approach as the Literacy Passport (I can hear the collective 'ooooh, tell me more' of teachers everywhere). I like the analogy of literacy learning as a journey with stops along the way. An eager traveller is always seeking new sights and adventures and a lifelong learner should approach reading in the same way. Excited to broaden their experiences, globetrotters enjoy where they are but are always looking ahead to where they can go to next. Developing readers and writers look forward to what they can do next to improve their skills.

 The Literacy Passport draws upon this metaphor. A passport is ongoing record of where travellers have been. Similarly, students monitor what they have done each week (or pronounced "where they have been"). It is not good enough to simply stay at one activity; a diverse range of experiences provide a broader understanding of the world. You won't really know what it is like in Spain unless you go there. That's why a range of activities build a fluency that is unobtainable by simply doing one activity over and over. As a teacher, I'm kinda like their travel agent. "Oh, this would be a great place to check out this time of year." I can show them fun places to go, but in the end, it's their decision.

So where can they go? For that, we will need a few brochures. (if you think this next little bit looks vaguely familiar, I modified it from this earlier post. Shhhh.)

1. Independent Reading - This is a gorgeous, relaxing getaway for two - you and a book! Just as it sounds, students get the opportunity to cozy up with a book and read quietly to themselves.

2. Reader's Theatre - This is a real fun adventure that you can enjoy with friends! Students get to choose a script, become a character, and read through it using voice and expression.

3. Just Write -This is the trip that you control! There are no boundaries when you are writing from your head and limits are endless! Fight dragons, save a dying unicorn, or recount your weekend, students write whatever you like...just write.

4. Writing Right - This is the place for real personal challenge! Students work on editing a text's  vocabulary, punctuation, spelling and more. 

 So there you have it. These are the activities that students are expected invited to visit each week. The order is up to them, as long as they get through each stop. Get your passports ready. This is the final call for Literacy Express. ALL ABOARD!

(Source Disclaimer: I am by no means trying to take credit for this program. As I post this series, I will continue to use the Daily 5 label but will be using the Literacy Passport title. The Daily 5 structure was a springboard off of which I have re-launched previous literacy activities I had been running. This should appease the copyright folks and also make these posts easier to follow for teachers who are investigating the implementation of an adapted Daily 5 program, beit mine or any other form. If you or someone you know are considering a Daily 5 approach, consult the book for more information. If you curious about other things I've said about the Daily 5, click here. Of you like what you found here, share it, follow it, or comment below...Better yet, do all THREE! Phew!)


  1. What did you use to make the passports? Did you track it out in the open for the class to see? I could definately use this in my grade four class.

  2. I used to use a clipboard and record their choices myself. This was a disaster as they weren't able to remember three days ago. Now I use a combination of Smartboard technology and a feature I previously didn't know existed in Microsoft Word. Essentially, it is a table that has a series of drop-down menus for each student. That makes it visible, self-moderated, and faster.

    ✪ Liam ✪
    Twist of Liam

  3. Thanks for the comment, by the way! Let me know it it helps.

    ✪ Liam ✪
    Twist of Liam


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