If you are following this series, you are looking for a classroom structure that will allow students to become autonomous learners with the opportunity for differentiated instruction to help increase overall reading performance. Thank you for following along.
Before you can create a student-centered classroom, structure must be in place. The Daily 5 classroom format lays out one of the BEST structures. The Sisters create a launching protocol that allows new and veteran teachers jump on the Daily 5 bandwagon. Their website allows you to watch videos, read blog posts and articles that lay this all out beautifully. thedailyfive.com
Here are some Tips that have helped me launch the Daily 5 (or Daily 3) in my classroom.
Tip #1 – Make sure you take the time to complete the I-Chart.
These charts give everyone the opportunity to understand the expectations of the student and the teacher during the Daily Five time. This provided student buy-in for procedures that held them accountable for their behavior. It felt almost like a contract that we created together. Have a collaborative conversation with your students about what should be expected for their success- What does it look like? What does it NOT look like? (role play).
Tip #2- Practice, practice, practice
It is important to set the structure, the standards, the expectations and practice them. Do have students go through the transitions multiple times before pulling a small group that will pull your attention away from the masses. This is the opportunity for students to become familiar and routine with the ‘contract’. When students are routined, you are able to sit back and watch students become the productive members in the classroom. They are the ones going home tired- NOT you.
Tip #3- Start with 1 Daily activity at a time and ONLY add on when you KNOW students are ready.
When first starting this process, I made the mistake of jumping in with both feet. We had 3 of the Daily’s going; read to someone, read to self, and word work all going at once. It was chaos, and the students were never in a routine enough to know exactly how to reach the ‘contracted’ expectations. We had to back up and come up with a game plan. I never did that again.
Tip #4- If you are a 4-6 grade teacher, try adding Respond to Reading as an extra Daily station Creating CRAFT.
Students in grades 4-6 are expected to prove and justify their thinking. This is one of those new waves that has allowed students to reach the College and Readiness standards that are creating inferential, high level thinkers. This thinking allows you to really see their level of thinking and problem solving. I highly recommend adding this to the Daily expectations.
Tip #5- Try Weekly 5 instead of Daily 5
It is difficult to get through an entire Daily 5 when your teaching block is only 90 or 130 minutes long. Try incorporating the Daily 5 but modifying it so students are expected to get through all 5 by the end of the week.
Tip #6- Have something that will hold students accountable for work or progress
The Sisters have great ideas on making sure each student complete the Daily 5 every day, and if you Pinterest Daily Five, I guarantee you will find something that will work for you. This is important for students in grades 4-6 because they tend to want to read to self most of the time. Which, as a reader, I don’t blame them.
I have also found that setting goals with students helps to motivate them to complete the Daily five ( more on this on post 5).
Tip #7- Teach students what a Good Fit Book is for them
There are so many conversations happening right now with the focus on the Joy of Reading and bringing that back into the classroom. If we ONLY base student text on their reading level and NOT their interests or their ability levels, we have missed the point. You will have a classroom filled with students who feel like reading is a HAVE to and not WANT to. It is our job, as educators, to encourage and excite students about learning- light the fire don’t dull it.
Tip #8- Allow students to choose their Daily from the beginning
After you have introduced and practiced at least three of the Daily 5 options, allow students to choose the Daily 3 they want to go to. This will help your classroom become student-centered quickly. They will learn responsibility, problem solving and accountability quickly- if you believe they can do it- they will be able to do it.
Tip #9- Revisit expectations (I-Charts) as often as you see fit
There is nothing wrong with having a class meeting on the expectations at the end of the semester or the six weeks. And, there is nothing wrong with practicing each Daily 5 as a class every Monday until they are routined.