Chapter three is all about teaching students to become independent readers and writers. In a nut shell: set clear expectations; model, model, model; practice, practice, practice; and take time to reflect. Boushey and Moser describe in depth the ten step to teaching and learning independence.
Step 1: Identify What Is Being TaughtThe first step is super easy. When launching Daily 5 lessons, a simple routine is established. Tell students exactly what is going to be taught. Create an anchor chart that will be referenced throughout the year. The Sisters call this an I-Chart, short for independence. The I-Chart lists the responsibilities of the students on one side and the responsibilities teacher on the other side.
Step 2: Set a Purpose and Create a Sense of Urgency
Students work best when they know the importance of the task at hand. Gather at the meeting place and create an I-Chart listing the reasons for the Daily 5. Students help to create the chart, so they are invested in it. They have ownership.Meet at the gathering place and list the desired behaviors on an I-Chart. This is a notable change from the first edition, where students brainstormed the list and the lesson became too lengthy.
Step 3: Record Desired Behavior on an I-Chart
For younger students with shorter attention spans, you may wish to list only a few desired behaviors the first day and return to the chart later to add more.
Step 4: Model Most-Desirable Behaviors
Invite students to role-play the desired behaviors. Engage students in a discussion about what they saw being modeled. Ask students if these behaviors will lead to better readers and writers...yes!
Step 5: Model Least Desirable Behaviors, Then Most-Desirable Behaviors AgainInvite a student to model incorrect or least desirable behaviors. Ask students if these behaviors will lead to better readers and writers...of course not. Then ask the same student to model the desired behaviors. This is a great opportunity to select a child that may experience difficulty during Daily 5. The student has 'fun' role-playing, but you begin to shape his/her behaviors.
Step 6: Place Students Around the RoomStudents learn how to choose a spot in which to work. The students with the greatest length of stamina are invited to go first. Students choose their spots by asking themselves, "Is this a spot where I can be most successful?"
Step 7: Practice and Build StaminaThis step is so important to the success of The Daily 5 implementation. Students practice and build stamina. If a student goes off-task, the signal is given and students regroup. The teacher keeps a class poster of the stamina built everyday. It's a terrific motivator for students and a visual reminder of their successes.
Since each class of students is different, your students' behavior will set the pace for building stamina each year.
Step 8: Stay Out of the Way
This step may be the most difficult for teachers. Once students begin to practice and build stamina, teachers need to step out of their path. They will learn independence when they rely upon themselves to get the job done.
Step 9: Use A Quiet Signal to Bring Students Back to the Gathering PlaceWhen stamina breaks down and less desirable behaviors occur, use a quiet signal to call students to the gathering place. The Sisters suggest the "Above-Pause-Whisper" method. Use an above signal (for example- a rain stick or chime), pause until you have students' attention, and then whisper the directions.
Step 10: Conduct a Group Check-InIt is important to have a check-in after each independent work session to reflect on how things went. Ask students to rate how they performed and set a goal for the following day. I-charts and expectations can be revisited if needed.
Are you using The Daily 5 in your classroom? What are your greatest successes? What aspects are most difficult for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments or join the book club and link up with my friend, Jen, at That First Grade Blog. :)