Daily 5 Summer Book Study {Chapter 3}

Welcome to Chapter 3 of our Daily 5 Summer Book Study! This chapter is dedicated to the Sisters' 7th Core Belief: The 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence. In this chapter, the Sisters explain their 10 steps that help students improve muscle memory, become independent workers, and increase their stamina. 
I know how I am at the beginning of the year- I want to rush through all of the introductory procedures, rules, getting-to-know-you activities and actually begin teaching! I really want to make Daily 5 work in my classroom this coming year, so I am going to slow way down and follow through with these steps and build a solid Daily 5 foundation.  
Here the are:
Step 1: Identify what is being taught. 
This seems simple enough to me and makes complete sense! The Sisters recommend following the same steps for each of the Daily 5 choices they teach. They begin by creating an I-chart out of chart paper or on an interactive whiteboard. What makes so much sense to me is that this poster is left up so students can constantly refer to it and you can revise it all year long. That's such a great idea!
Step 2: Set a Purpose and Create a Sense of Urgency. 
I know how important some of our daily activities are for the students. I love that sense of urgency they get when they are really invested in what we are doing. This is one of the key components of the 10 Steps. Getting students excited and programmed to want to read or write and get into their Daily 5 routine is important. I love the example the Sisters gave of a student who was interrupted by an administrator and asked him to please talk outside! I would love to hear one of my students say that! 
Step 3: Record Desired Behaviors on an I-Chart. 
The Sisters mentioned they made some changes to the way they now do this step. They give the students the desirable behaviors instead of having students discuss and brainstorm possible items to include. This makes so much sense, because my students will often go off on tangents when we are having class discussions. This way, the student stay focused. Instead of telling the students what not to do, they tell the students what they want them to do. This makes so much sense too, yet there are so many times I will do the opposite! Letting students know exactly what behaviors you expect sets them up for success!
Step 4: Model Most Desired Behaviors. 
This step is so important for the visual and hands-on learners! The Sisters recommend having students model the behaviors you wrote down on the I-chart. Students actually seeing and modeling the correct behaviors helps them to cement them in their minds. Just telling the students one or two times will not help them to be successful. They need to see it and practice what each behavior looks like. I would probably have a student who needs a lot of practice with this be one of my models for desired behaviors. 
Step 5: Model Least-Desired Behaviors, Then Most-Desired Behaviors Again.
You might think this step is an unnecessary waste of class time, but having the students see what not do is a valuable step to their independence. The Sisters suggest you choose a student who is often off-task to model these behaviors. The student models behaviors that aren't on the I-chart such as getting up and walking around the classroom and disturbing others. Hold a class discussion about the behaviors, then ask the student to demonstrate the correct behaviors and discuss each point on the I-chart. I can see this being very powerful for the students, and especially for the student modeling the positive behaviors. 
Step 6: Place Students Around the Room.
Now all students are ready to practice the positive behaviors. The Sisters place groups of students around the room this time, but remind students to look around the room and think of spots that they think they would work well in for next time. Students take their book boxes with them and sit in their spots. 
Step 7: Practice and Build Stamina.
While students are in their assigned spots, they are building initial stamina. The Sisters used to suggest three minutes for this practice session, but have revised that in this current edition of their book. They now let the students dictate when the practice session in over. They track how long the students' stamina lasts each time they practice. 
Step 8: Stay Out of the Way.
I suspect this step will be the hardest for me to follow through with! As the students are reading and building their stamina, the teacher is watching for any sign of a break in stamina. (During this practice phase, the teacher is monitoring the class, but once Daily 5 is in full effect, the teacher is working with students.) Once a student breaks stamina, or doesn't follow the I-chart, the practice session is ended. I love how the Sisters call the off-task students the "barometer" students because they dictate the "weather" of the classroom! So true! Another point I want to remember is that sometimes students need to "reset" themselves. This may be seen as a student stretching or looking around the classroom. As long as other students aren't disturbed, and the student gets right back to work, there is no need to call an end to the practice session. 
Step 9: Use a Quiet Signal to Bring Students Back to the Gathering Place.
The Sisters suggest using a quiet signal end the session. They have the students put their book boxes back where they go and sit in the gathering place they have established. We don't want students to practice incorrectly, so once they have shown stamina is broken, the practice session is ended. Quiet signals, such as chimes or a rainstick are suggested. 
Step 10: Conduct a Group Check-In; "Ask How Did it Go?"
Once students are at the gathering place, they are asked to rate themselves on a scale from 1-4 and show the number of fingers in front of their chest. They are asked to reflect on this and set a goal for the next practice session. 
The Sisters suggest 3 or 4 practice sessions a day, but stress that your class is your indicator for how many practice sessions to do. Older students may be able to do another practice session right away, but younger students may need a break- and that's OK. The students are the barometer. The practice sessions help solidify the procedures in the students' muscle memory, so they are very important to do at the beginning of the year. 

I'm up for this challenge! How about you? Be sure to check out the Chapter 3 posts from the other bloggers at the bottom of my post and link up if you read Chapter 3 or leave a comment! Some people have been doing Daily 5 for awhile, so they have lots of ideas for those of us who are new to it. Thank you for joining me for chapter 3!

Here is our schedule for the rest of the chapters:
I made these sheets to take notes as I'm reading. Feel free to grab them if you like!


  1. Staying out the way is most definitely the hardest part! I have to remember to trust my kids and my training. We can do this, we can do this, we can do this! ;)

  2. Those note taking pages are adorable! Definitely helpful while reading! You think of everything. ;) Can't wait to co-host this next chapter with you! :)



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