Friday, July 10, 2015

Daily 5- Launching Read to Self

Starting the Daily 5 sounds a little daunting at first, but the second edition of the book really breaks it down even better than the first!

I’ve really been enjoying our Daily 5 book study with Primary Inspired, and today I’m hosting Chapter 5- Launching Read to Self!

launching daily 5

Read to Self is probably my favorite part of Daily 5… and I was surprised to find that it was a favorite of most of my students, too. Teaching our kids to be independent readers is hard but powerful!

A big key is to start small.

In my head, I thought about how we teach any other part of reading. We don’t expect a kid to go from the ABC’s to knowing sounds to knowing decoding and being able to read- we take them through one step at a time. The same goes for building stamina.

If you start small and build in increments, your kids will grow and get there. You just need to give it repetition and guided release.

Over time, your kids will build stamina. (Here’s my stamina graph from my first class of Daily 5 kids! They LOVED to see if they could get it higher!)


One way the second edition of Daily 5 was better than the first was the emphasis on foundation lessons. These 3 are really the building block lessons to set your students up for success in Read to Self- but remember,t he mini-lessons should only take 7-10 minutes!

  • 3 Ways to Read A Book
    As a fourth grade teacher, my Upper Grade Skeptic light went off on this one- but the Sisters want us to remember that not every kid is necessarily reading on grade level, and yes- even those older kids need this!
  • I PICK
    If your students don’t know how to choose appropriate books (and continue to receive guidance through the year if they struggle), they’re not going to sit somewhere and read independently! This lesson is so important to turning them from “survival” readers to lifelong readers!
  • Choose a Successful Spot
    Can I just say an “Amen” to this wording? We need to be teaching our students in EVERY part of the day to make choices that allow them and their classmates to be successful- and asking them to take this on and then analyze whether it worked or not is so powerful. How many times a day do your kids have those decisions made for them?

Ultimately, these and other foundation lessons are going to give your students the tools they need to do Read to Self and the other Daily 5 choices- because you’re not just expecting them to know what to do, but you are explicitly teaching, modeling, and allowing practice.

And for me, I’m already thinking about how I can apply these ideas beyond the Daily 5 time.

This summer, your goal as a teacher needs to be to think through your procedures first. Consider what you want to see- and where you think the pitfalls may be. Look at your schedule to see if you can plan in any regular brain breaks. (I highly recommend GoNoodle- it’s free!) Finally, keep your expectations low at the beginning, and plan for days and days of practice sessions. Don’t worry- they WILL get there, and once they’re ready, you won’t need to waste time correcting misbehavior as often.

Take time now to make up time later!

Finally, when you feel frustrated because it feels like your kids will NEVER get to 20 minutes of stamina, remember why it’s worth it. I loved the Sisters’ takeway from Gambrell’s work, saying that giving our students choice leads to ownership, and that leads to motivation, learning, and responsibility.

As hard as it is to give up that control and to let our students be responsible for their own choices, it’s really, truly the best thing we can do to make them problem solvers. After all, we don’t want them to turn out like this:

Thanks for reading my thoughts on chapter 5!

Be sure to read the Chapter 5 takeaways from the blogs below, too:

1 comment:

  1. I love launching Read to Self. I keep the anchor chart up with read to self expectations for the first couple of months at least. That broken escalator link has to be one of my favorite videos of all time! I love to show it to my 3rd graders after they've learned some strategies and independence. I always tell them that at the beginning of 3rd, they sometimes just stopped when things got tricky but that now they're great at using strategies. At the end we all chorally read the part that says, "Most problems are easy to solve. Just get off the escalator!" Thanks for your post.
    Laughter and Consistency


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