The Daily 5 offers valuable independent activities to build my students’ literacy skills, so it’s natural that I wanted to extend the same kind of framework to math. After all, a format that strengthens foundational skills while I can reteach or run small groups should really be the goal across every subject!
The Math Daily 3 is the Sisters’ solution to this. The set-up is even simpler than the Daily 5, with three tasks for students to do independently. Here are my notes for this section:
As you can see, the three main tasks (Math By Myself, Math Writing, and Math with Someone) have mini-lessons in between. This is new to the Daily 5 second edition, so I haven’t taught with this system yet- but I’m already brainstorming how I would!
Where Math Daily 3 varies from Daily 5 is that the activities do not necessarily stay the same all year. Ideally, some of the activities students are doing are directly tied to the previous unit (especially as you start a new unit) or the current one (as you’ve taught some lessons that students should be ready to review).
Because math activities may require hands-on materials or games, it’s best to introduce these activities one at a time and truly teach each one.
Games and hands-on materials can very, very easily become playtime- so make sure you give students very clear expectations, and have ways to keep materials organized.
I like to store “game sets” in easy-to-grab cups- just a couple of dice and counters- and my number tiles were stored the same way. (I have the kids count the tiles as they put them back to make sure each one always has a complete set!)
As more choices for Math by Myself, Math with Someone, and Math Writing are introduced, you’ll want a way for students to easily see their choices. You can add to this choice board as you’ve introduced more activities.
The key with Math Daily 3 is remembering to use the 10 Steps to Independence to really train your students in the expectations so that you are able to be differentiating instruction during this time.
Here’s what that choice board might look like during a subtraction unit (using some borders I love from Creative Teaching Press!)
I think the key will be sitting down before each unit and brainstorming a few activities your kids can do to review the last unit and to practice skills for this unit, too. If this were my classroom, I’d probably use some routines (such as task cards and a math journal) that would be easy to swap out for each unit without having to teach new expectations.
Feel free to click on the image above if you think this Daily 3 Math Planning Sheet is something you could use!
As much work as it may seem to get set up with Daily 3, I think the value of small group instruction is WORTH it! And I think with routines and a few basic, adaptable activities, your students can be so independent while you work with a few.
You can read more about this chapter at these blogs: