I-Charts: Not Just for Daily 5


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Geanice Miller

Walk into a classroom that has fully launched Daily 5 and you will see I-charts for Read to Self, Work on Writing, Word Work, Read to Someone, and Listen to Reading. You may also see an I-chart for transitions. But what if there were I-charts for all activities that happened during the school day in both the classroom and across the school? Follow the same procedure to create I-charts for all activities that you do when launching Daily 5 activities. 

Schools are always looking for programs to “fix” things, but why not just employ a practice that is already in place? Why not use a way of communicating expectations that all students are already familiar with because of its use and effectiveness in classroom settings? John Hattie’s research shows that teacher clarity has an average effect size of 0.75. (An effect size of 0.40 is equivalent to advancing a child’s achievement by one year.) I-charts provide clarity for both students and teachers. They provide a reference point for both teaching and learning. Students know where to look when they need reminders about expectations.

After expectations are taught for schoolwide activities, students will be able to ask and answer their own questions all day!

On which side of the hall should I walk? I’ll look at the I-chart.

What will my teacher be doing during Read to Self? I’ll look at the I-chart.

How will my teacher know what I want for lunch today? I’ll look at the I-chart.

Where does my library book go when I’m finished reading it? I’ll look at the I-chart. 

Classroom wall space is often at a premium, so it is important to remember that once students demonstrate consistency in an activity, the I-chart can be transferred to a smaller version to make room for all charts to be accessed year-round.

Clarity and consistency of expectations is integral to both academic and behavioral success for students. I-charts are a simple yet powerful to ensure this.

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