Holding Students Accountable During Daily 5

When I taught fifth grade, one of my most challenging jobs was to keep 20-something fifth graders on task during Daily 5 so that I could get all my conferencing done and they could practice the skills they were supposed to be working on. I struggled with systems that would produce the desired effect, but did not require busy work for the students or extra work for me. If only I had known then what I know now. . .

boy sitting at his desk typing on a chromebook

Flash forward five years, when I recently visited with Jihan Alhusaini at Geer Park. Jihan was describing her desire to keep tabs, per se, on her second graders during Daily 5, while still conferencing one-on-one and with small groups. The task should be valuable to both students and teachers, but should also avoid “busy work” for either group. We did some brainstorming and came up with a solution: Mahara portfolios.

mahara logo

Each second grader set up a Mahara portfolio and joined Jihan’s class group. Now during Daily 5, her students jot reflection notes in a journal, and complete Work on Writing on a Google Doc that is embedded in their Mahara portfolio. Jihan has one place to look to see that her students have accomplished what they set out to during Daily 5. The work is meaningful and authentic, and only takes the teacher a few minutes to check in and see if students are, indeed, staying on task during rotations.

girl works on her portfolio at her desk on a chromebook

For more information about using Mahara during Daily 5, contact the Tech Coach today!

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