Monday, September 10, 2012

CAFE in the Classroom

Last year I implemented the Daily 5, and I must say, it was the best thing that I could have done! I loved it! I am still in the process of introducing all the Dailies to my new group this year, but so far it is going great!

Because Daily 5 was SUCH a huge success in my class, I began looking into the CAFE Literacy Model written by the same authors of the Daily 5. I am LOVING it so far! I wanted to walk through what CAFE looks like in my classroom, and hope to gain some advice and insight from my fellow bloggers on how it looks in their classrooms.

1. One of the key visuals you see as soon as you enter into a classroom that has implemented CAFE is the large CAFE menu board. I've seen SO many cute examples of this board. Here is mine.

 I love having it right by my carpet area because we refer to these strategies ALL the time during our mini-lessons.

2. The next (probably most important) item needed in CAFE is the CAFE Assessment Binder. I'm sure there are many CUTE designs out there for the binder, but here is mine.

In the binder, I have many different sections. One section is focused on Launching CAFE. In this section, I have listed out the different strategies that need to be taught in a specific order. These correlate with my Common Core mini-lessons. I also included my notes I wrote while reading through the book. These notes discuss how to conference, hold strategy groups, etc.

The next section includes all the Ready Reference Forms. I simply downloaded these from the cd included in the back of the book. These are incredible! They state what the strategy is, the "secret to success," and how "The Sisters" teach the strategy. These are just simple cheat sheets that are so helpful!

 Next, I include my calendar. This calendar is what I use to write down when I am meeting with each student for conferencing or strategy groups. The book definitely recommends to stick to your plan! The students need consistency so it is important to stick with these meeting times!

The last part of my assessment binder includes individual tabs for each student. In these tabs, I have a copy of the CAFE Literacy Menu so we can refer back to the different strategies. There is a Reading Conference Form that I use when I meet with the students for their conferencing, and a Writing Conference Form.

3. Lastly, each child has their own personal CAFE folder. They use this folder to keep any records relating to their personal goals, strategy groups, etc. One of the important things that I have each child keep in this folder is their own personal conference form. I created these forms so the students have a place to write down their particular goal that we decide to focus on during our individual conference time. If they do not write it down, they definitely will not remember it.

This folder is also a place where I have my students keep any type of records showing their progress towards their goal. For example, one of my students is working on the strategy "Asking Questions" to monitor her comprehension. She keeps her sticky note tracking sheet in this folder. It helps having everything together so they understand the connection between it all.

You can download the individual student recording sheet here. I haven't seen many other student recording sheets so if you have one, I'd love to see it! I just feel it is so important that the students write down their goals to take ownership in their learning.

I'd LOVE to hear how CAFE is going in your classroom. I know there were many book studies over the CAFE book this summer so I'm assuming there are quite a few classrooms in the same position as I am...slowly trying to get all of this right! :)

Let me know how CAFE works in your classroom!


  1. Love your goals sheet! I am a Daily Five freak!! I wanted to try to focus on better goal setting this year with my kiddos because I feel that hasn't been a strength in the past (This is my third year with D5). I'm totally going to use your sheet!! Thanks!! I'm your newest follower, too. :)

    Second Grade Sparkle

  2. I'm glad it is helpful for you! I searched and searched for a good goal setting sheet, but couldn't find one! I seriously LOVE Daily 5 and have grown to love CAFE as I have implemented it this year. It is so explicit, and it teaches the kids the strategies they need to know to be successful readers and writers! :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'm doing D5 for the first time this year, and my kiddos are really struggling with Read to Self. They did ok last week, but they haven't been on task at all this week. I'm thinking that I need to revisit the expectations? Any tips?
    Teaching in the Valley

    1. Every time I introduce or review over a D5, we refer back to the I-Chart, and I have someone model the correct and incorrect way to do that D5. We then have practice time. During this practice time, I am walking the room and if I see anyone off task, they know it real quick, and they get back on task. I have not started guided reading groups yet because I feel it is important that my kids have these D5 in place before they independently work. SO..during their practice times, I am monitoring, walking or discussing student behavior, etc. so students know exactly how they should act.

      I don't know if that will help much, but we really review OVER AND OVER how it should look, sound and feel like in our classroom during this time.