Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CAFE in the Classroom

As I stated in my Daily 3 post, in the intermediate grades this structure looks different than the sisters write about in their book (then again, it could just be me!).  Once (maybe twice) a week, usually on Tuesday, I introduce the CAFE strategy of the week.  We discuss it as a whole class, how we have used it before, how we can use it with our novels we are reading and across the curriculum, and why it is important.  Each student has the following four pages in their Reading folder and we fill it out all together.  We also create a card together to put up on our CAFE board!  I ask the students to come up with visuals that would help them remember and we draw them on our card and the student's draw them in their strategy box.  Once we fill in the strategy and why it is important, I have the students write what it means to them and when they are finished they turn to their shoulder partner or face partner and "teach" the strategy and explain what it means to them.  I do this for multiple reasons: it helps me to figure out who "gets" the strategy and who still needs help, reinforces what was just taught, and it is another way for students to view the strategy.  I love them having their own copy of the CAFE board close at hand.  It helps them decide which personal goal they want to work on and if they happen to forget, then it is right there for them to look back on and remember what worked for them.  If you click on the pictures below you can grab a free copy of the organizers!


We are currently working on a novel study, so every week the students will apply what strategy we are working on with our book and their own books they are reading.  Our county has implemented the Comprehension Tool Kit this year and the CAFE strategies go hand in hand with this series!  I love it!  I don't really have any specific way that I choose which strategies to work on and when.  I just look at our lesson plans and figure out which one will fit cohesively or one that I am noticing we need help with.  How do you run CAFE in your class?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Daily 3 and CAFE in full swing!

Only 17 more days and I will have a large portion of my time back and devoted to teaching!  As excited as I am to be getting married, this planning and putting together is taking up A LOT of my time and this poor blog has fallen by the wayside.  I feel like all my posts have been starting with the same apology lately but its true!  I promise, once I'm a Mrs. I will be posting more frequently :o)

Now on to the real topic, Daily 3 and CAFE!  I started implementing the Daily 3 in my classroom at the beginning of this year and the kids are very independent with it now and I LOVE IT!  They know what is expected of them, their options, and how guided reading works during the sessions and how they need to be independent learners and thinkers.  I have noticed lately (and it's an all the time thing, not just during the Daily 3) that my students are becoming more chatty...  I know, you're thinking, "That can't be!?"  Well it is, so we are going to have to have another meeting where we review our I-chart and have some people give me examples of the correct behavior and incorrect behavior.  I know this seems silly for the intermediate grades, but believe me, it's effective!

Here is how it runs in my class:
  • Read to Self
    • Every student is working on their personal stamina goal
  • Word Work
    • Spelling
    • Vocabulary
    • Grammar
    • Phonics
    • Boggle
    • Classroom Journals
  • Writing Connection
    • Literature Response Journals (one due every two weeks - they have a rubric taped inside their journals)
    • Response Prompts
    • Blogs (haven't moved into this yet but we will)
I designate anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour for Daily 3/Guided Reading Groups.  I'll be the first to admit, it's not perfect and I can't always get the scheduling to be what I want with everything we have to do but when we do it, they've got it :o).  I usually work with my guided reading groups for 20 minutes each and give the Daily 3 about 25-30 minutes during each session so they can have meaningful and in depth learning.  I can't expect them to use the strategies I teach them if I don't give them the chance!  When I am not doing a GRG I am walking around and conferring with students independently.

I am currently doing a 3 day workshop for Daily 5 through our county and even though it is geared more towards primary she spoke about implementing the Daily 5 in intermediate classrooms and how it would look differently and be introduced differently.  For example, I wouldn't teach the 3 ways to read a book, I would teach them text features, strategies, etc.  One thing she did say (and helped me feel like I was on the right track) was that intermediate grades would not get to all 5 in a day and our sessions should be about 30 minutes each.  It is going to look a lot different than primary, especially when incorporating read alouds and literature circles.  It's always nice when someone who has been trained and knows what they are talking about tells you, "You are doing exactly what you should be doing!"  Makes a girl feel all tingly inside ;o)

Tomorrow I will post all about CAFE in my classroom and attach the documents my students use to help them remember it all :o)  If you have any links to Daily 5 in the intermediate grades please post below!  I could still use all the help I can get, lol.