Chapter 4 in CAFE is all about conferring with students. The reason conferring with students is important to do is because this is the time that we help them work on their individual goals.
These conferences follow the same pattern every time and they have a worksheet with Icons to help you remember what to do and the order. 1)Icon=Pencil: Write down what the student is reading, 2)Icon=eye: Observe, what do I notice related to the goal, 3)Icon=Thinking head: Think, do I teach or reinforce what we planned yesterday? Or change the plan based on what I see today? 4)Icon=Target Icon:Give the child 2 targets each day. The first always relates to comprehension and the second related to that students goal 5)Icon=Next: determines when we will meet with the child again.
Moving from Conferring to Coaching:
They suggest approximately 4-5 minutes per child to meet with and ‘coach’ them on their reading (Page 56 has the breakdown) but it follows the Icons listed above.
Seven Elements of Successful Conferences:
- Check your Calendar for appointments-If there are appointments listed, we start with those students or if we don’t have any children listed, or we finish quickly, we can scan our Keeping track form and see who we need to meet with.
- Prepare for the Conference- When we decide who to meet with, we look at what we focused on last time we met with them.
- Observe the student and listen to reading- We move to where the student is, and sit beside them. We listen to them read to see if they are applying their goal and assess how they are doing.
- Reinforce and Teach-We always begin with what we have noticed with them as readers. We are trying to teach the student and move them forward just a little bit.
- Practice the Strategy-After we have taught them the new skill, we observe them practicing. This gives us a chance to make sure they understand what we have taught.
- Plan-Determine what the next step should be. Determine that they have mastered the goal or get the to continue practicing the same skill.
Chapter 3 in the CAFE is a step-by step guide to the first days of school. Before the students arrive the first day, the CAFE board should be set up on the wall, within reach of the students. The board is displayed with the headings of Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Extending Vocabulary (with their definitions on it) but there are no strategies listed yet. There is also a spot (one construction paper sized) where the students can reach to put their ost it notes of the goal they are focusing on.
First day-Read Aloud #1:
On the first day, you meet with the students and get them settled and then you begin your first read aloud. You read the book and teach the first strategy (no matter what grade) Check for Understanding. We model Check for Understanding by stopping every few pages (depending on length) and think aloud what we understood is happening in the story. If you don’t really understand what is going on in the story, you teach the student to go back and reread the part they didn’t understand until the understand it and then can move on. After teaching the strategy we put ‘Check for Understanding” on the CAFE board and introduce the CAFE board to them. A great metaphor they use when talking about the CAFE board is that it is like a menu at a restaurant.
First day-Read Aloud #2:
After the first read aloud we move into establishing the Daily 5 routines. (this is where it is linking :D) After trying out Daily 5, we read another book and teach another strategy. It really can be anything you want but they suggest ‘Cross-Checking.” Cross checking goes under Accuracy and means I need to try to read the word and then ask yourself 3 questions: 1)Does what Im reading look right, do the pictures and letters match what I’m saying? 2)Does it sound right 3)Does it make sense. Model this to the students with one correct word and one incorrect word and write the strategy on the CAFE board.
First day-Read Aloud #3:
There MIGHT be time for a third read aloud and teaching another startegy. They suggest teaching Expand Vocabulary which means to know, find, and use interesting words. Model getting excited about a certain word and write Expanding Vocabulary on the CAFE Board.
Second Day: Whole Group Strategy
Review the strategies you taught the day before. Teach now Back up and Re-read. When you are checking for understanding, sometimes you can remember what you read, or you don’t understand it, so you back up and re-read.
They also discuss how you can combine 2 strategies.
After the first few days, the routines are settling into place, you can begin to take students away to assess them.
Step 1: We meet one-on one with each student and we assess their reading using a running record, DRA or another options.
Step 2: Discuss the findings with the student
Ask the student, “Tell me about yourself as a reader.” The student might be confused, so you can help them with some questions. Then tell the student what you have noticed about them as a reader. We write down in our binder what we think their stregth is.
Step 3: Set Goals and Identify Startegies with the Student
Here we talk about what the students needs to work on and we write it in the binder. (needs to be accuracy, comprehension…) Then with the student, we look at the CAFE startegy board and the student (with assistance) picks one goal they would like to work on and this is their goal. THE POINT IS TO PICK A STAREGY AND GIVE IT A GO. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RIGHT OR PERFECT!
Step 4: Student chooses a post it note and goes an places it on the CAFE board under whatever heading their goal is.
Step 5: When the student is doing Step 4, we flip to that childs reading conference sheet and write their stragths, and goals.
Step 6: We look now at the startegy grouping and see if we can place this student in with another group or make a new group. We show the student what we have written in their binder section and ask them to tell us what their goal is again.
Step 7: Instruction
Instruct the student one to one, in a strategy group or in a whole group lesson.
They call it their notebook their pensive, a connection to Harry Potter that I love.
SECTION 1-Teacher Notes:
This is the first section of of binder which is for organizing and planning our time with the entire class. This is where we write down when we will meet with individual students, small group and where we track with everyone we have met with.
The calendar is kept in the first section of the binder as well. It is crucial for keeping track of your appointments with students, both individual students and groups of students. This makes sure that you are not overbooking yourself and raises accountability in students and the teacher (you).
Keeping Track Form:
To keep track of which students you are meeting with and when, they have came up with a simple grid with all the students names and you enter in the date you met with them. This is an easy way to see who you need to meet with. I like how they stress that the goal is not to meet with all the students equally. Fair is not equal.
Strategy Group Form:
The Strategy Group Form is made to make flexible groups of students that need to work on the same strategy. If a student needs help with a certain strategy, we group them with an existing group for that strategy or make a new group. Once the students have mastered that skill, we cross their name off the Strategy Group Form.
SECTION 2- Dividers/Tabs for each student
Each student has their own section of the notebook so it is easily accesible. In each student’s section there is: a CAFE Menu, a Reading Conference Form, and a Writing Conference Form. You can list what their strengths and weaknesses are. You are supposed to write notes in their reading or writing conference form if they meet their goal (individually, small group, or with the whole class) and also write the steps we have taken to help them with meet their goal.
Is the Keeping Track From only for meeting with individual students?
I really like how it is so organized and all students have their own section.
I feel like it could be a lot of work to fill in when a student meets their goal in a whole class situation. You need to remember it, and record it for all the students that met their goal. This could be overwhelming or you could forget a student.
Cafe Stands for: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanded Vocabulary.
The basics of CAFE Assessment are:
1)The teacher keeps a binder that includes a calendar, student conference forms, and strategy group planners(all the templates are in the CD provided).
2)Children meet with the teacher during daily 5 to be assessed, receive focused explicit instruction, set goals and then follow up on their progress. The teacher keeps track of the process on the goal sheet and schedules in the next conference on the calendar and the students posts his or her goal on the class CAFE chart.
3) Teacher plans small group instruction based on clusters of students with similar needs. Focusing on one of the C-A-F-E. These groups are based on needs rather than reading level.
4)Whole group instruction focuses on needs that the whole class or most of the class needs help with
I love the idea of a huge organized binder and I love that they will get to explaining exactly how to use it. I also love that they provide the templates so we can easily print them out.
I’m excited to read more. I feel like this book will make this whole idea fall into place.