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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cafe: Chapter 6- Whole-Class Instruction

I'm following along with the book study over at We Read, We Blog, We Teach.
*I'll be posting my thoughts on Chapter 7 later today!

Chapter 6 is all about Whole-Class Instruction. The Cafe Menu has all of the strategies that you will teach your students roughly in order, depending on your students' needs. 

This was my board for second grade. We covered a comprehension lesson every day plus an accuracy lesson and then either a fluency or vocabulary lesson, as suggested by The Sisters. Check for Understanding is at the top of the list in Comprehension, so that is one I taught right away. The skills get a little harder as you go down the list. Now, if I was teaching K or 1, I might do more accuracy strategies because that is what those students are working on. Intermediate teachers might do more of a focus on comprehension and fluency since many students already have those accuracy strategies. Never hurts to review, though!
My team has also matched these strategies to our basal curriculum so sometimes we do go out of order. 

The Sisters recommend teaching the lesson to a whole group and allowing them time to practice with partners. Then they have a student write the strategy on a sentence strip and put it up on the menu. Students are encouraged to practice the new skill during independent reading. They review it the next day and connect it with other strategies that they have been working on.

Here are some questions that Jen over at We Read, We Blog, We Teach asked in her post about this chapter (my answers are in red):
  • I absolutely LOVE the look of the CAFE menu bulletin boards I have seen.  If you don't have the space in your classroom for such a large bulletin board, how are you planning to list the strategies for all to see?
I have used a small bulletin board, cement block wall, and a whiteboard to display my Cafe Menu. It can go anywhere- I might use my cabinet doors this year. If you do have a limited space, I'd recommend pre-cutting the sentence strips so kids can't write forever. ;)
  • I have a 90 minute literacy block.  With all I need to squeeze in, will it be possible to have 3 whole-class strategy lessons a day?  How are you fitting in your strategy lessons - will you plan on having 3 a day?

I usually do three a day. I schedule them all over the place. I usually have one strategy lesson immediately after Morning Meeting. This one is usually about 10 minutes- either a quick lesson or review. I have one before we start Daily 5, and another after Round 2 of Daily 5 before lunch. It doesn't have to be around Daily 5 time- it can be when you have 8 minutes before recess or 10 minutes before math.
  • I used to start my literacy block with independent reading (and I would conference with one or two students during this time).  If my students should be practicing the CAFE strategy taught during independent reading, should I move my reading time?  For those of you that have tried CAFE already in your classrooms, when do you have your students reading independently?
I start my literacy block with a mini-lesson and then do Daily 5. I have three rounds of D5 during the day which is separate from my basal time. My students choose their independent reading time during one of the three rounds of D5. If I had older students, I would still start with a mini-lesson and then have the independent reading time. Maybe a strategy lesson to break things up in the middle of the time or else at the end.
  • Do you have your students create their own strategy cards?  I have seen a lot of premade cards (that will look great on a bulletin board), but the sisters really recommended having the students create them.  What do you do in your classroom?
I write the first one to model to students how the cards will look and then I have a different student write the cards each time. I LOVE my handwriting but I know it's important for the kids to write them. I have the kiddos with good handwriting make the important ones, though!
  • I'm thinking I will somehow mark our cards each time we connect to a card we have already discussed - to give a visual that shows how interconnected the strategies are - and how we are never "finished" with a strategy.  Have any of you done this?
I haven't done this but there are a lot of connections! Maybe you could use a shape on the card for each connection- like ones with blue stars are all connected. It would be fun to have string attaching them together.

I did want to remind you that The Sisters have several Cafe Menus available on their website. There is an Emergent Menu, Transitional Menu, Cafe Menu, and Spanish menus available here

There are also fabulous ideas for teaching the lessons on the Interactive Cafe Menu here.

Chapter 7 (the last one!) coming soon!

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