Monday, March 14, 2011

The CAFE Book Chapter 6: Whole-Class Instructuion

My goal for today's blog is to make is short and sweet.  After I looked back over my previous 5 chapters' blogs, it became clear to me that I was writing a Cliff Notes for the chapter and not really a blog.  So hear we go...
  • I love the idea of mini-lessons, but my gut also tells me that this can be dangerous with an inexperienced and/or ineffective teacher.  How do they know what mini-lessons to teach?
  • What if we followed Renee's suggestion and worked as a school on 4 strategies to do consistently across PK-5?
    • Check for understanding
    • Back Up and Reread
    • Tune In to Interesting Words
    • Cross Checking
  • I like the bulletin board on p.93 that shows the strategies in a visual way by comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary.
  • The whole-class lesson elements that really stuck with me are:
    • Secret to success cannot be a secret!
    • Let students write the strategy cards for buy-in.
    • Review, review, review...
    • Recognize the student who helped with the strategy is another "teacher in the room".
  • I love the shoe lesson.  It is a yearlong anchor that should be referenced continuously to encourage successful reading and reading choices.
  • Have any of you played the Inferring Game?  How did it go?
  • I like the visual chart of summarizing text and sequencing main events.  I would think it would have to cut back on unneeded details that children share??
  • Do any of you use the "Class Word Collector"?  It sounds fairly simple, but I am not sure if the vocabulary would stick??


  1. I like the idea of posting the strategies that you teach on the CAFE wall. That is something that I did not do this year and I think that would be a benifit to my students as well as for me. I just need to find the wall space. (maybe closet doors if I could get things to stick.) I did the good fit lesson at the beginning of the year and the students "got it". However I find that they need practice at picking out books especially when they go the the library. With updating the library, I think that it would be nice to organize books according to level. This way students could easily find a good fit book. I agree that the inferring game looked great. Would like to try after spring break. I also want to try the expanded vocabulary chart and little notebooks. We do clarifying in the room all the time, but don't share in the way that CAFE suggests.

  2. Mary, maybe you could suggest that to Tifini for the picture books at least?