Thursday, May 30, 2013

Daily 5 and Cafe - Improving our Literacy

The Daily Five and CAFÉ Menu
It won’t be long until you hear your child talking about “The Daily Five” and a “CAFÉ” menu. The purpose of this letter is to fill you in on what The Daily Five and CAFÉ is all about.The Daily Five is a way of structuring our reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to small groups of students during Guided Reading.
When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which is comprised of:
Read to Self - The research continually shows that the very best way to become a better reader is to practice, practice, practice! Your child will read books at his/her “just right” level each day, practicing reading strategies from the CAFÉ men
Work on Writing - Just like it takes practice, practice, practice to become a better reader, it takes practice, practice, practice to become a better writer! We will also have a separate Writer’s Workshop later in the day.
· Working with Words - Working with words helps children become better spellers and writers. Your child will learn about word parts and practice high frequency ‘sight’ words using play dough, stamps, tiles, and whiteboards.
· Read to Someone - Reading to someone helps develop reading fluency and comprehension, and it’s FUN!
· Listen to Reading - Listening to reading helps children develop reading fluency. It also allows them to access texts that they can’t read independently yet.
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each of The Daily Five components. We will spend the first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of The Daily Five, and fostering our classroom community. I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
The CAFÉ menu is a collection of highly effective reading strategies that the students will be taught to use which will help them become better readers. They are organized into four goals:
• C is for Comprehension: “I understand what I read.”
• A is for Accuracy: “I can read the words.”
• F is for Fluency: “I can read smoothly, with expression.”
• É is for Expanding Vocabulary: “I know, find, and use interesting words.”
During individual conferences, I will listen to your child read, help him/her pick a reading goal, and suggest a reading strategy that will help. I will provide coaching on how to use the strategy, and then meet back with your child at a later date to see if he/she has been able to use the strategy. Your child should be able to tell you exactly what goal he/she is working on: “I am working on my accuracy” and his /her strategy: “I am looking for small words inside big words to help me read new words”. Research shows that when students know exactly what they need to work on, and why, they are much more successful in meeting their goals!
I hope that this brief introduction to the “The Daily 5” and the “CAFÉ Menu” has been helpful.

Credit must be given to Amanda Signal AKA #heymilly for bringing this to the fore, as well as the wonderful "sisters" Gail Boushey & Joan Moser who developed the Daily 5. #inspirational

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