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“All readers of any age need instruction and support that helps them become more independent and self-reflective in their work.” – Gail Boushey and Joan Moser
In The CAFE Book, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser present a practical, simple way to integrate assessment into daily reading and classroom discussion. The CAFE system, based on research into the habits of proficient readers, is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary. The system includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, posting of goals on a whole-class board, developing small-group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs.
Gail and Joan developed the CAFE system to support teachers as they:
· organize assessment data so it truly informs instruction;
· track each child’s strengths and goals, thereby maximizing time with him or her;
· create flexible groups of students, all focused on a specific reading strategy; and
· help students remember and retrieve the reading strategies they learned.
The CAFE system does not require expensive materials, complicated training, or complete changes to current classroom literacy approaches. Rather, it provides a structure for conferring with students, a language for talking about reading development, and a system for tracking growth and fostering student independence. The CAFE system’s built-in flexibility allows teachers to tailor the system to reflect the needs of their students and their state’s standards. And it’s a perfect complement to The Daily Five, “The Sisters” influential first book, which lays out a structure for keeping all students engaged in productive literacy work for every hour of every classroom day.