Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Introducing C.A.F.E.

Today we learned about the Reading C.A.F.E. in Daily 5. I have it up on a board that looks like this... It is the "menu" of reading strategies that good readers use all the time. I want the class to be aware of the strategies and start to see which ones they are good at and which ones they need work on.

C is for Comprehension. A is for Accuracy & Awareness. F is for Fluency. E is for Expanding Vocabulary. I have wanted to add this dimension to the Daily 5 ever since I first read about it on the Daily 5 site. I have had the best of intentions each year but somehow have just never got it together. Well, this year is THE year!

We learned about two strategies today for Comprehension. One is the Picture Walk which readers do to determine if they are interested in a picture book and also to give them a hint of what the story might be about. This strategy is one of the prediction strategies.

And we started to learn about the 5 Reading Powers. We started with the strategy of making text to self connections. I read the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by JudithViorst and shared my connections with the class. It is hard to get the idea of us "thinking about our thinking" but it is so important to put our thinking into words to help us be better readers.
The class all liked me sharing stories about my childhood that came up as my connections. I loved the chorus of "me, too" that I heard when I was telling them about my sneaky older brother who would tease me until I yelled and then I would get sent to my room while he just sat there looking innocent!!!! Obviously the sibling relationship hasn't changed all that much in 30 years!

Tomorrow I am going to re-read the story and have the class give their connections. I know that they were already thinking of them because so many hands went up when the story was finished. They were not happy to have to wait a whole day to hear the story and get their turn but the bell was about to ring and lunch was calling!

I am loving, loving, loving how into reading this group is. Reading has always been such a huge part of my life and I love being able to share that love with my students. The world may be moving towards books on computer devices but I don't think that anything can ever replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands and feeling like the author is speaking right to you. Of flipping through the pages as fast as you can read because you can't wait to find out how it ends. Of walking through a library and seeing all the wonderful book spines just waiting for you to reach for them and pull them out. Nothing can beat the feeling of reading a book. Nothing. 

Ms. Hughes

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