Melding Dr. G and The Daily Cafe

cafe-bookLately, I’ve been making the adjustments needed to teach reading to this year’s group of readers.  Each year, the class-wide needs and the individual needs vary greatly.

I’ve identified visualizing and inferring as class-wide needs along with a generalized need to pinpoint where comprehension is breaking down.  First, I taught through Dr. Goodreader and we continue to use the chart daily to pinpoint our needs.  I’m dealing with inferring and visualizing through class-wide mini-lessons and read alouds.

Then I began to imcorporate portions of Gail Boushey and Joan Moser’s amazing book, The Daily Cafe.  I posted and taught the strategies from their daily cafe under the following divisions:

C:  Comprehension, A:  Accuracy, F:  Fluency, and E:  Enlarging Vocabulary. 

Then I had each of them consider their weakest area in the comprehension category and set that as a goal for the quarter.  This self-organized them into groups.  I figured that was a no-lose proposition because they would learn no matter which category they chose.

I’ve been meeting with these groups every few days.  I give them a short mini-lesson, and then a specific assignment.  The assignments are often painfully simple, but I’ve found they are already helping quite a bit.  The self-monitoring group has a sticky note that they move to the bottom of each page as they read and ask themselves the question, “Did that make sense?” at the bottom of each page.  The determining importance group asks themselves after each conversation in the book they are reading, “What was important in this conversation?” and puts a sticky flag next to the important parts.  The prediction group makes predictions and confirms them using text evidence.  Simple.  But.  Effective.  Thank you, 2 Sisters!

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