The Literacy CAFE System provides teachers with a way to maximize student understanding of the four key components of successful reading through the use of the CAFE Menu. CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expand Vocabulary.

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Essential Elements

Start here! Learn every aspect of what makes up the prep, implementation, and support of CAFE.

Interactive CAFE Menu

Easily find articles, videos, and lessons for each CAFE strategy.

About CAFE

Learn more about the research behind CAFE, and why it was developed.

CAFE Essential Elements

Though CAFE is a flexible system, there are elements that are essential to its integrity and success. These Elements fit into four stages: Understand, Prepare, Teach, and Support. This document are not intended to be used for evaluative purposes, but as a tool to help you assess your knowledge and application of each element and its supporting behaviors.

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A grounded understanding of the CAFE system will set the foundation for teachers who want their students to master the four key components of successful reading.

1 Framework

2 CAFE Instruction Method


Classroom design, record keeping, and necessary materials work together to make the CAFE system a success for teachers and students.

3 Classroom Design

4 Materials

5 Record Keeping


Discover how assessments lead to deep knowledge about student needs and the instructional strategies and monitoring moves we make to ensure all students make successful strides toward meeting standards.

6 CAFE Menu

7 Assessment

8 Instruction

9 Accountability


Layers of support for teachers, parents, and students maximize engagement, progress, and success.

10 Barometer Behaviors

11 Home Connection

* Resources

About CAFE

CAFE is the literacy system that compliments the Daily 5 structure. Posted on the classroom wall and built throughout the year, the CAFE Menu serves as a visual reminder of whole-class instruction as well as individual student goals. By focusing on the four key components of successful reading: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary, and providing strategies to support each goal, the CAFE System is an efficient and effective way to assess, instruct, and monitor student progress.

The system helps teachers

  • establish and track the strengths and goals of each child by providing a structure for conferring;
  • organize assessment data and use it to inform instruction;
  • maximize time with students in whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one settings;
  • create flexible small groups focused on specific reading needs;
  • engage students, fostering ownership and accountability to reach goals; and
  • develop a common language to talk about reading development and proficiency.

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