Agents of Change—Encouraging the Growth of Daily 5 and CAFE


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We hear from teachers all over the world who have fallen in love with Daily 5 and CAFE and want other teachers to get on board. We’ve seen their contagious enthusiasm lead to school-wide and even district-wide change in a few ways. If you feel like a lone wolf and are longing to have your teammates and colleagues partner with you in the structure of Daily 5 and the CAFE system, one of these ideas might help spark the change you long for.

1. Pilot them both. A grade-level team or one teacher from each grade level in the school commits to trying it out. When other teachers see the growth that results from children spending extended time with good-fit books, and applying strategies that they have been explicitly taught, they are often inspired to try it.

2. Set up a model classroom. Invite other teachers to watch launching lessons, brief focus lessons, small-group instruction, one-on-one conferring, use of the CAFE Menu, and assessing and goal setting. When teachers are released from their own classrooms and are accompanied by a literacy coach who can talk them through the strengths of Daily 5 and CAFE as they observe them in action, they are able to entertain the possibility of providing that type of instruction to their own students.

3. Another option is to subscribe to The Daily CAFE website and watch videos, read articles, and download lessons together to learn about Daily 5 and the CAFE strategies. The Interactive CAFE Menu is a great place to start. Once teachers see the support available on the website, they feel less reluctant to jump in. There is a Daily 5 Study Guide and a CAFE Study Guide on the website, as well as a Getting Started Guide that includes valuable information and all the needed forms to get CAFE and Daily 5 up and running.

4. School leadership can be a powerful influence. When we were in Charlotte, North Carolina we met a veteran teacher of 22 years who said she had just completed her most successful year of teaching to date. She went on to share that at the end of the previous school year, her principal showed how her students were performing compared with her colleagues’ students. She was horrified to see that her students lagged behind the other fourth-grade children in most areas. She was frustrated, disheartened, and most of all shocked that her substantially less-experienced colleagues' students were outperforming her students. Her principal took the opportunity to share The Daily 5 and CAFE books, both of which her teammates had talked about for two years. He also signed her up for The Daily CAFE website so she could immerse herself in this different way of teaching over the summer. The differing test results were all the incentive she needed to try something new. Lo and behold, not only did she feel better about her teaching this year than others, but she was delighted to share that her students made more progress than she has ever seen.  

5. Get the support of your principal. Here are a couple of links to articles that you might read in advance of opening a dialog with a principal. The first is The Top 10 Reasons This Principal Loves Daily 5 and CAFE and the second is Daily 5 Schoolwide. Both are introduced in What Do Principals Think of Daily 5 and CAFE?



Boushey, G. & Moser, J. (n.d.). “The daily cafe getting started guide.” The daily cafe. Retrieved April 14, 2015 from /articles/the-daily-cafe-getting-started-guide

Boushey, G. & Moser, J. (n.d.). “What do principals think of daily 5 and cafe?” The daily cafe. Retrieved April 14, 2015 from /articles/what-do-principals-think-of-daily-5-and-cafe

Johnson, J. (n.d.). “Daily 5 schoolwide part 2.” Principal J blogspot. Retrieved April 14, 2015 form

Reid, Mindy. (n.d.). “The top 10 reasons this principal loves daily five and CAFE.” The nerdy book club. Retrieved April 14, 2015 from

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