During the past three weeks we have invited you to join in and try a system of end-of-the-year reflection that informs your summer PD and intention setting for fall. This system involves using a double-sided notebook to reflect, helping you to decide what to focus on for summer PD so you can set goals and intentions for next year.
Week one was all about reflecting on the effectiveness of your Classroom Design. Week two guided you through the reflection on your Classroom Library, and last week was all about Daily 5 and deciding what it is you wish to learn more about this summer so you can have a do-over next year, improving your practice.
Once again we are going to capitalize upon the seasonal cycle of a school year’s clear ending to look back and celebrate what went well, think about those things that need refining, and set our purpose and goals for summer learning. This process is very powerful when thinking about course-correcting our teaching practice and ultimately helping next year's students succeed next year, even more than this year's.
Just as last week, we begin by asking ourselves these two questions about CAFE in the classroom:
- What went smoothly?
- What was not as successful as you had hoped, making you want to learn more about it so you can make adjustments next year?
When considering CAFE, here are the components I reflect on each year. Many items on this list are hyperlinks, providing you with a leg up on your summer learning.
We know that in order to best meet the needs of each student, we need to understand their greatest strengths and needs. Here is what I think about when reflecting on my individual assessments:
- Did I find I was able to use my assessments correctly?
- Was my assessment area efficient, in the right location, and did it have the correct materials?
- Was I able to manage individual assessments on my own?
- Did I have an approach to help me use my asessments and goal set with my students?
- Did my assessments inform and guide my instruction?
The CAFE Menu
- Who created the CAFE Menu Cards, the students or the teacher? Why it is imperative for the students to do this job?
- Using the CAFE Menu board, was goal setting easy for students?
- Was I confident choosing which strategy to teach the whole group, small groups, or individuals?
- Do I know how to teach the strategies?
- Did my teaching of any specific strategies not go well, meaning I need to learn more about them?
Using the CAFE Menu for Whole-Group and Small-Group Instruction
- Was my start-up smooth or do I need refinement here?
- Was my whole-group planning effective?
- Did the length of my lessons match what we've learned through brain research for my students?
- Were my focus lessons really focused?
- Were my small groups gathered together by reading level or strategy needs?
Conferring and CAFE
- Was I consistent in meeting with students individually?
- Did I keep my individual conferences short?
- Was I able to keep up my conferring notebook?