Classroom Design—Step 7: Finishing Touches; the CAFE Menu


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Designating wall space for a CAFE Menu is all it takes to get started. As the year goes on and CAFE strategies are taught in a whole-group format, the board is created together, serving as a vital reference point to help every reader in the room. Here is an example from Janet Scott’s room.

What to watch for:

  • Janet explains the first strategy she teaches, which matches the practice of most CAFE teachers.
  • Gail explains constrained and unconstrained strategies. Although beginning readers are working on many of the constrained strategies, they have a comprehension goal as well.


  • Janet calls the CAFE Menu a working part of the room. Why do you think she explains this area of the room that way? Is your CAFE Menu area a working part of your room? Why or why not?
  • What is your big idea or takeaway from what you have learned about your students and the CAFE Menu? Janet shares hers.

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