Partner with Students to Determine CAFE Next Steps


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When we start the year with CAFE or review CAFE strategies throughout the year, we want to know which strategies each of our students is aware of, which they are working on, which they are proficient with, and which seem to be the next ones that will help them become proficient readers.

Kate Todd, from Sydney, Australia, found the Personal CAFE Menu to be a useful tool for helping her students keep track of the strategies they are using, their proficiency with using them, and their overall growth as strategic readers. With a glance at the Menu, she can focus in on the next strategies to teach.

Here is the simple way to gather all the data and use this tool.

Kate handed each child their own personal CAFE Menu and asked her students to do the activities on the left side of the chart. Her thinking about each one is on the right side.  

Students' Activities

What I Learn

  1. Write all the strategies you have used in class onto the chart.


  2. Color in the strategies boxes that you have used in the past. 

  Is this child carrying over and remembering strategies from year to year?

  3. Rate each strategy 1–4.

  How successful do you think you are at using each strategy?  

  1 = I've had little success with the strategy.

  2 = I know what the strategy is and what it means.

  3 = I am starting to use it sometimes.

  4 = I am using it consistently, and I know it so well, I could teach it to others. 

  This helps me see their level of understanding of the strategies.

  4. Nominate two strategies that would help you improve your reading.

  This is where I will start the conversation about what strategies they want to work on next. 

Using this individual CAFE Menu becomes the starting point, and students can use it throughout the year to monitor their learning of the reading strategies.



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