Which CAFE Strategies Do We Teach First?


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There is no perfect scope and sequence to teaching that would ensure all our children become proficient readers. If it was out there, everyone would be using it already. Our children come with a variety of strengths and weaknesses each year, and need instruction that is specifically tailored to their development. The CAFE Menu is a resource that empowers us to deliver explicit and timely instruction. Following the CAFE Menu in a prescribed order is probably the least effective way to meet the needs of our students.

However, a 6-5-4-3 rule of thumb is a good thing to keep in mind if you are unsure where to begin with your class or a specific child.  If a child is working on comprehension and we aren't sure which strategy to start with, we pick one of the first six strategies under Comprehension. If Accuracy is their goal and we are wondering where to begin, we start with one of the first five. If we need guidance regarding Fluency or Vocabulary goals, we simply select one of the first four or three.

Once the strategy is identified, we teach and monitor frequently to assess its appropriateness for the child. We find some of the hardest work we do is getting started with a goal and strategy for a child. Once we get into the day to day work with them, understand them more, and reflect on our teaching, the subsequent strategies reveal themselves quite naturally.

Focusing on a child's specific needs honors where they are as a learner and provides instruction more meaningfully than an exact scope and sequence ever could.

View CAFE Menu 6-5-4-3

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