I am currently reading CAFE and Daily 5 simultaneously and I’m back to teaching kindergarten (haven’t taught it in 8 years). I have 30 kids in my class, no aid, and they are a very wide spectrum of reading abilities. As I am reading I really like the methods but I am feeling so overwhelmed and anxious on how to implement it. Does it become clear after completing the books? Does anyone do a modified version for large classrooms? Any advice would be appreciated.
First of all, I applaud you to be able to keep 30 kindergarteners on task with ANY program you do!!
That said, I think if you remember the first rule of any management program, and most definitely with Daily 5–TAKE YOUR TIME!! Those first few weeks of school should be spent getting your kiddos to build stamina in the early lessons. (Refer to the book and here on the website).
When it says “day 1, day 2, etc”, think in terms of accomplishments–when you’ve accomplished what it suggested for Day 1 (although it may be 4 days for your group), then start the suggested Day 2 lessons. Make sense?
These are general suggestions, and those with similar experiences with large class sizes will be able to give more “one the job” suggestions :).
I started Cafe this year with 34 kids, 17 for whom English was a second language. I was not able to start right in September because I was in a gym co-teaching 67 kids until the portables were ready in November (eeeekkkk). However, Monday morning in our new portable home I started Cafe and Daily 5. I was new to Cafe but not Daily 5. It was awesome!! I started teaching with class read alouds. T## E
Sorry I just had some strange technical problem. The kids loved making the strategy cards. I kept reviewing and building the strategies with them. I was able to add the strategies to meet all of my learners needs from those not yet able to read English to my advanced readers.
My advice…jump in. … Don’t worry about doing it perfect. Thanks to CAFE I finally feel like I have developed a strong reading program despite all the challenges of the year. Go for it! Take a leap and the risk of not knowing what it will totally look like will pay off .
I think you’d like reading the 3 part articles from the website that talk about starting the year with and without Daily 5 CAFE. I know a lot of teachers at my school have appreciated the insights in them.
Thanks everyone! It is becoming more realistic looking to me as I continue to read and explore the website. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for your encouragement.
Hi! I am teaching two 1st grade reading classes (one has 27 and one has 29). The advice given earlier by the 2 Sisters would be my first piece of advice as well. Take your time. Everything will take a little bit longer, but it will eventually “click” for your class. I have chosen their independent spots for them (before allowing them to choose their own spots) for much longer than I have with smaller classes just because they are not as many “options” for setting with so many bodies. My main struggle right now is conferenceing (in both small group and individual) with this many children during my limited reading block. Especially since it is the beginning of the year and I really want to take the time to get to know them as readers. If you figure this out please let me know!!
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