I teach 6th grade reading. By the time students get in class, I have about 40 minutes in which to cover EVERYTHING reading. I have no idea how to do this even though I have read both the CAFE and Daily5 books. Any help would be most appreciated.






By 6th grade, most of your time will be spent on Work on Writing and Read to Self (with your conferring going on during those times). If you include writing in your class, I might suggest alternating days–After your mini-lessons (and keep them mini), do Read to Self one day and Writing the next. Or, if you only do reading, you could alternate between partner reading and read to self after your mini-lessons. Again, just suggestions.


I teach 5th grade ELAR and have about 50-55min. My kiddos read independently anywhere from 10 min to 20 min each period. I tried to do as Donalyn Miller says in the Book Whisper, make this time sacred and is not negotiable. I have been implementing D5/CAFE over 3 years and each year I include more and more from CAFE once independence and stamina is strong enough. Based on research, reading is the no. 1 thing that students need to practice and I consider all the “stuff” that I am required to do my mini lessons and if I can link it to something in CAFE, then I will focus on the reading strategy. While my students are reading I am conferring. I have my student pick their weekly reading goal from the CAFE menu and I form my strategy groups from their self-selected strategies. I meet with the groups and individuals. I generally don’t meet with everyone but my targets are my lower readers and book hoppers. I am trying to use CCPensive but so far it is just taking up too much time but I certainly can see the value in it and I will keep trying. I sometimes feel guilty letting my kids read independently but I know that it is what will help them the most in the long run and it is worth doing. I feel all the reading bits and parts my district wants me to teach will not create readers. My students are doing well, in fact when I am observe they like what they see which tells me to keep letting my kids READ!!!


Great comments from the “trenches”. It is wonderful to hear how you’ve used research and prof resources to support the Daily 5/CAFE. I love how you say you let students pick their weekly goal and you form groups from there–talk about creating independent, reflective readers!
I hope you stick with your attempts with the CCPensieve. I found that telling my students that I’m taking notes about their successes and strategies we need to work on–and sharing the notes I write with them, helps them (and me) realized what a great teaching/support tool this is–for me and them. I also found that using my iPad (although I did buy a keyboard for it) is less intrusive than my laptop.)

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