Have any of you read The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook K-2? I’m just starting (pg. 10) but would love to discuss with fellow Daily 5/CAFE teachers.






Not familiar with that book, but title is intriguing. Does it seems worthy of a summer read :)?

Peggy Andrews

I’m reading it now, but feel like it has great insight into knowing your readers. Some ideas that I feel like will help make my focus lessons and conferences stronger.


I just ordered a used copy on Amazon–my new favorite way to buy books. When I get it and look it over, maybe we can start a discussion!

Peggy Andrews

That would be awesome!


I got my book yesterday afternoon! Love Amazon
I did my usual dive into the book–read the table of contents, Foreward, acknowledgements and introduction :). I also looked through the references in the back and perused through the appendices. I am very intrigued to start reading!!
I like the format and her 4 step thought process about getting from assessment to instruction. Where are you in the book? I hope to get into it this weekend.


I’ve read through Chapter 1 and starting chapter 2. I like the format of the book a lot, and how she set up the 4 areas into 4 chapters.
Chapter 1 Collecting Data Notes:
I appreciate the author saying that we not only need to assess and collect BOY, MOY and EOY data, but to look at data from student’s ongoing daily work–running records, looks at journal writing and kid watching all add to our knowing out kids.
I like that she included conversation as one of the 5 areas of assessing readers. I worry a bit that we put such a focus on using technology that we may overlook the importance of providing opportunities for kids to engage in meaningful conversations about the books they’re reading.
I’m not so sure about the way she suggests assessing reading engagement. I’m not a big fan of reading logs for many reasons. (There are articles here on the the CAFE website about reading logs that I agree with.) I do think I can assess engagement as I confer with students and “kid-watch” during rounds of Daily 5. I record the titles kids read and reread in my Pensieve notes, and jot notes about their stamina. I do think the Engagement Inventory kid-watching form she shared is interesting, and will attempt using that in the fall. I think, though, I’ll keep my eye or 4-5 kids per session, rather than the whole class at once.
In her discussion of assessing fluency, I learned a new term–Parsing. I had always lumped this in with Prosody, but I can see that distinction and will be more cognizant of that piece. I do love that we are expanding fluency to mean more than words correct per minute.
The most important ongoing assessment tool for reading to me is giving running records. I try very hard to take one or two for each child per week–for about a 100 word piece of text.
The author gives several ideas about assessing comprehension, and I think she makes an important point about looking through a variety of lenses to really determine how students are using various comprehension strategies. Using the CAFE menu with the students will support that.
I kept thinking throughout this chapter that I couldn’t believe the author didn’t refer to the Daily 5/CAFE books. So much of what she’s discussing so far is supported and enhanced by the CAFE menu and the importance of conferring. Again, the only area of different thinking is the reading log.
What do you think of my notes? Do you have different thinking about any of this? I hope I didn’t go on too long :). I’ll save assessing writing thoughts for another time :).
Happy 4th of July to you and all.

Peggy Andrews

I agree with your thoughts on reading logs, but found the re-reading log or the post-it notes on the back of the books interesting.
The kid-watching form also intrigued me-would definitely provide a concrete way of showing the child/parent reading engagement behaviors. (Confession- I tend to get annoyed rather than deal with some of the behaviors.)
I love how thorough your notes are, but I feel guilty that I don’t have as much to post. (2nd confession- I am a really bad note-taker and always made friends with a good note taker in class;)
Question: Do you use the CCPensieve or a physical notebook?


Oh, I’m a CCPensieve junkie :). I started out using the physical notebook and loved it, but as soon as the CCP came out, I converted. I love so much about it, but most of all the ability to share students with classroom teachers. I also love the reports you can print out–both for those teachers who don’t use the CCP and for parents. I try to print them out each Friday (although I confess to missing one now and then).
My confession is that I have to take notes as I read to hold my concentration. A bit ADHD, perhaps :). My 2nd confession is that I agree with you about behaviors–I’m thinking that maybe such a form would at least help me show parents/other teachers a record of concerns I have.
Now that we have our confessions out on the table, we can go from here HA HA!

Peggy Andrews

I’ve decided to take chapter 2 in small “bites” due to length and content-
I am on my second reading of it-
I like the 5 Lenses for Reading

  • engagement
  • comprehension
  • print works
  • fluency
  • conversation
    The correlations with Daily5/CAFE are awesome and I think using these lenses will add to my thoroughness.

I love that she points out repeatedly to build on a strength/something the student can already do-I’m afraid in our data-driven world, I’ve become obsessed with the deficits. This shift may be life-changing for me!
Question: Is there a place in CCPensieve for the elements included in “The Table for Summarizing Analysis of Data” figure 2.1 pg. 36?
I also have to constantly remind myself to SLOW down, so her suggestion to begin with a student that puzzles me will be taken-
Again, I am “all in” with the Engagement Inventory.
As far as book logs, I am still skeptical- I do think I will try the Rereading log and see what info I gain from it, but I keep thinking about the logistics of using it at home also. What are your thoughts? Has this changed you thoughts on Book Logs at all?
Curious, have you tried any of these ideas out on the kids you are working with this summer?
I’ll pick up Reading Interest Inventory hopefully before the weekend.
Thrilled to have you along for this ride:)

Peggy Andrews

I’ve emailed her twice and she responded promptly:)


Yay! Did you ask her about Daily 5_/CAFE? If not, I will get on that :).

Peggy Andrews

no, I asked her about the rereading log and about how she kept track of her notes and data.


I like your idea of “chunking” the reading :).
I also agree that the D5/CAFE correlations are awesome. I’d love to email the author to ask if she’s aware of them :).
I was fortunate to have Reading Recovery training several years ago, and the “building on strengths and beginning to use on their own” is exactly what Marie Clay preached. That training was life-changing for me. When I became aware of D5/CAFE, I was in awe, because to me it was like Reading Recovery for the Classroom!
There isn’t a place in the CCP for a graph/style posting like on p 36, but here’s what I do. I writsz a bit about such things in my daily notes. Then, when I’m ready to print out the weekly report for folders I keep or to give classroom teachers, I use the box at the top of the report to summarize the analysis of data. The only problem with that is that if you don’t save the reports in a folder on your desktop, they aren’t saved in the CCP. Daily notes are, of course, just not the weekly report. It adds another step to save those on the desktop, but especially for those weeks when assessments are being given, it’s worth it. Does that make sense?
(BTW, based on the form on p 5 about keeping track of rereads, I asked Emily–one of the developers–about the ability to make a list in the daily notes section. I was thinking that I could start each Monday with a conferring space dedicated to listing titles and tally marks for keeping track. She’s looking into making that possible.)
I have to say that I have not changed my mind about reading logs–I can see me keeping a list of reads/rereads, but I don’t like the logs for home use. I’ve seen too many questionable entries :). I think doing running records and taking occasional fluency checks will give me a true picture of not only wcpm, but prosody as well.
I made up a simple reading inventory for the kids this summer, and it was telling to hear their responses. I do think I’ll do a revised one for this fall. I’m using my beloved running records.
I can’t wait to get back to the book–been away from it this week–I’m on p 47, just at the writing section. I really want to read this carefully, and I’ve always felt writing is such a part of literacy and helps some learn to read. My summer kids have confirmed that for me, for sure.
It’s fun to discuss with you, for sure. Makes me more thoughtful!!

Peggy Andrews

I’ve only got a little “chunk” of reading done but thought I go ahead and record my thoughts before I hit the writing section on page79-91. Like I said earlier I had to read chapter 2 twice to get it all in my mind.
Here’s what I noted about Fluency Assessment-I figured this is one of your favorites-am I right?

  • I liked that she pointed out that even if the child could read at level E is he/she is performing at level 1 or 2, then he/she is non-fluent and should be directed to easier text. In NC we are required to use DIBELS/Mclass (formative assessment) with a written comprehension component and then it is used to evaluate my proficiency as a teacher. This makes me want to push super-hard to get students our of the “red” but I know from experience that the time in level e-g is crucial.
  • I almost giggled reading the section on the importance of miscue analysis because is a required part of DIBELS/Mclass and at most I’ve hard a total of maybe 2 hours teaching/training on how to do it. I plan to try to create some checklists using RF1 and RF3 for my grade level expectations.
  • As I read, it was good that she reminded me that my expectations should match the level of the text students are reading, which is 1st grade goes from RB to above J. My expectations always seem to be with those J readers, but that again is not building on they can do!

In the Analyzing Conversation section-
Let me ask a question first, do you record conversations? If so, how do you do it?

  • I like keeping the analyzation focused on two specifics: (because more than that and my head would explode)
  1. ability to articulate their thinking about text
  2. speaking and listening skills
    How do you think this correlates with the CAFE strategy, checkmarks, Who? What?

Can’t wait to hear more of your great insight:)


Phew is right!
Just made it through Chap 2, with a lot of rereading. I was getting a little overwhelmed until she said to start with the kids that either you’re most concerned about or those who need enrichment and you can’t quite figure out how to help! I think that after I do a couple of very intense looks at kids, I’ll be able to carry what I’ve learned over to help those who need a little help–to determine what the problem or need really is for others.
I also appreciate her comments about reading at E but performing at a lower level, s/he should continue to read easier text. I think most teachers feel that “need” to move our readers along through the lower levels as quickly as possible to get to “meatier” texts. It’s hard to remind ourselves that taking the time at the lower levels will pay off in the long run.
I think you’ll learn to love miscue analysis like i do :). Deciding if the miscues are really due to visual or meaning clues can really help determine the best CAFE strategy to use with a kiddo. It’s not always what it looks like at first glance. :).
I sometimes record conversations or readings, but not always by any means. If I have a specific concern that comes through in either reading or oral language expression, I find that to be most helpful. In the past couple of years, I’ve used SeeSaw ( It’s a free tool that you can use with your laptops or iPads. There are lots of things you can do with it, but I just use the recording and playback feature. One big payoff, is that the kids love to listen to themselves, and often ask if they can read the passage again to “read it better”.
My favorite part of the chapter was the Making Discoveries from Writing. I truly am a believer of if students can express thoughts and ideas in writing (at their developmental stage), then they truly have an understanding. That’s one part of the chapter I do plan to revisit at another time to see how I can condense the “look-fors” as a tool I can more readily use.

Peggy Andrews

I was away at camp last week and chose to use my free time on the Daily5/CAFE booster:wink: It was great to you there too! I didn’t see that Gail responded to my question, but I could have missed it.
I am going to do my best to complete the book this week because my mind in on room set-up and we have another short get away planned. Hold me to that, okay…
I concentrated on pages 93-102 this morning.
-I thought Jen was spot-on with her warning about salient observations. (I have to confess that I had to ask Siri to define salient just to be sure I had a correct understanding of the word. ) I guess in every area of my teaching, I need to be wary of giving "squeaky wheels-aka salient observations- grease.
-I wrote myself a little reminder that I may even post above my desk that "most obvious does not equal most important"
I am not a goal-setter by nature, but knowing that goals affect accomplishment is a definite motivator for the upcoming year.
-I want to remember that-
Goals need to be:

  • appropriate
  • specific
  • challenging

-I also thought that her statement that-Motivation does not always come from enjoyment of a task, but in recognizing that hard work has a positive outcome- was another sign that I need to read the book, Grit or at least listen to the TED talk.
-As a goal-setting weakling, I hope the language frame on the bottom of pg. 99 will help me. I made notes that the goal will have the biggest effect if it is something important that has opportunity in both reading and writing.
-Then she hit me in the “gut” again with on page 100 by pointing out that we sometimes have “our thing” as a teacher-mine is phonics- and we see that need first because we want to see it first. But at least she gave me a way to avoid that trap by listing several possibilities to push myself past the easy thing to teach.
-I’m tend to be pessimistic so her 80/20 principle first struck me as wishful thinking, but I did make note to choose a goal that has potential to impact other goals- putting first things first-
Hopefully, I be back soon with the rest of this chapter!


I have to admit to taking a break, as well. I got really into the D5/CAFE seminar, and pushed myself to finish it. I really enjoyed it, and hope I can use some thoughts from there along with this book to start the year off with goals in place. I am good at making goals, but not always with seeing them through ri
I have a couple of school things happening this week, but hope to hit the book hard the end of this week. I have the book Grit and read about 1/3 of it. It was interesting, but maybe I need to check out the TED talk, too!!
I’ll respond to your comments better as I catch up.


Made it through Chap 3 today :). This chapter was easier for me to get through :).
In the first part, 93-102, I think (as you suggested) that many teachers “expect” students to need strategies in a certain order. I love your quote about the most obvious not meaning the most important. I might use that as a quote to hang in my room–not only for me, but for the kids, as well.
The piece about motivation reminded me of two books I use and refer to often by Peter Johnston, “Opening Minds” and “Choice Words”. Both are thin little books (sometimes a plus to me ) that deal with how the language we use with students affects their learning and clarifies our thoughts about their work. I suggest taking a look at those if you’re not familiar with them.
I also like her listing of more than one possible goal from looking over the work and then determining which one would have the most impact–the 80/20 rule. It’s funny, I’d heard references to that principle, but never made the connection to making goals for my students. Maybe that’s another sign to put up :).
This also made me think of the discussion in the D5/CAFE Seminar about setting behavior goals. I certainly know a few whose behavior had such an impact of their difficulties in reading and writing, that this would be their 20. This is a goal of mine–to make the effort to look carefully at behaviors when considering goals.
I’ll divide my reading of the chapter to match your postings :).


I do love the discussion about the goal-setting conference. My first thought was, “That’s a lot to accomplish in one sitting.” Then, I went to the website and looked up the Sister’s conferring plan. Not so different. Maybe just the way it’s written out! Here’s the lint to the CAFE form for comparision:


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As you suggest, It’s hard to believe she doesn’t mention CAFE in all this. Now I’m anxious to get into chapter 4!

Peggy Andrews

this link did not work-Is there another way to access it?



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I’ll check and see what I can find out

Peggy Andrews

The Goal-Setting Conference section pgs. 103-113 were so practical. I kept thinking, “Man, she’s good.” I like how the definition of a goal-setting conference is even practical, “the first conference after you have chosen a goal”
I made a bulleted list of “essentials”

  • 5 to 10 minutes in length
  • state intention (ambitious but specific)
  • lay work out that will help student realize the area of growth (predetermined by your triangulated data-another term I had to double-check with Siri:face_with_raised_eyebrow:
  • Use careful, leading questions to ask student what he/she notices (contrastive examples can be useful here)
  • Establish clear goal (personalized tools: sticky notes, bookmark, goal card can be useful here)
  • Give student the opportunity to try it out with you as training wheels
  • Repeat the goal and strategy
  • Make the next meeting time
  • State expectation for time in between

Why does this all sound so familiar??
I just can’t believe she never refers to The Sisters!
I also paraphrased her warning, "Try as hard as possible not to let your pre-conceived notions, salient observations color your interpretation- Root the goal-setting conference in reality with triangulated data.

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