Here is my weekly daily five/CAFE update...
This week we focused on characters and on the CAFE strategy "retelling a story using the characters". We also added the strategy "recognizing sight words since" we have started adding words to our word wall.
We used the book Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe this week to talk more in depth about the CAFE menu and how we are going to use it to become better readers. We compared it to the menus they see at places like McDonalds or Chick-fil-a and how sometimes they might want nuggets, fries, and a drink and other times they may just want fries. It is the same with reading strategies- sometimes we use more that one at a time to figure out how to read a word and other times we use just one.
Every day when I start the comprehension piece of my CAFE/daily five block I get up and physically touch and point to the CAFE wall. I review past strategies we have learned as well as the new ones we are working on. I physically go to the wall every time I am trying to point out a specific strategy. I do not just refer to the board. I physically walk to it and touch it.
To help us learn about characters, I used lessons from Kim Adsit's reader's workshop unit Digging Deeper.
We learned what characters are and what they can do. Then we made an anchor chart to help us remember what we learned. We did not get to the lesson on making connections to the characters yet, so we will add that point to our chart next week.
We learned that characters can talk and that when characters talk we call it dialogue. We learned that you can tell when characters are talking because their words are in speech bubbles or quotation marks. Jan Thomas books are great for showing your students about speech bubbles. We read the book Here comes the big, mean dust bunny! for this lesson.
Swim! Swim! by Lerch is also a great book that uses speech bubbles. Kids love this book!
We learned that characters can change their voices to show how they are thinking or feeling. We pretended to be the characters in the book and we practiced changing our voices. We also learned that we sequence characters to retell a story. We used pictures of the characters to retell Chicken Little.
We read The Three Little Pigs. This time we made a list of the characters to retell the story. We used interactive writing to write our list. Then we made pigs by cutting lots of corners and rounding. We are finally starting to get better at cutting!!
We worked on describing characters by paying close attention to what they look like and what they do. I had to work at getting them to think beyond "bird". They got there though.
I begin my CAFE/daily five block with a read aloud. This is the comprehension part of the CAFE mini-lesson structure. The character work we did this week was also part of this time and in some cases part of our writing time too. During my accuracy and fluency time I am doing activities that center around letters, sounds, nouns, compound words, rhyming, and word wall work. Here is one reading activity we did this week during fluency time. We used the reader from Kim Adsit's Five Speckled Frogs unit to work on the word wall words "like" and "to". My students worked in pairs and used magnetic letters to make the words "like" and "to" on each page. Then they used their "reading super powers" to read the rest of the text. The idea for "our reading super powers" came from Mrs. Jones Kindergarten and Everything Primary.
We are doing lots of elbow partner talk. I try to "lean and tell" or "turn and talk" at least once each morning. Our anchor chart came from Kim Adsit's Blasting Off With Reader's Workshop unit.
We are still working to build stamina. On good days we are up to 5 minutes and on bad days we are down to 3 minutes. My students are getting their book boxes and choosing where they want to read now. I am using popsicle sticks to call my students to get their boxes and choose a spot to read so that everyone gets a turn at going first and getting one of the "prime" reading spots in the room.