• CAFÉ in the Classroom

    To give you a better idea of what CAFÉ looks like in the classroom, let me answer some questions. Remember this is just a glimpse at how I use CAFÉ in my classroom.  

    Q:  First of all, what is CAFÉ?

    A:  Café is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. Gail Boushey and Joan Moser developed this system which allows even the youngest readers to self-monitor their progress, and chart their goals within the larger context of classroom community

    Q:  How does this fit into Guided Reading?

    A:  I am able to narrow my focus for mini lessons (small group and whole group) based on standards and the headings (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expand Vocabulary). I use the ideas for my mini lessons and to conference with students. 

    Q:  How does this support differentiation?

    A:  I meet with students in a small group based on their reading needs! Students set goals for themselves (with my guidance) based on their needs. 

    Q:  How does this work with using Daily 5?

    A:  In my classroom, I always try to do 3-4 rounds of Daily Five. Before we begin, I teach a mini lesson that is related to one of the following:  comprehension, accuracy (decoding), fluency, or vocabulary.  (See how well this goes together?) When I pull students to read in a small group, I conference and set goals with them based on their reading behaviors.





    Expanding Vocabulary

    I understand what I read

    I can read the words

    I can read accurately, with expression and understand what I read

    I know, find, and use interesting words








    Check for understanding

    Cross checking – Do the pictures and/or words look right?  Does it sound right and make sense?

    Voracious reading

    Voracious reading

    Back up and reread

    Use the picture – Do the words and picture match?

    Read appropriate level text that are “Good Fit”

    Tune in to interesting words and use new vocabulary in my speaking and writing

    Monitor and fix up

    Use beginning sounds and ending sounds

    Reread text

    Use pictures, illustrations, and diagrams

    Retell the story

    Blend sounds, stretch and read

    Practice common sight words and high frequency words

    Use word parts to determine meaning of words (prefixes, suffixes, origins, abbreviations

    Use prior knowledge to connect with text

    Flip the sounds

    Adjust and apply different reading rates to match text

    Use prior knowledge and context to predict and confirm meaning

    Make a picture or mental image

    Chunk letters and sounds together

    Use punctuation to enhance phrasing and prosody (end marks, commas, etc…)

    Ask someone to define the word for you

    Ask questions throughout the reading process

    Skip the word and then come back


    Use dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries as tools

    Predict what will happen, use text to confirm

    Trade a word/guess a word that makes sense



    Infer and support with evidence




    Use test features (titles, headings, captions, graphic features)




    Summarize text, include sequence of main events




    Use main idea and supporting details to determine importance




    Determine and analyze author’s purpose and support with text




    Recognize literary elements (genre, plot, character, setting, problem, solution)