CAFE Reading Program at Timboon

In 2014 we began using the CAFE reading menu across all grades prep through to year six. The CAFE system, based on research into the habits of proficient readers, is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary. The system includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, posting of goals on a whole-class board, developing small-group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs. Gail and Joan developed the CAFE system to support teachers as they: organize assessment data so it truly informs instruction; track each child's strengths and goals, thereby maximizing time with him or her; create flexible groups of students, all focused on a specific reading strategy; and help students remember and retrieve the reading strategies they learned. The CAFE system does not require expensive materials, complicated training, or complete changes to current classroom literacy approaches. Rather, it provides a structure for conferring with students, a language for talking about reading development, and a system for tracking growth and fostering student independence. The CAFE system's built-in flexibility allows teachers to tailor the system to reflect the needs of their students and their state's standards.