18 July 2014

The CAFE Book Chapter 7 - The last

Strategy Groups

This chapter starts with a justification for strategy groups as opposed to levelled reading groups. The strategy group approach allows the reading strategy needs of students at different levels to be me through small group instruction.

Structuring and Managing Strategy Groups
The key points here were that Daily 5 needs to be up and running before I start strategy groups, and that I need to have completed individual assessment of the students so I know what they need. Even with strategy groups there will still be whole class instruction and individual conferences.

Using the Strategy Group Form.
This form helps the teacher keep track of who needs to work on what strategy, and which students can work as a group on a strategy. It is also used to keep track of progress within the group. One key point is that students can move in and out of strategy groups as they master strategies. The strategy groups support individual instruction and give students a chance to work with a buddy who is focussing on the same strategy as they are.

Strategy Groups in Action: What a Typical Morning Looks Like
The key point I noted in this section was that the timing for strategy groups is similar to that for whole group instruction. This is based on Brain-based learning and is approximately one minute for each year of the age of the children. Using this thinking, most of my strategy groups should be 9-10 minutes since I'm teaching mostly 9 & 10 year olds.

Sample Strategy Groups
Once again the principles of this chapter are made clear through detailed examples. Three examples are given: One for Accuracy with a group of Kindergartners, one for Comprehension with a group of Third Graders, and one for Expand Vocabulary with a group of Fifth Graders.

And so ends my review and notes on The CAFE book. I still have all the appendices to read, but they can be done as I need to use them. Next step is to work out what it will look like in my classroom this year. This is going to be different in some ways because of my unique situation for timetabling with our bilingual program, but I know I can make it work.

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