Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CRAFT for Cafe for Reading

That's not a very clear title, is it? :) 

Before I begin, let me just say how ASTOUNDED I am at people talking about actually going back to school...as in like, they have to be back in two weeks (or less). What the what?? I'm currently enjoying my sixth week of summer vacation and (don't kill me), I have six more weeks before I have to show up on August 28. {I have trainings on Aug 3-4 and 18-19 but those are things I volunteered to do so if I wasn't doing them....August 28 would be the first day I had to report for school this fall.} It boggles my mind that people are already going back....of course, I'm also certain these people have been out since mid-May but still. It's SO weird to me.

Anyway, on with the point of this post :) As I mentioned previously, I am absolutely adamant that I will use the Daily 5 format with CAFE this coming year. I have put it off long enough and I'm just going to do it. I can kind of take advantage of the fact that I don't know who my partner is and there is a 99.9% chance this person will be a first year teacher....thus I can do whatever I want and just guide him/her to be the best they can be. I don't have to settle for someone else's idea of what we should do. 

That said, I decided I should begin to prepare for this so that I won't chicken out and make excuses to not do it. I REALLY am digging the idea of the schedule I mentioned in the previous post. It obviously won't occur the 2nd day of school or anything but I know that with hard work and building our stamina I can have kids in groups (and fall MAP testing done so I have some baseline info on my students) by the beginning of October and they should be ready for the full schedule by then. I'm excited about it and am very glad I mapped it out for myself -- even if it will inevitably change -- because it makes it seem like something I can tackle. It also helps that I have a student teacher this fall that I can bounce these ideas off of and get her perspective on tweaks as I make the plunge into it. (I'm fairly certain I will be kicking myself by November for not implementing this framework in years past.)

Many years ago, Kristen at LadyBug's Teacher Files modified the CAFE system to spell CRAFT (you can read about it here). I know I got this file a million years ago because it doesn't even look the same anymore ;) Anywho, I found the file that I had downloaded oh-so-long ago and printed them out and used my circle cutter to cut them into perfect circles.

I thought I'd be slick and put them up on the spare wall at home in my office to check on how big of a space I'd need in my classroom....as you can see, I totally don't have room on this wall :) I am not going to be able to use a bulletin board because mine aren't big enough to hold all of the cards that tell what each letter stands for!

Fortunately it is not a total disaster. My room this fall will be my old 2nd grade room and I plan to put my small group table in the same spot as in this picture below.
See where that black cabinet is? I will create a makeshift bulletin board there (with a black tablecloth and borders pinned up) and put the CRAFT board there. It actually will be super smart because I want the kids to really use the strategies while they are at the table with me (since ideally I will confer with kids the last few minutes of their group work each time we meet) but it will still be visible from the rest of the room. Plus right to the right of this space will be where our whole group gathering area is so this wall is the ideal place to put it. {And thank the Lord that last year I bought some wonderful fabric to cover those shelves because looking at this sort of thing drives me insane! This picture was setting up for the year which is why it is such a mess.}

I am excited. I have a plan. I WILL execute this plan this year.

But first....I am going to spend most of the next six weeks being on summer vacation. I don't want to do too much work until mid-August just in case anything crazy happens with the work situation. It has happened before and while I am confident that it won't change, I am being a bit cautious just in case.


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