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upperwests upperwests is offline
 
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Daily Five/Cafe and Four Blocks
Old 08-01-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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First, a little background.....Years ago when I taught second grade I used the four blocks framework. (I LOVED IT) I switched to First Grade 5 years ago and abandoned 4 blocks and moved into Guided Reading Groups based on ability. Two years ago I began implementing Daily Five (I conducted my GR groups while the others were doing Dailly 5) This summer I began reading the Cafe book....and it dawned on me that I was "doing" daily cafe when I taught 2nd years ago. I had my individual conferences, kept notes "a la Cafe", during the Read to Self Block. This year, I am considering combining the 4 blocks framework with Daily 5/Cafe. I find having a multitude of ability based reading groups is burning me out (always rushed/trouble with constant pullouts).....so I was thinking of switching to the 4 blocks framework for guided reading (I would still be able to use my basal a few times a week.......), and differentiate reading with personal book boxes and Read to Self block.. So here is my question......does anyone combine 4 blocks with Daily 5 and Cafe......they seem like a perfect combination. OR......do you think guided reading groups by ability are a MUST for first graders.
HELP!!!!
Paula


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Old 08-01-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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You are my kind of teacher, the kind who can pull out the best from all the programs and do what you need to do.

In answer to your question, I do think ability grouping is especially useful in first grade because your range is sooooo large, from non-readers to chapter books in some classes. I think there are some reading tasks (like visualizing) that are sort of irrelevant at the earlier stages. (Hey, it's a book with a photo and a sentence that tells what it is. Nothing much to visualize there.) There is a point in reading development where I feel like the bulk of independent/guided reading should be about word solving and the comprehension emphasis should be largely dealt with in read aloud or facilitated shared reading. I think that there is a pretty good chance a bunch of your kids will either be at that stage or another one at the same time (ish).

I think guided reading is a particularly powerful way of dealing with this problem. However, at the same time, I think the best way to teach reading is through focused individual conferencing. Unfortunately, you can't get to everyone enough.

Really, I think reading should just be four hours long and have a minimum of three teachers doing it at the same time. (Just kidding.)

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Sara
Old 08-01-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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Actually I agree with your just kidding part. Unless a teacher has taught first grade they have no idea what goes into teaching beginning readers. I am the only first grade teacher at my school and other grade level teachers just don't get it when I talk about teaching little ones how to read. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just focus on teaching the little ones how to read for the majority of the day (with about 3 certified teachers). I really feel we would be able to catch those kids that really need serious intervention (one on one) or very small groups and hopefully cut down on struggling students in the older grades. Just my two cents...
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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I also agree with you. I once told that to our district curriculum development person and she stared at me as if I had said the strangest thing ever. She said but what about Science and Social Studies. I thought to myself - that I can intergrate some science and social studies but that if a student doesn't learn to read now then they will not learn social studies or science later.
I feel our society likes to fix what is broken instead of take care of things so they don't break. Ex. Doctors like to throw meds at people instead of making sure we are doing healthy things so we won't need meds.
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four blocks and daily 5
Old 08-02-2010, 04:54 AM
 
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My school also uses four blocks... I hadn't ever heard about daily 5 until I was reading on here. I was thinking about trying to combine parts from the two as well. My guided reading groups are ability based. I usually have reading groups/centers for an hour, and like you said it is a rush to get through all of the reading groups each day. Would it work to incorporate some of the daily 5 components for centers during my reading groups? How do you plan to combine these? Thanks for any ideas!


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During my guided reading groups...
Old 08-02-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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the other children are not in centers....they are doing their Daily Five choices....either Read to self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Listen to Reading or Word Work. I was, however, thinking of getting away from my ability based groups which I remember was an important feature of 4 blocks. I am thinking about continuing to have a whole group phonics lesson, whole group comprehension strategy lesson, yet not necessarily meet with everyone everyday. I do, however, think it's crucial that I meet with my lows daily....and do more pairing up of middles and highs. Does this make sense? I highly recommend the Daily Five in lieu of centers, because you don't have to keep coming up with "jazzy" new ideas.
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Agree
Old 08-02-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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I love that you posted this. I have hated having centers and pulling groups (which pulling groups is still a part of daily 5 and even centers even though there are technically only 5 centers going on). I used 4 blocks in the past and found it much more manageable and produced higher readers. I feel like you have given me freedom to go back to a style of teaching that works for me and my students. I agree with you about how CAFE connects with the self selected block. I am thinking about having a guided reading block, self selcted reading blocks, words block, writing block, and intervention block. During the intervention block, I plan on pulling my lowest kids every day for intense instruction.

I love how teachers can easily provide instruction through a variety of means with 4 blocks depending on student needs ( shared reading, choral read, partner read, literature circles, book clubs, reader's theater, independent, etc...)
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Thanks C2Teach
Old 08-03-2010, 04:33 AM
 
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It sounds like the two of us are "on the same page." I think I'm going to definitely start the year with the Four Blocks framework.......using Daily Five and adapting elements of the Cafe. I, too, will have an "intervention" block that meets daily......I also use a program called Fundations which is excellent to meet the needs of my most challenged students. I'm very excited about using the Cafe strategies during my read alouds and with my Houghton Mifflin series. I never really paid attention to the multitude of comprehension skills that went with each story (far too overwhelming) I also really like the format of Four BLocks' 3 ring circus....I think the pairing of the "above" levels and the " on" levels a few times a week, will work in everyone's favor, and the self selected reading portion, coupled with book clubs...will meet each child's individual needs. Maybe, based on the needs of my new children, I will need to have ability groups.....but, I'm definitely not going to rush in and "Group" my kids from the get go.
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same situation
Old 08-12-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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Hi- I teach 2nd grade and my school's literacy curriculum is 4 blocks. I used the self select block in the past to do flexible guided reading groups and occasionally individual conferences while the others did centers.

This year I am implementing Daily5/Cafe aspects as well because like you I believe they are very similar in their underlying philosophies but the Daily 5 just has a much better take on what the kids can be doing while I'm meeting with my guided reading groups or individually conferencing. I hope it can make them better readers too.

I also LOVE how the CAFE explicitly introduces all the strategies. I hope we can continue to share ideas over this school year because it seems that a few of us here share the same believes on what is best for our kids and it is always nice to see what others are doing to make it effective!
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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Upperwest, I have been thinking of doing the same thing - I just did a google search and it brought me to your thread - I am trying to figure out what a week would look like - have you made out your lesson plan or schedule yet that you could share? It makes sense to me that these could be combined. Thanks


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4blocks w cafe
Old 09-19-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Hi Rabbittrail,

I've been introducing a CAFE strategy with my read aloud during SSR then checking in after I've conferenced or pulled groups to see how the new strategy went for the kids when they were reading in their book boxes (read to self) or reading with someone.

I also use my Comprehension Block (or what Cunningham calls guided reading block) as a way to reinforce the CAFE skills taught previously in our whole group reading.

I teach 2nd grade and this is my first year implementing it so I have introduced 7 strategies and plan on doing 2 more this week. The kids have also done all the lessons for read to someone. I've been in school for 1 month so I don't know if that helps for your pacing.
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