Southmoor P.S follows the CAFE/Daily 5 format for our English sessions beginning in Foundation (Prep) to Level 6 (Grade 6). Children work through a daily literacy block, which is often divided into one hour covering reading skills and one hour which focuses on writing skills. Children are enthusiastic about their learning centres, which promote our reading and writing strategies. This format, which incorporates whole class, small groups and individual instruction, helps accelerate children’s learning.
Assessing young readers involves more than determining a reading level and moving them onto the next. The Literacy CAFE Menu helps students understand and master different strategies used by successful readers. CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary, and the system includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, developing small group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs and fine tuning one on one conferencing.
The Daily 5 provides children with meaningful literacy activities that will help them become proficient, lifelong learners while allowing teachers to work with small groups or individuals, allowing for differentiated instruction for all students.
The Daily 5 consists of Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work and Work on Writing, Read to Teacher and;
● Relies on the teaching of independence
● Manages the entire Literacy Block
● Allows for intentional learning
● Provides students with substantial time to read and write
● Allows for the integration of reading and writing
● Incorporates a range of clearly defined instructional routines that accelerate learning
● Builds stamina to ensure longer periods of time students successfully read and write
● Articulates student behaviours that culminate in highly engaged learners
● Teaches students to understand and monitor their literacy goals
What Research Says
● Read to Self: The best way to become a better reader is to practice each day, with books you choose on your just-right level. It soon becomes a habit.
● Read to Someone: Reading to someone allows for more time to practice strategies, helping you work on fluency and expression, check for understanding, hear your own voice, and share in the learning community.
● Work on Writing: Just like reading, the best way to become a better writer is to practice writing each day.
● Listen to Reading: We hear examples of good literature and fluent reading. We learn more words, thus expanding our vocabulary and becoming better readers.
● Spelling/Word Work: Correct spelling allows for more fluent writing, thus speeding up the ability to write and get thinking down on paper. This is an essential foundation of writing.
● Stamina is needed for the self-directed learner that we want in the centre of our comprehensive literacy program
● An independent-level or good fit book for children is one they can read with 99% accuracy (Allington, Illinois State Reading Council Conference, 2005) Comprehension is a big focus as is examining and exploring real life issues and media. We also understand that digital literacy is important and can be a powerful tool for learning. All students at Southmoor have many opportunities to share their understandings using digital learning technologies such as laptops, iPads and other multimedia.
The ‘6+1 Traits of Writing’ form the basis of Southmoor’s writing program. The 6+1 Traits comprise the key qualities that define quality writing.
These are: Ideas—the main message Organization—the internal structure of the piece Voice—the personal tone and flavour of the author's message Word Choice—the vocabulary a writer chooses to convey meaning Sentence Fluency—the rhythm and flow of the language Conventions—the mechanical correctness Presentation—how the writing actually looks on the page