CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. It is a system that presents a practical, simple way to integrate assessment into the daily reading and classroom discussion. 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. It involves teaching students reading strategies to help them in comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and their vocabulary.

Cafe is used to:
  • 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
  • help students remember and retrieve the reading strategies they learned

Core elements of CAFE:
  • Teacher keeps a notebook with a few key record keeping forms, including a calendar, individual student conference forms, and strategy group planners.
  • Children meet with the teacher during literacy workshop conferences to be assessed, to receive focused explicit instruction, to set goals, and then to follow up on progress.
  • The teacher plans small - group instruction based on clusters of student with similar needs in one of the CAFE categories.
  • Whole groups instruction is based on needs that emerge for many children, using texts from whole class read alouds or other shared materials.

Assessment to Instruction:
  1. Assess individual student - administer a running record
  2. Discuss findings with student - discuss what we learned from the assessment
  3. Set goal and identify strategies with student - create reading goal for student and then assign a strategy for the student to work on
  4. Student declares goal on menu and in notebook - student picks a strategy from the CAFE menu
  5. Teacher fills out Individual Reading Conference form
  6. Teacher fills out Strategy Group form
  7. Instruction - instruction is based on child's individual assessments

Seven Elements of Successful Conferences:
  1. Check the calendar for appointments
  2. Prepare for the conference
  3. Observe child and listen to reading
  4. Reinforce and teach
  5. Practice the strategy
  6. Plan
  7. Encourage

Whole - Class Elements:
  • Identify what is to be taught, and share the "to success" with the strategy.
  • We teach the strategy.
  • Students practice with partners.
  • We select a student to write and illustrate the CAFE menu strategy
  • We review the strategy.
  • We encourage practice during independent reading times.


The Daily CAFE website:
The Daily CAFE