Friday, November 16, 2012

This week:"Who's new at the Critter Cafe?"

Do you, CAFE?  If so, get ready for some excitement!
For the past 50 days or so, I have been pumpin' iron (insert laugh) and building my teaching stamina with the launch of our new Critter Cafe in first grade. My friends, I absolutely ADORE this approach to CAFE.  Why?  I've had 50 days and seen measurable growth as my little firsties make faster, stronger, more meaningful connections (compared to last year's group with no beanies).  Linking strategies to beanies and beanies to strategies has been around awhile but, I needed more! So I expanded and created more critters to cover all 38 strategies on the menu!  From this point on, I hope to write a weekly post that gives you an up-close look at How the Critters Work at the Cafe' and what anchor activities we're using to connect our learning with these awesome beanie critters! 


We did make ONE change to the Critter Cafe menu board- 
It did look like this---
BEFORE

Then this week, as I transitioned students from declaring personal reading goals from notebooks to the board, the kids were having an extremely difficult time reaching the height of the headers.  (insert sad face.)  So, I  swiftly changed the board around to work more efficiently for the kiddos!  So here it what the Cafe menu looks like now!

AFTER


Here you see a student declaring his Comprehension goal for the week and pinning his monkey tracker to the corresponding header.

Student #2 declaring her Accuracy goal for the week.
 
I laminated these cute monkeys and with our student numbering system already in place, students will pin their monkey tracker on the menu board to remind them of what reading strategy to practice during the week.  


Who's new at the Critter Cafe this week?  
LIPS FISH and Purpose Pig

Day 1-launch new critter inside the Mystery Critter Box and make predictions!

Introduce Purpose Pig and what she can do when she reads with our strategy poster.


Choose a student to write the strategy card and add to Menu Board. 

Our focus story this week revolved around FISH so we read informational and fictional stories to determine the author's purpose.   Purpose Pig wanted us to know that understanding the author's purpose can be as easy as PIE!  Great week for strategy learning! 

 If you just can't wait until then, please hop on over to Mrs. Bartel's School Family and visit my new teaching friend Alyce!  She just posted about her wonderful week using C.C. Cow from the Critter Cafe!  Click here to read all about it.
 xoxo,
Julie

If you are interested in the Critter Cafe, email me!

8 comments:

  1. Great post! I cannot wait until next week to read what you have next for us! I can also hardly wait to teach my next critter. Maybe I could get some kids in tomorrow?
    Alyce

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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    1. Thanks for commenting Alyce!
      We only have a 2 day week, so REVIEW it is!
      Have a great holiday weekend!
      Hugs,
      Julie

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  2. Love it! I will be more organized for this next year and this year will be a partial implementation. But please keep your updates on this coming! Thank you Julie :)

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    1. Heather,
      Partial implementation is how I got started 3 years ago with Cafe... Move at your own pace, that way, you will stick with it and persevere! I am DELIGHTED that you are following my blog and thank you so much for taking time to comment! I LOVE it!
      Hugs,
      Julie

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  3. Love your post! I especially like how when it didn't work for your students, you immediately changed it up so that the board worked better and was more accessible to them. Thank you for coming by my blog so I could find yours! I am your newest follower. :)
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    Replies
    1. Lori,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a great compliment! I truly appreciate it!
      Looking forward to following and learning new ideas from each other!
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

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  4. CUTE CUTE CUTE! I use the CAFE with my 3rd graders and I see so much growth in them. Have you read the book "The Critter Cafe"? You must because it goes so perfectly with your theme!
    Gina
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gina!
      YES! YES! "A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe" was our launch text the first few weeks the Critter Cafe opened this year! YAY! I Love it that we share great literature together!
      Thank you so much for commenting!
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      Julie

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