Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources for Reading Workshop

Thank you for welcoming me into your classrooms this week. I loved being able to read to students in 26 classrooms between our two buildings! What a treat!

I will plan to send a newsletter at the end of each week (hopefully on Fridays) with a collection of events from classrooms during the week, as well as new resources and book titles for you to check out! I am looking forward to settling into a regular schedule and getting into classrooms to work with you and your students this week! Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Reading,


Jenny challenged all of us during one of the opening workshop days to help our students find the joy in learning, especially in reading. This blog post by Kylene Beers, "One Sure Way to Create Reluctant Readers", made me think about the struggle to balance time to read with activities and assignments connected to reading groups. Some of her points made me think about the importance of preserving opportunities for students to just read and talk about their books every day as a way to preserve the natural joy in reading. It was awesome to see engaged, joyful readers in both schools last week as teachers launched Independent Reading time and Read to Self for Daily 5!

What is the value of the CAFE system? Why should teachers consider using CAFE?

In The CAFE Book, the authors share a way to integrate assessment into daily reading and classroom discussion. They based the system on research into the habits of proficient readers: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary.

Why should you consider implementing CAFE? The system is designed to help you:

  • provide students with a visual aid to help them remember and retrieve the reading strategies they learned;
  • track each child's strengths and goals;
  • and organize assessment data so it truly informs instruction .

In the back of the book and on the CD, the authors include a one page sheet with suggestions for teaching each strategy. If you would like a copy of these one-page guides, let me know! I also have a copy of the CAFE menu for emergent readers, if you are interested.

Here are a few of my favorite recommendations for introducing reading strategies at the beginning of the year. Even if you are not formally using the CAFE model or menu, reading aloud mentor texts to introduce your students to strategies they will be using all year is a great way to launch your reading workshop! If you are looking for a book for a particular strategy, just let me know. My project next week is to create a list of mentor texts that connect to each CAFE strategy!

Book Recommendations for Launching CAFE

Bri Forsythe recommended this site for CAFE book recommendations organized by strategy. If you are looking for read aloud books for your strategy mini lessons, this site may help! If you are interested in launching CAFE, let me know! I am available to do mini lessons or conference with readers.

Excellent Resource for Literacy Centers and Small Group Instruction

If you are looking for materials for independent centers or for your small group reading instruction, you should check out the Florida Center for Reading Research!

The materials on this site are organized by grade level or grade spans including K-1, 2-3 or 4-5. You can find centers for:

*Reading Foundational Skills (Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Fluency)

*Reading Literary Text

*Reading for Information


*Writing and Speaking & Listening

I highly encourage to review these centers for your RTI interventions and as you plan for your reading workshop! As an upper elementary teacher, I even used the materials for the early grades to support my struggling readers. If you need help navigating the site or finding what you need for instruction, just let me know!

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Many of the teachers at the Atwood School are introducing me to the concept of mindfulness. As I visited second grade classrooms to read aloud and meet students, I shared the book Moody Cow Meditates. (Of course, the kids found the humor in my name being Mrs. Moody as I read the book!) Thank you to Brynn Charest for the recommendation and to Jody for lending me the book. In the back of the book is a recipe for Mind Jars, which is a great strategy for students to calm their emotions. The kids loved this book!

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and possible lesson ideas for working with your students, Courtney Deane shared this excellent website with me that is full of resources for teaching mindfulness to children! One of her favorite links is the Mindful Mantras for Kids. Thank you to Courtney for sharing this resource!

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Celebrate Dot Day!

If you have not heard of the book, The Dot, you should check it out! Some of the classrooms at Atwood Primary are celebrating Dot Day on September 15. Click here if you want to learn more about Dot Day!

The Dot connects to many of our Habit of Minds, including Cultivating Creativity and Imagination. The message of this book and the opportunity to celebrate Dot Day is perfect kids of any age! Here is the link the Educator's Handbook for International Dot Day, which is full of activities and suggestions. Enjoy!

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Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, Grades K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School