The Stenhouse Blog

The CAFE Book—What’s Different?

Posted by Gail Boushey and Allison Behne on Jun 27, 2019 5:36:17 PM


The following is a guest blog post by the authors of the upcoming second editions of The CAFE Book, Gail Boushey and Allison Behne




How do you use your assessments to inform your instruction?

How do you keep track of student information?

How do you design instruction to meet students’ individual needs?

Years ago, the first edition of The CAFE Book was written to answer these questions, and it did just that. CAFE offered teachers a system they could use to organize formal and informal assessment information, document individual student strengths and goals, and create flexible groups based on specific strategy needs. It maximized teachers’ time with students while giving them a way to remember and retrieve learned reading strategies from a menu they could access at any time. Now implemented in classrooms all over the world, CAFE has changed the way teachers teach and the way students learn, practice, and talk about reading.

In the beginning, CAFE was a flexible system with room for students of all ages, levels, and needs. It has evolved over the years yet remains flexible enough to be used for assessing, determining instructional needs, teaching, and keeping track of student information. It has also grown into more. With time and continued practice and application, we have learned a lot and therefore adjusted and expanded CAFE to reflect our new learning. CAFE is still all it was before, but now it is much more, which led us to work on a second edition of the book that, we are happy to announce, will be out this fall.

So what’s different about the second edition? Expanded content includes the following:

  • A revised CAFE Menu that has categories within the four key components to help inform instructional decisions
  • Updated Ready Reference Guides that include identifiers for who may need the strategy, language we use when teaching the strategy, instructional pivots, and partnering strategies
  • A close look at the instructional practices used to teach
  • A dive into strategy acquisition through the Cognitive Processes of Reading
  • New and improved forms for the conferring notebook to support more effective conferring with students
  • The addition of CAFE’s Essential Elements, a resource to guide your understanding and implementation
  • A close look at Touch Points, which we use to monitor our teaching and student learning

If you are an established CAFE practitioner, you will find that the expanded content takes you deeper in determining goals and strategies, monitoring student learning, and planning instruction in all settings. If you are new to CAFE, this book will provide necessary understanding along with scaffolded guidance as you implement CAFE in your classroom.

The second edition of The CAFE Book is 100 percent centered on student success. We often hear that it is important to teach the children, not the curriculum. We believe you need to teach both. It is our job to teach the content of the curriculum to all children, and with CAFE, we focus on their individual needs in determining how to do that. CAFE puts the child at the center of instruction and provides a visible, systematic, organized approach to teaching and learning.

We hope you will jump forward 10 years with us and grab a 2019 copy of The CAFE Book when it comes out this fall.



Topics: Literacy