Wow, I learned so much at the CAFE conference with The 2 Sisters that even after a week, my mind is still spinning. Have you ever felt like that at a conference/workshop? You leave feeling overwhelmed and excited at the same time.
I had already read the CAFE book a couple times in the past two years. Last year, when I taught second grade, I used the strategies and the menu as my mini-lessons. We learned the strategies, posted them on our CAFE board, but I never really got into one-on-one conferring with my students. I was deeply tied to my small groups and couldn’t imagine giving them up.
That changed this week. This week, I did 10 minute small groups and then sent that group off to do one-on-one conferring with students based on the skill or strategy we discussed. Wow! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that in the 5-6 minutes I spent reading one-on-one with my higher readers (I started with them first – baby steps, right?), I targeted more direct instruction than I was doing in a 20-25 minute small group. They loved the one-on-one attention and I loved the satisfaction of knowing I left them with a focused reading strategy to work on.
The best part of the conference was The 2 Sisters’ introduction of the electronic pensieve.
I’m. In. Love.
It was one of those “I have to have this!” moments. I actually purchased the one-year membership of this electronic pensieve during the conference. I just couldn’t wait! Now, my kids associate my iPad with one-on-one reading – they love it!
This is what the log-in screen looks like: