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Facilitating the Reading Workshop through: Collaborative Guided Reading, CAFE Strategies and Visible

By:  Leticia Daza, MS SLL Teacher Asociación Escuelas Lincoln – Buenos Aires, Argentina leticia.daza@lincoln.edu.ar @DazaLeticia

Learning a new language is always challenging not only for the student but for the teacher as well. One of my biggest concerns was always the reading process, because even if students can read fluently it doesn’t mean that they comprehend fully. I strongly believe that as teachers, we need to focus on developing thinking skills and strategies to help students during this process. Thus, I decided to implement a Collaborative Reading Workshop “Taller de Lectura” with my SLL MS students, using the following:

  1. Guided Reading, to differentiate instruction according to the different levels of reading that I have within my students

  2. The CAFE reading strategies for comprehension, and

  3. The Visible Thinking Routine, the 4 C’s, to stimulate deeper understanding

Once a week, we have our Collaborative Reading Workshop called “Taller de Lectura”. Students are divided in small groups according to their level of reading, previously assessed by the use of Running Records. I use the materials from the Guided Reading Short Reads Program in Spanish from Scholastic, who offers high quality of leveled texts by the Fountas & Pinnell system, and instruction. This program includes fascinating and different informative short texts about interesting and different topics to engage students. On the other hand, concerning the reading strategies, I decided to use the CAFE (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Extending Vocabulary) to focus on reading comprehension strategies. Each student works and applies a different strategy to effectively meet his/her own needs at different levels of reading (we choose the effective reading strategy during the independent reading through individual conferences). Finally, as a closer for the “Taller de Lectura”, we use the Visible Thinking Routine, the 4 C’s (Connections, Challenges, Concepts, Changes), which is designed to empower text-based discussions, built around making connections, asking questions, identifying keys ideas, and considering application. The following steps divide the process:

  1. Pre – reading step: students prior to reading; they identify the purpose of reading by analyzing the Title and making a connection with their background knowledge. Then, I give my students the CAFE reading strategy that they are going to use (different for each student according to their different needs). Finally I show them the “Essential Question” for the purpose of the reading, which they are going to answer at the end

  2. During – reading step: I give my students a list of vocabulary words to identify the cognates and new academic words that they can find during the reading. The texts are divided into small sections, thus I give them a couple of comprehension questions to be answered orally and collaboratively during this process. In this step, I have the opportunity to work closely with each group, to monitor their comprehension and learning

  3. Post – reading step: Here, students need to answer the “Essential Question” and write a short reflection about their reading. This reflection can be an opinion or an explanation about a fact that they had read. They have the choice to decide which one they want to write about. Finally I give my students the Visible Thinking Routine, the 4 C’s, to promote deeper thinking and learning about the reading

All the steps above are shared digitally with my students via Google Classroom. I designed Google Slides presentations with the instructions, strategies and expectations for each group. I randomly assign one student in each group to be in charge and make sure that every step is followed and completed.

Finally, I can say that I am very satisfied with the results with the implementation of the “Taller de Lectura” with my students. I found them very engaged with the reading; they are curious, and ready to learn.  They also are becoming more problem solvers, and owners of their own learning. It is also impressive how they work collaboratively showing respect, empathy, and the most important thing is that they are learning from each other. The use of the Guided Reading Program, CAFE strategies and Visible Thinking Routines all together in the “Taller de Lectura” helped me to make the reading process for my students easier, more enjoyable and helps them think deeply about any topic.

The following pictures were taking during the Collaborative Reading Workshop “Taller de Lectura”


References Boushey, G., Moser, J. (2008), The Café Book. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.

Ritchhart, R., Church, M. and Morrison, K (2011), Making Thinking Visible. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Tomlinson, Carol A. (2014). The Differentiated Classroom 2nd Edition. Alexandria, VA:ASCD

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