Want a fun way to infuse both nonfiction and parent involvement? This is a great solution!
Create your own classroom cafe on a monthly or bi-weekly basis with this product and get parents and kids involved in the reading of information texts in a fun atmosphere!
I started the Current Events Café when I taught first grade. The idea came to me as a way to involve parents on a monthly basis and getting kids to read more nonfiction. I did it in my classroom. My cafe had magazines, informational texts, and newspapers, like the Kids' Post from the Washington Post. Each month on a designated day 30 minutes before school, parents came with their child to read together. I had red and white checkered tablecloths, soft jazz music playing to give it that cafe vibe and of course, donuts, juice, and coffee. Everyone LOVED it! On subsequent months, parents signed up to bring treats.
With apps like Noisli, you can create an atmosphere of anything you’d like. Check it out. It’s free!
On the tables, I had articles from Time for Kids and The Kids’ Post laminated and stored in plastic gallon bags. With each article, text or newspaper, I gave a task card. This helped to guide the parents in how to read with their child. It was there if they wanted it and they used them! As the cafe became popular, parents would bring texts and articles from home and then use my task cards in conjunction with their texts.
It was a great way to get everyone involved.
I can imagine doing this school-wide in an all-purpose room, maybe having a K-2 cafe and then a 3-5 cafe.
- Two parent letters that could be sent out prior to the invitation, just letting the parents know what is going to happen. Depending on whether you call your cafe "The Current Events Cafe" or "The What's What Cafe", you have a letter for both.
- Two different invitations that you can edit to add a location, day and times. The first one is called the Current Events Cafe, which would just be newspapers and articles. Task cards are included. You would just print, fold in half and then laminate. Using sites, like Newsela and Common Lit would really add to the reading material. Both sites allow you to adjust Lexile levels so you can vary the difficulty. By printing articles and laminating them, you could select articles that didn’t necessarily have to be current. Also, would be another great resource.
- Task cards for articles, books, or magazines are included; two for each with slightly differing tasks. You just print, fold in half, and laminate. These would then be stored with the corresponding text and then stored in a gallon bag.
- Task cards have kids doing pre-reading, during reading, and after reading questions and tasks. There is also two different generic task cards that could be used with any nonfiction text type. One is for the youngest readers and it is a questioning card that allows parents to model a statement and follow it up with a related question for the child. This would be used after reading a text together. The other is just modeling before, during, and after reading questions
- Vocabulary Strategy bookmarks are included to help parents help their kids when they come to a word they don't know the meaning. There are two different cards, one for primary and the other for upper grades. The primary card has two; one with a boy and one with a girl. I would add them into the bags with the articles or books to use as a reference while they are reading. It’s called the Bookmark of Strategies.
- An editable sign-up sheet is included so that parents can contribute. You can also decide how often to do the cafe.
If you wanted to broaden your cafe to all types of informational texts, you could use the invite for the “What’s What Cafe”. This would encompass newspapers, articles, and texts.
The purpose of both is family involvement and increasing the reading of nonfiction texts. Super fun and engaging!
Thanks for stopping by!
***Vocabulary bookmark Primary are also sold separately in my store
Vocabulary bookmark Upper grades