This summer I made a trip to the bookstore to get the Daily 5 and CAFE books. I'd heard so much about them. While there, I picked up another book that peaked my interest... What Really Matters in Fluency by Richard L. Allington.
My District has used DIBELS for many years and I have relied heavily on those results. I have used the scores, in conjunction with others, to choose which students get intervention, how students are doing with reading progress, and to drive reading instruction.
Recently, I had begun to question how much information the DIBELS assessment is really providing. This book confirmed my thoughts and shed light on how little the DIBELS assessment really measures reading fluency, as it is widely defined, and how much it actually measures speed and accuracy of reading.
Reading this book has caused me to question many things about my literacy instruction and believe even more in the teaching methods outlined in the Daily 5 and CAFE books. I am transitioning from the traditional basal reader program to the Daily 5 and CAFE effective immediately.
I started out the year trying to do a hybrid of the basal reading program and Daily 5/CAFE. I wasn't sure that I could justify my use of the Daily 5/CAFE program to parents and administrators if I was asked. After reading this book, I have more than enough researched-based information to justify my choices to anyone who asks.
So, tomorrow I go in armed with information and determined to give my students what they need to become more confident, successful readers. I know this won't be an easy road, but I think for the sake of my students, it is a road worth taking.