learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Is fair always equal?

on October 13, 2013

After working with The Daily 5 in class, we moved on to reading The Cafe Book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. I really enjoyed learning about The Daily 5 and could see myself implementing it in my future classroom. I was a little concerned about the amount of time that it takes up, however. Now that we are learning about CAFE, I feel as though these two programs together are perfect for helping students to become independent learners and create a student-centered classroom community. In class on Friday, we were asked to blog our feelings on The Sisters’ statement of, “We strongly believe fair isn’t always equal with children…” (Boushey & Moser, 2009, p. 58). 

Image Read more about CAFE here.

I truly believe that that Boushey and Moser are spot on with this statement. In any given classroom that I have, I will be teaching a vast variety of learners. The students in my class will all come with their own interests, readiness, and learner profiles. It is important to take note of and differentiate based upon these aspects. CAFE allows for teachers to do this. Through student-teacher conferences and goal setting, each students’ individual needs can be met. With some students, less attention will be needed. They will understand much quicker than most and will be able to work individually on their goals. For other students, however, more guidance may be needed. If all students are given the same amount of time with teachers or given the same amount of goals, the teacher is doing a disservice to them. Fair, to me, is making sure students are given the amount of instruction that will allow them to succeed. This cannot always be equal because of the differences in student needs. Boushey and Moser make a good point in explaining that “fair is not always equal” when they address the crucial points in students’ development as readers. This comes at a different time for all students, and so teachers must give more time to those who are at these points than those who are not. Overall, i think Boushey and Moser have a great outlook with regard to this statement and I feel it will be important for me to remember as a future educator.



One response to “Is fair always equal?

  1. bieske01 says:


    I think you are spot on with your understanding of how CAFE and the Daily 5 are able to meet the individual needs of the vast variety of students that you will one day teach. You seem to be hyper-alert to the potential needs of your students and I think that this trait alone speaks of the potential you have to be a fantastic teacher some day! One other thing that you wrote really caught my attention because it was something that I hadn’t thought of myself while reading about both CAFE and the Daily 5: that both of these programs help to develop independent learners and create a student-centered classroom. One of the greatest challenges that I see for teachers today is to help our students not only see the value in reading, but also to see it as a source of entertainment and enjoyment. Too many schools rely too heavily on reward programs to encourage their students to read, such as those that give coupons for local ice cream and pizza shops when students read a certain number of pages in a month. First of all, not only is this encouraging children to eat unhealthy things (which we shouldn’t be promoting with the number of children in this country who suffer from obesity), but it is also teaching children to read only if there is a reward at the end. Although some students might find that they actually like to read by participating in these programs, more often that not I think that this is not the case. With the Daily 5 students are allowed to choose books that interest them and I don’t think there is anything more empowering to student learning than student choice in their learning. If they don’t find enjoyment in what they are reading, they can simply put the book down and pick up a new one. But with CAFE, the students are also being held accountable for practicing the strategies that will make them stronger learners. Students want to make their teachers proud of them. If they know that they will have a conference in a day or two during which they are expected to show how they’ve used their new skills and improved, they will rise to the challenge. Thank you for helping me notice these things!


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