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The Prepared Classroom practices include:

Teacher working with student

Establishing and growing relationships.

Teacher-student, student-student, and teacher-teacher. The teacher has strategies in place to start these relationships before the school year begins, and continue to grow them throughout the year.

Teacher Credibility 1.09
Strong Classroom Cohesion .53
Teacher-Student Relationships .47
Happiness .53

Careful and thoughtful design of the physical and emotional environment in which you teach and students learn.

It should be purposeful, comfortable, and provide space that works for each child’s needs.

Belonging .40
Teacher-Student Relationships .47
Happiness .53

positive classroom environment
Teacher working with student, with class working independently.

Use of a structured system for explicitly teaching students anything you want them to do in the classroom or school.

This allows students to clearly understand what is expected and can focus on learning. (Spoiler alert, it's called the 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence)

Explicit Teaching Strategies .57
Self-Regulation Strategies .54
Direct Instruction .59
Success Criteria .88

Allocation of time for daily independent learning transfer.

Including student engagement in self-selected good-fit books, time for free writing, and word study. We build reading and writing stamina through practice.

Transfer Strategies .86
Exposure to Reading .43
Deliberate Practice .79
Effort Management .77
Persistence, Engagement .53

Teacher working with student, with class working independently.
Teacher working with student, with class working independently.

Giving children the ability and opportunity to choose.

Choice in how they transfer learning, where they sit, what they read, and what they write about increase engagement and help create self-motivated independent learners.

Self-Directed Learning .67
Enjoyment .56
Self-Efficacy .65

Students are working on individualized goals, determined and chosen by assessed needs.

They are able to articulate their purpose for learning and their next steps.

Differentiation .46
Strategy to Integrate with Prior Knowledge .93
Self-Reported Grades 1.33
Prior Ability and Achievement .82
Re-reading .53
Problem-Solving Teaching .67
Deep Motivation and Approach .57

Teacher working with student, with class working independently.
Teacher working with student, with class working independently.

Teaching lessons that are brain compatible in length.

Lessons are structured to be responsive to the learner.

Spaced v. Mass Practice .65
Teacher Clarity .84

Teachers have frequent conferences with students.

Teachers keep records of those meetings, along with student progress towards their goal, and next steps.

Strategy Monitoring .58
Feedback: Reinforcement and Cues .92
Help Seeking .72
Response to Intervention 1.09
Formative Evaluation .40

Teacher working with student, with class working independently.
Teacher working with student, with class working independently.

Small groups are based around what reading strategy they are working on rather than their reading level.

Small Group .47
Response to Intervention 1.09

These practices—along with competent, capable teachers that have high expectations for student learning—make the difference for students!

Teacher Estimates of Achievement 1.46
Collective Teacher Efficacy 1.36
Teacher Credibility 1.09

Learn more about learning influences and effect size.

In a Prepared Classroom . . .

Students . . .

feel free to make mistakes, and learn from them and one another.
are self-managers in their behavior and learning.
know the behaviors of an independent reader and writer, and showcase those behaviors in their stamina.

Teachers . . .

identify success criteria, students know the desired outcomes, and their path to get there.
Know that their instructional setting is flexible—selected based on the needs of students.
Provide opportunities for shifts—kinesthetically, emotionally or cognitively, and choice to give students ownership in their learning success.

A Prepared Classroom is within your reach.

Training Options

This is what Prepared Classroom will do for you . . .

How does Prepared Classroom work?

We explicitly teach students to be independent with their reading and writing transfer so that we can meet with students one-on-one and in small groups and provide each individual student what they need most in the moment.

We start with building solid relationships before the school year even begins, and we continue employing intentional relationship building strategies throughout the year.

We are deliberate and purposeful in planning our classroom environments. We avoid over the top visual noise, and center the design around student creation, charts we build with students, and student learning.

We establish rock solid routines using explicit instruction, and then we revisit expectations when necessary (or when behavior challenges start to bubble up.) We take the time to save time.

We build independent reading and writing stamina and while students are transferring their learning, we confer one-on-one and meet with small groups based on the strategy they need, not reading level.

As we confer with students we assess and set individual goals that we talk with them about. They declare their goal and strategy on the CAFE menu as a visual reminder, to support them. We record the information in a conferring notebook, and let them know when we will talk with them again.

Our whole group lessons are brief and focused on one or two teaching points.

When you put these practices in place, you will have a system that provides consistency in management, teaching, planning, assessing, and relationship building so that you can make the biggest impact on your students.

Training Options

The Next Generation of Daily 5 and CAFE

As lifelong learners, we are continually working and researching to create best practice for teachers and their students. When we discover that there are ways to improve, we improve. Prepared Classroom is that improvement. It is the next generation of Daily 5 and CAFE.

Daily 5 has always been about classroom management, how we teach students to be independent, and authentically transferring learning. CAFE has always been about the teacher. What they are teaching, how they are teaching, and how they are meeting the needs of each individual learner. So, as students build stamina in their literacy transfer, the teacher begins to build the habit of conferring and the skills needed for assessing and goal setting.

We know that when teachers apply Daily 5 and CAFE together, there is magic in the classroom, and students thrive. Prepared Classroom does this.

Gail and Allison explain the full story of Daily 5, CAFE, and now Prepared Classroom

More about about this video

Is Prepared Classroom right for me?

  • When I meet with small groups or confer one-on-one, I want to make sure the rest of the students are independently transferring their learning.
  • I want to make sure that I am teaching in the best way for every student to meet and exceed their potential.
  • I struggle to find the time to do all that is asked of me.
  • I want to assess and set goals with students to make sure they are each getting the differentiated instruction they deserve.
  • Somedays, I feel like I am just holding my head above water everyday.
If any of the above are true for you, then Prepared Classroom is just what you need.

Training Options

There are three ways to learn the Prepared Classroom practices

How do you learn best? Select the one based on your learning style.


$599/person • 365 days

A combination of online courses, one day of live online training, and follow up implementation support for an entire year.


$399/person • 180 days

The on-demand approach to learning the system. Complete the nine online courses on your own time, place, and schedule.



$75/course • 30 days

For educators that need a refresher on a part of the system or want to learn the system over time by taking the nine courses individually.


What grade level is Prepared Classroom best for?

These practices work for any teacher, but this system was created for Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Is Prepared Classroom a curriculum?

No. Prepared Classroom is not one more thing to add to your ever growing list of responsibilities. It is the basis for it all. The structure in which everything else lives. Curriculum, management, new initiatives . . . they all fit inside.

Where do Daily 5 and CAFE fit in?

From all of our research and experience, we’ve found that teaching Daily 5 and CAFE concepts simultaneously is a more effective way to learn and implement a system that (end goal you’ll see). So, when taking the Prepared classroom system, you will notice they are woven in throughout at the best time to learn them. If you’d like to learn more about this evolution of Daily 5 and CAFE and how we got here, we have it all here.

How can I get trained on Prepared Classroom?

There are multiple training options based on how you learn and how much support you want throughout the learning process. Choose the best fit for your learning needs.

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