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I have hosted Cafes with teachers with great success. This year I am embarking on a plan to teach my 8th grades to use Cafes in our English/Language Arts classes. I know that I will need to bring them along slowly... emphasizing deep listening and pausing between responses and what it means to make connections and links.

They are on the verge of making use of their new found abstract thought abilities, so I'm thinking that the Cafe model would be of great value to them, both as an avenue to dig into the literature that we study and for their own personal development.

Is there anyone out there who has experience using Cafes with young students?
What have you learned about how to do it well?

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What a wonderful idea and I believe it will work. I don't know where you are located but I'd be interesting in keeping in touch regarding your design. I would add that you may want to integrate the Cafe with elements of appreciative intelligence. you'll need to move it along and incorporate some technology tools + social media. I'm in Minneapolis but working with a school in Livermore, CA. Your idea sparked an idea for me , which is to do the WC with 8th graders and then have them assist with a Parents Cafe regarding the schools strategic plan.
I enjoyed your reply. I teach in a small, rural, public school in Colfax, CA. Which is in the foothills of the Sierras, east of Sacramento, probably about a three-hour drive east from the school in Livermore.

I would love to hear more about your ideas and the work you are doing with the other CA school. I do not know the term "appreciative intelligence." What is that? I have access to technology (SmartBoard in the classroom and a computer lab on campus, and a handful of "hand-me-down" computers in the classroom. Next year is supposed to bring more classroom computers.)

My background with World Cafe comes via my studies in Naropa University's MA Contemplative Ed program. My thesis involved working with teachers on my campus, using World Cafe.
Happy Labor Day --- Here's the best link to Appreciative Intelligence | Appreciative Intelligence is in the same "domain of thought" as Gardner's "multiple intelligence" I some times refer to AI as the "Hindu Intelligence" -- a place where all the intelligences come together. Our intent is to use AI in three ways:

1. Engaging parents in a process to provide input to the strategic planning process.
2. Engaging students as the engage in "dreaming" about the best school they can be.
3. Engaging faculty and administration in developing a new ways to be "school"

Additionally , if the school chooses to become a IB elementary school, we will use this process as the framework for planning that start up.

Now that I have a sense I where you are located, I'm interested in what kind of curriculum you are using with technology and how you may or may not be including gardening in your work.

Thank you! I shall check that out, indeed. I am also leading a teacher "book club" on my campus for which I use World Cafe almost exclusively, and "coincidentally" one of this year's books is the Gardner "multiple intelligences" book that's oriented to classroom teachers. Perhaps this AI information with come in handy there, too!.

"Hindu Intelligence" is that like "Buddhist Wisdom/Compassion" do you think?

I gather your work with schools comes through guiding them toward implementing IB?

Gardening? Not at all in 8th grade, but the middle grades in our K-8 school have a school garden and work with the local garden club (aka master gardeners) every year.

Technology? We are at the infant stage... just four weeks ago had SmartBoards install in all classrooms K-8. I was lucky enough to be the test classroom with that, so I have had one for a year and a half. But we are just learning. We are investigating something called Runzelli (I think I spelled that correctly)... are you familiar with that?

Now, I'm curious. Gardening and Technology rarely figure in the same question!



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