February 14. 2017

How to Provide Opportunities for Processing Texts: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Comprehending the fullest meaning of a text is the goal every time we read anything. We do not teach comprehension by applying one strategy to one book during one lesson: we help students learn how to focus on the meaning and interpretation of texts all the time, in every instructional context, each instance contributing in different ways to the same complex processing system. Below are some suggestions for you and your colleagues to provide your students with opportunities for processing texts:

1. Bring together a cross-grade-level group of colleagues to think about text experiences. You may want to have them work in small grade-level groups and then share as a whole group.

2. Use large chart paper divided into columns. As a group, consider (1) processing orally presented written texts; (2) processing written texts; and (3) acting on the meaning of texts after reading. These three actions occur across instructional contexts.

3. Have each group use their weekly schedules to discuss a week of instruction in their classroom. Make a list of all the processing opportunities students have in each of the three areas in the three columns on the chart paper.

4. Review the charts. Have the whole group participate in a larger discussion of how these opportunities can be expanded. Emphasize that there are specific ways of teaching for comprehending in each of these settings.


Excerpted from Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

February 13. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 2/13/2017

A learner might make tremendous gains in one area while seeming to almost “stand still” in another. It’s our job to provide these learning opportunities and guide their attention so that learning in one area supports learning in others.

February 10. 2017

What is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom?


There has been a lot of buzz over the last few months about the mysterious Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. What is it? When will it be out? How can I get my hands on it?! Well it's official. The future of literacy education is finally here!

What is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom?

The short version is that Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is a classroom-based literacy system for grades PreK to 6 designed to change the landscape of reading instruction. But it is so much more. The materials and thoughtfulness that makes up this system, and the energy that has gone into creating it, is anything but short. Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is designed to lift students' learning beyond the walls of the classroom with high-quality texts and an instructional blueprint for teaching that will create authentic experiences in reading, thinking, talking, writing, and reflecting. Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ will help teachers provide students with the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the books they read and write about; grow as thoughtful users of literacy; and engage in real reading, writing, and thinking. With this system, teachers will work on the cutting edge of students' learning; support independence and students' agency; and understand the critical role of responsive teaching in leading literacy learning forward. This system is meant to help teachers show students the way in which they can live a literate life.

Instructional Contexts and Materials

A student's learning deepens when they think, talk, and write about high-quality, rich, authentic texts across many different instructional contexts. Those instructional contexts are thoroughly represented in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. Below is a breakdown of each context, and the materials that come with them:


WHOLE-GROUP TEACHING

 • Interactive Read-Aloud: the very best age-appropriate, grade-appropriate trade books to promote the joy of reading, expand vocabulary, and nurture the ability to think, talk, and write about texts that fully engage students' interest. (120 titles per grade PreK to 6; lesson folder per title.)

 • Reading Minilessons: Using an inquiry approach, the reading minilessons provide explicit teaching of the behaviors presented in the Interactive Read-Aloud lessons. (150 minilessons per grade.)

 • Shared Reading: an exquisite collection of original texts (enlarged and accompanying small versions) that nurture students' ability to construct meaning in a supported context so they can enjoy reading and learn critical concepts of how texts work. (200 titles spanning grades PreK-3; lesson folder per title.)

 • Phonics/Spelling/Word Study Lessons: Minilessons driven by principles from the Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide and The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. (100 minilessons per grade.)

SMALL-GROUP TEACHING

 • Guided Reading: the most powerful and engaging authentic texts to build each student's ability to process increasingly challenging books with fluency and comprehension. Build a rich guided reading collection over time with 5 titles per level A-Z on the F&P Text Level Gradient™; lesson folder per title.

 • Book Clubs/Literature Discussion: an authentic opportunity to bring students together for in-depth discussion of a captivating trade book they have read in order to extend thinking and learn about themselves as readers. (32 titles per grade K-3; 48 titles per grade 4-6; facilitator card per title.)

INDEPENDENT LEARNING

 • Independent Reading: A carefully curated collection of authentic children’s literature that provides the opportunity for students to develop tastes as readers and to read a large number of self-selected books independently. With accompanying contexts cards, you can make specific teaching points in brief conferences that lead the individual reader forward. (150 titles per grade K-2; 200 titles per grade 3-6; conferring card per title.)

Pricing and Release Dates

Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ will be released in stages over the next few years with the first wave coming out in the fall of this year! Pricing and what will be out and when is still being ironed out, but you’re sure to be the first to know by doing the following:

·         Contact your local sales representative. Once all the information becomes available they will be able to walk you through your options. If you don’t know who your sales rep is click here to find out.

·         Sign up on the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ landing page here to receive the most recent updates on release dates and pricing info.

·         Become a member of the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Community page at www.fountasandpinnell.com to receive exclusive information as it becomes available, including free, LIVE webinars with Fountas and Pinnell! Sign up now for the next webinar about Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ on 2/15 at 4:00 p.m. here.

·         Follow @FountasPinnell on Twitter and join our monthly LIVE Twitter Chats with Fountas and Pinnell with #FPLiteracy. Our next chat will be on 2/16 at 8:00 p.m.

"Whether you are teaching prekindergarteners to recognize individual letters in their names or you are teaching sixth graders to recognize bias in the language of a persuasive text, your work is transformative. It’s demanding, challenging, and at times altogether frustrating. But your work as a teacher of literacy is also worthwhile and important because it transforms the lives of children," (Fountas and Pinnell 2018).

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

 

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com 


For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/ 


February 7. 2017

10 Ways to Make Letter Learning Effective for Struggling Readers: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

You need to make your instruction count when you are helping struggling readers learn how to look at letters. Here is a list of some general suggestions you can use during word study, reading, or writing. Use these ideas every time there is an opportunity.

1. Be sure that letters are clearly printed in black or dark print on white or cream paper.

2. Be sure that readers are at all times able to see the print in word study lessons or in shared or interactive writing.

3. For beginning readers and writers (and children who are having difficulty), select texts with a consistent and clear font.

4. Use a verbal description of letter formation (the "verbal path") to help children learn features of text.

5. Use a variety of ways to draw children's attention to the features of letters.

6. Provide kinesthetic experiences that help children learn directionality and the distinctive features of letters. (colored plastic letters, making letters in sand or salt, sandpaper letters)

7. Use magnetic letters to help children feel letter features as they sort them and build words.

8. Vary the ways children view letters as they read or write them.

9. Emphasize looking at the letters in words from left to right.

10. Create strong references that will help children keep the letter and a key word beginning with the letter in mind. (Alphabet Linking Chart)

Excerpted from When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.