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August 16. 2018

3 Steps to Organizing Your Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Resources

The boxes have arrived. The space has been made. Now it’s time to organize the materials that will transform your classroom, your teaching, and the literacy lives of your students. Welcome to Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™!

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team knows how daunting this task might be, so we’ve come up with a step-by-step Interactive Implementation Plan for organizing your Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) materials. Below is a quick summary, but to get the full benefit of the plan click HERE and print it out for you and your colleagues.

Step 1: Unpack Your System

Using this visual step-by-step guide—together with your implementation goals—unpack inventory, and get to know your FPC books and resources. Thoughtful and intentional unpacking will help you prepare for efficient organization and implementation. In this step you will have the opportunity to unpack and inventory your FPC, and familiarize yourself with the resources in each instructional context using the tools provided in the Interactive Implementation Plan. In this step, you will have an inventory sheet and colored pictures of the components in each context with clear directions on how to organize them. 

Step 2: Organize Your Classroom

The classroom is a place of joy, activity, and continuous inquiry. As you plan the layout of your classroom, consider how to incorporate three types of learning spaces: an area for whole-group instruction and gatherings; an area for small-group instructions and discussions; and areas for students to wok independently. The Interactive Implementation Plan will allow you to explore and envision how to plan the layout of your classroom; consider suggestions and examples for arranging your classroom; and organize learning tools to optimize effective teaching and learning.

Step 3: Implement your Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

As you implement FPC, you will be creating a warm and inviting, yet functional, space that supports the classroom community. As you organize your classroom and prepare to teach with FPC, consider how your space, materials, literacy time and planning work together to enhance learning across the day, and what professional learning will elevate your expertise. In step 3 of the Interactive Implementation Plan you will have the opportunity to create a “getting started” period with FPC, get to know The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum; and identify a professional learning path.

Turning a vision into action requires thoughtful planning and organizing, FPC is a literacy system that allows you to operationalize your vision. Use this Interactive Implementation Plan to put you, your students, and your school on the path to literacy success. 

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team
August 14. 2018

Teacher Tip: Establish Routines in the Classroom

From school entry to the end of elementary school, they key to teaching students to make good choices is to establish and teach routines for each activity in the classroom. A routine is a set of actions or steps that you repeat for accomplishing something. Don't have too many routines and don't make them too complex because even intermediate or middle-level students can find it difficult to remember a long list. During the first week of school, demonstrate and teach a few routines to get started, and then use them over and over.

From Guiding Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

August 9. 2018

FAQ Friday: What Is the ODMS?

Q: What is the ODMS?

A: The ODMS, or Online Data Management System, is a web-based system for managing and sharing assessment data. It enables you to collect, analyze and report data on whole-class and individual progress, monitor progress, evaluate effectiveness of instruction, share data, and customize reports. A one-year trial is included in your purchase of Fountas & Pinnell ClassroomGuided Reading Collection, Benchmark Assessment System, Sistema de evaluación de la lectura, or Leveled Literacy Intervention.

Read more about it here: http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/resourcelibrary/id/418

<<To see more FAQs or get answers to other questions from a trained consultant, please visit the Discussion Board!>>

August 8. 2018

4 Ways to Prepare for Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Your school has just invested in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™, and you’re wondering where to begin. Before you start tearing boxes open to get to those wonderful materials, it’s important to take the time to come up with an action plan. Below are some of the steps that are recommended you take before you even start taking off the tape!

You can find an Interactive Action Plan for preparing for Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) HERE. Below is a short breakdown of this plan and how to use it to get started! 

Step 1: Define Your Vision and Values

In Step 1 of the Interactive Action Plan, you will define and record your values and goals. Defining your values establishes a foundation upon which to build your instructional priorities and instructional plan. You will first review and reflect on Fountas and Pinnell’s Core Values. You might find that you share the same values or perhaps you might want to use them to guide the decisions you make.  Then you will take time to envision and name the values you have for literacy instruction in your own classroom. 

Step 2: Set Your Goals

Let your core values established in Step 1 form the backbone of your decisions and lead you to set instructional goals that reinforce those values. In Step 2 from the Interactive Action Plan, you’ll have the opportunity to identify and prioritize your implementation and instructional goals through a self-assessment of your current literacy instruction.

Step 3: Get to Know Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Use Step 3 in the Interactive Action Plan to get to know FPC and get familiar with all of the instructional contexts that are in the system. Here, is where you would also take the time to get familiar with The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, which is the instructional anchor for every goal, book, and lesson in FPC. The Literacy Continuum is a mandatory tool for being able to implement this system effectively, so it’s critical to get to know it as much as you can. Here is a link to a Study Guide if you’re not sure where to start.  In this step, you will also map out an implementation plan, as well as identify professional learning needs and opportunities.

Step 4: Plan Your Literacy Time

Time for literacy is critical, but finding time to fit it all in can be a challenge. It will help to create a literacy schedule in advance, which is what you will do in Step 4 of the Interactive Action Plan. You will plan a week (or weeks) in your Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ using examples to get you started. Thoughtful and intentional planning is needed to ensure efficient, engaging, and effective literacy opportunities in your classroom. 

This Interactive Action Plan is sure to prepare you for the implementation of this exciting new literacy system. But Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is not just a literacy system, it is a journey—a journey that will transform your classroom, your teaching, and the literacy lives of your students. So congratulations on the journey ahead!

~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/ 
August 6. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Design Your Classroom to Build a Strong Community

Your classroom is a place where students learn how to read, write, and expand all of their language skills, but it is much more. It is a laboratory where they learn how to be confident, self-determined, kind, and democratic members of a community. The design of a classroom supports the building of community. Although the materials and organization of space will vary from grade to grade, here are 6 characteristics of classrooms that build strong communities.

  1. Welcoming and Inviting. Bright colors, beanbag chairs, and lamp all help to create a welcoming space. The intention is not to fill the room with furniture, but you do want to create a pleasant, comfortable place for students.
  2. Organized and Tidy. Clutter increases stress. The more organized the classroom, the more independent your students will become, the less of your time they will require, and the more time you will have for teaching. Materials should be clearly organized and labeled, and the work that takes place in each area should be visible at a glance.
  3. Rich with Materials. Fill your classroom with books, writing tools, art materials, manipulatives, references, computers, tablets, and other technological resources. This can be difficult criterion to meet because it depends on the resources of the school district. But, at least where books are concerned, you can increase their richness by visiting garage sales, checking out books from libraries, asking parents and friends to donate, writing for grants, and appealing to the business and social community.
  4. Includes Group Meeting Space. If you want to form a community, students must have a place to meet together and talk every day. For young children, a colorful rug with space enough to accommodate the class sitting on the floor in rows or in a circle. Older students can also sit on the floor in a circle or they can move chairs from their tables to make a circle in the same area.
  5. Includes Personal Space. Instead of individual desks, many teachers use tables or desks that can be combined in flexible ways. But students also need a personal space. If they do not have a desk, they can have a cubby or personal book box where they keep personal documents like a reader's notebook, writer's notebook, independent reading books, etc.
  6. Shows What is Valued. A classroom must be alive with student work. You can start the year with relatively blank walls because your students are going to fill them with a variety of products that show student input and student wrok. The greatest motivation you can give your students is to display their work. Change displays as the year progresses. And at the end of the year, let students take them home. You'll be starting again with a new group.

From Guiding Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.