February 3. 2017

Ask Meli! February, 2017

Meli received many, many questions from all over the country!! She was so excited and touched to read through all of the wonderfully written letters, and look at the pictures that some of you drew. She was most excited to know that students enjoy reading, and even better that they enjoy reading her books!

Below are questions sent in from Contessa, Amari, Wyatt, and Kendall from Parkside Elementary in Monroe, WI!

Q: I love your books and like your books! How come you are in the books with Sam and Jessie? ~Contessa

: Thank you, Contessa, for loving and liking my books! Sam and Jessie are my friends, but I only visit them a few times a year. They let me in on all of the adventures they have together. We play a lot! Some of their best adventures happen when I'm there, so we make books about them. And I get to be in the books too!

Q: I love your books! What kind of treats do you eat? ~Amari

: Thank you for loving my books, Amari! I love all kinds of treats. Cantaloupe is definite a favorite, but I also like to munch on baby carrots. And, of course, I LOVE doggie cookies!

Q: I love your books! Are you ever going to be in a book with Orson and Taco? ~Wyatt

: I'm so glad you love the Meli books. I love them too! There are no immediate plans to be in a book with Orson and Taco, but you never know! Maybe someday.

Q: I love your books! How many books are you in? ~Kendall

: Including the Sam and Jessie books, I would have to say about a dozen. But keep a lookout for MORE Meli books coming soon in the new system Irene and her friend, Gay, are working on, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom. Tell your teacher to click here to learn more about that.

Meli would love to know what kind of books you like to read! You can let her know in your letters along with anymore questions, so keep them coming! We will have a new post each month. Please be sure to send them to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. And don't forget to Tweet your questions to @FountasPinnell with #FPAskMeli.

See you soon!

~Meli and The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Team

February 2. 2017

Announcing Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

The Future of Literacy Education is HERE!

Heinemann and Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ are pleased to announce the soon-to-be-released Fountas & Pinnell Classroom, a cohesive, multi-text approach to literacy instruction for all students in grades PreK–6. The System is designed to support whole-group, small-group and independent learning opportunities including: interactive read-aloud, reading minilessons, shared reading, phonics/spelling/word study lessons, guided reading, book clubs, and independent reading collections.  Fountas & Pinnell Classroom is rich with authentic texts, lessons or conferring cards, minilessons and professional tools & learning for a systematic, transformative approach to literacy instruction.

Click here to learn how Fountas & Pinnell Classroom  will lift students' learning beyond the walls of the classroom with texts and a blueprint for teaching that create authentic experiences in reading, thinking, talking, writing, and reflecting to realize what it truly means to live a literate life.

January 31. 2017

Twelve Tips for Powerful Teaching in Guided Reading Lessons: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

The following are some guiding principles that may help you get more power in your teaching.

  1. Notice the student’s precise reading behaviors.
  2. Eliminate ineffective behaviors and help the reader do what proficient readers do.
  3. Select a text on which the reader can learn how to read better- not too difficult and not too easy.
  4. Teach the reader not the text.
  5. Teach the student to read written language not words.
  6. Teach for the student to initiate effective problem-solving actions.
  7. Use clear precise language that passes the control to the reader. 
  8. Only ask the student to do what you know he can do.
  9. Don’t clutter the teaching with too much talk.
  10. Focus on self-monitoring and self-regulating behaviors so the reader becomes independent.
  11. Build on examples of successful processing.
  12. Teach for fast responding so the reader can process smoothly and efficiently.

For more, check out http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/guidedreading/

January 26. 2017

What Is the Difference Between Guided Reading and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)?


We have received a lot of questions from teachers recently about how the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems differ from guided reading. Here is a rundown of what they are, how they are alike, and how they differ. “We believe that a literate life is the right of every child, and most children need expert teaching to have access to that life,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017).


What is Guided Reading?

Guided reading is one component of a comprehensive language and literacy framework for classroom instruction; it is not the only context that contributes to a student’s reading growth. Across many contexts, students receive instruction in reading comprehension, phonics/word study, and writing. The texts should be accessible to each student in the group with the support of skilled teaching, which means that the text should offer some challenges. Each lesson should show students how to “think like readers and expand their in-the-head network of systems of strategic actions,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). 

What is LLI?

LLI is a literacy intervention system for students who find reading and writing difficult. The objective is to bring struggling readers and writers to grade-level competency. LLI is a systematically designed, sequenced, short, supplementary lesson that builds on high-quality classroom instruction. The instruction is highly concentrated in reading, writing, and phonics.  Even with many high-quality literacy opportunities, some students struggle with literacy learning. LLI gets them back on track so they can benefit fully from classroom instruction. Its goal is to give students the boost they need to read at the same level as their peers. 

How are they the same?

Both guided reading and LLI are daily, small-group instruction that helps students develop proficient systems of strategic actions for reading. 

The purpose of both guided reading and LLI is to develop a deep understanding that blossoms into an appreciation of the craft of writing, expansion of thinking, and increased enjoyment, which are goals for every year of school. 

Benchmark Assessment Systems should be used to determine the instructional level for each student in both LLI and guided reading.

How are they different?

Purpose. LLI is meant to supplement classroom instruction, whereas guided reading is differentiated classroom instruction. 

Students. Guided reading is used with all students while LLI is used with readers who are having difficulty and are reading below grade level.

Duration. LLI is a temporary, short-term intervention (10 to 24 weeks depending on which system is being used), while guided reading is ongoing across elementary school years. 

Materials. Leveled books are used for both guided reading and LLI. The texts in LLI, however, are designed specifically for the system and placed in a preplanned sequence, while the leveled texts for guided reading are selected by the teacher for the group.

Grouping. In guided reading, students who are similar in their reading development are placed in small groups of 4 to 8. In LLI, students are also grouped according to similar instructional levels, but in groups of 3, moving up to a maximum of 4 for upper grades.

Time. In guided reading, lessons should take approximately 15 to 25 minutes daily, while LLI lessons are 30 minutes daily, stretching to 45 minutes for upper elementary grades.

Teacher. Guided reading lessons are given by the classroom teacher. LLI lessons can be given by classroom teachers, but are usually done by an interventionist or literacy specialist.  

For more information on LLI and Guided Reading resources, visit www.fountasandpinnell.com.

~The Fountas & Pinnell 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/