September 1. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 09/01/2016

It is the observation and analysis of the students’ reading behaviors that informs your next teaching moves.

(Excerpted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. © 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.)

August 31. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/31/2016

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.

(Excerpted from The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. © 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.)

August 30. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/30/2016

Every child, every single day, should have the opportunity to read many texts with understanding and fluency. Within a community of readers and writers, that can happen.

August 29. 2016

Making Your Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) Conferences Efficient and Informative

This is the time of year for getting to know each of your new students as unique individuals in your classroom community. Your BAS conference is a wonderful opportunity to spend a short time with each child to get a big payoff.

Think about the following tips as they may help you establish more efficient and informative BAS conferences with your students.

Making a Schedule
It’s a good idea to make a schedule for conducting your assessments. Be proactive. For example, plan to have two or three assessment conferences a day and complete all the assessments within two to three weeks. Don’t let the assessments drag out for weeks.

Finding Time
Consider partnering up with a grade-level colleague so you can release each other to administer an assessment or two. For example, take turns reading aloud to both classes or taking both groups out for recess time. Think together about other opportunities that could enable both groups of students to engage in meaningful work together while you gain time for assessment conferences.

Conducting the Assessment Conference Efficiently
A key to an efficient conference is being organized, knowing where to begin the assessment and moving the assessment along at a good pace. When you start with a text that is easy, but not too easy for the student to read, the next book will likely be an instructional level. The third book read will likely be hard. As soon as the data shows the text is hard, you stop the assessment.
Think about how to organize yourself for an efficient administration. Organize the books by level in a pile. If you are using the iPad application, you will be paperless. If you are using paper, make several copies of each Recording Form, so you can quickly pull the form you need. Have your F&P Calculator/Stopwatch ready.
Use last year’s reading information to know where to start. Make a list of start levels for each student. You might also talk a minute with the student about what books he read over the summer to get a level indicator. In any case, you can talk to last year’s teacher.

Move the conference along at a good pace. Be sure to read all the books before you begin. Collect one book while handing over the next. The more assessments you give, the more familiar you will be with the prompts and you can move along at a good pace.

Learning More
The more you administer the BAS, the more efficient you will become. If the students read fluently, the assessment will be shorter. The goal is for the student to read one easy book with fluency, one instructional level book with fluency, and only part of one book that is hard.

Plan ahead for an efficient administration. And share tips for efficiency with your colleagues.

Our best to you as you start a new year.

-Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

August 29. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/29/2016

Investment in continuous professional learning with a focus on creating a culture of teacher growth in our schools will be transformative to literacy instruction.

August 26. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/26/2016

When teachers with a common vision work together over time, and have the lift of excellent professional learning, they develop a common knowledge about the nature of learning.

excerpted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. © 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

August 25. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/25/2016

Effective teaching is responsive to the learners. It means that you are able to notice the strengths of individuals and build on their competencies. Instead of expecting them to be where you are, you have to bring the teaching to where they are.

excerpted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. © 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

August 24. 2016

Daily Lit Bit - 08/24/2016

When teachers respond precisely to students' observable behaviors, they meet students where they are and lead them forward with intention and precision.