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January 24. 2017

How to Create a Script for Readers’ Theater: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell

Readers’ theater is a dynamic process that is easy to implement in elementary classrooms. It is a fast and engaging way of making any literary text a type of play. Readers’ theater allows students to interpret characters’ feelings and attributes; learn new vocabulary words and language structure; practice expressive reading for an authentic purpose; build oral expression and speaking skills; and engage in oral reading for an authentic purpose.  Many readers’ theater scripts are downloadable from the Internet but here’s how you can create your own:

1. Select an appropriate fiction or nonfiction text. 

2. Decide which parts to turn into a dialogue and narrative.

3. Have students work together to assign parts (characters and narrator).

4. Have students read the parts silently and think about how they will read them aloud.

5. Have students read the script a couple of times.

6. Have students read the script to others (optional).

Adapted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.


January 19. 2017

Guided Reading Twitter Chat with Fountas and Pinnell, Part 2 from 1/12/2017

On Thursday, January 12th, authors Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell hosted part two of a Twitter chat on Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. People from all over the country logged in to discuss important topics such as, how teachers make decisions about what is important to teach for at each guided reading level, and how an effective book introduction can unlock a text for students in a guided reading lesson. Teachers tweeted about how the use of instructional level texts within guided reading challenges and advances the reading power of students, while Fountas and Pinnell offered words of advice and encouragement such as, "A level is not a score; it stands for a set of behaviors that teachers can observe for evidence of, teach for, and reinforce at every level readers."

To read the whole chat, click the link below. And mark your calendars to log in on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 8 p.m. (EST) as we begin an exciting chat series on Fountas & Pinnell Classroom—our forthcoming classroom-based literacy system. More...

January 17. 2017

Unlock a Text Through Effective Book Introductions: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Text introductions are critical. You need to provide just enough information to ensure that students will be able to problem-solve or process increasingly challenging texts successfully. Your job is to unlock the text, make it more accessible, and then allow readers to use their "in-the-head" systems of strategic actions to think about and problem-solve their way through the text.

The introduction should be conversational. The way you shape the conversation can help you attend to anything your students need to know how to do in relation to the text. You want to provide scaffolds that will enable readers to access the full meaning, the language, and the print.

Try this: As you plan your brief introductions, think about the reading process, the demands of the text, and the readers' strengths and needs.

Refer to Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency for suggested teaching moves to support comprehending and fluency in text introductions.