January 26. 2017
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
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January 26. 2017
Teaching in guided reading is precise and intensive; as a teacher, you are persistent in prompting students to initiate effective reading behaviors.
January 25. 2017
A good introduction to a text during discussion supports and sparks independent problem solving that helps students build self-extending systems.
January 24. 2017
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 23. 2017
Close teacher observations will help to identify the emphasis for teaching at each level.
January 20. 2017
When everyone in the school uses the same literacy tools/langauge as they move from observation to instruction, a common conversation occurs.
January 19. 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.
January 19. 2017
The Literacy Continuum enables teachers to attend to observable literacy behaviors, not simply the words in the book.
January 18. 2017
Skilled observers note the precise language/literacy behaviors students reveal and understand how it reflects the students' literacy processing system. The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.
January 17. 2017
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.