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January 12. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Often Should the Benchmark Assessment Be Administered?

Q: How often should the Benchmark Assessment be administered?

A: We suggest that you administer the assessment at the beginning of the year to help you determine where to start your teaching with each child. You may also want to conduct the assessment in the middle of the year, to take stock of progress, though you may already have the information from your ongoing use of reading records in instruction. Finally, near the end of the year you may want to conduct one more assessment to obtain a final record of the child's growth across the year. You may decide to administer the last assessment a couple of months before the end of the year. In this case, the assessment can provide information for instruction during the last months of school, while avoiding the redundancy of testing at the very end of one year and the beginning of the next.
December 22. 2017

FAQ Friday: Can a Child Look at the Book During the Comprehension Conversation?

Q: Can a child look at the book during the comprehension conversation?

A: Yes. One purpose of the Benchmark Assessment System is to give you information to guide your instruction. If a child has to look back as a reminder it doesn’t necessarily mean the child doesn’t understand or remember. Perhaps the child doesn’t feel confident in his or her memory or talking about the text without that confirming look. Reinforcement and prompts to talk about texts without always looking back may build the child's confidence. The teacher needs to know the student and note such observations of behaviors that provide evidence of thinking and analyze the child’s thinking at that point in time.

October 20. 2017

FAQ Friday: Extra BAS Books

Q: Are there additional/supplemental texts for the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System?

A: No. The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System revolves around the idea that students should be continuously progressing throughout the year. If a student is assessed at, for example, Level M at the beginning of the year, the goal is for them to be at level N or higher by the next assessment. In some cases, it is necessary or preferred to reassess a student at the same level, which is why each level includes two books: one fiction and one nonfiction. But beyond that, the student should really be progressing to the next level.

If you are finding that a student is 'stuck' at a level, take a look at The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum for that level to see in what behaviors the student may be lacking. Then, try and focus your teaching around cultivating those behaviors.

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

September 7. 2017

Go Paperless with the Fountas & Pinnell Reading Record App

The Fountas & Pinnell Reading Record App is an efficient alternative to taking a reading record on paper. The app accurately analyzes reading and accuracy rate, self-correction ratio, and fluency and comprehension scores to reveal students’ progress, and the results sync wirelessly to the Online Data Management System.

In the video below, watch how the Fountas & Pinnell Reading Record App provides greater convenience for iPad® users taking assessments. 

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September 1. 2017

Twitter Chat RECAP: The Power and Purpose of Assessment

On Thursday, August 31, Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell  hosted a Twitter Chat about The Power and Purpose of Assessment. People from all over the country logged in to share their thoughts about this important topic, just in time for the new school year! Followers engaged in a discussion about many different angles of assessment from how assessment informs moment-to-moment teaching decisions, to the importance of the continuous use of reading records in everyday instruction. Some favorite tweets included: 
Assessment is not teaching. It is gathering information for teaching. More...