December 8. 2016

Ask Meli!

For those who don't know her, Meli is Irene Fountas's dog who has been featured in a series of leveled books from the Leveled Literacy Intervention System. Over the years, she has become a beloved icon for students and teachers working with LLI. Many classrooms have even sent in fan mail! This is the first in a series of blogs where Meli is taking time out from her busy schedule of chasing squirrels, barking at birds, and napping to answer some of your questions. But first, here's a recent Q & A to help you get to know her a little better.

Q: How do you pronounce your name, Meli?

: It is pronounced Mell-ee, like the word "belly" or "smelly!"

Q: Are you a male or a female dog?

: I am a female dog.

Q: What kind of dog are you?

: I am a West Highland White Terrier, also known as a "Westie" for short. My ancestors originally came all the way from Scotland!

Q: How old are you?

: I just turned 11 years old.

Q:  Who do you live with and where?

: I live with my owner, Irene Fountas. We live in Massachusetts where it's starting to get cold and soon the snow will come. I love to run around in the snow! 

Q: What is your favorite treat?

: There isn't much I don't like to eat, but my favorite treat is cantaloupe! 

Q: Are you also the dog in the Sam and Jessie books from LLI?

: Yes, that's me! It's a cartoon version of me.

Meli has received many letters from her fans, so she will take time each month to answer her letters here on www.fountasandpinnell.com. If you have any questions for Meil you can send letters to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. You can also post questions on the Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell Facebook page, or submit questions via Twitter @FountasPinnell with the hashtag #FPAskMeli.

December 6. 2016

Enable students to learn how to learn about genre: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell on an inquiry approach to genre study

In exploring genre study, we advocate teaching and learning in which students are engaged in exploration. By engaging deeply and consistently with a variety of high-quality texts, students build an internal foundation of information on which they can base further learning. They learn how to develop genre understandings and can apply their thinking to any genre.

 

Genre study is a foundational inquiry that involves several steps and gives students the tools they need to navigate a variety of texts with deep understanding.

 

Try these six broad steps in genre study:

 

1. Collect a set of high-quality mentor texts that are clear examples of the genre.

2. Immerse students in several clear examples of the genre in various instructional contexts.

3. Study the common characteristics that are always and often evident of the genre.

4. Define the genre using the list of characteristics to create a short working definition.

5. Teach specific mini lessons on the genre characteristics.

6. Read and Revise the lists and definition as needed and expand students’ genre understanding.

 

When students understand genre, they can engage more deeply with texts. To learn more about genre study through inquiry-based learning, please reference Genre Study: Teaching with Fiction and Nonfiction Books

December 1. 2016

Thank you for putting the "U" in CommUnity! Celebrating 20k Members!


In August of this year we launched the online Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Community, and in three short months we have gained over 23,000 members and counting! Our members have come together from all over the world to share a common vision:to give children a chance to live a literate life that expands their empathy, curiosity, and competencies to become good global citizens.

We wouldn't be one of the fastest growing communities in the field of literacy education without you and we thank you for taking this journey with us to achieve substantial school-wide growth through a community of educators.

On behalf of Irene and Gay and the entire Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Community THANK YOU for your commitment to every child, every day. 

If you'd like to become a member of the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Community you can sign up for free at www.fountasandpinnell.com. The Community also extends to social media with an additional 60k members via Facebook and Twitter combined! If haven't already, you can like the Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell Facebook page to receive important updates or event notifications. Or you can join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Learning Group where you can collaborate in real time with your peers. And if you're more of a Twitter person, you can follow @FountasPinnell.

November 29. 2016

Nurture Young Learners’ Curiosity through Inquiry, A tip from Fountas and Pinnell on Early Literacy Learning

All children need the opportunity for play and inquiry. A rich and joyful early literacy environment in which reading, writing, and talking are part of play, often become play. We must remember that children, especially young children, learn through play. Play enhances language and literacy learning. When your teaching is inquiry-oriented, you enable young children to learn how to learn, investigate and discover new understandings, and pose wonderings about the possibilities.

 

With two kinds of inquiry, information seeking and wondering, children are immersed in constructive learning that results in an exciting, meaningful expansion of knowledge that continues through life. Fountas and Pinnell discuss the inquiry process in depth in their book, Literacy Beginnings.

 

Try these four simple steps of the inquiry process to guide your teaching and propel literacy learning:

1. Playful Exploration (Notice, Wonder)

2. Define Questions (Plan for Observing)

3. Find Out (Investigate, Explore)

4. Share Learning (Discuss, Draw Conclusions)