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March 1. 2018

Nurture Young Learners' Curiosity Through Inquiry

All children need the opportunity for play and inquiry. We must remember that children, especially prekindergarteners, learn through play. Inquiry is the kind of focused play you do when pursuing a topic of interest. A rich and joyful early literacy environment in which reading, writing, and talking are part of play, often become play.

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.

Information Seeking

In this type of inquiry, we engage others or use artifacts and other resources to figure something out or build new understandings. More...

February 27. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Use The Literacy Continuum with Leveled Literacy Intervention

At the end of each level in the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Lesson Guides, you will find pages from The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum: A Tool for Assessment, Planning, and Teaching to help monitor progress and guide your teaching. It lists specific behaviors and understandings that are required for children to read successfully at that level. These behaviors and understandings are accumulative across the levels. They include important competencies children need to think within, beyond, and about texts. In other words, children take on new demands as the texts grow more challenging.

The LLI lessons are designed to support the goals listed in The Literacy Continuum. Your goal should be to help children meet the demands of successive levels of text and, in the process, expand their systems of strategic actions. The following suggestions may contribute to effective teaching in your lessons:

  • In advance of the lesson, read the new book with The Literacy Continuum goals in mind. 
  • Think about what your children can do, and then find behaviors and understandings that they control, partially control, or do not yet control. 
  • Read the introduction to the text and teaching points for the lesson, keeping in mind the processing needs of the readers. Make any adjustments you think are necessary to meet their needs. 
  • Look at the Phonics/Word Work and at the additional suggestions provided on The Literacy Continuum pages, and make any adjustments you feel are necessary for your group. 
  • As you near the end of a level, look at what the readers now control and what they need to know to successfully process texts at this level. 
  • As the readers grow more proficient and reading becomes easy at the level, look ahead to the The Literacy Continuum pages for the next higher level. You may find new understandings or more complex versions of the same understandings.
From Leveled Literacy Intervention Orange System Guide, Second Edition by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
February 23. 2018

RECAP: Text. Talk. Teach. Twitter Chat with Fountas and Pinnell

On Thursday, February 22, Fountas and Pinnell hosted a Twitter Chat on the importance of fostering talk in the classroom. Below is a recap of that chat. Talking is thinking. Learn about the different ways in which you can offer your students valuable opportunities to express their thinking through TALK.

February 23. 2018

FAQ Friday: Should I tell families the level I am working on in LLI?

Q: Should I tell families the level I am working on in Leveled Literacy Intervention?

A: We don’t believe it’s necessary to share levels with families; rather you should focus on the continuous progress children are making. Show them the books their child was reading at the beginning of LLI and what he or she is reading now. Help them look at the books to understand progress. Explain that the level helps you to monitor progress and teach the child. Try to avoid the “level” being something that parents and caregivers focus on too much.

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

February 22. 2018

Ask Meli! February, 2018

Meli has been so busy reading all of your wonderful letters! She loves hearing from each and every one of you, and can tell that you have been practicing your reading and writing.

This month, Meli answers letters from her friends in Burleson, Texas.

Dear Meli,

Q: Hi my name is Melanie. I am in 2nd grade. I love your books. When is your birthday? Who is your best friend? What is your favorite toy? Love Melanie

: Hi Melanie! Thank you for your letter! My favorite toy is my red ball! I love my rubber chicken too! Woof! -Meli More...