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June 11. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Build a Culture of Empathy and Kindness in the Classroom

One of the hardest things for students to learn is that other people have different perspectives and that they need to understand them. Becoming aware of the feelings of others is especially difficult for young children because, developmentally, they are centered on themselves. School is their opportunity to learn that others have feelings to consider, that kindness is valued, and that they can feel more confident and powerful if they help others.

Some intermediate/middle students have not learned how to feel (or at least express) empathy for or kindness toward other students. You cannot undo the events of their lives or what they have learned or not learned, but you can help them start down the road to becoming positive members of the community. A feeling of collaborative ownership and responsibility in the classroom and school will go a long way toward creating empathetic members of that community. Model and even “act out” the behaviors you want students to use in an automatic way. We caution against moralistic, “preachy” lessons that have no connection to real life. Involving students in the cooperative solving of real classroom problems provides an opportunity to demonstrate empathy and kindness daily.

From Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

June 7. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ aligned to the Common Core?

Q: Is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ aligned to the Common Core?

A: Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ operationalizes and is fundamentally rooted in the behaviors, understandings, and goals of The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. The Literacy Continuum is aligned to the Common Core. This document is organized to show the close connection between each of the continua in The Literacy Continuum and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy. 

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


June 4. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Support English Learners in Book Clubs

English learners benefit greatly from discussion after reading. They have an authentic reason to put their thinking into words and to communicate with others. Prior to the book club, you may wish to meet with individual English learners to give them an opportunity to put their ideas into words and try out new language. If, during the book club, you see signs that a student does not understand the language of the discussion, model restating an idea in natural, simple sentences. When possible, using clear gestures and pictures may support and clarify meaning as well.

From The Literacy Quick Guide: A Reference Tool for Responsive Literacy Teaching by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2018 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

June 1. 2018

Ask Meli! May, 2018

Summer is almost here! Meli has been wrapping up the school year by reading lots and lots of your letters! She hopes you keep writing to her during the summer!

Keep reading to see her answers to students at Fonda-Fultonville Elementary School in Glenville, NY.

Q: Dear Meli, My favroite book is Meli at the Pet Shop. Does Meli have a brother or sister? Meli do you behave? -Anthony

: Hi Anthony! I'm so happy to hear you like my books and I loved your questions! I am an only animal, so that means I do not have any brothers or sisters. And I try to behave, but sometimes I chase rabbits even though I'm not supposed to. Keep reading! Woof! Meli More...