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April 18. 2017

RECAP of 4/17/2017 Twitter Chat on Putting Shared Reading into Action with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


On Monday, May 4, Heinemann hosted a Twitter Chat in which they interviewed authors Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell about the role of Shared Reading in their newest system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC). People from all over the country followed along in order to learn more about putting Shared Reading into action with this exciting, first-of-its-kind, cohesive system for high-quality classroom-based literacy instruction. Followers engaged in a discussion about many different angles of Shared Reading, including its importance to young readers and how it is used within a classroom literacy system. Heinemann also interviewed Fountas and Pinnell about some of features in the Shared Reading component of Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. Followers learned about what makes the books special and what they can expect to see in the lessons that accompany each authentic book. Some favorite tweets included: More...


April 18. 2017

Three Tips for Selecting Texts for Shared Reading: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell

In August of this year, there will be a beautiful collection of authentic, original Shared Reading books available for sale with the new Fountas & Pinnell Classroom(TM). In the meantime, here are three tips on how to select texts you can use for Shared Reading in your classroom community.

The first consideration is that the text for shared reading should be worth reading and rereading. The content, the story, and the language must engage the readers. In selecting texts, consider the readers' ages, previous experiences, and levels of expertise in processing text. What may seem too difficult for beginning readers becomes available because of teacher support, and because the texts are so engaging. Consider stories, poems, chants, and songs as well as fascinating informational books.

  1. Choose texts that provide early experiences with print. Children in preschool and kindergarten generally need a simple text with bold, colorful illustrations and engaging content. To get started, choose a text with only one line of print per page with clear spaces between words. Print and illustrations should be clearly separated. In fiction, select simple stories and nonfiction topics that are close to students' own experiences. The language should have some repetition with simple structures. You can also use simple four- or five-line poems for shared reading with young children. After a couple of readings, the rhyme and rhythm carry the readers along. It is easy to read when supported by the group and the teacher's pointer. 
  2. Choose texts that lead the development of an early reading process. Select enlarged texts that are just beyond those that most children can process in guided reading. Students can read more lines of print and more complex stories or informational books with more text. These books should still have some repetition or longer repeating patterns, and language that engages students. 
  3. Choose texts that promote the construction of meaning and the development of language. All high-quality texts support students' attention to the construction of meaning and the talk that surrounds it. Shared reading promotes opportunities for meaningful talk and the development of language structures. Wordless picture books have enormous potential for productive work in shared reading; children can engage in meaning making even without print. 
Adapted 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.

March 31. 2017

Ask Meli! March, 2017

Meli is really enjoying all of her mail!! Your letters were wonderfully written and she could tell that you all have been working hard on your reading and writing. You must have some great teachers! She has received many questions from all over the country. Here are a few examples.

Below are questions sent in from Riley, Emoneet, Ealiyah, and Caihey from Blue Jay Bird Elementary School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin! More...

March 28. 2017

Six Methods of Teaching Read-alouds to PreK Children: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Many children have gone to daycare or been part of play groups, but for some, prekindergarten is their first experience with a group read-aloud. With careful teaching, even young children new to school can follow these simple routines. Again, you will find methods of teaching that fit your class, but here's a general approach that is effective:

  1. Demonstrate the behavior yourself. Describe it in words that are simple. Tell children why it is important.
  2. Have two or three children demonstrate the behavior while the others watch (maybe in a circle). Have everyone clap when they do it well.
  3. Have everyone demonstrate the behavior and clap for themselves.
  4. Insist on the behavior every time with gentle reminders and more demonstration as needed. (If you constantly allow deviations, children will become confused about your expectations.)
  5. Give specific praise to the children when they demonstrate the expected behavior.
  6. Use positive commands whenever possible; tell children what to so rather than what not to do.

Adapted from Literacy Beginnings by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2011 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

March 23. 2017

Engaging Books: The Heart of Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


It all begins with high-quality books. Before a lesson was conceptualized, or one word of instruction was written, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) had already been years into development. Fountas and Pinnell, along with their talented teams of writers and skilled editors, were pouring their energy into the creation of the most powerful, authentic texts, as well as choosing the most fascinating trade books on the market to be the heart of this new system. After all, how can we teach students to love reading if we don’t give them beautiful, engaging books to read? More...