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January 22. 2018

Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Getting Started Videos Now Available!

If you have purchased Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC), you can now view the Getting Started Videos! These short, informative videos provide an overview to the components in your collection(s) to help you begin organizing your materials. There is a video for each instructional context–Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, and Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study–located in the Online Resources on the FPC Homepage. To access your Online Resources, refer to the inside front cover of your FPC Collection Guide(s)

Please note, you may only view the Getting Started Videos for the instructional contexts you have purchased.

Check out this short clip from the Interactive Read-Aloud Getting Started Video:

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January 18. 2018

How to Foster a Love of Reading Through Choice


We want our students to love reading books. We want them to go over to a book shelf, choose a book that interests them, and hurry to dive in. The ability to choose a book that interests them, as opposed to one that is assigned to them, is vital to growing that passion. Here are some ways you can foster that love through student CHOICE.

Do NOT level the classroom library

Choosing books by level is not an authentic way to choose books. It’s not how we, as adults, choose them, so why would they? The classroom library should include attractively displayed books in a variety of genres that reflect cultural sensitivity and relevance to the age group. They should be organized by topic, author, illustrator, genre, and award-winning books that are organized into baskets or bins with the titles facing out so that students can sort through them. Forcing students to choose books by their reading level puts limitations on them. If they want to choose a book that interests them, but may be a little too easy or too hard, let them. Never take a book out of child’s hands. 

Help them choose

Initially, students may not know how to choose books well, so you will want to teach them how to think about selecting a book that works best for them. By listening to them during book talks and read-alouds, you will get to know what their interests are and be able to make recommendations. Let them examine the cover, back cover copy, and illustrations, or sample a bit of text and let them get a feel for the author’s style. Think about how a book matches to your students’ own reading backgrounds and experiences and whether they would need to listen to an audio version or another person read it to them.

Include personal space in your classroom design 

Students are always searching for their own identity. In order to help them discover what they like or don’t like they need their own space. It can be an individual desk, a cubby, even just a personal box where they can store their personal documents, reader’s notebook, writer’s notebook, independent reading books, etc. Give them a warm, accepting environment to call their own where they can lose themselves in the book that they chose for themselves.

Fountas and Pinnell believe the choice is at the heart of what it means to become a confident reader. “If you have an opportunity to choose what you read, and then to talk about it with others, maybe to draw and write about it, it builds your sense of yourself as a reader and your self-efficacy as a reader. That’s where confidence really begins,” (Fountas and Pinnell). 

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com

For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/ 
December 8. 2017

FAQ Friday: How are phonics and word study integrated into Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

A: Phonics, spelling, and word study are woven into the various instructional contexts within Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) including:

Phonics, Spelling and Word Study System: The lessons in this system are systematic, and sequenced with built-in flexibility for teachers to choose which minilessons to use and when, according to the needs of the students. Each “Teach” activity within the minilessons is designed for use with the whole class, and the “Apply” activity could be used with a small group, pair, or an individual student. All of the revised lessons are derived and connected to principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide, which reflects the specific behaviors related to the nine areas of learning for letters, sounds, and words that children develop over time:

  1. Early Literacy Concepts
  2. Phonological Awareness
  3. Letter Knowledge
  4. Letter-Sound Relationships
  5. Spelling Patterns
  6. High-Frequency Words
  7. Word Meaning/Vocabulary
  8. Word Structure
  9. Word-Solving Actions

FPC Shared Reading Collection: The lessons in the FPC Shared Reading Collection include suggested Phonological Awareness/Phonics/Word Study goals taken from The Literacy Continuum that the text used in the lesson will support the teacher in helping students achieve.

FPC Guided Reading Collection: The goals embedded within the FPC Guided Reading Collection lessons apply the principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide. In addition, an important component of each FPC Guided Reading Collection lesson are brief, but focused attention to words and how they work in the form of an embedded phonics activity that is based on the Planning for Letter and Word Work After Guided Reading feature from the Guided Reading continuum in The Literacy Continuum.

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


November 7. 2017

Why The Literacy Continuum is Critical to Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


As a teacher using the new Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ System (FPC) you may have been hearing over and over: in order to use the materials as effectively as possible, you need to use The Literacy Continuum to shape the suggested lesson for the learning needs of your particular students. This valuable tool enables you to adjust, extend, and enhance the materials in FPC to the benefit of each student you teach.

Each FPC lesson was written, each original book title was created, and each trade book was chosen based on text characteristics and goals taken directly from The Literacy Continuum. So why do you need to refer to it if the lessons already identify the goals for you? Here’s why:

For Assessment

Effective teaching begins with good assessment. The Literacy Continuum is a tool that describes the observable reading, writing, or language behaviors of proficient students at the level. It provides you with a set of goals, behaviors, and understandings at each reading level (for guided reading) and grade level (for all other instructional contexts) that you can match to the specific competencies you observe in your students. By frequently referring to the behaviors and understandings from The Literacy Continuum during your observations of oral reading, talk, or writing you will know what your students already control, almost control, or do not yet control. You need The Literacy Continuum to know precisely where to meet your students in order to bring them forward using the FPC materials.

For Planning

The Literacy Continuum is a planning tool. You’ve used it to identify goals for your students. Now you can use it to prioritize a few emphases that will be most important for leading your students forward. Since The Literacy Continuum describes proficiency, your teaching needs to bring your students to those competencies. Even though FPC includes a suggested sequence of lessons in each instructional context, you may choose to vary the suggested sequence and the lesson content based on your knowledge of your students. No one lesson can fit the precise needs of your students.

For Teaching

In the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ System, critical behaviors and understanding are identified. They will guide you to think about the specific level and important demands but only you will have the daily observations of your students’ competencies. The Literacy Continuum, as a companion to the lessons, will enable you to refine the goals to meet the specific needs of your students.

For some of you, The Literacy Continuum goes where you go. It’s tattered and smudged from constant use. Having a battered copy of The Literacy Continuum isn’t a sign of misuse; it’s a sign of USE. It means that you are using it the way it was intended: as an everyday tool to assess, plan for, and teach your students to process oral and written language with competency and confidence.  


~Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com

For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/ 
October 19. 2017

Successful Learning Communities Start with a Vision

What is your school's vision? Does everyone in your school have the same goals? What tools do you need to accomplish your vision?

Join us on Thursday, 10/26 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) for a Twitter Chat to discuss this important topic. In the meantime, take a moment to read this message from Fountas and Pinnell to learn what they envision a successful literacy community to look like.

OUR VISION

The schools we envision recognize every child’s right to grow up literate as a member of a dynamic learning community that values the richness of linguistic, ethnic, and cultural diversity. Members of the school community are treated and treat others with empathy, kindness, and respect. Students are motivated to investigate new ideas that fuel intellectual curiosity and act as powerful agents in their own learning. Because when students are fully engaged and feel a sense of joy in their own learning, they achieve a higher level of literacy.

The resources within Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ was built on this vision, and through the dynamic literacy education these resources offer, students come to understand their physical, social, and emotional world and their roles as informed global citizens—hallmarks of the literate lives they can lead. 

Does their vision match that of your school's? Join your fellow colleagues and Fountas and Pinnell next Thursday on Twitter to learn more about how to turn a vision into a reality. @FountasPinnell #FPLiteracy

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com

For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/ 


September 21. 2017

Building Your Classroom Community



Would you describe your school's culture as being warm and supportive, but without attention to rigorous learning? Or is it run like a tight ship in an attempt to create rigorous learning, but lacks warmth? Fountas and Pinnell believe that in order to build an inclusive, respectful, and supportive social community where people collaborate with and help each other, you can't have one scenario without the other. Here are some ways to not only treat the classroom as a place to learn to read, write, and expand language skills, but to create a COMMUNITY of learners. More...


August 28. 2017

The Power and Purpose of Assessment


 

It’s back-to-school time! Classroom organization is ready and routines are established. Now it’s time to start assessments, and that is not always an easy undertaking. First, assessment takes significant prep work: you have to print materials, note students’ prior level, set each student up in your data management system, and then assess every student in a reasonable amount of time while staying organized and keeping track of all materials and results! It’s a lot of work. It can be easy to get caught up in the logistics and lose sight of the main reason why we assess our students. So let’s take a step back and kick off the new school year thinking about the power and purpose of assessment. More...


August 11. 2017

Enhanced Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Recording Forms: Why we changed them and how it might affect you


Fountas and Pinnell are always working with teachers in schools, observing new practices and refining their current thinking. After witnessing many assessments being administered using the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) they realized that gaining strong behavioral evidence of understanding (using talk as evidence) was new or unfamiliar to many teachers. In fact, many teachers were not receiving enough opportunity for continuous professional learning in standardized administration and evidence-based scoring.

For that reason, Fountas and Pinnell created more-detailed assessment guidelines and a new comprehension conversation rubric for the Recording Forms in Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems, 1st and 2nd Editions (LLI), BAS, 3rd Edition (only), and Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection. As of August 7, 2017, customers will automaticallyreceive access to new Recording Forms via the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources, including updates in the Online Data Management System and Reading Record Apps. More...