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June 18. 2018

Teacher Tip: Selecting Books for Interactive Read-Aloud

Interactive read-aloud is an important instructional context that allows readers to experience rich, interesting texts that are age-and grade-appropriate, regardless of their independent or instructional reading level. In order to get the most instructional power from interactive read-aloud, it is important to plan for teaching in a precise way. Here are some guidelines to help you select books for interactive read-aloud.

  • Look for texts that you know your students will love (funny, exciting, connected to their experiences, able to extend their thinking.) 
  • Select texts appropriate to the age and interests of your students. 
  • Select texts that are of high quality (award winners, excellent authors, high-quality illustrations). 
  • Plan selections so that you present a variety of cultures; help students see things from different perspectives. 
  • Choose texts that help students understand how people have responded to life's challenges. 
  • Consider books on the significant issues in the age group--peer pressure, friendship, families, honesty, racism, competition. 
  • Especially for younger readers, select texts that help them enjoy language--rhythm, rhyme, repetition. 
  • Select different versions of the same story to help students make comparisons. Evaluate the texts to be sure the ideas and concepts can be understood by your students. 
  • Plan selections that appeal to both boys and girls. 
  • Mix and connect fiction and nonfiction. 
  • Repeat some texts that have been loved by former students. 
  • Vary genres so that students listen to many different kinds of texts--articles, poems, fiction, informational texts. 
  • Select informational texts, even if they are long; you can read some interesting parts aloud and leave the books for students to peruse on their own. 
  • Choose texts that will expand your students' knowledge of others' lives and empathy. 
  • Choose texts that will help students reflect on their own lives. 
  • Select texts that you love and tell students about them. 
  • Select texts that build on one another in various ways (sequels, themes, authors, illustrators, topics, settings, structure). 
  • Link selections in ways that will help students learn something about how texts work. 
  • Select books that provide good foundations for minilessons in reading and writing. 
  • Consider the curriculum demands of your district; for example, link texts with social studies, science, or the core literature program.
  • Select several texts that help listeners learn from an author's style or craft.
  • Select texts that offer artistic appreciation. 
  • Select fiction and nonfiction texts on the same general topics. 
  • Consider "text sets" that are connected in various ways--theme, structure, time period, issues, series, author illustrator, and genre. 
From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
June 14. 2018

How to Engage Parents and Caregivers in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Now that Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is up and running in your classroom, you might be looking for ways to collaborate with parents and caregivers to keep your students engaged when they go home. As you begin to plan for next year, think about ways to actively engage parents and caregivers in the literacy lives of their children. Your students will benefit greatly from communication  between home and school.

Here are some ways that parents and caregivers can support their children at home.

  • Listen to the books their children bring home to read
  • Read books aloud to their children
  • Talk about books together
  • Go to the library
  • Encourage their children to write for authentic purposes (such as a grocery list, a letter, or directions)
  • Sing songs together
  • Recite nursery rhymes or poetry together
  • Talk with their children about a variety of topics
  • Encourage their children to play outside every day
  • Encourage play in which their children use imagination.

You may also want to invite parents and caregivers into the classroom throughout the year for special literacy occasions, such as:

  • Listening to their children participate in Reader's Theater
  • A reading celebration in which parents and caregivers listen to their children read or they read to their children
  • Watching a puppet show or simple play the children have written and perform
  • Creating a literacy museum where children dress up as a character from a book and share the book with their parent or caregiver.
  • As you actively and creatively engage parents and caregivers in the literacy lives of their children, each child and family knows that their traditions and cultures are honored and the collaborative partnership between home and school is valued. 

Some parents might not be comfortable approaching you or the school, or perhaps they are unsure about how to support their children in their learning. Finding effective and creative ways to engage all parents and caregivers is likely to be a yearlong endeavor, but the benefits are worth it.

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

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June 14. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Can LLI Be Integrated into FPC?

Q: How can Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) be integrated into Fountas & Pinnell Classroom (FPC)?

A: LLI supplements FPC for children who need something extra. All children should have high-quality classroom-based literacy instruction, and LLI is the most coherent supplementary literacy intervention to FPC for students that need extra support to achieve grade level proficiency.

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

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!>>