September 14. 2016

What is New in Benchmark Assessment System 1 and 2, Third Edition? Can I Use Second Edition Materials with the Third Edition?


Here we are again with another new edition! I assure you we are not trying to make you all crazy. The fact is: Fountas and Pinnell always have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in our schools. They always want to know what’s working and what’s not working. What’s trending and what’s going out of style. And on top of it all they are always revising and they are ALWAYS working! (Just ask our editors here at Heinemann who are on the brink of insanity.) So when they saw that there was room for refinement in the Benchmark Assessment Systems it couldn’t go unaddressed.

What is Different?

Perhaps the most significant differences in the third edition are the new comprehension conversation rubrics and the more detailed assessment guidelines. Fountas and Pinnell have been able to observe many teachers administer and score the comprehension conversations with BAS, Second Edition through their work in schools over the last few years. “It became clear that gaining strong behavioral evidence of understanding using talk as evidence was new or unfamiliar to many teachers,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016).  Because many teachers weren’t getting the ongoing professional development needed in standardized administration and scoring, Fountas and Pinnell decided they needed to offer more guidance. The goal is for teachers to achieve consistency. “The new guidelines and rubric will enable teachers to sharpen their observation of students’ reading behaviors and strengthen the connection from assessment to instruction,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016).

Other changes to note are:

Updated Assessment Guide and Recording Forms

All new Professional Development and Tutorial Videos

Inclusion of the new The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum

Updated leveled books that include factual revisions to some nonfiction books and minor revisions to some fiction books

Recording Forms, summary forms, optional assessments, and videos will be available in one place on the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources 

Updated Online Data Management System (ODMS) to accommodate both BAS, 2e and 3rd edition scoring

Updated BAS Reading Record App.


Can I use a mix of materials from the Benchmark Assessment 2nd and 3rd editions?

No, unfortunately. Changes have been made to both the Benchmark Books and the Recording Forms in the third edition. So using the two editions will not work because the text of the book and the text on the form will not always match, which will affect your ability to score a reader’s accuracy.

It’s also important to note that because of the modifications to the scoring rubrics, it is essential for all classrooms and teachers to be using the same edition. Maintaining consistency in assessment protocols within schools and across districts is critical. Some schools may not be ready to transition to the new edition, however, or have recently purchased the second edition shortly before the third edition was published. Heinemann does offer some solutions. Please contact your local sales representative to explore your options.  The second edition is still a reliable resource for teachers, but we urge you to learn more about the choices that are available.

They key word here is refinement. “With refinement comes reflection. Reflect on your assessment analysis and observations, and engage in a discussion with colleagues to plan rich and comprehensive literacy experiences that meet learners where they are and bring them forward with intention and precision,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016).

Jill Backman

Fountas & Pinnell Marketing Manager


Join #FPLiteracy on Thursday, 9/15 at 8:00 p.m. EST for a LIVE Twitter Chat with @fountaspinnell   


Explore the Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2, Third Edition at www.fountasandpinnell.com/bas

 

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

August 29. 2016

Making Your Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) Conferences Efficient and Informative

This is the time of year for getting to know each of your new students as unique individuals in your classroom community. Your BAS conference is a wonderful opportunity to spend a short time with each child to get a big payoff.

Think about the following tips as they may help you establish more efficient and informative BAS conferences with your students.

Making a Schedule
It’s a good idea to make a schedule for conducting your assessments. Be proactive. For example, plan to have two or three assessment conferences a day and complete all the assessments within two to three weeks. Don’t let the assessments drag out for weeks.

Finding Time
Consider partnering up with a grade-level colleague so you can release each other to administer an assessment or two. For example, take turns reading aloud to both classes or taking both groups out for recess time. Think together about other opportunities that could enable both groups of students to engage in meaningful work together while you gain time for assessment conferences.

Conducting the Assessment Conference Efficiently
A key to an efficient conference is being organized, knowing where to begin the assessment and moving the assessment along at a good pace. When you start with a text that is easy, but not too easy for the student to read, the next book will likely be an instructional level. The third book read will likely be hard. As soon as the data shows the text is hard, you stop the assessment.
Think about how to organize yourself for an efficient administration. Organize the books by level in a pile. If you are using the iPad application, you will be paperless. If you are using paper, make several copies of each Recording Form, so you can quickly pull the form you need. Have your F&P Calculator/Stopwatch ready.
Use last year’s reading information to know where to start. Make a list of start levels for each student. You might also talk a minute with the student about what books he read over the summer to get a level indicator. In any case, you can talk to last year’s teacher.

Move the conference along at a good pace. Be sure to read all the books before you begin. Collect one book while handing over the next. The more assessments you give, the more familiar you will be with the prompts and you can move along at a good pace.

Learning More
The more you administer the BAS, the more efficient you will become. If the students read fluently, the assessment will be shorter. The goal is for the student to read one easy book with fluency, one instructional level book with fluency, and only part of one book that is hard.

Plan ahead for an efficient administration. And share tips for efficiency with your colleagues.

Our best to you as you start a new year.

-Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.