September 20. 2016
Assessment must result in informed teaching. Assessment is not teaching; it is gathering information for teaching.
September 19. 2016
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.
September 16. 2016
The primary purpose of assessment is to gather data to inform teaching. If assessment does not result in improved teaching then its value in school diminishes greatly.
September 15. 2016
When students spend their time thinking, reading, writing, and talking everyday, they get a message about what is valued in your classroom and they begin to develop their own values. Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.
September 14. 2016
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
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
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).
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/
September 14. 2016
We need to listen to our students closely and spend time talking with them, not at them.
September 13. 2016
Learners progress in their individual ways, but they ultimately reach the same goal—a complex and flexible literacy processing system. The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.
September 12. 2016
Lessons are carefully planned and systematic; but there is always room for moment-to-moment adjustment given student response. Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.
September 9. 2016
Common teacher language creates a thread of coherence for students' literacy learning. Use language to emphasize the importance of reinforcing newly emerging literacy behaviors.
August 29. 2016
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.
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.
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.