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July 19. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is Writing Instruction Incorporated in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

Q: Is writing instruction incorporated in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC)?

A: Writing is integrated into all of the following FPC instructional contexts: 

  • Guided Reading (in the Writing about Reading section) 
  • Shared Reading (in the Responding to the Text section) 
  • Interactive Read-Aloud (in the Responding to the Text section) 
  • Independent Reading (in the Writing about Reading prompts) 

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum contains a Writing continuum, which can be used as a planning document and a way of assessing writing progress. As with all of the continua, the behaviors described represent goals for a year of instruction.

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

July 18. 2018

Fountas and Pinnell Talk About Why Reading Matters

Fountas and Pinnell were recently interviewed by USA TODAY reporter, Amy Sinatra Ayres, for an article in their fall, 2018 Back to School magazine. In the article, "Reading Matters: Inspiring the next generation of bookworms" they emphasize the importance of children reading books to gain insight into the human experience, and a better understanding of the world around them. They also offer advice on how to inspire reluctant readers and encourage them to read for pleasure.

To purchase this issue of USA TODAY Back to School and read the article, go here.

(Photo credit: USA TODAY Magazines)

July 16. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Make More Time for Language and Literacy Learning

It's not always easy to find time for literacy instruction in the classroom, so here are some suggestions for making more time for language and literacy learning.

1. With your grade-level colleagues, design a daily schedule that includes two-and-a-half to three hours of language and literacy teaching: 
  • If you encounter problems, think "outside the box:" integrate subjects previously taught separately, rearrange your planning periods, reexamine how you incorporate special areas like music and art. 
  • If you have departmentalization and cannot change it, work on a plan for allocating time for reading, writing, and word study, and for regular communication with other teachers so you can make connections over content areas.
  • Compare the time you have allocated for reading with the time you have set aside for writing. Writing is often shortchanged. 
  • Talk about ways to incorporate more social studies and science into your literacy blocks. 
  • Discuss ways to be more efficient. Could the first fifteen minutes of the day become part of the independent reading block? 
  • Try out the schedule for one month and then revise it based on your experience.
2. Reevaluate the existing organizational structures in your classroom. Can some of these be changed? Can you find ways to incorporate some of them into the language and literacy framework? 

3. With a group of colleagues, discuss changes you plan to make in terms of time, instructional approaches, classroom structure, or content.

From Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2001 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
July 13. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Does FPC Support ELLs?

Q: How does Fountas & Pinnell Classroom support English language learners?

A: Each lesson in FPC contains numerous suggestions for modifying or scaffolding instruction to support English learners in processing the text, using language to participate in discussions, and benefiting from the teaching.

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

July 9. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Provide Opportunities for Processing Texts

Comprehending the fullest meaning of a text is the goal every time we read anything. We do not teach comprehension by applying one strategy to one book during one lesson: we help students learn how to focus on the meaning and interpretation of texts all the time, in every instructional context, each instance contributing in different ways to the same complex processing system. Below are some suggestions for you and your colleagues to provide your students with opportunities for processing texts:

  1. Bring together a cross-grade-level group of colleagues to think about text experiences. You may want to have them work in small grade-level groups and then share as a whole group. 
  2. Use large chart paper divided into columns. As a group, consider (1) processing orally presented written texts; (2) processing written texts; and (3) acting on the meaning of texts after reading. These three actions occur across instructional contexts. 
  3. Have each group use their weekly schedules to discuss a week of instruction in their classroom. Make a list of all the processing opportunities students have in each of the three areas in the three columns on the chart paper. 4. Review the charts. Have the whole group participate in a larger discussion of how these opportunities can be expanded. Emphasize that there are specific ways of teaching for comprehending in each of these settings. 
From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.