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November 3. 2017

Don’t Miss Out on These FREE Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources!

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Community at

This website is full of information, resources, tools, research, answers, and inspiration for all things Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™. Become a member for free now, and receive access to all of these exciting benefits:

  • Live Webinars. These informative webinars are hosted by Fountas and Pinnell themselves. Search the Resource Library on to find recordings of past webinars on a full range of topics, and as a member you will receive notices for upcoming live webinars as they are scheduled. 
  • The Discussion Board. This forum is a place to find answers to all your questions regarding content, release dates, general queries, and more. You can start by searching the immense database of already-asked-and-answered questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can post your question and expect a quick answer from one of our trained consultants who are constantly monitoring. 
  • Resource Library. This library contains video, study guides, instructional tools, product samplers, product updates, and so much more. If you’re looking for something, you will most likely be able to find in in this wonderful resource. 
  • FAQ Friday. Some questions are more frequently asked than others. Check the homepage every Friday to find the answers to the most burning questions. 
  • Teacher Tips. These useful, actionable tips are posted every Tuesday on the homepage.
  • Lit Bits. Each day, visit the homepage and get a little dose of inspiration from these shareable, daily quotes from Fountas and Pinnell.

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group

This members-only page is a place for educators to come and seek answers to questions; seek advice from colleagues about classroom organization, instruction, etc., or just connect with wonderful, like-minded educators from all over the world.

Sign up now and stop missing out on these amazing resources! They’re free!

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

November 3. 2017

FAQ Friday: How Long is a Shared Reading Lesson?

Q: How long is a Shared Reading lesson?

A: You should spend 10 minutes each day doing shared reading, and each shared reading book should be revisited several times over multiple days.  How many days you stay with a book depends on how engaged the students are with the text.

Example lesson:

  • Day/sitting 1– teacher reads and discusses text to the children and children read the whole text with the teacher
  • Day/sitting 2 – children read the text with the teacher (may be for a different purpose or the same as the day before) and discuss
  • Day/sitting 3 or more – children read the text with the teacher for various purposes until the teacher feels it is time to move to another book.

There is not just one way to do shared reading and it is not really a straight linear progression.  You may revisit a book more than once and target something different each time.  You can also reread the same book during a different sitting in the same day.

November 1. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 11/1/17

Collaborative inquiry is coming together with colleagues and delving into what students' behaviors mean. What evidence shows they're making progress? How can I tell if something is going wrong? How can I fix it? By looking at The Literacy Continuum together as a tool to engage in that process, the collaborative inquiry, it makes colleagues of us all.

October 31. 2017

Teacher Tip: What To Do When A Student Has Read All of the Benchmark Assessment System Books

In order to get an accurate assessment using the Benchmark Assessment System and obtain observable evidence of what a student can process and understand independently it's important that the student not have already read any of the books. Sometimes, however, you might have students who seem to have "slid" back a level, perhaps over the summer or holidays. So what do you do when your students have already read the books? Here are some steps to consider: 
  • It is critical to look at The Literacy Continuum and determine what strategies need to be taught to a student who is not progressing beyond a specific level. Start there, and use other forms instruction, e.g., guided reading, to assess the student by observing what he or she specifically needs to help them process texts.
  • You can also take a quick and informal assessment by having the student read aloud from one or two other leveled books from your classroom library. Assess the percentage of words read accurately and note specific errors (substitutions, omissions, insertions). You will have an assessment of accuracy and also insights into the kind of information the child is using when errors are made (for example, words that look like other words, or words that are inaccurate but make sense). Errors can sometimes illustrate a child’s strengths and give you insights into how to help him or her.
  • When following the oral reading, involve the child in a conversation that will help you know what he or she understood from the text. You can ask several questions but the assessment should not feel like an interrogation. You could try to ask questions similar to the Benchmark Assessment System prompts.
  • If the level of the text is too difficult, move down the levels until you find something the child can read at instructional level with good understanding.
When you are simply trying to teach to the level, without fine tuning their instruction based on the individual student needs, we end up with students not progressing.
October 27. 2017

Twitter Chat RECAP: Turning Your Vision Into Action

On Thursday, October 26th, Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell hosted a Twitter Chat on Turning Your Vision Into Action. People from all over the country to join the conversation, sharing their own classroom visions and discussing what it takes to make their visions a reality. Some favorite tweets included: 

Teaching isn’t something you master; you’re never done. A sign of teaching excellence is continuous learning.More...
October 27. 2017

Ask Meli! October, 2017

Meli has been busy answering her fan mail! She loves reading all of your wonderful letters because you are such great writers! This month, Meli answers questions from Landon, Elle, and Will from Northwestern Elementary School in Mardela Springs, MD.

Q: Dear Meli, My group read your book "The Problem with Meli" this week. I would like to learn about you. Why does Ron take you for a walk? Do you bark anymore? I learned that you bark a lot. I thought it was interesting that you watch TV. ~Landon

: Thanks for the letter and the wonderful picture that you drew for me. I still bark sometimes - especially when I see a squirrel - but I try very hard to be a good dog. Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, My group read your book "The Problem with Meli" this week. I would like to ask some questions. How old are you? Where did the blanket come from? Do you like to play? Do you like to watch TV? Do you like to take a bath? I like your toy an leash. ~Elle

: I liked getting your letter with so many good questions. I am 11 years old now, and I still like to play and go to the park. I watch TV, but I like being outside running around the best. Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, My group read your book "The Problem with Meli" this week. What time do you go to bed? Where did you get the blanket with your name on it? Do you bark anymore? Do you have a garage? Does Ron like to take you outside? I like when you barked at 6 o'clock p.m. Do you like having a neighborhood? ~Will

: Thanks for writing to me! Do you like to get letters? In answer to your question, I go to be at 10 pm. That seems late, but I take a lot of naps during the day. Woof! Meli

Meli woud love to hear about your favorite genres to read! You can let her know in your letters along with any more questions. And don’t miss the NEW Meli books in the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection

Please be sure to send your letters to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. And don't forget to Tweet your questions to @FountasPinnell with #FPAskMeli.

See you soon!

~Meli and The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

October 27. 2017

FAQ Friday: Why Is It Important That the Child Not Have Read the Benchmark Assessment System Books Before?

Q: Why is it important that the child not have read the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) books before? 

A: BAS is a standardized, formal assessment administered with an unseen, unfamiliar text so that the teacher can obtain observable evidence of what the child can do independently in terms of processing and understanding. In Part 1 of the assessment (oral reading), the child works through a new text while the teacher gathers reliable information on how the child solves problems. Part 2 of the assessment (the comprehension conversation) yields data on the child's ability to communicate information within, beyond, and (at Levels L-Z) about the text. In the optional Part 3 (writing about reading), students use another mode of expression to communicate their thinking about a text. The complete assessment conference provides information that helps teachers determine the appropriate instructional text level for each student and to group students for guided reading instruction. If the text is familiar to the child, or if the content is discussed previously with him or her, the assessment will not provide valid data for placement.

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