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July 24. 2018

Teacher Tip: Selecting Books for Guided Reading

In order to select books for guided reading, start by looking through your set of leveled books. The level helps you narrow your choices. Think about the appropriate level and look at the variety of books available. Consider books that will delight the readers of the age group. Think about the variety of topics, themes, and genres they have experienced. If the students are processing the text well and are finding new learning opportunities on a particular level, the selection is probably about right; however, there are more factors to consider.

  • Are the concepts in the book familiar to students or can they be made accessible through the introduction? 
  • Is the topic one that will engage the students’ intellect or curiosity? 
  • Is the plot interesting? Will it appeal to this group of students? 
  • Is the setting important? 
  • Does the text provide opportunities for this group of students to use what they know? 
  • Are some words in the book known to students? 
  • Are other words accessible through the readers’ current ability to use strategic actions such as word analysis and prediction from the language structure or meaning?
  • Does the text offer a few opportunities to problem- solve, search, and check while reading for meaning? 
  • Do the illustrations or graphics support the reader’s search for meaning? Do they extend the meaning of the text?
  • For emergent and early readers, is the text layout clear? Is the print clear? Are there an appropriate number of lines of text? Is there sufficient space between words? 
  • Is the length of text appropriate for the experience and stamina of the group?

Obviously the book’s levels of support and challenge will not be the same even for all students in one guided reading group. They bring different experiences and control of language to the book, so they will search for and use meaning and language structure in different ways. Nevertheless, with effective teaching and social support, all members of the group can process the new text successfully.

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.

July 5. 2018

How to Access Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources

Whether you're a new user of Fountas and Pinnell materials or a current user, you most likely need to access the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources. We recently updated our website, so things have changed a bit. In case you're having trouble gaining access or finding the Online Resources, here's a little how-to.

What are the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources?

The Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources is a repository of printable resources, record keeping forms, videos, and more that are referenced in various Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ products. Most of these resources were available through a CD-ROM at one point, but in order to meet the technological needs of our customers, it made sense to have them be accessible online. More...

July 3. 2018

Teacher Tip: Expand Your Guided Reading Moves with Self-Reflection

Guided reading is not a static concept; the materials, teacher decisions, and interactive framework change over time as students grow in knowledge, skill, and independence, and teachers become more experienced. Fountas and Pinnell believe that teacher expertise and the professional development that supports it is the only way to raise student achievement. High-quality, highly effective implementation of guided reading involves a process of self-reflection.

Each time you work with a small group of students, you can learn a little more and hone your teaching skills. For example, in guided reading lessons, the goal is to teach the reader, not the text.

Self-reflect: Think about how your language interactions with readers support the ability of each student to initiate problem-solving actions. Ask yourself: How does my language support pass control to the reader? What have I taught the readers how to do today that they will be able to do with other texts? Remember, reflective teaching is rewarding because you are learning from teaching.

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.

April 6. 2018

FAQ Friday: Can Chapter Books Be Used for Guided Reading?

Q: Can chapter books be used for guided reading?

A: You can occasionally use a chapter book in guided reading, but we recommend selecting books that can be read within about a week. Teaching for comprehending is one reason that we recommend the selection of short texts for guided reading. The things students learn reading short texts can be applied to longer texts in independent reading. One of the advantages of using short texts is that students can experience a great variety of texts in a short time – as many as three to five a week! So, if you do occasionally use a chapter book to build stamina, plan to move quickly, having students read several chapters each day to finish in one or two weeks.

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

March 29. 2018

FAQ Friday: What is the Difference Between Guided Reading and LLI?

Q: What is the difference between guided reading and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)?

A: Guided reading is one component of a comprehensive language and literacy framework for classroom instruction; it is not the only context that contributes to a student’s reading growth. Across many contexts, students receive instruction in reading comprehension, phonics/word study, and writing. The texts should be accessible to each student in the group with the support of skilled teaching, which means that the text should offer some challenges. Guided reading specifically helps students develop proficient systems for strategic actions for reading.

LLI is a literacy intervention system for students who find reading and writing difficult. The objective is to bring struggling readers and writers to grade-level competency. LLI is a systematically designed, sequenced, short, supplementary lesson that builds on high-quality classroom instruction. The instruction is highly concentrated in reading, writing, and phonics. Even with many high-quality literacy opportunities, some students struggle with literacy learning. LLI gets them back on track so they can benefit fully from classroom instruction. Its goal is to give students the boost they need to read at the same level as their peers.

March 23. 2018

Writing Opportunities Within Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Students learn to write by writing. While the names Fountas and Pinnell have become synonymous with reading instruction, they believe that both reading and writing are what make up a comprehensive literacy design. Opportunities for students to write within and outside of the context of reading are woven throughout their new system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC). Read on to learn how.

Fountas & Pinnell Classroom is made up of seven instructional contexts: interactive read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, book clubs, independent reading, phonics, spelling, and word study, and reading minilessons. Below is a breakdown of how writing is incorporated into each of those contexts. More...

March 13. 2018

Teacher Tip: Expanding Students' Vocabulary in Specific Instructional Contexts

How to expand students' vocabulary in specific instructional contexts:

  1. Interactive read-aloud and literature discussion. Here you have the opportunity to use intentional conversation to bring students' attention to words and invite them to discuss words. The texts that you use for interactive read-aloud can extend vocabulary minilessons in which you have taught word-solving strategies. You can demonstrate how to derive meaning from context or look at word parts.
  2. Small-group reading instruction. Here students have the opportunity to read for themselves with your support. In each instructional segment––introduction, reading, discussion, teaching points, and writing about reading––words can be examined, taken apart to identify meaningful parts, and discussed. Students are presented with examples in context and have the opportunity to apply word-solving strategies independently.
  3. Extending meaning through writing. Here students have a chance to examine words more closely. You can extend understanding of the meaning of texts––and the words in them––by supporting students as they write about their reading. They can summarize their understanding using organizational tools like graphic organizers to analyze the text, respond to specific language and the meaning they take from it, or write from the point of view of a character. As they write, they are considering and using the vocabulary from the text. In addition, they can focus on vocabulary directly using word webs, grids, or charts.

From When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2009 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.