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August 2. 2018

VIDEO: Take a tour of The Literacy Quick Guide!

Watch this walk through video of this first-of-its-kind teaching, coaching, and reference tool that is a must-have resource for your classroom. It’s the blueprint for a coherent literacy system that will increase the impact of responsive literacy teaching and cultivate a love of reading and writing for all students.

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July 30. 2018

Teacher Tip: Track Student Progress with Literacy Portfolios

Portfolios are a popular way to present students' work over time so that progress is evident. Many assessments can be part of a writing portfolio. The goal is to guide the process carefully so portfolios don't become unwieldy and time-consuming collections of "stuff" that no one examines or uses to inform teaching.

You will collect reading data and writing projects throughout the year. Many teachers keep all products for the year, selecting materials for the “pass on” portfolio in the spring. Others identify particular times when the portfolio is examined in conjunction with the child; some pieces are sent home and others remain in the portfolio. Some general considerations for the type of the information to include in the portfolio follow:

  • Include a list of the books the student read and the writing projects he completed. 
  • Feature “best work” or a range of writing projects and poetry (e.g. several pieces that you and the student have selected for a particular reason). 
  • Document the level of texts the student read during the year as well as the range of the genres he attempted. 
  • Illustrate the student’s growth and progress through a thoughtful selection of writing samples. 
  • Include writing projects of investigations that demonstrate the student’s ability to use knowledge in content areas.
  • Encourage self-reflection by asking the student to write rationales for his portfolio selections: Why he chose to include writing samples, how he chose books to read, and his reflections on his growth as a writer and reader. 
  • Feature writing samples from all the genres the student studied and explored in his own writing. 
  • Weave in written evaluations by the student about his growth as a reader, writer, and learner.

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

July 26. 2018

FAQ Friday: What to Share with Parents about Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

Q: What should teachers share with parents about Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

A: There is a general letter teachers can share with parents/guardians that introduces families to Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. This can be found in the Online Resources.

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

July 26. 2018

Ask Meli! July, 2018

Meli hopes you are all having a great summer and that you are reading lots of good books! This month Meli answers questions from students in Adairville, Kentucky.

Q: Dear Meli, My name is Danny. I go to Adairville Elementary in Kentucky. Hi Meli. I love your book and I love you too Meli. Meli do you love to hug? Yes or no. The markers are scented.

: Hi Danny! I loved your letter and drawing, they made me so happy! Scented markers sound like fun, I love to find new things to sniff! I bet they smell good! I love hugs, they make my tail wag! Keep reading! Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, my name is Caden. I go to Adairville Elementary in Kentucky. Meli do you like going for walks? Love Caden More...

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.