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August 11. 2017

Enhanced Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Recording Forms: Why we changed them and how it might affect you


Fountas and Pinnell are always working with teachers in schools, observing new practices and refining their current thinking. After witnessing many assessments being administered using the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) they realized that gaining strong behavioral evidence of understanding (using talk as evidence) was new or unfamiliar to many teachers. In fact, many teachers were not receiving enough opportunity for continuous professional learning in standardized administration and evidence-based scoring.

For that reason, Fountas and Pinnell created more-detailed assessment guidelines and a new comprehension conversation rubric for the Recording Forms in Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems, 1st and 2nd Editions (LLI), BAS, 3rd Edition (only), and Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection. As of August 7, 2017, customers will automaticallyreceive access to new Recording Forms via the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources, including updates in the Online Data Management System and Reading Record Apps.

What is different?

  • New Comprehension Conversation Scoring Rubrics: The new rubrics provide greater reliability to this portion of the assessment, sharpen observation of literacy learning, and scaffold understanding of how to use evidence to assess students’ literacy learning.
  • Clarified Comprehension Conversation Scoring (Guide to Total Score): The process on how to conduct the comprehension conversation portion of the reading record has been more clearly defined through the creation of the new rubrics and an update of the scoring criteria. They have also eliminated the extra point, which will bring greater consistency of scoring among teachers.
  • Revised Comprehension Conversation key understandings and prompts to help elicit key understandings from students during the conversation that align to The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Continuum, Expanded Edition.
  • Updates to Online Data Management System, and the Reading Record Apps to align with the above enhancements.

 Who is affected?

This change should have no impact on teachers using the Recording Forms for LLI, 2nd Edition, BAS, 3rd Edition, and FPC Guided Reading Collections. However, since the scoring and the conversation for the Recording Forms in BAS, 1st and 2nd Editions are remaining the same, there has been concern about using the results of those assessments in conjunction with the new, enhanced forms and whether or not they will match. For those customers, you can rest assured that consistency will stay intact, and here’s why: BAS is an interval assessment used to determine an optimal learning level, while other Recording Forms (in LLI and FPC Guided Reading Collection) are continuous assessment tools to monitor progress. In addition, knowledge gained through the new Recording Forms will naturally transfer to use with the BAS, 1st and 2nd Edition Recording Forms and thus result in greater reality over time.

With refinement comes reflection

With the clear guidelines and rubrics, Fountas and Pinnell are confident that educators will 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. Take this time to reflect on observations and the assessment analysis, 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. 

To get a deeper explanation on this important enhancement, view the whitepaper on The Role of Recording Forms Across the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Brand: A Message from Literacy Leaders, Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

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July 13. 2017

Don't Miss the NEW Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources at ILA!

If you're attending the International Literacy Association (ILA) Annual Literacy Conference in Orlando, FL this week, stop by the Heinemann booth #723 and get a first glimpse at the many new, valuable resources from Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ coming this fall. 

Last year, Fountas and Pinnell released new editions of three of their most popular resources: Guided Reading, Second Edition, The Literacy Continuum, Expanded Edition, and Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2, Third Edition. But they haven't stopped there! This year, we will see the release of one of their biggest projects yet, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™, which will be on display at ILA along with the second edition of Leveled Literacy Intervention, K-2 and the new edition of Phonics Lessons, the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System. Here's what you can expect to see at the booth! More...

June 2. 2017

How is Phonics and Word Study Used in Other Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources?

This is the second in a series of blogs on teaching phonics with Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™. Last week, we got a first look at the NEW Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System. Check back next week when we take a deeper dive into phonics instruction with Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™.

Some of you may be familiar with Fountas and Pinnell’s 2003 publication, Phonics Lessons. What you may not know is that phonics and word study have been built into many of their other resources as a way to support the idea that phonics instruction is ideally embedded in a rich language and literacy framework. More...

January 26. 2017

What Is the Difference Between Guided Reading and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)?


We have received a lot of questions from teachers recently about how the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems differ from guided reading. Here is a rundown of what they are, how they are alike, and how they differ. “We believe that a literate life is the right of every child, and most children need expert teaching to have access to that life,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). More...


December 13. 2016

Help Students Make Good Reading Choices: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell on Independent Reading

Your role in independent reading is to ensure that students consistently select books they can read with understanding and fluency, and to have conversations with them about those books. You may be tempted to prescribe book choices, but this can result in a mechanical approach to reading as a “task.” Without genuine choice they will never experience the authentic role of a reader. At the same time, the ability to choose appropriate books is not something you can expect students to know how to do. It is something you need to teach. Communicate to students that choosing a just-right book, not a difficult book, is the expectation for independent reading. 

Teach students these 7 ways of judging a book choice:
Decide if the book is just right to read independently by reading a little at the beginning or middle
Think about the topic of the book to see if it peaks your interest
Read a bit of the book to get a feel for the author’s style and the language
Ask peers/teachers for recommendations
Look at the book cover, back cover, book flaps and illustrations
Think about the author and what you may already know about the author
Give the book a good chance.

Excerpted from LLI Red System Choice Library Guide to Independent Reading

December 12. 2016

Are students meant to keep the LLI take-home books?


There has been much buzz on social media and the discussion board lately on whether or not the black-and-white take-home books in the Leveled Literacy Intervention systems for grades K-2 are meant for the students to keep. The short answer to that is: yes! It's understandable that some educators may feel uncomfortable letting the students keep the books because finding the money to replace them isn't easy. But it's important to understand why it's a crucial part of a struggling reader's path to meeting expectations and--more importantly--loving to read! More...


December 8. 2016

Ask Meli!

For those who don't know her, Meli is Irene Fountas's dog who has been featured in a series of leveled books from the Leveled Literacy Intervention System. Over the years, she has become a beloved icon for students and teachers working with LLI. Many classrooms have even sent in fan mail! This is the first in a series of blogs where Meli is taking time out from her busy schedule of chasing squirrels, barking at birds, and napping to answer some of your questions. But first, here's a recent Q & A to help you get to know her a little better. More...