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FAQ Friday

September 20. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Do I Group Students Who Are at the Same Level but Have Different Needs?

Q: How do I group students who are at the same level but have different needs?

A: This will inevitably happen because students will have slightly different needs. But you are working to place small groups of students together whom a particular reading level is appropriate. If that is true, then you can begin with lessons and books on a level. You can fine-tune your interactions with them during the lesson to account for their different needs. Most of the time, however, students have multiple needs, and those will change from week to week. As with all teaching, observation is key.

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September 13. 2018

FAQ Friday: Which High Frequency Word List Should I Use?

Q: Which high frequency word list should I use?

A: There is no set list for everyone to use in a grade or reading level because the words that are seen and used most frequently depends on the materials and instruction used in each setting. There are some suggested more commonly used words found across the U.S. in the Benchmark Assessment System Optional Assessments, in the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, and some suggestions are listed in The Literacy Continuum under the Phonics section and Guided Reading Word Work planning section. Word Matters also includes suggested lists.

Usually each school or district determines a list to be used locally based on the instructional materials used. If your district does not specify a particular list or sequence, teach the words your students need as they are needed based on their reading and writing throughout the year.

The Literacy Continuum suggests that students should have a core of 100 high utility words (that are read and written automatically and are used for reading and writing other words) by the end of first grade, and 200 by second grade. A good rule of thumb is that 100 words are added to this core for each school year. This automaticity helps with more flexibility in word solving when reading and writing. The focus is on the strategic use of the words not just the list.

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September 7. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Do I Choose a Book for Guided Reading?

Q: How do I choose a book for guided reading?

A: You will want to select a text that is within the students' reach, one that is not too difficult but offers some new learning opportunity. Select a text that will stretch the reader a little but will allow the reader to be successful with the instructional scaffolds you will provide across the lesson.

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August 23. 2018

FAQ Friday: How High Do You Test Students in the Benchmark Assessment?

Q: How high do you test students in the Benchmark Assessment?

A: You should assess students to find the 3 levels of difficulty in order to confirm the highest level for instruction: independent, instructional, and hard reading levels. The instructional-level text is one that is more complex than the student can read independently but one that can be read proficiently with the support of teaching. The instructional-level text challenges readers to expand their systems of strategic actions. In the instructional text, students encounter new words to solve, as well as more complex language. Comprehension is challenged and stretched. Finding an appropriate instructional level allows you to teach the student “at the edge” of his current understanding and then to reach and go beyond it. The assessment results also provide information about the text level that will be too demanding of the reader, where the process is likely to break down. The “hard” level is one that will not allow the reader to perform proficiently even with supportive teaching. 

There may be some situations when the numbers don’t line up perfectly. If you start at a good place you should only need to read 3 texts with each child. Sometimes the hard text is not even completed. Note the directions to stop when the number of errors reaches the E number found on the text.

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August 17. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is There a Digital Way to Take a Reading Record?

Q: Is there a digital way to take a reading record?

A: Yes. The Benchmark Assessment System Reading Record App (RRA) allows teachers to conduct assessments on their iPads instead of using the printed Recording Forms. Use of the RRA requires an in-app purchase. Search for "Fountas and Pinnell" in the Apple iTunes store.

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August 9. 2018

FAQ Friday: What Is the ODMS?

Q: What is the ODMS?

A: The ODMS, or Online Data Management System, is a web-based system for managing and sharing assessment data. It enables you to collect, analyze and report data on whole-class and individual progress, monitor progress, evaluate effectiveness of instruction, share data, and customize reports. A one-year trial is included in your purchase of Fountas & Pinnell ClassroomGuided Reading Collection, Benchmark Assessment System, Sistema de evaluación de la lectura, or Leveled Literacy Intervention.

Read more about it here: http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/resourcelibrary/id/418

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August 3. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Do You Know at Which Level to Start the Benchmark Assessment?

Q: How do you know at which level to start the Benchmark Assessment?

A: We provide several time-saving options. If you have no information on a child's previous reading performance, the Where-to-Start Word Test provides a rough starting level for assessment and will cut down the number of books he needs to read before you can identify an independent and an instructional level. If you do have information about a child's previous reading performance and/or know something about the texts he is reading, the Assessment Guides provide correlation charts to help you determine the best starting point.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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