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FAQ Friday

December 8. 2017

FAQ Friday: How are phonics and word study integrated into Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

A: Phonics, spelling, and word study are woven into the various instructional contexts within Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) including:

Phonics, Spelling and Word Study System: The lessons in this system are systematic, and sequenced with built-in flexibility for teachers to choose which minilessons to use and when, according to the needs of the students. Each “Teach” activity within the minilessons is designed for use with the whole class, and the “Apply” activity could be used with a small group, pair, or an individual student. All of the revised lessons are derived and connected to principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide, which reflects the specific behaviors related to the nine areas of learning for letters, sounds, and words that children develop over time:

  1. Early Literacy Concepts
  2. Phonological Awareness
  3. Letter Knowledge
  4. Letter-Sound Relationships
  5. Spelling Patterns
  6. High-Frequency Words
  7. Word Meaning/Vocabulary
  8. Word Structure
  9. Word-Solving Actions

FPC Shared Reading Collection: The lessons in the FPC Shared Reading Collection include suggested Phonological Awareness/Phonics/Word Study goals taken from The Literacy Continuum that the text used in the lesson will support the teacher in helping students achieve.

FPC Guided Reading Collection: The goals embedded within the FPC Guided Reading Collection lessons apply the principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide. In addition, an important component of each FPC Guided Reading Collection lesson are brief, but focused attention to words and how they work in the form of an embedded phonics activity that is based on the Planning for Letter and Word Work After Guided Reading feature from the Guided Reading continuum in The Literacy Continuum.

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November 17. 2017

FAQ Friday: Is There a Scope and Sequence for Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

Q: Is there a scope and sequence for Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

A: Fountas & Pinnell Classroom is not a sequentially sequenced skills-based program, so there is no official scope and sequence. The Literacy Continuum serves as the curriculum underlying Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. It creates coherence across classrooms and grade levels within your school. You will immediately notice, however, that The Literacy Continuum is not prescriptive. It doesn’t dictate a static scope and sequence of lessons. Rather, The Literacy Continuum is descriptive: it describes, with precision, the characteristics of texts and the observable behaviors and understandings of proficient readers, writers, and language users that you may choose to notice, teach, and support.

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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.

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.

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October 20. 2017

FAQ Friday: Extra BAS Books

Q: Are there additional/supplemental texts for the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System?

A: No. The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System revolves around the idea that students should be continuously progressing throughout the year. If a student is assessed at, for example, Level M at the beginning of the year, the goal is for them to be at level N or higher by the next assessment. In some cases, it is necessary or preferred to reassess a student at the same level, which is why each level includes two books: one fiction and one nonfiction. But beyond that, the student should really be progressing to the next level.

If you are finding that a student is 'stuck' at a level, take a look at The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum for that level to see in what behaviors the student may be lacking. Then, try and focus your teaching around cultivating those behaviors.

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

October 13. 2017

FAQ Friday: Unpacking the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System

Q: How do I organize the materials in the new Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System?

A: View this UNPACKING Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System document for a step-by-step guide on how to organize the materials that come in the system. 

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