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March 1. 2018

Nurture Young Learners' Curiosity Through Inquiry

All children need the opportunity for play and inquiry. We must remember that children, especially prekindergarteners, learn through play. Inquiry is the kind of focused play you do when pursuing a topic of interest. A rich and joyful early literacy environment in which reading, writing, and talking are part of play, often become play.

With two kinds of inquiry--information seeking and wondering--children are immersed in constructive learning that results in an exciting, meaningful expansion of knowledge that continues through life.

Information Seeking

In this type of inquiry, we engage others or use artifacts and other resources to figure something out or build new understandings. We problem solve, pose real questions, interact with others, and are motivated to find out. We ask questions that can be answered or identify a problem, make a plan and take action, gather resources, analyze and summarize our information, and draw conclusions or report findings. Information seeking usually results in a product, an answer, and a closure.

Wondering

When we wonder, we seek questions and examine alternative factors. The goal is often the pleasure of the process itself-speculating, asking more questions, sharing insights that are only possibilities. Using open-ended questions is important with prekindergarteners. Using thoughtful language as we teach is crucial to helping stimulate children's thinking.

Play enhances language and literacy learning. When your teaching is inquiry-oriented, you enable young children to learn how to learn, investigate and discover new understandings, and pose wonderings about the possibilities. They learn about choice, how to work in groups, and most of all, how to direct their energies to activate engagement that stimulates the intellect.

For more information about inquiry, be sure to read Fountas & Pinnell's Literacy Beginnings: A Prekindergarten Handbook.

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team 

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February 23. 2018

RECAP: Text. Talk. Teach. Twitter Chat with Fountas and Pinnell

On Thursday, February 22, Fountas and Pinnell hosted a Twitter Chat on the importance of fostering talk in the classroom. Below is a recap of that chat. Talking is thinking. Learn about the different ways in which you can offer your students valuable opportunities to express their thinking through TALK.
February 22. 2018

Ask Meli! February, 2018

Meli has been so busy reading all of your wonderful letters! She loves hearing from each and every one of you, and can tell that you have been practicing your reading and writing.

This month, Meli answers letters from her friends in Burleson, Texas.

Dear Meli,

Q: Hi my name is Melanie. I am in 2nd grade. I love your books. When is your birthday? Who is your best friend? What is your favorite toy? Love Melanie

: Hi Melanie! Thank you for your letter! My favorite toy is my red ball! I love my rubber chicken too! Woof! -Meli More...

February 15. 2018

Opportunities to Foster Thoughtful Talk


Students’ talk reflects their thinking. When students talk about what they are reading, they reveal their understandings and perspectives; communicate and refine their ideas; make meaning from texts; and make connections to their own experiences. Thoughtful talk is a treasure trove of information that will help inform your teaching.

Students need robust opportunities for varied talk structures within many different instructional contexts. Here are some settings in which you can foster those opportunities! More...