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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 23. 2018

FAQ Friday: Should I tell families the level I am working on in LLI?

Q: Should I tell families the level I am working on in Leveled Literacy Intervention?

A: We don’t believe it’s necessary to share levels with families; rather you should focus on the continuous progress children are making. Show them the books their child was reading at the beginning of LLI and what he or she is reading now. Help them look at the books to understand progress. Explain that the level helps you to monitor progress and teach the child. Try to avoid the “level” being something that parents and caregivers focus on too much.

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

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

Q: My name is Kason. I'm in 2nd grade. I like your books. I wish I could meet you. I live in Texas. From Kason.

: Dear Kason, I am so glad you like my books! My home is in Massachusetts. I would love to visit Texas! Woof! -Meli

Q: I am Connor from 2nd grade. When is your birthday? Who is your owner? Are you famous? I like your books. I wish I could live with you. Love Connor. I live in Texas. Love Connor

: Dear Connor, I loved reading your letter! If I am famous, I'm glad that I get letters from people as nice as you! My birthday is October 2nd! When is your birthday? Woof! -Meli

Q: My name is Tanner. I love your books. When is your birthday? I Love you Meli. You are my favorite dog. From Tanner ❤️ ❤️

: Hi Tanner, I'm really happy that you like my books! My birthday is October 2nd. Keep reading! Woof! -Meli

Meli would love to hear about your all-time favorite book! You can let her know in your letters along with any more questions. And don’t miss the NEW Meli books in the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection

Please be sure to send your letters to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. And Tweet your questions to @FountasPinnell with #FPAskMeli.

See you soon!

~Meli and The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com

For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/ 

February 22. 2018

Registration Now Open for Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Systems Institutes, Grades K-12

We are pleased to present some amazing LLI K-12 professional development opportunities for you at three locations across the country. This year, we will be bringing “Closing the Literacy Achievement Gap with LLI K–12” to Burlingame, CA, Schaumburg, IL and Philadelphia, PA. Our Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants will focus on showing you how to understand the reading and writing challenges of children who struggle with literacy learning, and how to provide effective teaching within the LLI-graded lessons.

 Find out more here: https://www.heinemann.com/pd/offsite/lli_institutes.aspx


February 20. 2018

Teacher Tip: Incorporating Play Into Your Kindergarten Classroom

Play is an essential component of the kindergarten classroom. Throughout early childhood, the foundation of reading and writing is joyful play, language, and literacy experiences. Through play, children practice and gain control of abilities essential to learning, including language, self-regulation, and high-level thinking. As you design your classroom, you will want to provide space for choice time activities, including free and structured play. These areas may include resources for dramatic play, blocks, a sand/water table, and art supplies.

February 16. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is There a Lexile Correlation Chart for Fountas & Pinnell Levels?

Q: Is there a Lexile correlation chart for Fountas & Pinnell levels?

A: No, there is no correlation chart. There are several approaches to determining a text's level of complexity. Metametrics, the company that provides Lexile measures, takes one approach by measuring text complexity with a proprietary computer algorithm that measures sentence length, syllables, and word frequency.

The levels in the F&P Text Level Gradient™ are based on ten text factors: Genre/Form, Text Structure, Content, Themes and Ideas, Language and Literary Features, Sentence Complexity, Vocabulary, Words, Illustrations, and Book and Print Features. A level obtained from a Benchmark Assessment differs from that obtained with a Lexile assessment in that comprehension is a key factor in the Benchmark Assessment. A student might very well be able to decode high-level texts, but a Benchmark Assessment also determines if the student's comprehension is good enough for instruction.

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

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!

Turn and Talk

Turn and talk is when students turn toward one or two other students to discuss a text or part of a text that they have just read or listened to. Turn and talk provides all students with the opportunity to share their thinking and to learn the thinking of others. This mini-discussion allows students to refine and sharpen their ideas, which in turn enriches whole-class discussion. 

Students can turn and talk during interactive read-aloud, reading minilessons, guided reading discussions, book clubs, shared reading, and during lessons in any of the disciplines. Start with partners and move on to groups of threes and fours. Teach them to start discussing right away, look at each other in the eyes, and listen attentively. Provide students with a prompt to focus their conversation and lead their thinking forward.

Conferring

Conferences provide you with an opportunity to have genuine conversations with students about their work and identity as readers. Students’ talk during conferences reveals their understandings and thinking. Your role is to provide brief, customized support and responsive teaching that enables them to more efficiently and effectively process texts.

Conferences are conversational, with the reader doing at least as much or more talking than the teacher. Pull up a chair and sit next to the reader, or call the reader to sit with you at a table or desk tucked away from the rest of the classroom activity. The conference allows you to understand a reader’s processing of a text, but the goal is to ensure that they learn something they can apply to their reading in the future.

Book Clubs

Book clubs provide an authentic opportunity for students to apply many of the literacy behaviors and understandings that they have learned through other instructional contexts. As they bring together much of their learning in this one context, students find themselves in control. The experience of exchanging ideas with their peers and co-constructing richer, deeper understandings of texts is genuinely rewarding. 

A book club is an intensive instructional context, not simply an activity you assign. Eventually, students will be able to take the lead because of your teaching and support, but you may interject an occasional comment or question that extends students’ thinking in ways they can’t do for themselves. As you respond to students during a book club, you demonstrate that each student’s perspectives and ideas are valued.

Engaging in thoughtful talk means going beyond casual sharing to make strong and explicit links between students’ own experiences and understandings and the larger ideas in a text. When students talk seriously and in-depth about books, the benefits are enormous.

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team 

Join the fastest growing community in the field of literacy education. Get your free membership and stay up to date on the latest news and resources from Fountas and Pinnell at www.fountasandpinnell.com

For a well-organized, searchable archive of FAQs and discussions that are monitored by Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants, go to our Discussion Board at www.fountasandpinnell.com/forum 

For more collaborative conversation, join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Facebook Learning Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FountasPinnell/