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October 18. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 10/18/17

School shouldn't be a place where everything is leveled. It should resemble a library or a bookstore where books are categorized by author, by topic, by genre, anything that would interest readers. We want the readers not to see themselves as a level, but as people who are choosing books that interest them and that they want to read.

October 17. 2017

Teacher Tip: Nurture Young Learners’ Curiosity through Inquiry

All children need the opportunity for play and inquiry. A rich and joyful early literacy environment in which reading, writing, and talking are part of play, often become play. We must remember that children, especially young children, learn through play. 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.
 
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. Fountas and Pinnell discuss the inquiry process in depth in their book, Literacy Beginnings.
 
Try these four simple steps of the inquiry process to guide your teaching and propel literacy learning:
1. Playful Exploration (Notice, Wonder)
2. Define Questions (Plan for Observing)
3. Find Out (Investigate, Explore)
4. Share Learning (Discuss, Draw Conclusions)

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. 

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

October 12. 2017

Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Core Values: A Vision for Literacy Education

In order to build a successful school community in which all members are treated and treat others with empathy, kindness, and respect while recognizing every child's right to grow up literate, everyone must all share the same vision and goals. 

Fountas and Pinnell believe that through dynamic literacy education that exemplifies common beliefs and core values, students will come to understand their physical, social, and emotional world and their roles as informed global citizens, which are hallmarks of the literate lives they can lead. Below are the 10 Core Values on which Fountas and Pinnell's work is based. Do these values reflect those of your school?

Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Core Values
Schools are places where STUDENTS:
  • 1. Act as members of a cohesive learning community that sustains their literacy growth and success.
  • 2. Engage in authentic inquiry within and beyond the classroom walls to ignite their intellectual curiosity and expand their knowledge of the world and of others.
  • 3. Believe in themselves and their own ability to acquire and use language and literacy for learning and enjoyment.
  • 4. Read, and think, talk, and write every day about relevant content that engages their heart and minds.
  • 5. Read, and think, talk, and write about texts that are culturally sensitive, reflect the diversity in our world, and vary in genre, content, and perspective.
Schools are places where TEACHERS:
  • 6. Implement a coherent set of evidence-based instructional practices in whole-class, small-group, and individual contexts.
  • 7. Make expert instructional decisions based on evidence gained from systematic observation and ongoing assessment data.
  • 8. Work as a team to take collective responsibility for the high achievement of every student in a widely diverse population.
  • 9. Act as members of a community with a common vision, common goals, and a strong belief that their work can transform children's lives through literacy.
  • 10. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to their own professional learning and to supporting the learning of their colleagues and team members.

To discover the valuable tools and resources that were created in alignment with these values, visit www.fountasandpinnell.com.

 ~The Fountas & PInnell Literacy™ Team
October 10. 2017

Teacher Tip: Selecting Guided Reading Texts for Intermediate/Middle-Level Readers

For all students from the first years of school to upper elementary and middle school, text selection is very important. We recommend short texts for guided reading even at intermediate and middle-grade levels. The things students learn reading short texts can be applied to longer texts in independent reading. Here are some other considerations for selecting texts for intermediate/middle-level readers:
  • Select nonfiction texts with compelling topics and stories that will engage readers.
  • Select texts that have excellent examples of high-quality writing in the genre.
  • Examine the illustrations to assure that nonfiction texts include complex graphics that help readers learn how to synthesize information from them and integrate it with the body of the text.
  • Assure that fiction texts have high quality illustrations (where applicable) that enhance the meaning of the text and communicate the mood.
  • Assure that the range of texts are accurate, culturally sensitive, and reflect the diversity of our world.
  • Select texts that have deeper messages so that students can reach out for them.

From Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.