November 4. 2016
The ability to observe, analyze, and interpret reading behavior is the foundation of effective teaching.
November 3. 2016
Teachers are concerned not only about what students learn but also about how they learn. A spirit of inquiry and intellectual curiosity permeates the classroom. And the educators in the school offer a model of collaboration and continual learning.
November 2. 2016
The continuum does not represent neat "stages" of learning. Readers vary in what they give attention to and enjoy. And they are all different from each other. The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.
November 1. 2016
On top of celebrating the 20th anniversary of their wildly popular publication, Guided Reading, with the release of the much-anticipated second edition, we are proud to announce that Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell have both received prestigious awards for their years of work in the field of literacy. It has been a year of celebration for Fountas and Pinnell!
Gay Su Pinnell, The Ohio State University Alumni Medalist Award Winner
At an award ceremony on October 7, Gay was awarded The Ohio State University Alumni Association's 2016 Alumni Medalist Award, the highest honor presented to a graduate of the institute. Gay was recognized for her contributions in bringing the successful Reading Recovery® to the United States.
Gay is a professor emerita in The Ohio State’s School of Teaching and Learning. Her research into early literacy led her to Reading Recovery®, which has made profound differences in New Zealand schools. Along with two colleagues, Carol Lyons and Diane DeFord, she developed Ohio State’s Reading Recovery® program, placing the institution in a national leadership role. Each year, the Reading Recovery® program helps 55,000 first-graders across the United States move on to the next grade secure in their ability to read and write.
In an Ohio State Twitter post from October 12, Gay was asked, "What is the one characteristic that you believe every Buckeye leader should possess?" To which she replied, "I think it is the acceptance of responsibility and the will to make the world better for all."
Irene Fountas, Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair Recipient
On July 1, Irene was named the first recipient of the Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair in Reading Recovery®.
This is the first faculty endowed chair given by Lesley University and honors Irene as being a pioneer in the field of literacy who recognizes the importance of extending educational opportunity to every child, particularly those in the early grades who face challenges in becoming successfully literate.
Irene is the director of the Center for Reading Recover and Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University, which she founded along with others in 1990. The Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair was established by Lesley University in conjunction with the Reading Recovery Council of Massachusetts.
At an award ceremony on October 31, her colleague, Eve Konstantellou, said, "Clay
would have been proud that a Chair in her name will be occupied by a scholar
whom she respected and loved. And she’d
be cheering on as Irene continues to search for what is possible in the
education of children and teachers in her quest to transform schools into
places of joyful and authentic literacy experiences by creating a culture of
teacher growth in every school."
~From all of us on the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Team, CONGRATULATIONS!
November 1. 2016
The goal of guided reading is not for students to just read “this book” or understand a single text, but--with expert teaching--to create learning that is generative and that can be applied across texts.
October 31. 2016
As readers, we learn that knowing about the genre helps us make the predictions that support our thinking as we read the text and even help us remember it long afterward. Genre Study.© 2012 by Fountas and Pinnell.
October 28. 2016
School districts seeking to close the achievement gap must consider good classroom teaching, meaningful assessment, multiple layers of intervention, and the ongoing development of highly qualified teachers.
October 27. 2016
*This is the third in a series of blogs about The Fountas &
Pinnell Literacy Continuum. Don’t forget
to read last week’s blog on What is The Literacy Continuum? Read on to learn more about how to use it.
Fountas and Pinnell strongly believe that schools should be
a community of learners, not an educational factory. The classroom is much more
than a place where children learn to read and write. “It’s a laboratory where
they learn how to be confident, self-determined, kind, and democratic members
of a community,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). In order to create a community,
you need a common language. When everyone uses the same language, a collective
conversation occurs, and that’s exactly what The Literacy Continuum does: provides a common language.
Here are the many different ways in which The Literacy Continuum can be used and
who can use it to work toward building a school into a community of readers and
Since the principal and leadership teams are the key to
teachers’ support systems as they grow in conceptual understanding of their
work, it is vital to have a common language. The Literacy Continuum can be used
along with teachers to discuss their common expectations for students’ achievement
in each curriculum area, grade by grade. They can use it to review the progress
of individual students in the classroom, in intervention, and in special
education, and share their perspectives with teachers of other grades. “The
continuum is intended to provide teachers with a conceptual tool that they can
use to think constructively about their work. We want to support them in
crafting instruction that will link their observations and deep knowledge of
their own students with learning over time,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017).
The Classroom Teacher
The classroom teacher can use The Literacy Continuum as a foundation for teaching. “As you think
about, plan for, and reflect on the effectiveness of providing individual,
small-group, and whole-group instruction, you may consult different areas of
the continuum,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). There are two sections within the guided
reading, interactive read-aloud, shared reading, and writing about reading continuum.
One section is to help guide teachers in selecting the texts they’ll use for
various purposes, and the other section, which is in each continuum, is a list
of behaviors and understandings used to plan text introductions, guide
observations and interactions with individuals, and shape teaching decisions.
Special Education Teacher
The school’s interventionist or special education teacher can
use The Literacy Continuum to assess
the gap that students need to bridge to catch up to grade-level expectations. They can use the continuum to select texts
that have the highest potential for accelerated progress. Then, through
observation of behaviors and understandings, they can use it to assess their
students’ reading progress and the effectiveness of the teaching. “Assessment
and observation will help you identify the specific areas in which students
need help. Use the continuum to find the specific understandings that can guide
intervention,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). With all good intervention, communication
with the classroom teacher is important. If you’re both using the continuum,
you’ll both be speaking the same literacy language.
A literacy coach can use The
Literacy Continuum as a foundation for coaching conversations. “It will be
useful for coaches to help teachers become able to access information quickly
in their copies of the continuum as part of their reflection on lessons they
have taught and on their planning,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). The literacy
coach and the teacher can work together, using the continuum, before, during,
and after the observation of a lesson. The coach can use the language in the
continuum to focus the conversation with the teacher on critical areas of
teaching and learning. When the teacher is also using the continuum, they are
both speaking the same language, which adds specificity to the conversation
that will extend teachers’ understanding of learning processes and development
School librarians can use the continuum to select a range of
texts on interesting topics and content areas. For example, librarians can
refer to the continuum to help teachers find what books might be appropriate for
interactive read-aloud, and help them build text sets for connected learning.
They can use it to assist teachers in finding books at appropriate levels for
students as well.
The Literacy Continuum
isn’t just for the classroom teacher. Everyone in the school can use it to work
toward a common language, which will lead to a coherent community. “When you
and your colleagues teach for the same behaviors and understandings, your
students will benefit from the coherence,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017).
~Jill Backman, Fountas & Pinnell Marketing Manager
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
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Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades.© 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. © 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
October 27. 2016
To be effective, intervention must incorporate everything we know about what students need to learn, especially those who are experiencing difficulty.
October 26. 2016
The purpose of assessment is to meet students where they are and bring them forward with intention and precision.