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May 23. 2017

6 Ways to Help Children Learn Reading through Name Charts: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

A name is very powerful. It is often the first example of a written word a child sees. Name charts can help children learn their own names and the letters in the names of their friends, notice that names begin with an uppercase letter, and make connections to other words that have the same first letter or similar word parts.

Here are 6 ideas for quick games you can play using a name chart:

  1. Read the names in a shared way as you use a pointer to point to each (in order or randomly).
  2. Have children line up, quickly touch their own names when they come to the chart, and then sit down.
  3. “I’m thinking of someone who has a name that begins with M. Who can come up and find it?”
  4. Deal out cards or slips of paper on which children’s names are written. Call the names in alphabetical order. The child who has the name you called puts it in a pocket chart.
  5. Place a set of name cards at the word study center. Have the children sort the names by first letter or match pairs of name cards.
  6. Clap each name and have children tell the number of syllables they hear.

From When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2009 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

May 19. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 5/19/17

All students need consistent and clear messages across instructional contexts. Our belief is that the curriculum must have a coherent design and a coherent underlying literacy theory rather than simply being a mix of “this and that,” without an eye to how different parts work together to form a cohesive whole.

May 18. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 5/18/17

Each time you prompt in a guided reading lesson, it is a call to action. It evokes something the reader can do. You need to teach for the strategic action before you can call for the reader to engage it. When you see the reader is engaging in the behaviors independently, you move beyond prompting to reinforce it.

May 17. 2017

This Is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Over the past few months, we have slowly pulled back the curtain on Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™--a first-of-its-kind system for high-quality, classroom-based literacy instruction. There have been blog posts, webinars, and Twitter chats covering every angle of this exciting new system. In case you missed anything, below is a recap. More...

May 16. 2017

8 Ways to Help Students Summarize: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Summarizing is a very important in-the-head strategy. The purpose is to help the reader comprehend the text. The current emphasis on proficiency tests--write a summary or select a good summary from alternatives or annotate the text--makes summarizing a required skill. The goal, however, is larger than passing the test. We want students to be able to abstract the important ideas and carry them forward as tools for thought. Here are eight ways in which you can help students learn to summarize:

  1. Write a summary yourself of a text that students know or have read and ask students to analyze what makes it a summary.
  2. Begin the process with short texts that do not have too many details and are easier to summarize.
  3. Work together to create a group summary, selecting and deleting details.
  4. Record a retelling of a text on chart paper and turn it into a summary.
  5. Have students work in pairs to create alternative summaries that are concise and include only the necessary details.
  6. Have each student write a summary and then share it with a partner.
  7. Ask students to summarize a text in their Reader's Notebook, and respond to this summary in the letter you write back.
  8. Encourage students to practice summarizing by making book talks to recommend books to their friends.
Adapted from Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2001 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.