April 6. 2017

Put Shared Reading into Action with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


This is part of a series of blogs on the new cohesive literacy system from Fountas and Pinnell called Fountas & Pinnell Classroom(TM) that will start releasing in August of 2017. To learn more, read the first in the series, "What is Fountas & Pinnell Classroom(TM)?

Fountas and Pinnell see Shared Reading as a time for children to gather together and listen to an exciting story or fascinating text in a warm, accepting, enjoyable environment. And the great thing is that they can actually participate in reading a more complex text than they are yet ready to process.They’re not aware that, as they listen and share the reading of an enlarged book, they are building phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, word-recognition, and much more. The children are building an early reading process while having fun as they immerse themselves in the meaning and language of books.  In this highly supported participation in the act of reading, children find out how it feels to be a reader.

“These children are engaged in what they see as reading, and that is powerful” ~ Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell 

Fountas and Pinnell believe that Shared Reading plays a vital role in expanding the systems of strategic actions using a variety of engaging texts. They believe that thoughtful, precise teaching needs to accompany high-quality texts to maximize student learning. They answered that need with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™.

How Does Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Support Shared Reading?

In their new comprehensive literacy system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC), Fountas and Pinnell have provided beautifully crafted texts along with high-quality, cutting-edge lessons that boost and extend students’ reading, writing, and language skills. Here are some of the resources in FPC that will help you put shared reading into action in your classroom. 

The Books

The books used in the Shared Reading component of FPC are unlike any you will find. It is an exquisite collection of original texts (enlarged and accompanying small versions) that nurture students' ability to construct meaning in a supported context so they can enjoy reading and learn critical concepts of how texts work. There are 200 titles spanning grades PreK-3. There is a recommended sequence based on book series, genre, and/or connecting topics; however, the books can be introduced in any order that meets the needs of the children in your classroom so they can enjoy reading and learn critical concepts of how print and stories "work."

The Lessons

The Shared Reading lessons in FPC provide an extensive menu of ideas and language to spark learning and discussion. Each lesson includes goals taken from The Literacy Continuum. You can choose from or modify these goals to match the learning needs of each child. A message (sometimes more than one) is provided for each book to support you in conveying the main or "big" idea of the text; and there is also an "About the Book" section to help you draw students' attention to the book's genre, structure, and characteristics.   Support for English language learners is woven throughout. The following are some highlights you will find in each Shared Reading lesson that should take about 10 minutes each day: Introduction and discussion suggestions; prompts for reading to and with the students; suggestions for making connections to other texts; and specific behaviors and understandings to observe as you assess children’s learning.   

Other Resources and Features

Here are some of the other resources and features that make Shared Reading in FPC a valuable addition to your classroom:

The Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Shared Reading Collection: A brief guide that provides an overview of the components and implementation of the FPC Shared Reading Collection

Shared Reading Lesson Folders: Each lesson is printed on a full-color folder to make organizing easier.

FPC Shared Reading Online Resources: The resources needed for each lesson including: PDFs of each lesson; Professional Development video library; Shared Reading audiobooks.

To learn more about FPC and be the first to receive a sampler, sign up here, or contact your local sales representative.

Shared Reading is a time for children to work together as a team, helping each other, creating the demonstration of proficiency, and having fun! Shared Reading makes the story or the text accessible to all the children regardless of where they are in their literacy journey. Every child is successful in shared reading.

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

To learn more about putting Shared Reading into action with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ join a Twitter Chat on Monday, April 17 at 8:00 p.m. EST using #FPLiteracy and @FountasPinnell. You can also register for a LIVE webinar with Fountas and Pinnell on April 26 at 4:00 p.m. EST at www.fountasandpinnell.com.

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/  


April 4. 2017

Six Ways to Guide Student Choice in Literature Study: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Selecting a book is a complex task, but one that is well worth learning. As adults, we select books that offer opportunities to relax and enjoy ourselves. While we don't specifically choose books to increase our reading skills, we may challenge ourselves to get to know a new author or genre. Students, too, might want to learn to read a new author or genre or increase the variety of their reading. Generally, however, they select books just as we do: they choose one that looks interesting. 

Initially, they may not know how to choose well, so you will want to teach them how to think about selecting a book that works best for them. Here are six ways you can show students how to choose books.

  1. Listen to a book talk and match characteristics of the book to their interests.
  2. Examine book covers, cover copy, and illustrations.
  3. Sample a bit of the text to get a feel for the language and the author's style.
  4. Think about the topic, considering their interests and previous knowledge.
  5. Think about how the book matches their own reading background and experience and whether they would need to listen to an audio version or another person read it to them.
  6. Consider whether the book will offer challenges or opportunities to expand their knowledge or skill.

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. 

April 3. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 4/3/2017

We emphasize that small-group instruction is more powerful when nested within a variety of instructional contexts with varying levels of support.

March 31. 2017

Ask Meli! March, 2017

Meli is really enjoying all of her mail!! Your letters were wonderfully written and she could tell that you all have been working hard on your reading and writing. You must have some great teachers! She has received many questions from all over the country. Here are a few examples.

Below are questions sent in from Riley, Emoneet, Ealiyah, and Caihey from Blue Jay Bird Elementary School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin!

Q: Dear Meli, I like your books. What is your favorite toy? In Taking Care of Meli, I like the part about the chicken toothpaste. It was funny! I like Meli books. - Riley 

: Haha! Yes, the chicken toothpaste was funny! My favorite toy this week is Chicken. Sometimes I’m more in the mood for my ball. Usually when the weather is nice. That was my favorite last week. When the weather gets dreary, I like to cuddle with Chicken. 

Q: Dear Meli, Meli I love your books. Who is your mom? I love your book and my favorite book is Meli at the Pet Shop. - Emoneet

: The mother who gave birth to me was a West Highland Terrier just like me! Then Ms. Fountas adopted me when I was little puppy and gave me a warm, loving home with lots of treats and snuggles!

Q: Dear Meli, Where were you born? Meli at The Vet is my favorite book. – Ealiyah

: I was born in Massachusetts near the city of Boston. Do you know where that is? It’s on the east coast, far from Wisconsin, but you can find it on a map!

Q: Dear Meli, Thank you for your books. I like Taking Care of Meli and Meli at the Pet Shop. What's your favorite presents? I love Meli books! - Caihy

: You are very welcome for the books, Caihy!! Tell your teacher to look out for new Meli books coming soon! My favorite presents are new stuffed toys, treats, and hugs!

Meli would love to know what your plans for Spring Break are! You can let her know in your letters along with any more questions, so keep them coming! We will have a new post each month. Please be sure to send them to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. And don't forget to 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/