search navigation
June 26. 2018

Teacher Tip: Selecting Texts for Shared Reading

A key to success in shared reading is the selection of a suitable text. Just about any kind of text can be used for shared reading, provided it is appropriate to the children's experience. The texts used for shared reading should:

  • Be immediately interesting to children.
  • Often have rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.
  • Include a variety of text types, one of them being informational texts.
  • Sometimes be texts that children have helped write.
Shared reading can be done of songs or "raps," poems, chants, and all kinds of stories, including traditional tales with repeating refrains and simple realistic or fantasy stories. Shared reading can also focus on informational texts, either commercially published or produced by children and teachers through interactive writing.

From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

June 22. 2018

FAQ Friday: Can I Use a Mix of Benchmark Assessment Materials from the 2nd and 3rd Editions?

Q: Can I use a mix of Benchmark Assessment materials from the Second and Third Editions?

A: No. Changes have been made to both the Benchmark Assessment books and the Recording Forms. Using Second Edition books with Third Edition Recording Forms will not work because the text of the book and the text on the form will not always match, which will affect your ability to score a reader's accuracy.

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

June 20. 2018

Why ODMS (Online Data Management System)?

For those who have purchased Benchmark Assessment System, Sistema de evaluación de la lectura, Leveled Literacy Intervention System, or Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection, you may know that with your purchase you automatically gain access to a one-year, free trial subscription to the Online Data Management System (ODMS). If you have taken advantage of this offer, then you know how valuable this tool is. If not, you are missing out. Here’s why.

What is ODMS?

ODMS was developed for teachers and administrators to collect, share, and analyze assessment data and monitor student progress. It is a password-protected, web-based system meant to keep administrators and teachers informed. Teacher users of the system can enter student reading assessment data and view reports on individual student reading levels or comprehension levels, as well as see reports showing whole-class data. ODMS is a secure and efficient way for teachers, as well as school and district administrators, to manage assessment data.

Why ODMS?

ODMS has many benefits. Below are some of the reasons to take advantage of the free trial and keep the subscription going year after year.

Universal Screening. You can collect, analyze, and report data on individual and class literacy levels. You can then use that data to inform data team meetings, parent-teacher conferences student progress from year to year, and responsive teaching.

Progress Monitoring. By entering data gained from assessment into the ODMS, you can conveniently see the growth of students' instructional and independent reading levels over time.

Evaluate effectiveness of instruction. With integrated reporting tools, you can use the information from ODMS to see how effective your instruction is, or where it might need a little help. 

Share data. You can customize reports and share data according to district requirements.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Accountability. You can use ODMS to determine whether all students, as well as individual subgroups of students, are making progress toward meeting state academic content standards.

How Do I Use ODMS?   

If you have purchased any of the systems mentioned above, you will have a guide that contains instructions on how to log in to the ODMS. But for a deeper dive into how to use ODMS, watch any of these free WEBINARS where you’ll learn from trained consultants on everything from logging in to the system to entering data and creating reports. 

After your free trial ends, it is a $30 per-user, per-year subscription, which you can purchase HERE. And if you have any questions, you can contact our Tech Support team who are available via phone, email, or live chat at www.heinemann.com

~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/ 
June 18. 2018

Teacher Tip: Selecting Books for Interactive Read-Aloud

Interactive read-aloud is an important instructional context that allows readers to experience rich, interesting texts that are age-and grade-appropriate, regardless of their independent or instructional reading level. In order to get the most instructional power from interactive read-aloud, it is important to plan for teaching in a precise way. Here are some guidelines to help you select books for interactive read-aloud.

  • Look for texts that you know your students will love (funny, exciting, connected to their experiences, able to extend their thinking.) 
  • Select texts appropriate to the age and interests of your students. 
  • Select texts that are of high quality (award winners, excellent authors, high-quality illustrations). 
  • Plan selections so that you present a variety of cultures; help students see things from different perspectives. 
  • Choose texts that help students understand how people have responded to life's challenges. 
  • Consider books on the significant issues in the age group--peer pressure, friendship, families, honesty, racism, competition. 
  • Especially for younger readers, select texts that help them enjoy language--rhythm, rhyme, repetition. 
  • Select different versions of the same story to help students make comparisons. Evaluate the texts to be sure the ideas and concepts can be understood by your students. 
  • Plan selections that appeal to both boys and girls. 
  • Mix and connect fiction and nonfiction. 
  • Repeat some texts that have been loved by former students. 
  • Vary genres so that students listen to many different kinds of texts--articles, poems, fiction, informational texts. 
  • Select informational texts, even if they are long; you can read some interesting parts aloud and leave the books for students to peruse on their own. 
  • Choose texts that will expand your students' knowledge of others' lives and empathy. 
  • Choose texts that will help students reflect on their own lives. 
  • Select texts that you love and tell students about them. 
  • Select texts that build on one another in various ways (sequels, themes, authors, illustrators, topics, settings, structure). 
  • Link selections in ways that will help students learn something about how texts work. 
  • Select books that provide good foundations for minilessons in reading and writing. 
  • Consider the curriculum demands of your district; for example, link texts with social studies, science, or the core literature program.
  • Select several texts that help listeners learn from an author's style or craft.
  • Select texts that offer artistic appreciation. 
  • Select fiction and nonfiction texts on the same general topics. 
  • Consider "text sets" that are connected in various ways--theme, structure, time period, issues, series, author illustrator, and genre. 
From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
June 14. 2018

How to Engage Parents and Caregivers in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Now that Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is up and running in your classroom, you might be looking for ways to collaborate with parents and caregivers to keep your students engaged when they go home. As you begin to plan for next year, think about ways to actively engage parents and caregivers in the literacy lives of their children. Your students will benefit greatly from communication  between home and school.

Here are some ways that parents and caregivers can support their children at home.

  • Listen to the books their children bring home to read
  • Read books aloud to their children
  • Talk about books together
  • Go to the library
  • Encourage their children to write for authentic purposes (such as a grocery list, a letter, or directions)
  • Sing songs together
  • Recite nursery rhymes or poetry together
  • Talk with their children about a variety of topics
  • Encourage their children to play outside every day
  • Encourage play in which their children use imagination.

You may also want to invite parents and caregivers into the classroom throughout the year for special literacy occasions, such as:

  • Listening to their children participate in Reader's Theater
  • A reading celebration in which parents and caregivers listen to their children read or they read to their children
  • Watching a puppet show or simple play the children have written and perform
  • Creating a literacy museum where children dress up as a character from a book and share the book with their parent or caregiver.
  • As you actively and creatively engage parents and caregivers in the literacy lives of their children, each child and family knows that their traditions and cultures are honored and the collaborative partnership between home and school is valued. 

Some parents might not be comfortable approaching you or the school, or perhaps they are unsure about how to support their children in their learning. Finding effective and creative ways to engage all parents and caregivers is likely to be a yearlong endeavor, but the benefits are worth it.

~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/