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June 4. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Support English Learners in Book Clubs

English learners benefit greatly from discussion after reading. They have an authentic reason to put their thinking into words and to communicate with others. Prior to the book club, you may wish to meet with individual English learners to give them an opportunity to put their ideas into words and try out new language. If, during the book club, you see signs that a student does not understand the language of the discussion, model restating an idea in natural, simple sentences. When possible, using clear gestures and pictures may support and clarify meaning as well.

From The Literacy Quick Guide: A Reference Tool for Responsive Literacy Teaching by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2018 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

June 1. 2018

Ask Meli! May, 2018

Summer is almost here! Meli has been wrapping up the school year by reading lots and lots of your letters! She hopes you keep writing to her during the summer!

Keep reading to see her answers to students at Fonda-Fultonville Elementary School in Glenville, NY.

Q: Dear Meli, My favroite book is Meli at the Pet Shop. Does Meli have a brother or sister? Meli do you behave? -Anthony

: Hi Anthony! I'm so happy to hear you like my books and I loved your questions! I am an only animal, so that means I do not have any brothers or sisters. And I try to behave, but sometimes I chase rabbits even though I'm not supposed to. Keep reading! Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, My favorite book is Taking Care of Meli. What is your vet's name? How many tricks can you do? -Gabby

: Hi Gabby! Thank you so much for your questions! My vet's name when I had surgery was Dr. Karen. She took good care of me when I hurt my knee! When I went to dog school I learned sit, come, slow down, jump, stay and paw. Keep reading! Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, My favorite Meli book is Meli at School. Do you like going for walks? Do you like milkbones? -Grayson Isabella

: Hi Grayson Isabella! Thank you for your letter! I love going for walks! There are so many fun things to sniff! I like dog cookies, but my favorite treat is cantaloupe! Keep reading! Woof! Meli

Q: Dear Meli, My favorite Meli book is Meli at the Pet Shop. What is Meli's favorite toy? Where are Meli's parents and what are their names? -Fredrick

: Hi Fredrick! I loved reading your letter! My favorite toys are my red ball and my rubber chicken! They are so much fun to play with! I live with Ms. Fountas and sometimes she will play fetch with me! Keep reading! Woof! Meli

Meli wants to know what books are on your summer reading list! You can let her know, along with other questions, by sending a letter to Meli c/o The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. And Tweet your questions to @FountasPinnell with #FPAskMeli.

See you soon!

~Meli and The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

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May 29. 2018

Teacher Tip: 5 Keys to Thoughtful Talk

Students’ talk about reading reveals and expands their thinking. A set of learned behaviors and talk structures provide rich opportunities for deep thinking about texts. Consider these ways to build a culture of thoughtful talk in your classroom. 
  • Help students understand that reading is thinking and that when they talk, they share their thinking. 
  • Teach students to turn and talk effectively with each other. 
  • Give students wait time and guide them to give others wait time as well. 
  • Demonstrate the use of language that fosters participation, respect for others’ thinking, and promotes building on the ideas of others. 
  • Set the norm that everyone listens attentively and respectfully to each other.
From The Literacy Quick Guide: A Reference Tool for Responsive Literacy Teaching by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2018 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
May 25. 2018

TWITTER CHAT RECAP: The Power of Professional Learning

On Thursday, May 24, Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell hosted a Twitter Chat on the POWER of Professional Learning. People from all over the country joined in and shared thoughts, ideas, and even some of their school’s professional learning opportunities. Some favorite tweets included: 
Teaching isn’t something you master; you’re never finished. A sign of teaching excellence is continuous learning. 
Materials themselves help teachers grow professionally, but alongside that teachers need good professional learning opportunities. Professional learning makes the work come alive. 
Student achievement rises dramatically when teachers work in climates of collegiality and continual improvement. 
Join the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Online Community to gain access to webinars, tools, discussion boards, and other resources that will keep your professional learning active throughout the summer!