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July 19. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is Writing Instruction Incorporated in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

Q: Is writing instruction incorporated in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC)?

A: Writing is integrated into all of the following FPC instructional contexts: 

  • Guided Reading (in the Writing about Reading section) 
  • Shared Reading (in the Responding to the Text section) 
  • Interactive Read-Aloud (in the Responding to the Text section) 
  • Independent Reading (in the Writing about Reading prompts) 

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum contains a Writing continuum, which can be used as a planning document and a way of assessing writing progress. As with all of the continua, the behaviors described represent goals for a year of instruction.

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July 16. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Make More Time for Language and Literacy Learning

It's not always easy to find time for literacy instruction in the classroom, so here are some suggestions for making more time for language and literacy learning.

1. With your grade-level colleagues, design a daily schedule that includes two-and-a-half to three hours of language and literacy teaching: 
  • If you encounter problems, think "outside the box:" integrate subjects previously taught separately, rearrange your planning periods, reexamine how you incorporate special areas like music and art. 
  • If you have departmentalization and cannot change it, work on a plan for allocating time for reading, writing, and word study, and for regular communication with other teachers so you can make connections over content areas.
  • Compare the time you have allocated for reading with the time you have set aside for writing. Writing is often shortchanged. 
  • Talk about ways to incorporate more social studies and science into your literacy blocks. 
  • Discuss ways to be more efficient. Could the first fifteen minutes of the day become part of the independent reading block? 
  • Try out the schedule for one month and then revise it based on your experience.
2. Reevaluate the existing organizational structures in your classroom. Can some of these be changed? Can you find ways to incorporate some of them into the language and literacy framework? 

3. With a group of colleagues, discuss changes you plan to make in terms of time, instructional approaches, classroom structure, or content.

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.
July 13. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Does FPC Support ELLs?

Q: How does Fountas & Pinnell Classroom support English language learners?

A: Each lesson in FPC contains numerous suggestions for modifying or scaffolding instruction to support English learners in processing the text, using language to participate in discussions, and benefiting from the teaching.

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

July 9. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Provide Opportunities for Processing Texts

Comprehending the fullest meaning of a text is the goal every time we read anything. We do not teach comprehension by applying one strategy to one book during one lesson: we help students learn how to focus on the meaning and interpretation of texts all the time, in every instructional context, each instance contributing in different ways to the same complex processing system. Below are some suggestions for you and your colleagues to provide your students with opportunities for processing texts:

  1. Bring together a cross-grade-level group of colleagues to think about text experiences. You may want to have them work in small grade-level groups and then share as a whole group. 
  2. Use large chart paper divided into columns. As a group, consider (1) processing orally presented written texts; (2) processing written texts; and (3) acting on the meaning of texts after reading. These three actions occur across instructional contexts. 
  3. Have each group use their weekly schedules to discuss a week of instruction in their classroom. Make a list of all the processing opportunities students have in each of the three areas in the three columns on the chart paper. 4. Review the charts. Have the whole group participate in a larger discussion of how these opportunities can be expanded. Emphasize that there are specific ways of teaching for comprehending in each of these settings. 
From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

July 6. 2018

FAQ Friday: How does the Benchmark Assessment System contribute to my knowledge of children and how they develop as readers?

Q: How does the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System contribute to my knowledge of children and how they develop as readers?

A: The comprehensive assessment procedures and the variety of tools and options provided in Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2 are rich resources for helping you systematically examine a child's strengths and needs, helping you think about the important link between assessment and instruction. You will find detailed information about analyzing the reading behaviors of a child on an instructional-level text and tools for linking those behaviors to specific instructional goals in the Assessment Guide. The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum: Expanded Edition, included in every Benchmark Assessment System, is the foundation for instruction. You can make a direct link from the data gathered with the assessment to The Literacy Continuum's specific behaviors to notice, teach, and support in every instructional context related to literacy. The Professional Development Videos are another rich resource. They are designed to help you conduct efficient and effective assessments, learn how to interpret the results, and connect results to instruction. Over time, observations made through the assessment, instruction designed to move the child ahead from level to level, and follow-up assessment will deepen your understanding of literacy development.

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