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April 18. 2017

RECAP of 4/17/2017 Twitter Chat on Putting Shared Reading into Action with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


On Monday, May 4, Heinemann hosted a Twitter Chat in which they interviewed authors Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell about the role of Shared Reading in their newest system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC). People from all over the country followed along in order to learn more about putting Shared Reading into action with this exciting, first-of-its-kind, cohesive system for high-quality classroom-based literacy instruction. Followers engaged in a discussion about many different angles of Shared Reading, including its importance to young readers and how it is used within a classroom literacy system. Heinemann also interviewed Fountas and Pinnell about some of features in the Shared Reading component of Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™. Followers learned about what makes the books special and what they can expect to see in the lessons that accompany each authentic book. Some favorite tweets included: More...


April 18. 2017

Three Tips for Selecting Texts for Shared Reading: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell

In August of this year, there will be a beautiful collection of authentic, original Shared Reading books available for sale with the new Fountas & Pinnell Classroom(TM). In the meantime, here are three tips on how to select texts you can use for Shared Reading in your classroom community.

The first consideration is that the text for shared reading should be worth reading and rereading. The content, the story, and the language must engage the readers. In selecting texts, consider the readers' ages, previous experiences, and levels of expertise in processing text. What may seem too difficult for beginning readers becomes available because of teacher support, and because the texts are so engaging. Consider stories, poems, chants, and songs as well as fascinating informational books.

  1. Choose texts that provide early experiences with print. Children in preschool and kindergarten generally need a simple text with bold, colorful illustrations and engaging content. To get started, choose a text with only one line of print per page with clear spaces between words. Print and illustrations should be clearly separated. In fiction, select simple stories and nonfiction topics that are close to students' own experiences. The language should have some repetition with simple structures. You can also use simple four- or five-line poems for shared reading with young children. After a couple of readings, the rhyme and rhythm carry the readers along. It is easy to read when supported by the group and the teacher's pointer. 
  2. Choose texts that lead the development of an early reading process. Select enlarged texts that are just beyond those that most children can process in guided reading. Students can read more lines of print and more complex stories or informational books with more text. These books should still have some repetition or longer repeating patterns, and language that engages students. 
  3. Choose texts that promote the construction of meaning and the development of language. All high-quality texts support students' attention to the construction of meaning and the talk that surrounds it. Shared reading promotes opportunities for meaningful talk and the development of language structures. Wordless picture books have enormous potential for productive work in shared reading; children can engage in meaning making even without print. 
Adapted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

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. More...


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.