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March 23. 2018

Writing Opportunities Within Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

Students learn to write by writing. While the names Fountas and Pinnell have become synonymous with reading instruction, they believe that both reading and writing are what make up a comprehensive literacy design. Opportunities for students to write within and outside of the context of reading are woven throughout their new system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC). Read on to learn how.

Fountas & Pinnell Classroom is made up of seven instructional contexts: interactive read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, book clubs, independent reading, phonics, spelling, and word study, and reading minilessons. Below is a breakdown of how writing is incorporated into each of those contexts.

Interactive Read-Aloud

Within each FPC Interactive Read-Aloud lesson there is a section called Respond to the Text. Here, you can give students an opportunity to share their thinking about the text you have just read through shared writing, interactive writing, or independent writing. Reading Minilessons There are four types of minilessons within The Reading Minilessons Book—Management, Literary Analysis, Strategies and Skills, and Writing About Reading. The Writing About Reading minilessons are concise, explicit lessons with a powerful application in building students’ independent reading competencies. The Writing About Reading minilessons introduce the reader’s notebook and help students use this important tool for reflecting on their reading and documenting their reading life for the year. Also, within the other types of reading minilessons, there are optional suggestions for extending the learning of the minilesson over time or in other contexts in an optional section called, Extend the Lesson. Finally, the last page of many of the umbrellas there is a section called Link to Writing where students are offered suggestions for writing/drawing about reading in a reader’s notebook.

Shared Reading

Each lesson in the FPC Shared Reading Collection has a section called Respond to the Text. This is where you can expand students’ thinking about the reading with suggestions that include art activities, drama, research, and shared or interactive writing.

Independent Reading

After conferring with a student about the book he is reading and learning his thoughts on the text, you may want to encourage him to expand his thinking about the book through writing or drawing. The Conferring Cards that accompany each title within the FPC Independent Reading Collection has Writing About Reading Prompts. You can choose or modify these prompts that would best support and extend the student’s understanding of the text.

Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study

Fountas and Pinnell believe that explicit phonics instruction should be both out of text (outside of reading instruction) and in text (embedded within reading instruction). Both can be systematic; both can be explicit; both are essential. The lessons within the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System provide explicit phonics instruction out of text, but each lesson provides suggestions for extending the learning through explicit instruction in text. For example, they include specific suggestions to use in interactive read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, modeled writing, shared writing, interactive writing, and independent reading and writing.

Guided Reading

Each lesson in the FPC Guided Reading Collection has an optional Writing About Reading section. This section offers suggestions for students to reflect and expand their thinking on the book they are reading, through shared, interactive, and independent writing activities. Choose topics that evoke the most interest and conversation.

Book Clubs

Occasionally teachers may want to encourage students to expand their thinking about a book they have just read through writing in their reader’s notebooks. Each Discussion Card in the FPC Book Club Collection provides suggested topics that the teacher can give students to reflect and expand on through writing, after the discussion.

By connecting learning across these instructional contexts, you ensure that students make connections to the texts that they're reading and writing about and find authentic application for their learning. When students spend their time thinking, reading, writing, and talking every day, they get a message about what is valued in your classroom and they begin to develop their own values. The act/process of reading and the reader's response through talk and writing are powerful tools for high-impact teaching.

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February 15. 2018

Opportunities to Foster Thoughtful Talk

Students’ talk reflects their thinking. When students talk about what they are reading, they reveal their understandings and perspectives; communicate and refine their ideas; make meaning from texts; and make connections to their own experiences. Thoughtful talk is a treasure trove of information that will help inform your teaching.

Students need robust opportunities for varied talk structures within many different instructional contexts. Here are some settings in which you can foster those opportunities! More...

January 22. 2018

Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Getting Started Videos Now Available!

If you have purchased Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC), you can now view the Getting Started Videos! These short, informative videos provide an overview to the components in your collection(s) to help you begin organizing your materials. There is a video for each instructional context–Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, and Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study–located in the Online Resources on the FPC Homepage. To access your Online Resources, refer to the inside front cover of your FPC Collection Guide(s)

Please note, you may only view the Getting Started Videos for the instructional contexts you have purchased.

Check out this short clip from the Interactive Read-Aloud Getting Started Video:

Wistia video thumbnail
December 8. 2017

FAQ Friday: How are phonics and word study integrated into Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™?

A: Phonics, spelling, and word study are woven into the various instructional contexts within Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) including:

Phonics, Spelling and Word Study System: The lessons in this system are systematic, and sequenced with built-in flexibility for teachers to choose which minilessons to use and when, according to the needs of the students. Each “Teach” activity within the minilessons is designed for use with the whole class, and the “Apply” activity could be used with a small group, pair, or an individual student. All of the revised lessons are derived and connected to principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide, which reflects the specific behaviors related to the nine areas of learning for letters, sounds, and words that children develop over time:

  1. Early Literacy Concepts
  2. Phonological Awareness
  3. Letter Knowledge
  4. Letter-Sound Relationships
  5. Spelling Patterns
  6. High-Frequency Words
  7. Word Meaning/Vocabulary
  8. Word Structure
  9. Word-Solving Actions

FPC Shared Reading Collection: The lessons in the FPC Shared Reading Collection include suggested Phonological Awareness/Phonics/Word Study goals taken from The Literacy Continuum that the text used in the lesson will support the teacher in helping students achieve.

FPC Guided Reading Collection: The goals embedded within the FPC Guided Reading Collection lessons apply the principles from The Fountas & Pinnell Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide. In addition, an important component of each FPC Guided Reading Collection lesson are brief, but focused attention to words and how they work in the form of an embedded phonics activity that is based on the Planning for Letter and Word Work After Guided Reading feature from the Guided Reading continuum in The Literacy Continuum.

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

November 7. 2017

Why The Literacy Continuum is Critical to Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™

As a teacher using the new Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ System (FPC) you may have been hearing over and over: in order to use the materials as effectively as possible, you need to use The Literacy Continuum to shape the suggested lesson for the learning needs of your particular students. This valuable tool enables you to adjust, extend, and enhance the materials in FPC to the benefit of each student you teach. More...

October 19. 2017

Successful Learning Communities Start with a Vision

What is your school's vision? Does everyone in your school have the same goals? What tools do you need to accomplish your vision?

Join us on Thursday, 10/26 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) for a Twitter Chat to discuss this important topic. In the meantime, take a moment to read this message from Fountas and Pinnell to learn what they envision a successful literacy community to look like. More...

September 21. 2017

Building Your Classroom Community

Would you describe your school's culture as being warm and supportive, but without attention to rigorous learning? Or is it run like a tight ship in an attempt to create rigorous learning, but lacks warmth? Fountas and Pinnell believe that in order to build an inclusive, respectful, and supportive social community where people collaborate with and help each other, you can't have one scenario without the other. Here are some ways to not only treat the classroom as a place to learn to read, write, and expand language skills, but to create a COMMUNITY of learners. More...

August 28. 2017

The Power and Purpose of Assessment


It’s back-to-school time! Classroom organization is ready and routines are established. Now it’s time to start assessments, and that is not always an easy undertaking. First, assessment takes significant prep work: you have to print materials, note students’ prior level, set each student up in your data management system, and then assess every student in a reasonable amount of time while staying organized and keeping track of all materials and results! It’s a lot of work. It can be easy to get caught up in the logistics and lose sight of the main reason why we assess our students. So let’s take a step back and kick off the new school year thinking about the power and purpose of assessment. More...