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September 21. 2017

Building Your Classroom Community

Log on to Twitter on Thursday, 9/28 at 8:00 p.m. for a LIVE chat with Fountas and Pinnell when we’ll expand on this post and discuss more with all of you on 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.

“Your classroom is a place where students learn how to read, write, and expand all of their language skills, but it is much more. It is a laboratory where they learn how to be confident, self-determined, kind, and democratic.” Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Provide Thought-Provoking Books

The classroom is where students spend most of their time. It's important to create an environment that helps them think deeply about the world, themselves, and how they fit into the world as global citizens. A great way to open up these channels of thinking is through books! Give them high-quality books that help them think about important ideas and issues, and about developing empathy for others.

Think About Classroom Management

Throughout their resources, Fountas and Pinnell describe the behavioral and emotional expectations of a student from entry to middle school; the traits you want to see in a successful student. These include, social interaction, empathy, sense of community, emotional well-being, and self-regulation. Your classroom should be a peaceful environment and reflect a climate of acceptance in which you can communicate to your students that you are interested in what they have to say. But you should also think about the physical space, as well as predictability, empathy and kindness, inquiry, and more.

Have a Design for Literacy Education

Creating the ideal literacy classroom environment where your students are always thinking, talking, and reading about the world can be a daunting task. You want to make adequate time for designing a landscape for language and literacy learning, but how? Where do you start? Fountas and Pinnell know from personal experience, and from talking to teachers that there are many constraints—both physical and financial—to creating this ideal environment, but it is possible. In Guided Reading, 2e, Fountas and Pinnell provide creative ways to take this vision of a literacy classroom into an actual design, as well as provide advice on how to create this classroom on a budget.  "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."  

Building a literacy community in your classroom takes a lot of thought and effort, but the payoff is worth it. "In a sense, the classroom is a sheltered environment within a noisy world where everything interferes with high-level intellectual discourse and time for reading and writing. But in these short years students have a chance to live a literate life that expands their empathy, curiosity, and competencies. Literacy is their job," (Fountas and Pinnell).

The Fountas & Pinnell 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/ 

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...


August 11. 2017

Enhanced Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Recording Forms: Why we changed them and how it might affect you


Fountas and Pinnell are always working with teachers in schools, observing new practices and refining their current thinking. After witnessing many assessments being administered using the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) they realized that gaining strong behavioral evidence of understanding (using talk as evidence) was new or unfamiliar to many teachers. In fact, many teachers were not receiving enough opportunity for continuous professional learning in standardized administration and evidence-based scoring.

For that reason, Fountas and Pinnell created more-detailed assessment guidelines and a new comprehension conversation rubric for the Recording Forms in Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems, 1st and 2nd Editions (LLI), BAS, 3rd Edition (only), and Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection. As of August 7, 2017, customers will automaticallyreceive access to new Recording Forms via the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources, including updates in the Online Data Management System and Reading Record Apps. More...


July 28. 2017

School is Starting Soon! Are You Ready for Phonics Instruction?

For many educators, phonics instruction is an integral part of their overall design for literacy education in their classrooms. Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ offers a variety of ways to implement phonics, spelling, and word study within many different instructional contexts. 

Below is a rundown of the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ resources that incorporate phonics, spelling, and word study, as well as what it looks like to teach with these valuable resources in the classroom.

Introducing the NEW Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System

In August of this year, Fountas and Pinnell will release a new, enhanced version of their 2003 resource, Phonics Lessons, called the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System for grades K and 1 (grades 2 and 3 to follow in 2018). More...