March 23. 2017

Engaging Books: The Heart of Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™


It all begins with high-quality books. Before a lesson was conceptualized, or one word of instruction was written, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) had already been years into development. Fountas and Pinnell, along with their talented teams of writers and skilled editors, were pouring their energy into the creation of the most powerful, authentic texts, as well as choosing the most fascinating trade books on the market to be the heart of this new system. After all, how can we teach students to love reading if we don’t give them beautiful, engaging books to read?

“We see classrooms simply ALIVE with rich, authentic, high-quality texts.” –Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

In order to have a successful literacy system, teachers need a collection of rich, powerful texts.  Below is a breakdown of the books that are included in FPC. 

Interactive Read-Aloud Books

The collection of books in the Interactive Read-Aloud context of FPC is made up of the very best, age- and grade-appropriate trade books. 120 titles per grade were chosen with very specific criteria in mind: to promote the joy of reading, expand vocabulary, and nurture the ability to think, talk, and write about texts that will fully engage students’ interests. These books are meant to stir the students’ imaginations and enhance their knowledge of the story without having to think too much about decoding words or addressing punctuation.

Shared Reading Books

Teachers need a rich variety of large-print books to engage readers in shared reading. The books in the Shared Reading context of FPC are really quite special. They are all original texts (enlarged and accompanying smaller versions) that are sure to capture the attention of the students with vibrant illustrations and interesting stories.  Some even have special features, such as flaps, cutouts, and foldouts. With 200 titles spanning over grades PreK-3, these books are meant to nurture students’ ability to construct meaning in a supported context so they can enjoy reading and learn critical concepts of how texts work. You won’t find books like this anywhere else. 

Guided Reading Books

If you love the wonderful books in the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Systems (LLI), then you will love the leveled books in the Guided Reading context of FPC. These powerful, authentic, original texts were created with the same attention and care that went into creating the LLI books. Each book was made under the careful supervision of Fountas and Pinnell themselves. The exquisiteness that makes up this collection doesn’t stop at the high-quality illustrations and images, these books are full of charming stories and fascinating texts. There are 50 titles in each level from A to Z on the F&P Text Level Gradient™. These texts are meant to build each student’s ability to process increasingly challenging books with fluency and comprehension.

Independent Reading Books

The purpose and the goal of a literacy system is to create lifelong readers who have the power of choice and enjoy the pleasure of reading. The collection of books in the Independent Reading context of FPC is made up of carefully curated children’s books that provide students with the opportunity to develop tastes as readers, and to read a large number of self-selected books independently. There are 150 titles per grade in K-2, and 200 titles per grade in 3-6 in this context of FPC. 

Book Clubs and Literature Discussion Books

The books in the Book Club/Literature Discussion context of FPC provides students with the opportunity to bring students together for in-depth discussions of captivating trade books that they have read in order to extend their thinking and learn about themselves as readers. These are books that engage the thinking of your students and that they find relevant to their own lives. There are 32 titles per grade in K-3, and 48 titles per grade at grades 4-6. They will also be made accessible as audiobooks to those students who can’t read them independently. 

“Our job as teachers is to assure our students fall in love with books and develop a passion for authors, illustrators, genres, and topics. So the first business of our teaching is to assure our students want to read,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017).

Keep an eye out for release dates and more information on Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ here to learn how you can have a successful literacy system with this collection of rich, powerful texts.  

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Team

References:
Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann. 

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March 17. 2017

Fountas & Pinnell Twitter Chat RECAP on Putting Interactive Read-Aloud into Action with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom


On Thursday, March 16, Heinemann hosted a Twitter Chat in which they interviewed authors Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell about the role of Interactive Read-Aloud (IRA) in their newest system, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC). People from all over the country followed along in order to learn more about putting Interactive Read-Aloud into action with this exciting, first-of-its-kind, cohesive system for high-quality classroom-based literacy instruction. Followers learned about everything from the importance of Interactive Read-Aloud within a classroom literacy system to how teachers can engage readers in meaningful discussion through IRA. They also learned about the resources that make up the IRA component in FPC, such as the content that makes up the lessons and the process in which the books were chosen. Some favorite tweets included:

"Reading aloud to students is not a luxury but a necessity."
"All students can think and talk about the text, even if they can't read it it for themselves."
"Reading aloud is an essential foundation of a good language and literature system."

To read the whole chat, click the link below. And mark your calendars to log in on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 8 p.m. (EST) as we continue the exciting chat series on Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™!


March 14. 2017

Guidelines for Selecting Books for Interactive Read-Aloud: A Teacher Tip from Fountas & Pinnell

Sometimes teachers are tempted simply to pick up a handy book and read it, and it is certainly true that students can enjoy and benefit from any wonderful book. But if you want to get the most instructional power from interactive read-aloud, it is important to plan for teaching in a more precise way. Here are some guidelines for selecting books for interactive read-aloud.

  • Look for texts that you know your students will love (funny, exciting, connected to their experiences, able to extend their thinking.)
  • Select texts appropriate to the age and interests of your students.
  • Select texts that are of high quality (award winners, excellent authors, high-quality illustrations).
  • Plan selections so that you present a variety of cultures; help students see things from different perspectives.
  • Choose texts that help students understand how people have responded to life's challenges.
  • Consider books on the significant issues in the age group--peer pressure, friendship, families, honesty, racism, competition.
  • Especially for younger readers, select texts that help them enjoy language--rhythm, rhyme, repetition.
  • Select different versions of the same story to help students make comparisons.
  • Evaluate the texts to be sure the ideas and concepts can be understood by your students.
  • Plan selections that appeal to both boys and girls.
  • Mix and connect fiction and nonfiction.
  • Repeat some texts that have been loved by former students.
  • Vary genres so that students listen to many different kinds of texts--articles, poems, fiction, informational texts.
  • Select informational texts, even if they are long; you can read some interesting parts aloud and leave the books for students to peruse on their own.
  • Choose texts that will expand your students' knowledge of others' lives and empathy.
  • Choose texts that will help students reflect on their own lives.
  • Select texts that you love and tell students about them.
  • Select texts that build on one another in various ways (sequels, themes, authors, illustrators, topics, settings, structure).
  • Link selections in ways that will help students learn something about how texts work.
  • Select books that provide good foundations for minilessons in reading and writing.
  • Consider the curriculum demands of your district; for example, link texts with social studies, science, or the cor literature program.
  • Select several texts that help listeners learn from an author's style or craft.
  • Select texts that offer artistic appreciation.
  • Select fiction and nonfiction texts on the same general topics.
  • Consider "text sets" that are connected in various ways--theme, structure, time period, issues, series, author illustrator, and genre.
Adapted from Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.