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October 20. 2017

FAQ Friday: Extra BAS Books

Q: Are there additional/supplemental texts for the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System?

A: No. The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System revolves around the idea that students should be continuously progressing throughout the year. If a student is assessed at, for example, Level M at the beginning of the year, the goal is for them to be at level N or higher by the next assessment. In some cases, it is necessary or preferred to reassess a student at the same level, which is why each level includes two books: one fiction and one nonfiction. But beyond that, the student should really be progressing to the next level.

If you are finding that a student is 'stuck' at a level, take a look at The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum for that level to see in what behaviors the student may be lacking. Then, try and focus your teaching around cultivating those behaviors.

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

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...

October 18. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 10/18/17

School shouldn't be a place where everything is leveled. It should resemble a library or a bookstore where books are categorized by author, by topic, by genre, anything that would interest readers. We want the readers not to see themselves as a level, but as people who are choosing books that interest them and that they want to read.

October 17. 2017

Teacher Tip: Nurture Young Learners’ Curiosity through Inquiry

All children need the opportunity for play and inquiry. A rich and joyful early literacy environment in which reading, writing, and talking are part of play, often become play. We must remember that children, especially young children, learn through play. Play enhances language and literacy learning. When your teaching is inquiry-oriented, you enable young children to learn how to learn, investigate and discover new understandings, and pose wonderings about the possibilities.
 
With two kinds of inquiry, information seeking and wondering, children are immersed in constructive learning that results in an exciting, meaningful expansion of knowledge that continues through life. Fountas and Pinnell discuss the inquiry process in depth in their book, Literacy Beginnings.
 
Try these four simple steps of the inquiry process to guide your teaching and propel literacy learning:
1. Playful Exploration (Notice, Wonder)
2. Define Questions (Plan for Observing)
3. Find Out (Investigate, Explore)
4. Share Learning (Discuss, Draw Conclusions)

October 12. 2017

Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Core Values: A Vision for Literacy Education

In order to build a successful school community in which all members are treated and treat others with empathy, kindness, and respect while recognizing every child's right to grow up literate, everyone must all share the same vision and goals. 

Fountas and Pinnell believe that through dynamic literacy education that exemplifies common beliefs and core values, students will come to understand their physical, social, and emotional world and their roles as informed global citizens, which are hallmarks of the literate lives they can lead. Below are the 10 Core Values on which Fountas and Pinnell's work is based. Do these values reflect those of your school? More...

October 10. 2017

Teacher Tip: Selecting Guided Reading Texts for Intermediate/Middle-Level Readers

For all students from the first years of school to upper elementary and middle school, text selection is very important. We recommend short texts for guided reading even at intermediate and middle-grade levels. The things students learn reading short texts can be applied to longer texts in independent reading. Here are some other considerations for selecting texts for intermediate/middle-level readers:
  • Select nonfiction texts with compelling topics and stories that will engage readers.
  • Select texts that have excellent examples of high-quality writing in the genre.
  • Examine the illustrations to assure that nonfiction texts include complex graphics that help readers learn how to synthesize information from them and integrate it with the body of the text.
  • Assure that fiction texts have high quality illustrations (where applicable) that enhance the meaning of the text and communicate the mood.
  • Assure that the range of texts are accurate, culturally sensitive, and reflect the diversity of our world.
  • Select texts that have deeper messages so that students can reach out for them.

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.