January 24. 2017

How to Create a Script for Readers’ Theater: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell

Readers’ theater is a dynamic process that is easy to implement in elementary classrooms. It is a fast and engaging way of making any literary text a type of play. Readers’ theater allows students to interpret characters’ feelings and attributes; learn new vocabulary words and language structure; practice expressive reading for an authentic purpose; build oral expression and speaking skills; and engage in oral reading for an authentic purpose.  Many readers’ theater scripts are downloadable from the Internet but here’s how you can create your own:

1. Select an appropriate fiction or nonfiction text. 

2. Decide which parts to turn into a dialogue and narrative.

3. Have students work together to assign parts (characters and narrator).

4. Have students read the parts silently and think about how they will read them aloud.

5. Have students read the script a couple of times.

6. Have students read the script to others (optional).

Adapted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. © 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.


January 13. 2017

The Importance of Creating a Community of Learners

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. One of the goals of the second edition of Guided Reading is to get teachers 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. Here are some ways to start building your community! More...

January 10. 2017

Expand Your Guided Reading Teaching Moves with Self-Reflection: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell

Guided reading is not a static concept; the materials, teacher decisions, and interactive framework change over time as students grow in knowledge, skill, and independence, and teachers become more experienced. Fountas and Pinnell believe that teacher expertise and the professional development that supports it is the only way to raise student achievement. High-quality, highly effective implementation of guided reading involves a process of self-reflection.

 

Each time you work with a small group of students, you can learn a little more and hone your teaching skills. For example, in guided reading lessons, the goal is to teach the reader, not the text.

 

Self-reflect: Think about how your language interactions with readers support the ability of each student to initiate problem-solving actions. Ask yourself: How does my language support pass control to the reader? What have I taught the readers how to do today that they will be able to do with other texts? Remember, reflective teaching is rewarding because you are learning from teaching.

 

To read more about guided reading, and to ponder the challenges and opportunities that come from its implementation, pick up a copy of the NEW Guided Reading, Second Edition


You can also sign up for a FREE LIVE Webinar with Fountas and Pinnell on January 11 at 4:00 p.m. where the focus will be on teaching for comprehension across guided reading lessons. And don't forget to join us the next night on January 12 at 8:00 p.m. for a LIVE Twitter Chat with Fountas and Pinnell using #FPLiteracy to discuss more on Guided Reading!


Excerpted and adapted from "Guided Reading: The Romance and the Reality published in Reading Teacher," (Dec/Jan 2012)