December 13. 2016

Help Students Make Good Reading Choices: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell on Independent Reading

Your role in independent reading is to ensure that students consistently select books they can read with understanding and fluency, and to have conversations with them about those books. You may be tempted to prescribe book choices, but this can result in a mechanical approach to reading as a “task.” Without genuine choice they will never experience the authentic role of a reader. At the same time, the ability to choose appropriate books is not something you can expect students to know how to do. It is something you need to teach. Communicate to students that choosing a just-right book, not a difficult book, is the expectation for independent reading. 

Teach students these 7 ways of judging a book choice:
Decide if the book is just right to read independently by reading a little at the beginning or middle
Think about the topic of the book to see if it peaks your interest
Read a bit of the book to get a feel for the author’s style and the language
Ask peers/teachers for recommendations
Look at the book cover, back cover, book flaps and illustrations
Think about the author and what you may already know about the author
Give the book a good chance.

Excerpted from LLI Red System Choice Library Guide to Independent Reading

December 12. 2016

Are students meant to keep the LLI take-home books?


There has been much buzz on social media and the discussion board lately on whether or not the black-and-white take-home books in the Leveled Literacy Intervention systems for grades K-2 are meant for the students to keep. The short answer to that is: yes! It's understandable that some educators may feel uncomfortable letting the students keep the books because finding the money to replace them isn't easy. But it's important to understand why it's a crucial part of a struggling reader's path to meeting expectations and--more importantly--loving to read! More...


December 8. 2016

Ask Meli!

For those who don't know her, Meli is Irene Fountas's dog who has been featured in a series of leveled books from the Leveled Literacy Intervention System. Over the years, she has become a beloved icon for students and teachers working with LLI. Many classrooms have even sent in fan mail! This is the first in a series of blogs where Meli is taking time out from her busy schedule of chasing squirrels, barking at birds, and napping to answer some of your questions. But first, here's a recent Q & A to help you get to know her a little better. More...

December 6. 2016

Enable students to learn how to learn about genre: A Teacher Tip from Fountas and Pinnell on an inquiry approach to genre study

In exploring genre study, we advocate teaching and learning in which students are engaged in exploration. By engaging deeply and consistently with a variety of high-quality texts, students build an internal foundation of information on which they can base further learning. They learn how to develop genre understandings and can apply their thinking to any genre.

 

Genre study is a foundational inquiry that involves several steps and gives students the tools they need to navigate a variety of texts with deep understanding.

 

Try these six broad steps in genre study:

 

1. Collect a set of high-quality mentor texts that are clear examples of the genre.

2. Immerse students in several clear examples of the genre in various instructional contexts.

3. Study the common characteristics that are always and often evident of the genre.

4. Define the genre using the list of characteristics to create a short working definition.

5. Teach specific mini lessons on the genre characteristics.

6. Read and Revise the lists and definition as needed and expand students’ genre understanding.

 

When students understand genre, they can engage more deeply with texts. To learn more about genre study through inquiry-based learning, please reference Genre Study: Teaching with Fiction and Nonfiction Books