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January 9. 2018

How to Help Struggling Readers in Their Most Critical Year


According to recent research on the importance of early literacy skills, students not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school, (Hernandez 2011).  By now, you are starting to identify those students in your third-grade classrooms who are struggling. It’s not too late or too soon to help them and here’s how:

“School districts seeking to close the achievement gap must consider good classroom assessment, multiple layers of intervention, and the ongoing development of highly qualified teachers.” ~Fountas and Pinnell

Know Your Students

Observational assessment is an essential daily tool. Every student is different, so in order to know how to lead them forward, you must meet them where they are. Assessment that provides precise, reliable, and valid information allows us to make valid judgements about what students have learned how to do as readers; what they need to learn how to do next; and what teaching moves will support them. 

Give Them LOTS of Great Books!

A third-grade classroom should be rich in literacy opportunities. Students need a wide range of high-quality books that captivate and engage them as they participate in interactive read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, book clubs, and independent reading. “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). 

Intervention

Through systems like the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Red System for grade 3, you can give your struggling third-grade readers the chance to catch up to grade level quickly. This systematic, small-group intervention uses intensive, supportive lessons and—most importantly—engaging, original books that are sure to spark a love for reading, which is always the goal. To see sample books and lessons, click HERE.

“Progress is not enough; struggling readers need to make faster progress than their peers, and that is the whole purpose of intervention,” (Fountas and Pinnell).

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

REFERENCES

Donald Hernandez, Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation (Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011).

Fountas, I.C. & Pinnell, G.S. (2017). Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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/ 


December 7. 2017

Early Intervention Leads to Long-Term Success


Over the past few months you’ve been engaging your kindergarten students in rich literacy opportunities, including interactive read-aloud, shared reading, interactive writing, and writing workshop. You're starting to see how they're progressing so far on their short literacy journey. But you might find that some of your young readers are struggling. Is it too early to start intervention? Definitely not.

According to Fountas and Pinnell, a child’s success in first grade will be a strong predictor of literacy success throughout schooling. Early intervention through successful resources such as the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Orange System for kindergarten will give children the boost they need to begin first grade at the same reading level as their peers.

WWC validates research showing that LLI has "positive effects on general reading achievement and potentially positive effects on reading fluency for students."

LLI is Efficient

LLI is a small-group, supplementary intervention system, which uses high-quality, original leveled texts at its core.  In the LLI Orange System, the leveled books begin at level A on the F&P Text Level Gradient™ and continue through level E, with a total of 110 lessons. Each new level of text makes increasing demands on the reader, but the demands and resulting changes are gradual.  Click HERE to see a sampler that includes sample books and lessons.

LLI is Effective

Recently, What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) validated an independent study conducted by The University of Memphis’s Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) that showed LLI was effective in significantly improving the literacy achievement of struggling readers and writers in grades K–2. Read the full report HERE.

Intervention is particularly important for the lowest-achieving children in kindergarten. Because even with many high-quality literacy opportunities, some children struggle with early literacy learning and need supplementary intervention to get them back on track so they can benefit fully from classroom instruction. They need LLI

~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ 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/ 
October 24. 2017

Teacher Tip: Help Students Make Good Independent Reading Choices

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 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2013 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

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 13. 2017

Don't Miss the NEW Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources at ILA!

If you're attending the International Literacy Association (ILA) Annual Literacy Conference in Orlando, FL this week, stop by the Heinemann booth #723 and get a first glimpse at the many new, valuable resources from Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ coming this fall. 

Last year, Fountas and Pinnell released new editions of three of their most popular resources: Guided Reading, Second Edition, The Literacy Continuum, Expanded Edition, and Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2, Third Edition. But they haven't stopped there! This year, we will see the release of one of their biggest projects yet, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™, which will be on display at ILA along with the second edition of Leveled Literacy Intervention, K-2 and the new edition of Phonics Lessons, the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System. Here's what you can expect to see at the booth! More...

June 2. 2017

How is Phonics and Word Study Used in Other Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources?

This is the second in a series of blogs on teaching phonics with Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™. Last week, we got a first look at the NEW Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System. Check back next week when we take a deeper dive into phonics instruction with Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™.

Some of you may be familiar with Fountas and Pinnell’s 2003 publication, Phonics Lessons. What you may not know is that phonics and word study have been built into many of their other resources as a way to support the idea that phonics instruction is ideally embedded in a rich language and literacy framework. More...

January 26. 2017

What Is the Difference Between Guided Reading and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)?


We have received a lot of questions from teachers recently about how the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems differ from guided reading. Here is a rundown of what they are, how they are alike, and how they differ. “We believe that a literate life is the right of every child, and most children need expert teaching to have access to that life,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2017). More...


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...