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March 15. 2018

Struggling Readers Need Intervention. They Need LLI.

It is midway through the year, and by now you might be observing that some of your students are falling behind their peers in reading. Even with many high-quality literacy opportunities, some students struggle with literacy learning and need intervention to get them back on track. The goal of Fountas & Pinnell’s Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI) is to give students the boost they need to read at the same level as their peers and fully benefit from classroom instruction.

What is LLI?

LLI is a rigorous, small-group, supplementary literacy intervention system for students who are not achieving grade-level expectations in reading and writing, and are not receiving another form of literacy intervention. The LLI systems are designed to bring students from the earliest level A (kindergarten level) to level Z, which represents the competencies needed at a middle and high school level.

How does LLI work?

LLI is based on the F&P Text Level Gradient™. Each level of text makes increasing demands on the reader, but the demands and resulting changes are gradual. By actively participating in intensive lessons on each level using original, authentic, high-quality books, readers have the opportunity to expand their reading and writing abilities. With the support of instruction, they stretch themselves to read more complex texts with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. The goals of each lesson are taken from The Literacy Continuum—a must-have tool when using LLI because not only are the goals derived from there, but you can refer to it to determine where to take your students next. With these goals in mind, students effectively engage in the reading and writing process every day.

Does LLI work?

Recently the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has reviewed the research on LLI, finding positive impacts on general reading achievement for students in grades K–2. These findings are based on two independent, empirical studies conducted by The University of Memphis's Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP).

How long does LLI take?

Lessons must be frequent—five days a week is preferred—so that readers can gain and sustain momentum and acceleration is possible. For the greatest impact in short-term intervention, we recommend a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:3, 30 minutes per day for children in grades K–2 and a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:4, 45 minutes per day for students in grades 3–12. For the systems used in grades K–2, we estimate that success will be evident in 14 to 18 weeks, and 18 to 24+ weeks for the systems in grades 3–12.

Who administers LLI?

Providing excellent intervention lessons depends on the expertise of teachers. The teachers of struggling readers and writers should be exceptionally skilled in systematic observation, in the assessment of reading behaviors, and in teaching for the range of strategic actions that proficient readers use. All teachers of struggling readers (classroom and intervention teachers) need opportunities to continually increase their understanding of the reading and writing processes and the behavioral evidence that reveals competencies. The expert intervention teacher is able to make effective decisions that meet the diverse needs of students.

Remember that progress is not enough; struggling readers need to make faster progress than their peers, and that is the whole purpose of intervention. They may be disengaged or bored. They may work diligently at mechanical tasks that they do not connect in a lively way to real reading and writing. To be effective, the intervention lessons must incorporate everything we know about what students need to learn, especially those who are experiencing difficultly.

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February 27. 2018

Teacher Tip: How to Use The Literacy Continuum with Leveled Literacy Intervention

At the end of each level in the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Lesson Guides, you will find pages from The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum: A Tool for Assessment, Planning, and Teaching to help monitor progress and guide your teaching. It lists specific behaviors and understandings that are required for children to read successfully at that level. These behaviors and understandings are accumulative across the levels. They include important competencies children need to think within, beyond, and about texts. In other words, children take on new demands as the texts grow more challenging.

The LLI lessons are designed to support the goals listed in The Literacy Continuum. Your goal should be to help children meet the demands of successive levels of text and, in the process, expand their systems of strategic actions. The following suggestions may contribute to effective teaching in your lessons:

  • In advance of the lesson, read the new book with The Literacy Continuum goals in mind. 
  • Think about what your children can do, and then find behaviors and understandings that they control, partially control, or do not yet control. 
  • Read the introduction to the text and teaching points for the lesson, keeping in mind the processing needs of the readers. Make any adjustments you think are necessary to meet their needs. 
  • Look at the Phonics/Word Work and at the additional suggestions provided on The Literacy Continuum pages, and make any adjustments you feel are necessary for your group. 
  • As you near the end of a level, look at what the readers now control and what they need to know to successfully process texts at this level. 
  • As the readers grow more proficient and reading becomes easy at the level, look ahead to the The Literacy Continuum pages for the next higher level. You may find new understandings or more complex versions of the same understandings.
From Leveled Literacy Intervention Orange System Guide, Second Edition by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
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...

April 20. 2017

Registration Now Open for LLI Summer Institutes

We are pleased to present some amazing professional development opportunities for you this summer. First up is “Intervening for Literacy Success”, coming to Denver, CO and Overland Park, KS. Our Fountas and Pinnell-trained consultants will focus on showing you how to understand the reading and writing challenges of children who struggle with literacy learning, and how to provide effective teaching within the LLI-graded lessons.

Find out more here:

Denver, CO

June 26-27, 2017
Grades K-2: Intervening for Literacy Success with LLI K-2 - Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for Grades K, 1, and 2 (Levels A-N/Orange, Green, and Blue)

June 28-29, 2017
Grades 3-5:
Intervening for Literacy Success with Intermediate Students - Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for Grades 3, 4, and 5 (Levels L-W/Red, Gold, and Purple)

Overland Park, KS

July 24-25, 2017
Grades K-2: Intervening for Literacy Success with LLI K-2 - Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for Grades K, 1, and 2 (Levels A-N/Orange, Green, and Blue)

July 26-27, 2017
Grades 3-5:
Intervening for Literacy Success with Intermediate Students - Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for Grades 3, 4, and 5 (Levels L-W/Red, Gold, and Purple)