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March 29. 2018

Lift Your Professional Learning with Multi-Day Institutes

Materials themselves help teachers grow professionally, but alongside that teachers need good professional learning opportunities. Professional learning makes the work come alive. Each year, educators from around the world join Irene C. Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, and their consultants, in multi-day professional learning institutes, and leave with new energy and understanding that will inform their teaching all year. 

Below are some of the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™-focused multi-day institutes that Heinemann offers along with information about what can be gained from these fulfilling professional learning opportunities. More...

March 23. 2018

FAQ Friday: Which LLI System Should I Use?

Q: Which Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI) should I use?

A: There are seven systems that make up LLI and span grades K through 12.

Primary Systems:

  • Orange System: levels A through E
  • Green System: levels A through K
  • Blue System: levels C through N

Intermediate Systems:

  • Red System: levels L through Q
  • Gold System: levels O through T

Middle/High School Systems:

  • Purple System: levels R through W
  • Teal System: level U through Z

There are specific Lesson Guides for each LLI System, and the systems are coordinated with the grade levels at which they will most likely be used; however, educators may make other decisions as they work to match the program to the needs of particular readers. The systems overlap in levels, but books and lessons for each system are unique, with no overlap of titles or lessons.

The LLI books have been written specifically for the intervention system. Written by children's authors and illustrated by high-quality artists, they are designed to provide engaging, age-appropriate material while at the same time offering increasingly sophisticated learning opportunities so that students can build a reading process over time.

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. More...

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.
January 19. 2018

FAQ Friday: How Long is Leveled Literacy Intervention?

Q: How Long is Leveled Literacy Intervention?

A: Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a short-term program designed to bring children up to grade-level performance:

Instructional Features of the LLI Systems

LLI Primary systems: 12–18 weeks of explicit, direct instruction 30-minutes a day, 5 days a week. Recommended teacher-to-student ratio of 1:3. Systematic intensive work in phonemic awareness, letters, and phonics. 

LLI Intermediate systems: 18–24 weeks of explicit, direct instruction 45-minutes a day, 5 days a week. Recommended teacher-to-student ratio of 1:4. 36 Novel Study lesson for sustained reading of longer texts. 24 Optional Test Prep lessons. 

LLI Middle/High School systems: 18–24+ weeks of explicit, direct instruction 45-minutes a day, 5 days a week. Recommended teacher-to-student ratio of 1:4. 36 Novel Study lesson for sustained reading of longer texts. 24 Optional Test Prep lessons.

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 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)