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Daily Lit Bit

November 6. 2017

Teacher Tip: How to Engage Parents in Fountas & Pinnell Classroom

There are many opportunities throughout Fountas & Pinnell Classroom to engage parents and caregivers. For example, parents and caregivers can support their children at home by:

  • Listening to the books their children bring home to read
  • Reading books aloud to their children
  • Talking about books together
  • Going to the library
  • Encouraging their children to write for authentic purposes (such as a grocery list, a letter, or directions)
  • Singing songs together
  • Reciting nursery rhymes or poetry together
  • Talking with their children about a variety of topics
  • Encouraging their children to play outside every day
  • Encouraging play in which their children use imagination.

You may also want to invite parents and caregivers into the classroom throughout the year for special literacy occasions, such as:

  • Listening to their children participate in Reader's Theater
  • A reading celebration in which parents and caregivers listen to their children read or they read to their children
  • Watching a puppet show or simple lay the children have written and perform
  • Creating a Literacy Museum where children dress up as a character from a book and share the book with their parent or caregiver.
As you actively and creatively engage parents and caregivers in the literacy lives of their children, each child and family knows that their traditions and cultures are honored and the collaborative partnership between home and school is valued. 

From Fountas & Pinnell Classroom System Guide by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2018 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

November 6. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 11/6/15

Whether you are teaching prekindergarteners to recognize individual letters in their names or you are teaching sixth graders to recognize bias in the language of a persuasive text, your work is transformative. It’s demanding, challenging, and at times altogether frustrating. But your work as a teacher of literacy is also worthwhile and important because it transforms the lives of children.

November 1. 2017

Daily Lit Bit - 11/1/17

Collaborative inquiry is coming together with colleagues and delving into what students' behaviors mean. What evidence shows they're making progress? How can I tell if something is going wrong? How can I fix it? By looking at The Literacy Continuum together as a tool to engage in that process, the collaborative inquiry, it makes colleagues of us all.

October 31. 2017

Teacher Tip: What To Do When A Student Has Read All of the Benchmark Assessment System Books

In order to get an accurate assessment using the Benchmark Assessment System and obtain observable evidence of what a student can process and understand independently it's important that the student not have already read any of the books. Sometimes, however, you might have students who seem to have "slid" back a level, perhaps over the summer or holidays. So what do you do when your students have already read the books? Here are some steps to consider: 
  • It is critical to look at The Literacy Continuum and determine what strategies need to be taught to a student who is not progressing beyond a specific level. Start there, and use other forms instruction, e.g., guided reading, to assess the student by observing what he or she specifically needs to help them process texts.
  • You can also take a quick and informal assessment by having the student read aloud from one or two other leveled books from your classroom library. Assess the percentage of words read accurately and note specific errors (substitutions, omissions, insertions). You will have an assessment of accuracy and also insights into the kind of information the child is using when errors are made (for example, words that look like other words, or words that are inaccurate but make sense). Errors can sometimes illustrate a child’s strengths and give you insights into how to help him or her.
  • When following the oral reading, involve the child in a conversation that will help you know what he or she understood from the text. You can ask several questions but the assessment should not feel like an interrogation. You could try to ask questions similar to the Benchmark Assessment System prompts.
  • If the level of the text is too difficult, move down the levels until you find something the child can read at instructional level with good understanding.
When you are simply trying to teach to the level, without fine tuning their instruction based on the individual student needs, we end up with students not progressing.