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.

“The more that students can solve words, derive the meaning of words, spell words, and parse language syntax rapidly, fluently, and unconsciously, the more likely they are to read and write with competence and ease.”
Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Last week, we were introduced to the new Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System, an enhanced and expanded edition of Phonics Lessons. Let’s take a look at some of the other resources in which phonics appears.

The Core of Phonics in Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™

It all begins with The Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Guide. This guide, which is a critical companion to The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, is the backbone of all phonics work in any Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ resource that uses phonics, spelling, and word study instruction. It is a comprehensive map that reflects the specific behaviors related to the nine areas of learning for letters, sounds, and words that children develop over time:

  • Early Literacy Concepts
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Letter Knowledge
  • Letter-Sound Relationships
  • Spelling Patterns
  • High-Frequency Words
  • Word Meaning/Vocabulary
  • Word Structure
  • Word-Solving Actions

In this guide, specific behaviors and principles for each of these categories are presented in an easy-to-use chart form and are delivered through instructional, child-friendly "teacher language"". Along with the statement of the principle, you will find examples that will be helpful to you in teaching.

How is Phonics Instruction Applied to Other Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Resources?

The principles that are presented in The Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Guide are the driving force behind the Phonics/Word Work, Phonics/Letter Work, and Word Study section of the Leveled Literacy Intervention systems lessons; the lessons in the new Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System; and the Phonics/Letter and Word Work sections of the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Guided Reading Collection lessons. Each of these systems uses a principle from the guide as the base for the instruction, which follows a simple structure:

  • TEACH: Provide a concise lesson based on a clear principle.
  • APPLY: Engage students in an active, "hands-on" application activity.
  • SHARE: Meet with students for reinforcement of the principle and assessment at the end of the activity.

Teachers can expand on the lessons by referencing The Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Guide to see how the principles align to other related concepts, and further guide your students in an exploration of letter and word learning. 

Phonics lessons should be a lively, interesting look at words and how they work. The goal is to get your students interested in words--seeking patterns, looking for connections, and thinking about the parts and what they mean.

Check back in next week to learn more about teaching phonics with Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™.

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team

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