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The Fountas & Pinnell Team

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4/16/2010
Topic:
Teaching Leveled Literacy Intervention lessons

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Fountas & Pinnell would recommend that the teacher select leveled books from her classroom or school library and to follow a similar lesson framework as found in LLI until she feels they’re ready to move on to the next level.

Hope this helps!

-Fountas & Pinnell Team
4/21/2010
Topic:
Research on home-school connection in LLI

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi Sandy,
We do not have any formal data on this yet since LLI is still relatively new, however there is an Efficacy Study of LLI currently underway right now which may in fact give us some evidence. More information about the LLI Efficacy study is available here: http://www.fpblog.heinemann.com/post/2010/04/15/Research-on-the-Effectiveness-of-Leveled-Literacy-Intervention.aspx.

We hope to have a final report published on our website by the end of 2010. There is plenty of research in the field about the positive impact of parental involvement however, so we are convinced it is beneficial. Although the Home Connection activities are not being implemented, have you had any success sending home the Take-Home books? If at the very least the children were reading to themselves or to siblings after school, that would be valuable.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with your readers!
- Fountas & Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 4/21/2010
4/21/2010
Topic:
movement through LLI

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
By all means if you’re confident he can handle level I instructionally, then move him on up to those lessons. There is no harm in skipping ahead or back as needed. The sooner this student exits LLI on grade level, the sooner another deserving student can take his place.

Best of luck!

-The Fountas & Pinnell Team
5/5/2010
Topic:
Moving students to a new guided reading level

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
We can't tell if you're using Leveled Literacy Intervention or the Benchmark Assessment system, but there are specific criteria for advancement through the levels. The criteria are separated into the categories of Instructional, Independent, and Hard reading.

This comes from the Benchmark Assessment System:


In order to identify the appropriate placement level for students in the Leveled Literacy Intervention system, you will need to use a text reading assessment. We recommend the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System as it directly correlates with Leveled Literacy Intervention, however you may also use other leveled books to conduct running/reading records. The criteria below, developed by Fountas and Pinnell can serve as a guideline in determining students’ levels and ultimately their placement in LLI.

Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Instructional Level Reading

At levels A-K:
90-94% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension or 95-100% accuracy with limited comprehension.
At levels L-Z:
95-97% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension or 98-100% accuracy with limited comprehension.

Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Independent Level Reading

At levels A-K:
95-100% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension.
At levels L-Z:
98-100% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension.

Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Hard Level Reading

At levels A-K:
Below 90% accuracy with any comprehension score.
At levels L-Z:
Below 95% accuracy with any comprehension score.


We hope this helps!

-Fountas & Pinnell Team
5/5/2010
Topic:
Amount of growth in one school year

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hello,

The amount of growth in a single year depends upon the student. Typically students advance through at least a few levels each year, but as the levels increase so does the difficulty of the texts, so advancement through the higher levels is sometimes slower than through the lower levels.

Below are some general criteria for Instructional, Independent, and Hard reading:


Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Instructional Level Reading

At levels A-K:
90-94% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension or 95-100% accuracy with limited comprehension.
At levels L-Z:
95-97% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension or 98-100% accuracy with limited comprehension.

Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Independent Level Reading

At levels A-K:
95-100% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension.
At levels L-Z:
98-100% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension.

Fountas & Pinnell Criteria for Hard Level Reading

At levels A-K:
Below 90% accuracy with any comprehension score.
At levels L-Z:
Below 95% accuracy with any comprehension score.


We hope this helps!

-Fountas & Pinnell Team
5/5/2010
Topic:
Amount of growth in one school year

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
You might also find the Quarterly Instructional Level Expectations for Reading table to be helpful. There are also additional progress monitoring forms available for all grades; they provide a snapshot of approximately where your students should be at each month of the school year: http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/supportingMaterials.aspx

Best regards,

-Fountas & Pinnell Team
5/11/2010
Topic:
Teaching Leveled Literacy Intervention lessons

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
We are happy to hear you are seeing good results using LLI. During the LLI lesson you are teaching phonics principles that can be accomplished in 5 minutes. While this seems to be a short time, remember this is daily and systematic teaching of phonics. Students will then have opportunities during the LLI lesson to apply new phonics learning and phonics knowledge while reading continuous text. Students will also be able to expand their letter/sound knowledge during the writing portion of the lesson every other day. So while you are spending 5 minutes teaching the phonics principle with clear, memorable examples, you extend their learning of phonics during reading and writing.

On page 46 of the Program Guide (green), you will see that you have an additional 5 minutes in the odd numbered lessons for letter/word work and in the even numbered lessons if time allows, optional letter/word work. On page 50, "The phonics/word work in the LLI lesson is designed to supplement the classroom phonics program" or in your case, the special education program. Work closely with the special education teacher to be sure the students needs are being met.

Thank you for your dedication to students and your enthusiasm with the results you are seeing with LLI in your school district!


Best regards,
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
5/13/2010
Topic:
Balanced Literacy, Reading Recovery, Special Needs

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Holly wrote:
I would like to know more about why this reading program is not designed for students w/ dyslexia. Is it designed for students w/ language learning disabilities? Thanks. Is any part of the Fountas Pinnell reading program specifically designed for dyslexia/language learning disabled children?]


Hi Holly,

Although Fountas & Pinnell programs such as BAS and LLI are not specifically designed for students with autism/dyslexia or other learning disabilities, many people do use them in such circumstances. (see this forum thread for an example). Some research has been done on using guided reading with autistic children (this article, for example), but for the most part the programs are used in regular education classrooms. While many people use Fountas & Pinnell guided reading programs for special needs students, there hasn't yet been a large-scale study on this topic, and the programs themselves are not specifically designed for special needs populations.

All evidence available at this time indicates that the instructional principles of guided reading are appropriate for use with special needs students, and this is something that Fountas & Pinnell hope to address more closely in their upcoming work.

Here are a few more articles that you might find helpful:
Supporting Literacy With Guided Reading
Strategies for Teaching Reading to Visual Learners
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) also has several articles on using guided reading with special needs students, but many of them are available to members only.

We hope this helps.

-Fountas & Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 5/13/2010
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 5/13/2010
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 5/13/2010
5/21/2010
Topic:
Benchmark Assessment System administration

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi Julie,

The program authors deliberately choose to use higher criterion for accuracy and reduced support beginning at level L. This is explained in the Higher Criterion for Accuracy document written by Irene Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell.

According to the Criterion document: The books for Levels L-N in Benchmark 1 while longer (16 pp), contain illustrations that give young readers picture support. The books from L-Z in Benchmark 2 are shorter (4 pp), and contain almost no illustrations with the exception of nonfiction text features like diagrams and maps to support the older reader. Length is only one factor in text difficulty and it is not a significant one unless you are talking about a large difference (50 to 100) in number of pages (which would inevitably place a greater burden on memory). A short text can be very hard, with difficult vocabulary, complex sentences, and complex ideas. A long text can be easy, with familiar concepts and vocabulary and simple sentences. Another consideration was the amount of time required to administer the assessment. The length of selections in the Benchmark System 2, provides an adequate sample for assessing an older child's oral and silent reading, vocabulary, capacity to solve multi-syllabic words, and ability to interpret more sophisticated content.

There is also some good information about the differences between the level texts and support provided in the BAS Frequently Asked Questions document.

We hope this helps!

- Fountas & Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 5/21/2010
6/9/2010
Topic:
reading and writing continuum

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi Marcia,

Unfortunately, the answer is "no" - text sections from Guiding Readers and Writers, Grades 3-6 are not available in an electronic format at this time, though this is something we hope to correct in the upcoming years. We appreciate the suggestion and will be sure to let you know if we make any progress in getting an electronic version posted!

Best regards,

Fountas & Pinnell Team
6/21/2010
Topic:
Philosophies of Literacy Acquisition

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Thank you for your inquiry It sounds like you are dealing with two competing philosophies. LLI and RR are both used for Tier 2 RTI. Do you happen to have Mary Howard's book entitled, RTI From All Sides. "What Every Teacher Should Know"? You will find a lot of good information and arguments for your cause that will help you with your advocacy for good instruction. Mary has a quote in there about group assessments - "Simply knowing which children have failed state tests is a bit like knowing that you have a fever when you are feeling I'll, but having no idea of the cause or cure.".

Do you have data to share - individual and group data that will illustrate results with students? Data from regular, individual assessment such as running records? There are also a lot of data from individual lessons and from group lessons across time. The best way to combat scripted programs is with selected data that you have from RR and LLI showing results with students. We understand your frustration and and hope that your data and Mary's book will help.

Best regards,

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
7/13/2010
Topic:
Word Study SOS

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hello,

Some information about using the F&P Word Study lessons is provided on the Phonicsminilessons.com site: http://www.phonicsminilessons.com/classroomsupport/faq.html. There is also a video clip of Gay Su Pinnell explaining how the program can be used for spelling: http://www.phonicsminilessons.com/classroomsupport/faq.html#spelling (click the "View Video Answer" button).

There is also a guide for staff developers posted on the Phonicsminilessons.com site, entitled "Effective Teaching of Systematic Phonics and Spelling Lessons." You can view/download the complete PDF here: http://www.phonicsminilessons.com/assets/pdf/staff_developers_excerpt.pdf


[Here is the answer about using the program for spelling as provided on the Phonicsminilessons.com FAQ]

Q: How can I use Phonics Lessons and Word Study Lessons as my spelling program?
A: A systematic, five-day lesson procedure for learning specific spelling principles is built into grades 1, 2, and 3. The five days include choosing and writing words from a given word list, a "look- say-cover-write-check" technique, a buddy check, making connections with other words, and finally, assessment.

We hope this helps you in your fall planning. Please let us know if you have any more questions about these programs!


Best regards,

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
7/26/2010
Topic:
Guided Reading Grading Rubric

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The rubric you're referring to can be found on the Supporting Materials page for Fountas & Pinnell: http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/supportingMaterials.aspx

There you will find several helpful documents related to student reading levels vs. grade level expectations:
Quarterly Instructional Level Expectations for Reading

- 10-Month Instructional Text Level Goal


- 10-Month Progress Monitoring by Instructional Level


- Benchmark Assessment System and Leveled Literacy Intervention in Your Response to Intervention (RTI) Plan


- Determining a Student’s Instructional, Independent, or Hard Reading Levels


- Fountas & Pinnell Recommended Oral Reading Rates Chart



We hope this helps!

~Fountas & Pinnell Team
8/9/2010
Topic:
LLI Organization and Management

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Dear Rachel,

Until districts have the funds to purchase more systems, they have tried several ways to organize their materials to share with others.

The districts that have a book room designate a section for their LLI books and materials. They keep the books (and they had to purchase extra copies of books because they could not predict when two teachers might have a group on the same lesson) organized by Lesson number on their bookshelves. They have a checkout system for the LLI books similar to the one they use for their Guided Reading books. They have 3 ring binders containing plastic sleeves for each lesson that contain copies of reading records, parent letters, fold sheets, picture cards, word cards. . . whatever is needed for each lesson in a sleeve labeled with the lesson number (some lessons required several plastic sleeves since they have multiple copies of everything needed for the lesson). The binders are kept on the shelves with the books organized by Lesson number. They purchased Lesson Guides for each teacher and keep the Program Guide/DVD’s with the LLI books. They developed a system for replenishing materials needed for the lessons when the supply was down to the last two. The teachers decide whether they checkout materials for the week, a number of days at a time or daily.

Other districts had a similar system with file cabinets because they do not have the luxury of space in the book room. Rather than keep three ring binders of lesson materials in sleeves, the teachers made their own copies of materials for the lessons to keep in files in their rooms. They purchased copies of the Lesson Guides for each teacher.

There is also a video on TeacherTube about organizing a guided reading classroom - you might find some good tips her as well.

We hope this helps, Rachel, and wish you a wonderful start to the new school year!


~The Fountas & Pinnell Team
8/9/2010
Topic:
mismatch in levels

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
We find that very often publishers are assigning texts their own "guided reading levels" that do not necessarily correspond to the Fountas & Pinnell A-Z Text Level Gradient. While most publishers' "guided reading levels" are close to the F&P A-Z gradient, there is no real way to assure that they are using the correct leveling process as defined in the Continuum of Literacy Learning. All texts that have been leveled by the Fountas & Pinnell team of levelers are available on www.fountasandpinnellleveledbooks.com

The website allows members to submit requests for books to be leveled, but you may also submit your leveling requests to us via eMail at fountasandpinnell@heinemann.com. The F&P team contacts publishers regularly to request texts for leveling, but response times vary greatly from publisher-to-publisher, and (as you have noticed) many of them elect to assign their own text levels, rather than going through the official leveling process. Unfortunately, there is no real way to regulate this aside from looking for references to the "Fountas & Pinnell A-Z Text Gradient."

We are working on revising http://www.fountasandpinnellleveledbooks.com to make it more convenient for publishers to submit their texts for leveling - keep an eye out for significant changes coming to the site in the next year or so.

We hope this helps!

Best regards,
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 8/9/2010
8/9/2010
Topic:
LLI for Grades 3-5

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hello,

Today Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas posted an updated about the development of LLI for grades 3-8 on their blog. You can read the post here: http://www.fpblog.heinemann.com/post/2010/08/09/Update-on-Leveled-Literacy-Intervention-for-Grades-3-8.aspx

More updates on their progress will be posted as development of these new LLI levels progresses.

We hope this helps!



-The Fountas & Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 8/9/2010
8/16/2010
Topic:
Kindergarten

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi Lyndsay,

The Fountas and Pinnell Phonics and Word Study Lessons Grades K-3 is a comprehensive series of lessons for phonics and word study that is based on research and how children learn. It is designed on a continuum of knowledge that includes nine areas of learning: Early Literacy Concepts, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Letter/Sound Relationships, Spelling Pattersn, High-Frequency Words, Word Meaning, Word Structure, and Word-Solving Actions.

www.phonicsminilessons.com will provide you with a program overview. Along with these Phonics and Word Study Lessons for K, 1, 2, and 3, there is a large amount of professional development built in to increase your knowledge of the linguistic systems, there is a direct connection to reading and writing, and there are built-in assessments that will provide you with data to inform your instruction. We are confident that you will find these lessons comprehensive enough to teach sight words, spelling and phonics. Thank you for your inquiry, Lindsay. We hope this helps!

-The Fountas & Pinnell Team
8/30/2010
Topic:
Benchmark A Too Hard

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi Rachel,

Yes - you could use the Orange System of LLI for your students who are reading below A and start at the beginning of the System because you will be reading to them and with them before you ask them to read a text by themselves. This support will help them read Level A texts independently.

We hope this helps!

Best regards,

~The Fountas & Pinnell Team
8/31/2010
Topic:
Balanced Literacy, Reading Recovery, Special Needs

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Hi, EP!

At Heinemann.com under the Fountas and Pinnell tab, in the right hand column, you will see Research and Data Collection. You will find the research and data for both the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems and the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention. There is valuable information that will help you with your grant writing. Best wishes and hope that you receive your grant!

~The Fountas & Pinnell Team
9/8/2010
Topic:
LLI question

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Green System is for Levels A though J – designed for 1st Grade

The Blue System is for Levels C through N – designed for 2nd/3rd Grade

The LLI systems are coordinated with the grade levels and the books were written to coordinate with the different age levels. The Green System has a series of 10 Getting Started lessons that children reading a C or below need before starting into lessons. Another difference would be the phonics lessons which are systematic and explicit. You may see a difference with the needs of your first graders and the Phonics portion of the lessons in the Blue System. The Green System will be more appropriate for struggling first graders. You will have to make your decisions for teaching based on the observation of your groups of LLI children rather than following the guide in the Blue System. If you could have the Green System, you would have a wider range of options.


We hope this helps!


~The Fountas & Pinnell Team
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