The Continuum of Literacy for Prek-8th grade
One goal I have is to share the resources I have found over the years that have helped me bring best practices into my classroom. I have bought hundreds of dollars worth of books over the years <don’t tell my husband>. Most of them are now sitting on the shelf, collecting dust. However, there are a few that are among my most prized ‘teaching possessions’. This book is one of them.
The authors, Fountas and Pinnell, are among the forefront of education, and have been for the last 15 years at least. They are among the movers and shakers that caused the education world to leave whole language and really begin to understand how to differentiate reading groups….thus, guided reading was born!
I bought my copy of the book about 7 years ago. My copy is worn, tattered, has notes stuck all through it, and looks very used! This year, my school system ordered every teacher a copy of the newest version <there is not that much difference> and we are conducting professional development with it. So, now, I leave my broken down copy at home for a quick reference when needed, and leave my new copy at school to use in meetings or conferences with parents!
The book has several sections of the book such as: writing products using the 6 traits and writing about reading, reading aloud, shared reading, communication and technology, word work, and guided reading.
I highly recommend this book, also, because it tells you what expectations you should have for each level in guided reading, correlates necessary comprehensions skills as well as reading strategies, and even has a skill-based curriculum map to show how the skills correlate across the grade levels starting in Pre-Kindergarten and ending in 8th grade.
There is much to be learned from this book as it categorizes teaching literacy into skills, products for students to create, lessons for ‘Within the Text’, ‘Beyond the Text, and ‘About the text’. This has helped me rise to a much higher level of teaching in order to challenge my students thinking about literacy. In fact, I planned my 3rd quarter literacy focus calendar using these categories and linked them to my state’s standards.
Here is a snippet below:
Within the Text: Self-correction of intonation, phrasing, and pausing while reading aloud
Beyond the Text: Infer a character’s feelings or motivations as preparation for reading in the character’s voice
About the Text: Recognize when texts are realistic, fantasy, or true informational texts and read them differently as appropriate
Comprehension: Story Elements Map
Identify base words and suffixes (re, un)
Reading Strategy: Model reading with intonation, phrasing, and pauses
Word Work: Review Syllables (Center), short 3, long e (ee, ea) <see Sort 27>
If you live in a state that has moved to the ‘drop in evaluations’, this book is indispensible. As long as you are using these categories and areas to plan and reflect on your teaching, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t do well. So, as my students say in school, “We give this book a 2 thumbs up and 5 out of 5 stars!"
If you decide to order a book, or you already have one, leave a comment below and let me know what you think about it and how you use it!
You may also want to take a look at these books by the same authors: