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Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™: Systematic, Explicit, and Sequential

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We are sometimes asked about the science behind our materials and the research that influenced our design for literacy instruction. Educators often want to be able to point to the ways in which our resources are explicit and systematic, and to see specific evidence to show they lead to literacy success for students across the country. Today we launch the third blog in a four-post blog series to do just that. Please join us over the next several weeks as we unpack the pedagogy, research base, and evidence of efficacy that sit behind the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ brand.

Blog 1: Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™: Where Research Meets Practice
Blog 2: Elevating Expertise: Why Teachers Are the Single Most Important Classroom Factor In a Child’s Learning Achievement
Blog 3: Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™: Systematic, Explicit, and Sequential
Blog 4: Responsive Teaching: Meeting Our Students’ Needs Through Comprehensive, Differentiated Instruction


Blog 3: Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™: Systematic, Explicit, and Sequential

The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ systems and resources are grounded in comprehensive, systematic, and sequential lessons. Our suite of products includes assessment, intervention, classroom resources, professional books and professional learning opportunities for a truly cohesive design for high-impact literacy instruction.

The backbone of Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ is The Literacy Continuum and The Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Guide, a critical companion to The Literacy Continuum. These resources are the roadmap to how literacy develops in children over time. The Literacy Continuum defines student literacy behaviors and understandings, outlines goals to teach for from levels A-Z on the F&P Text Level Gradient™ and grades PreK-8 across foundational literacy continua, and enables teachers to plan instruction based on those goals. The Literacy Continuum is the explicit sequence of all Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Systems and is aligned to national and state standards. Read how The Literacy Continuum is aligned to the standards.

An effective literacy design includes explicit phonics instruction (out of text) and takes place within a comprehensive approach so that learners have ample opportunities (in text) to apply their understandings as they engage in meaningful reading and writing. We distinguish between phonics instruction within the context of continuous text (in text phonics and word study in reading and writing) and explicit, systematic phonics instruction that is out of the context of continuous text (The Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System). Both are systematic; both are explicit; and instruction is most effective when there are connections between the two. Explicit phonics instruction is taught within the Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System (PWS), as well as throughout Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ (FPC) and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI).

The lessons throughout PWS, FPC and LLI are designed to support teachers’ growth and understanding of literacy development and to elevate expertise. It is the teacher’s ability to make different decisions for different students at different times that informs the power and effectiveness of instruction. The moment-to-moment instructional decisions a teacher makes based on observations and analysis of children’s learning behaviors is significant.

  • The PWS lessons enable teachers to explicitly teach learners the relationship between letters and sounds, along with many other essential principles that stem from the nine areas of learning: Early Literacy Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Letter-Sound Relationships, Spelling Patterns, High-Frequency Words, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Word Structure, and Word-Solving Actions. Explicit phonics instruction is effective when taught in a sequence that ranges from simple to more complex in a cumulative process. The PWS lessons are sequential and systematic. Each PWS System contains a “Master Lesson Guide: Suggested Sequence” to focus teaching and learning for teachers new to the System. As teachers implement the lessons, insight into students’ development of word-solving strategies and the English linguistic system is gained. Accompanying the PWS Lesson Book is The Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Guide (derived from The Literacy Continuum), which further defines and outlines the sequence of phonics and word study lessons. Read the research here.
  • Every LLI lesson contains explicit teaching in phonics and word study. LLI lessons were designed to provide explicit teaching and numerous opportunities for the application of principles in a sequential and developmentally appropriate way. Every LLI System contains a Master Plan for Word Work. Read the research here. 
  • FPC lessons are sequenced based on The Literacy Continuum. FPC lessons feature daily systematic literacy instruction within seven instructional contexts: Guided Reading, Shared Reading, Book Clubs, Reading Minilessons, Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study, Independent Reading, and Interactive Read-Aloud. Read the research here.

 - Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell


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Topics: Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™, Guided Reading, LLI, Phonics Word Study, Research, Book Clubs, Independent Reading, Intervention, Professional Development, Shared Reading, Featured Posts, Home, Interactive Read-Aloud, The Literacy Continuum

Fri, Nov 13, '20

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