Here we are again with another new edition! I assure you we are not trying to make you all crazy. The fact is: Fountas and Pinnell always have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in our schools. They always want to know what’s working and what’s not working. What’s trending and what’s going out of style. And on top of it all they are always revising and they are ALWAYS working! (Just ask our editors here at Heinemann who are on the brink of insanity.) So when they saw that there was room for refinement in the Benchmark Assessment Systems it couldn’t go unaddressed.
What is Different?
Perhaps the most significant differences in the third edition are the new comprehension conversation rubrics and the more detailed assessment guidelines. Fountas and Pinnell have been able to observe many teachers administer and score the comprehension conversations with BAS, Second Edition through their work in schools over the last few years. “It became clear that gaining strong behavioral evidence of understanding using talk as evidence was new or unfamiliar to many teachers,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016). Because many teachers weren’t getting the ongoing professional development needed in standardized administration and scoring, Fountas and Pinnell decided they needed to offer more guidance. The goal is for teachers to achieve consistency. “The new guidelines and rubric will enable teachers to sharpen their observation of students’ reading behaviors and strengthen the connection from assessment to instruction,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016).
Other changes to note are:
- Updated Assessment Guide and Recording Forms
- All new Professional Development and Tutorial Videos
- Inclusion of the new The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum
- Updated leveled books that include factual revisions to some nonfiction books and minor revisions to some fiction books
- Recording Forms, summary forms, optional assessments, and videos will be available in one place on the Fountas & Pinnell Online Resources
- Updated Online Data Management System (ODMS) to accommodate both BAS, 2e and 3rd edition scoring
- Updated BAS Reading Record App.
Can I use a mix of materials from the Benchmark Assessment 2nd and 3rd editions?
No, unfortunately. Changes have been made to both the Benchmark Books and the Recording Forms in the third edition. So using the two editions will not work because the text of the book and the text on the form will not always match, which will affect your ability to score a reader’s accuracy.
It’s also important to note that because of the modifications to the scoring rubrics, it is essential for all classrooms and teachers to be using the same edition. Maintaining consistency in assessment protocols within schools and across districts is critical. Some schools may not be ready to transition to the new edition, however, or have recently purchased the second edition shortly before the third edition was published. Heinemann does offer some solutions.
Please contact your local sales representative to explore your options. The second edition is still a reliable resource for teachers, but we urge you to learn more about the choices that are available.
They key word here is refinement. “With refinement comes reflection. Reflect on your assessment analysis and observations, and engage in a discussion with colleagues to plan rich and comprehensive literacy experiences that meet learners where they are and bring them forward with intention and precision,” (Fountas and Pinnell 2016).
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Explore the Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2, Third Edition at www.fountasandpinnell.com/bas
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