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Who Can Benefit from The Literacy Continuum?


This is the next in a series of blogs about The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. This blog focuses on how The Literacy Continuum can support all educators. Read on to learn more.

The Literacy Continuum is an in-the-hand tool for designing learning opportunities that are responsive, appropriate, intentional and powerful. It is also a tool that helps us consider the impact of teaching on student learning. Whether you are an individual teacher who is committed to meeting the needs of all learners in the classroom or a member of a collaborative learning community that is working towards coherence for all students, opening up The Literacy Continuum for reflection, decision making, and planning is an essential first step. The Literacy Continuum is an indispensable resource for every educator responsible for nurturing the literate life of students.

Here are just a few of the myriad ways The Literacy Continuum can support your work.

How The Literacy Continuum provides support to the…

Use The Literacy Continuum to explore these questions…

Principal and Leadership Team

Review the progress of individual students both in classrooms, in intervention, and in special education

Assess the progress of each cohort of students

Identify areas of refinement in instruction

Plan for professional learning opportunities for teachers

What does teaching and learning look like in this context?

What texts are appropriate for this context at this grade level or text level?

What are some behaviors that I might see the students demonstrating if the teaching is effective at this grade level (or text level) for this instructional context?


Classroom Teacher

Guide instructional planning and interactions

Select texts for various purposes (interactive read-aloud, shared reading, book clubs, guided reading, and as mentor texts for writers’ workshop)

Assess students’ current reading and writing abilities


Which behaviors do most of the students in my class already control?

What behaviors do my students almost control? How can I prioritize this in my instruction today?

Which behaviors did I notice students demonstrating today?

What behaviors have my students taken on as a result of my teaching today/this week?

Interventionist or Special Education Teacher

Guide instructional planning and interactions

Assess the gap that students need to bridge to catch up to grade-level expectations

Select texts that have the highest potential for accelerated progress

Assess students’ reading progress

Assess the effectiveness of teaching

What do I understand about proficiency at this level?

What are the strengths of the students in this group?

What do these students need to learn next?

What behaviors have my students taken on as a result of my teaching today/this week?



Literacy Coach

Support colleagues in assessing students’ current reading and writing abilities

Support colleagues in identifying goals in reading and writing

Support colleagues in reflecting on their decisions about instruction and text selection

Support colleagues as they reflect on the impact of their teaching

Become familiar with how literacy teaching and learning changes over time

What are some priorities for your teaching today?

Read over the behaviors here. Which behaviors did you notice students demonstrating during your lesson today?

Which behaviors seem like the next step for your students?

How well does this section describe the readers in your small group? Is there anything in here that does not characterize any of the readers in this group?



Select a range of texts on interesting topics

Recommend read-aloud books to teachers

Help teachers build text sets for connected learning

Assist teachers in finding books at appropriate levels for students

Help students find books (without having them choose by level)

What are the important behaviors for readers to be able to demonstrate at this point in their development?

Which text characteristics might be new for this group of students?

How can I guide this student toward selecting books that that they can understand and enjoy?




~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy™ Team


Read the rest of our series on The Literacy Continuum:

What are the Systems of Strategic Actions?

How Does The Literacy Continuum Support Teachers of Reading?

6 Suggestions for Getting Started with The Literacy Continuum


Topics: Professional Development, Featured Posts, Home, The Literacy Continuum

Thu, Oct 17, '19

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