STAFF BOOK REVIEW: OCTOBER 1964 BY DAVID HALBERSTAM
by Kevin O’Neill, IT Systems Manager In his 1954 book God’s Country […]
Gay Su Pinnell
Irene C. Fountas
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Where other assessment and benchmark systems leave you wondering "Now what?" Fountas and Pinnell have provided a link from assessment to instruction via proven classroom practices such as guided reading and read aloud.
This book contains seven continua. Each continuum focuses on an area of the language arts curriculum. Six continua provide grade level expectations and are designed for planning group instruction. The seventh, the Guided Reading continuum, is organized by Fountas and Pinnell level from A to Z and correlates directly with the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System levels.
The continua provide specific descriptions of the texts that students read, listen to, write, and perform. In addition, each continuum lists specific behaviors and understandings that are required at each level for students to demonstrate thinking within, beyond, and about the text. These behaviors and understandings describe what students will be expected to do in order to effectively read and understand the text.
As the world of literacy changes, we also see some important changes in the acquisition of literacy across grade levels. The second edition of The Continuum of Literacy Learning has been adjusted to reflect those changes.
First, the preschools of today are different from those of five years ago; so a Pre-Kindergarten set of continua has been added to the Pre-K -8 and Pre-K-2 versions of this book. This Pre-Kindergarten continuum does not represent "moving" the first grade curriculum down. Instead, it presents a rich array of understandings relative to oral language, story telling, and playful print awareness to provide a strong foundation for Kindergarten learning.
The basic detailed descriptions of behaviors and understandings to notice, teach, and support for grades K through 8 remain the same; but in this new edition of the seven continua, we have added new challenges such as the effective processing of graphic texts and novels. We have also examined carefully the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) framework for 2009-2010 and made changes in some of the ways behaviors and understandings are expressed. Additionally, we have strengthened the expectation to recognize and effectively process genres that are embedded within other genres (hybrid texts-for example a letter, diary entries, or newspaper articles within fictional narratives).
The continuum has also been adjusted in response to current research as well as to a great deal of information related to the implementation of assessment in schools. Finally, the continuum has a new design that makes it easier to read and interpret.
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