August 2019

Discussion Guide: At a Loss for Words

This facilitator’s guide is intended to provide possible points for pause and discussion as educators, advocacy groups, and community members listen to At a Loss for Words from APM Reports. You’ll find that some of the questions have related resources to enhance your discussion. You will also find additional reading, images, and a video embedded in the APM article. We would love to hear about your experiences discussing the podcast

What F&P Have “Clarified” and What They Haven’t

The Fountas and Pinnell leveling system is designed to help teachers match students with books they can read. Period. Whether or not it actually does that will be covered in the next blog, but first… Districts across the country use Fountas and Pinnell materials in ways contrary to the creators’ intent, which is a problem separate from the materials themselves. “It is our belief that levels have no place in

Leveling Charges at F&P

The (Marketing) Genius of the F&P Leveling System The Fountas and Pinnell leveling system proposes that all the books written in English can be sorted into 26 categories, exactly the number of letters in the English alphabet. (In the same neighborhood as Reading Recovery’s 34 levels, one can’t help but notice. But that minus-eight makes all the difference.) The A-Z simplicity of the F&P leveling system is so appealing that

There’s Comfort In Being Wrong

Teacher (in a panic): “It can’t be wrong.” Me (softly): “Why not?” Teacher: “Because if it’s wrong and I’ve been doing it for years, then what does that mean for the kids?” Me: “I know, but another teacher said to me, ‘What about the kids we haven’t had yet?’” To consider that we may be wrong is scary. In her TedTalk, On Being Wrong (https://bit.ly/31o0V1o) Kathryn Schulz asks the audience:

Race, Class, and Reading Research

First, a little context: I am a white literacy coach in a large urban district where half the teachers are of color. When I began my job, I believed that my focus on evidence-based reading instruction, good intentions and belief that all students can learn would make me well-equipped to bring research to our diverse staff. How naive I was!  Entering this work, I was blind to biases that permeate

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