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The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3-8
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Over their influential careers, Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas have closely examined the literacy learning of thousands of students in the upper elementary and middle grades. In The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3 - 8, and its companion volume for grades K - 2, they combine everything they have learned about the development readers, writers, and language users to create a comprehensive curriculum document for use as an assessment tool and as a guide for teaching. Now, with the flip of a page, you can quickly identify the literacy goals appropriate to each grade level (3 - 8) and each text level, N - Z, and determine the specific competencies any student has achieved along their literacy journey.
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Grade by Grade Goals
The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3 - 8 names and categorizes the behaviors and understandings students can be expected to demonstrate from grade three to grade eight. Grounded in research and classroom experience, these helpful visual representations of goals for literacy in upper elementary school and middle school allow you to analyze children's strengths and identify where they need support in different instructional contexts. They describe specific behaviors to notice, teach, and support at each grade level.
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Pinnell and Fountas present continua related to performance in seven critical instructional contexts:
  • interactive read-aloud and literature discussion
  • shared and performance reading
  • writing about reading
  • writing
  • oral, visual, and technological communication
  • phonics, spelling, and word study
  • guided reading.
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Level by Level Goals
The guided reading continuum conveys specific literacy goals related to the Fountas and Pinnell text levels L - Z for use in guided reading lessons or other small-group instruction. These goal descriptions will inform your lesson planning, your grouping decisions, and your selection of texts for differentiated instruction.
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In a convenient, easy-to-read format, these interdependent continua show the grade levels at which students typically demonstrate specific abilities related to the use of oral and written language. They can be useful in numerous aspects of classroom instruction, including:
  • planning instruction for individuals, small groups, or a whole class
  • assessing children's literacy development
  • evaluating student progress and reporting grades
  • discussing expectations with parents
  • identifying specific needs for targeted intervention.
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Get the curricular resource that provides a unified vision of what upper elementary children and adolescent students need to be able to do as competent readers, writers, and language users, then discover how this guide can inform and support every aspect of your literacy teaching. Read Continuumof Literacy Learning, Grades 3 - 8, keep it handy in your classroom, and use it to make effective teaching decisions as you bring children forward in their literacy journeys.
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Continua organized by grade for teachers grades K - 2 and expressed across the grades for curriculum specialists grades K - 8 are also available.
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For information about The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades K - 2, .
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