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The Classroom Library Center. Building and Organizing. A Classroom Library…. Is a place where students practice making connections to text in order to build understanding. Students should visit the Library Center or Classroom Library in order to practice reading at their independent level

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building and organizing

The Classroom Library Center

Building and Organizing


A Classroom Library…

  • Is a place where students practice making connections to text in order to build understanding.
    • Students should visit the Library Center or Classroom Library in order to practice reading at their independent level
    • Students should understand their purpose for visiting the Classroom Library
    • Students should respond to the text in some manner
what does independent mean
What Does Independent Mean?
  • Independent Level
    • The student can read without help with near 100% accuracy
    • After reading, the student can answer questions about the passage with 90% accuracy
    • This level should be used for free-time reading and independent class work
the best books to support developing literacy
The “Best” Books to Support Developing Literacy …
  • Contain natural and literary language patterns with some predictability but not a singsong repetition
  • Include increasing number of high frequency words
  • Embody some literary merit
  • Are interesting and engaging for children
  • Integrate opportunities to notice and use spelling patterns within a quality text
what kind of books should you have
What Kind of Books Should You Have?
  • Fiction and Nonfiction
  • Broad range of reading levels
  • At grade 2, Introduce easy chapter books
  • Age appropriate children’s magazines and newsprint.
leveling collections and reading systems
Leveling Collections and Reading Systems
  • Grade Level Equivalents (Basal Levels)
  • “Decodable” Texts
  • “Predictable” Texts
  • Reading Recovery
  • Rhyming Texts
  • Stages of Reading Development
  • Fountas & Pinell (F&P)
reading recovery characteristics of text adapted from marie clay 1993
Level 1-4

consistent placement of print

repetition of 1-2 sentence patterns

oral language structures

familiar objects and actions

illustrations provide high support

Levels 5-8

repetition of 2-3 sentence patterns

opening, closing sentence vary, or varied simple sentence structures

many familiar objects and actions

illustrations provide moderate-high support

Reading Recovery Characteristics of TextAdapted from Marie Clay, 1993
reading recovery characteristics of text
Reading RecoveryCharacteristics of Text

Levels 9-12

  • repetition of 3 or more sentence patterns or varied sentence patterns
  • blend of oral and written language structures or fantastic happenings in framework of familiar experiences
  • illustrations provide moderate support

Levels 16-20

  • elaborated episodes and events
  • extended descriptions link to familiar stories

and literary language

  • unusual, challenging vocabulary
  • illustrations provide low support

Levels 13-15

  • varied sentence patterns or repeated patterns in culminating form
  • oral structures appear in dialogue
  • literary language and specialized vocabulary for some topics
  • illustrations provide low-moderate support
fountas pinnell f p levels
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Level C
    • simple storylines
    • Longer than level B
    • 2-5 lines of text per page
    • Picture support high
    • Direct correspondence between text and pictures
    • Print appears on both left and right side of page
    • High frequency words used more often
    • Full range of punctuation
    • Patterns and repetition are used
    • More variation in language patterns
    • Sentences are longer, but grammar is simple and easy to control
  • Levels A and B
    • Very easy
    • Have a single focus
    • Simple storyline
    • Direct correspondence between text and pictures
    • Word-by-word matching
    • Format is consistent (print appears in the same place)
fountas pinnell f p levels11
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Level E
    • Text gradually increasing
    • 3-8 lines of text per page
    • Text placement varies
    • Storyline is more complex
    • Repeated language patterns are used
    • Concepts require more interpretation

(less familiar to children)

    • Illustrations strongly support stories
    • Problem solving is needed to figure out

new words

    • Full variety of punctuation is evident
  • Level D
    • More complex, but still very easy
    • Concepts are within children’s experience
    • Illustrations are supportive, but more attention to text is required
    • 2-6 lines of text per page (more words than the previous levels)
    • Sentences are longer that level C
    • Full range of punctuation
    • Vocabulary contains more inflectional endings (ing, ed, s)
fountas pinnell f p levels12
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Level G and H
    • More challenging ideas and vocabulary
    • Literary language, structures, and concepts integrated with natural language
    • Range of content extend children’s experiences
    • New vocabulary is introduced
    • More episodic events support reading
    • Level H similar to G, but language and vocabulary more complex
    • Longer stories
    • More literary
    • Less repetition of episodic structure
  • Level F
    • Texts are longer that level E
    • Print is smaller
    • 2-8 lines of text per page
    • Pictures continue to support, but text carries the meaning
    • Variety of high frequency words are expanded
    • Storylines include more events
    • Chronological
    • Some characters are fully developed
    • Distinct beginning, middle, and end
    • Dialogue has greater variety
    • Punctuation supports phrasing and meaning
    • More opportunities for word analysis
fountas pinnell f p levels13
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Level J
    • Beginning of 2nd grade
    • Advanced 1st graders can read
    • Texts allow children to practice reading strategies on a greater variety of texts
    • Stories are longer and more complex
    • Variety of texts-nonfiction, folktales, realistic stories, etc.
    • Chapter books are introduced (30-60 pages)
    • Familiar vocabulary
    • Shorter sentences
    • Longer attention span needed
    • Characters developed through dialogue (speaking)
  • Level I
    • Variety of texts (including informational texts)
    • Story structure more complex
    • Episodes more elaborate
    • Themes are varied
    • Illustrations provide low support
    • Readers asked to understand different view points
    • Texts are longer
    • Specialized, challenging vocabulary is evident
    • Characters are memorable
    • Could be compared to other texts previously read
fountas pinnell f p levels14
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Levels L
    • Texts are longer chapter books with few illustrations
    • Less picture support
    • Characters are involved in plots
    • More sophisticated language structures
    • Detail and descriptions involve challenging vocabulary
    • Text size is smaller, word spacing is narrower
    • Requires higher level conceptual work to understand the subtleties of plot and characters
    • Longer period of time to complete books
    • Mostly silent reading , but read alouds emphasizes interest or to make a point
  • Levels K
    • Variety of texts
    • Chapter-like books
    • Pictures on every other page
    • Text on pages varies
    • Print is laid out with clear spaces between words and lines
    • Stories have multiple episodes related to a single plot
    • Students can read some traditional fairytales as independent readers
    • Reading is silent mostly
    • Discussion of books can be done
fountas pinnell f p levels15
Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) Levels
  • Levels N, O, P, Q, R, and S
    • Titles at each level identify 3rd grade and some 4th grade texts
    • Chapter books with 100 pages or more
    • Complex and sophisticated themes
    • Non-fiction titles are shorter and present social issues
    • Memorable characters
    • Demand on reader to use a variety of strategies to understand plot and theme
    • Vocabulary is complex going beyond children’s own experiences
    • Level P chapter books explore preadolescent and early adolescent problems
    • Longer descriptive narratives
    • Texts are read on literal and figurative levels
  • Levels M
    • Texts are long
    • Full pages of text
    • Smaller print with narrow spacing
    • Variety of texts, but all contain complex language structures and sophisticated vocabulary
    • Highly detailed and descriptive text
    • More Abstract concepts and themes
    • Text requires more background knowledge
    • Many characters are involved in more complex plots
    • Character development is important feature
leveling activity
Leveling Activity
  • Materials: different colored dots
  • Objective: Participants will level a given set of books following these guidelines:
      • Difficulty of text (vocabulary, sentence length)
      • Picture support
      • Text length
      • Concept or theme the text deals with
  • Color code according to A.L.L. or DIBELS
organization of the classroom library
Organization of the Classroom Library
  • Inviting to the students
  • Books arranged alphabetically, genre, reading level
  • Have rules for handling the books
  • Check-out system
independent reading activities
Independent Reading Activities
  • Sign-in when entering the Library
  • Check-out Binder for borrowing books
  • Reading Log
  • Reading Response Journals
  • Student Recommendations “Must Reads”
  • Other

Classroom Environment



Teacher Led

Guided Reading Center



Technology Center






An Effective Classroom Library…

  • Should be leveled or organized in some way
  • Labeled for easy identification
  • Routinely changed (every 2 weeks)
  • Easily accessible
  • Inviting, appealing, comfortable
  • Fountas, Irene &Pinell, Gay Su. 1996. Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children. Portsmouth , NH: Heinemann.
  • Fountas, Irene & Pinell, Gay Su. 2001. Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Tyner, Beverly. June 2004. Small-Group Reading Instruction: A Differentiated Teaching Model for Beginning and Struggling Readers. Hamilton County Schools. Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.