What is Fountas and Pinnell?

Reading is a crucial skill for a student to master, but it can also be incredibly discouraging if the child feels they aren’t on the same level as their peers. That’s why Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell created a system of classified reading levels with criteria tailored to the students’ individual abilities.

Individualized Reading Levels
Reading levels are divided up using letters that correspond to various grades and reading abilities. Students are able to develop their skills at their own pace, focusing on books that match their specific reading stage. Once they master a level, they advance to the next. This helps each student learn at their own pace and avoid falling behind or becoming bored.

Cohesive Learning Group
The Fountas and Pinnell method was established to create a cohesive learning community that works together to sustain literacy success. Students don’t feel they have to keep up with each other or risk dragging down the entire group. It encourages reading, writing and talking about relevant topics to keep children excited about learning.

Greater Teacher Involvement
As each student progresses at their own reading pace, teachers are able to guide them through the levels without worrying about how it affects the rest of the class. They gain a better understanding of the student’s literacy abilities, as well as what they can do to improve their skills.

Learning to read is a different experience for each student, so it makes sense that they may need practice at their own level. Fountas and Pinnell aligns with Bennett Day School’s progressive education approach to focusing on students as individuals.