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Home » Fountas & Pinnell » Kindergarten End of Year Level

Discussions about any of Fountas & Pinnell's works, including LLI, BAS, the Continuum, When Readers Struggle, Literacy Beginnings, leveled books, training events, professional development for educators, and more
3/26/2011 1:09:39 PM

User 464367
User 464367
Posts: 1
Hello,
We had a staff meeting to discuss what level is appropriate for the end of the year for an average kindergarten student. There was great conflict amongst our staff. Some stated that level B is all they need to be reading at while others were concerned that we were not pushing our students hard enough and that they should be reading at a higher level such as K by the end of kindergarten. Our school district is in a constant struggle with reading. I guess my question is, is it appropriate for us to expect our children to read higher than a level B? Is level K to high of an expectation for a typical kindergartner? What are other school districts doing?
Concerned teacher
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3/30/2011 9:21:37 AM

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Posts: 292
In Leveled Books (K-8), we begin by presenting broad descriptions of gradients which do not represent discrete stages. They are meant to serve as a general road map. We match reader descriptions with approximate grade levels, but there is purposeful overlap. We do not designate certain book levels for readers at any one grade level, which appears to be the task your staff tried to accomplish. That is nearly impossible, since no matter what grade one teaches, there will be a range of readers at that level.

A more appropriate task would be to determine collaboratively -- with teachers of both K and grade 1 -- what specific reading strategies you'd like an end-of-year kindergarten student to demonstrate. Then, using Leveled Books and The Continuum of Literacy, study text characteristics and reading demands at particular levels. Use the professional development activity described on p. 128 in Leveled Books to guide this group effort. That should result in a well-informed consensus regarding a level for your kindergarten students.

The grade-level spans we describe in our text are approximations designed to serve as a basis for discussion. At year's end, you will inevitably have some K students able to read Level J (or higher) and others who are barely able to read Level A. These are extremes; you and colleagues must set specific, reasonable level standards for your district's population.

We hope this helps.

The Fountas and Pinnell Team

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3/30/2011 9:54:36 AM

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Posts: 292
Another Fountas and Pinnell Team member adds:

To quote Fountas& Pinnell from When Readers Struggle (pages 5-3 and 504), "By the end of the year (K), the goal for instructional reading is Level C. We are not advocating 'pushing' children or drilling them. Most children engage with print through enjoyable experiences such as shared reading, poetry, interesting work with letters, sounds, and words and interactive and independent writing . . . A first grader who enters reading strongly at Level C and knows letters, sounds, and many words can benefit from classroom instruction." If you look at the Fountas & Pinnell Suggested Grade-Level Reading Levels, a level K is Grade 2. It would not be appropriate to expect a child in Kindergarten to read a Level K. You can find the Fountas & Pinnell Suggested Grade-Level Reading Levels on the Fountas and Pinnell Website (Heinemann.com).


The Fountas and Pinnell Team
edited by Fountas & Pinnell Team on 4/4/2011

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4/2/2011 11:12:53 PM

ann c
ann c
Posts: 1
End of the year levels in many ways reflect the great desire to create "standards-based" students. Leading a young learner's development forward so that both reading and writing are approached with confidence and eagerness allow a first grade teacher to move the child forward. Pushing young children so that they experience failure, frustration and anxiety while reading a level D does not contribute to overall school success. Our short term goals must serve our long term goals of literacy success in school and society. For most children, level C is attainable in a joyous, playful kindergarten setting.
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