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Home » Fountas & Pinnell » Leveling questions

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
3/17/2010 9:12:53 AM

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I was very excited to see the excellent materials that are available to support student in K to gr. 2 in the LLI series. Since many are familiar with the numbered, intervention levels, I wonder if there might be a Correlation Guide to the PM Numerical levels. Has anyone created this? I look forward to hearing this.

Contributed by: Wendy Goulden
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3/17/2010 9:13:37 AM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Wendy ,
The PM levels are the same as the Rigby levels and there is a correlation chart in the LLI Program Guide in Section 2.

Our best, Irene and Gay

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3/17/2010 9:16:13 AM

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Our district uses NWEA for its achievement testing. Assessment reports include a lexile range. Do you have a chart correlating your levels with lexiles?

Contributed by: Julie
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3/17/2010 9:16:47 AM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Julie,
We do not have a correlation chart for Lexiles as we have not found that they correlate to our levels. There may be a statistical correlation between Lexile levels and F & P levels. For example, if you run measures on thousands of books and over many levels, there would be a correlation. We have not performed these analyses ourselves. The lower F & P levels, in general, would have lower Lexile scores. The higher F & P levels generally would have higher scores. But this kind of correlation is not the same as a precise matching of levels, for example, a Lexile range of numbers corresponds to a specific A to Z level in a reliable way. The two systems are based on some of the same text factors but not all. Metametrics uses a mathematical formula, which they can explain. The F & P levels are based on the ten text factors named in several of our books. A group of raters reach reliability after independent analysis. We can not say with high prediction that a given book with a certain Lexile score will fall into a category on the F & P gradient. Every time we have looked at Lexile levels for texts that seem highly reliable on our scale, we have found a number of "outliers." Sorry we can’t be of more help.

Our best, Gay & Irene

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3/17/2010 9:17:49 AM

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Is there any chart that specifies what grade level each of the LLI levels are. For example, Blue Level C = 2.0 Blue Level D = 2.2 I am having a difficult time determining what level is "on grade level." I did look at the RTI grade level charts but that isn’t clearing things up for me.

Contributed by: Jennifer
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3/17/2010 9:18:15 AM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Jennifer,
You might find the Instructional Level Expectations for Reading Charts helpful. In general, levels A–C is Kindergarten, Levels C–L is Grade 1, and Levels J–M is Grade 2.

Our best, Irene and Gay

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3/17/2010 9:18:59 AM

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I checked the AR (Accelerated Reader) site and your books for 2nd grade (Blue System LLI) are not listed. Is this a possibility for the future? Also, when is the date that the 3rd grade LLI kit will be available for ordering? Thanks!!

Contributed by: Aviva
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3/17/2010 9:19:22 AM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Aviva,
Thank you for your question. We are a little puzzled by the question about Accelerated Reader. We have not submitted the Blue System LLI books to any list other than our own booklist. The LLI books were designed specifically for the LLI system, so we do not think it would be appropriate for them to be used as part of another program like AR.

We are working with authors now on the extension of LLI to higher levels. We are aiming to publish an extension in 2011-2012, but right now we do not have an exact publication date. It will depend on how quickly we can get the high quality and engaging texts that we need!

Thanks, Gay and Irene

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3/17/2010 9:21:55 AM

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My son is in the first grade. The teacher said that he started on level B. I had a meeting with her in November and was informed that he is now on level c but at home he is reading level 1 very well and level 2 with very little support. His teacher said that the books were like your level F. (p) Then at a December meeting she informed me that he tested at 92% in level C and 82% on level D (still on C as of today) I asked what dose he need to do to move to the next level. She said he must get to 95-100% I asked her were was this policy written . She said it is in Chapter 10 of your book Guide Reading. It did tell about the difference level but not anything about percentages. Can you please tell me how you move from one level to the next. I am very concerned that he will not make it too level I at school, as that is the level he must be on by June. I thank you in advance.

Contributed by: Sheila
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3/17/2010 9:23:25 AM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Sheila,
It is always difficult to comment on any specific situation without knowing the entire context but we will try to respond in a way that may be helpful. We do not know the reading levels #1 and #2 you referenced, so we can not respond to that information.
Using text levels is a complex process and isn’t completely explained by percentages. In several publications, we have cautiously specified the following percentages to guide instructional decisions:

1. For levels A to K, a text read at 90%-94% accuracy (with satisfactory or excellent comprehension) is considered an instructional level text. That means that the student can read it effectively with teacher help--a good introduction, prompting, and discussion). Reading successfully at the instructional level helps the child get better at reading!

2. For levels A to K, a text read at 95%-100% accuracy (with satisfactory or excellent comprehension) is considered to be an independent level text. That means that the student can read it without help. Reading at the independent level is extremely valuable because the reader gains fluency, reading “mileage,” new vocabulary, and experience thinking about what texts mean (comprehension).

We wouldn’t want anyone to interpret these percentages in a rigid way, of course. A child might read one text at 91% and then experience a few tricky words in the next book and read it with 89%. Usually, a child reads quite a few books at the instructional level because he needs to experience books that are organized different ways, for example, funny stories, nonfiction, traditional stories, “how to” books, etc. Also, by reading quite a few books, the child can build up vocabulary.

So, we do not have one criterion for moving to the next level. And, much more than “level” would figure into decisions about promotion. Schools and districts, of course, may develop their own policies, but we simply advise being sure that the reader is reading smoothly and easily with satisfactory accuracy and comprehension before moving to the next level.

The level is just one way that the teacher monitors the progress of the reader. Chapter 10 of Guided Reading lists characteristics for each level, so you can see the range of complex mental actions the reader needs to demonstrate. Also, if you look at Chapter 3 of Guided Reading, you can see a summary of abilities that go into assessing any reader.

The best think you can do to help your child would be to have him do a great deal of reading at his independent level. Don’t worry so much about the level. Get books that are engaging and that he finds relatively easy. If you go to a good children’s bookstore or library, you can have him try a few until you find the easy ones. And, probably, his teacher would be able to let him take home independent level books. When you are helping him, be sure that there are only a few tricky words that he needs to ask you to tell him. In this way, he will have the opportunity to work with “smooth processing.” It is not helpful to a young reader to struggle through a book asking for help every five to ten words.

Help him read in phrases using some expression. (A great way to do this is to take turns reading pages.) Also, rereading is helpful, although you wouldn’t want to go so far that the book becomes boring. Your son may enjoy drawing and talking about the stories he reads, and that will expand comprehension and the ability to talk about books. Above all, make reading fun!

Our best, Gay and Irene

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3/17/2010 6:13:48 PM

User 427592
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My school is talking about having all of the books in the Library leveled. I remember during a multi-day workshop last October, Linking Assessments to Instruction and Leveled Literacy Instruction, that you mentioned how schools should not do this. A Library should be a place for children to explore a variety of different books. Is there research or a good reason you can tell with me that I can share with my staff?
I am interested in hearing what you think. Thanks! Anne
edited by on 3/17/2010
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3/18/2010 3:27:19 PM

Mark Merz
Mark Merz
Posts: 8
Hi Anne,

The answer to your question can be found on the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Books Website in the FAQ section - but you would have to be logged in to view FAQ. Here is the FAQ section related to your question about leveling your entire library:

“Publishers often try to use our characteristics to do their own leveling, and their results usually do not match the leveling we have done with our teams. We do not suggest that you level the books for your children to choose from in your classroom library. The levels are a teacher's tool, not a child's label. The children can be taught how to choose a book they can read and understand, but you do not want them thinking about themselves as being at a particular level.

We do not write specifically about school libraries because our work addresses mostly classroom libraries and leveled-book collections. We do believe that the library is extremely important and should provide a dynamic and rich program for students. School librarians are a wonderful resource for recommending books to read aloud. In Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency, Grades K-8, we write extensively about the role of the interactive read aloud. Also, of course, the school library is a great resource for independent reading.

We recommend that you do not level or label the books in the school library or the classroom library. (You can find this recommendation in the text mentioned above and in Leveled Books, K-8: Matching Texts to Readers for Effective Teaching.) We would not want students to self-select books by level or to think of themselves as a "level T reader," for example. They need to be taught to choose books using many different criteria.

It is advantageous, however, if the school librarian knows the approximate levels of books. That knowledge can help the librarian develop a collection that will meet the needs of the diverse group of students in the school and make appropriate suggestions to particular students. The librarian can also help teachers make choices for classroom libraries.”
wrote:



I hope this helps answer your question. Good luck with your project!

-Mark
edited by Mark Merz on 3/18/2010

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3/18/2010 3:37:30 PM

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I am using the Green system and love it! I was looking through your blog the other day and discovered a post by someone looking for an instructional level expectation chart that indicates levels by months or quarters. There was a response to that post which stated that you go to a certain website and print it. I searched every section of that website and could not find the charts. Could you please point me in the right direction? Thank you so much!

Contributed by: Kate
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3/18/2010 3:47:35 PM

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Posts: 115
Dear Kate,

We provide both 10-month and quarterly http://www.fountasandpinnellleveledliteracyintervention.com/instructionalLevelGoals.asp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Instructional Level Expectations Charts in the Product Support section of our website.

Here is where the charts can be downloaded:
http://www.fountasandpinnellleveledliteracyintervention.com/instructionalLevelGoals.asp

Our best,
Gay & Irene

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