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I was introduced to Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention when I was a

Paraprofessional at Aspire Lionel Wilson Preparatory High School in Oakland, CA. The Leveled
Literacy Program was used as a reading intervention program for students whose reading levels
were two or more grade levels below grade expectancy. The predominant demographic of the
school consisted of ELLs that also had challenges with fluidity in their heritage languages and
students from low-income families. This program is designed for small groups of 3-5. I led a
small daily homogenous group of 12th graders, using this program.
Overview of Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI):
The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention is a powerful, short-term intervention, that
provides daily, intensive, small-group instruction, which supplements classroom literacy
teaching. The goal of LLI is to lift the literacy achievement of students who are not achieving
grade-level expectations in reading. The LLI systems are designed to:
o Advance the literacy learning of students not meeting grade-level expectations in reading
o Deepen and expand comprehension with close reading
o Elevate the expertise of teachers
o Increase reading volume by engaging students in large amounts of successful daily
o Increase student engagement with books that build knowledge
o Intervene with small groups of struggling readers to maximize growth
o Meet the needs of struggling readers
o Monitor student progress
Designed to prevent literacy difficulties from becoming entrenched, Fountas & Pinnell Leveled
Literacy Intervention has been highly successful in lifting the literacy achievement of students
who are not achieving grade-level expectations in reading. The success of LLI at grades K, 1,
and 2, are known as the Orange, Green, and Blue systems. Additionally, Fountas and Pinnell
have identified 15 key characteristics of effective literacy intervention for intermediate, middle
and high school students. These essential characteristics inform and inhabit the design of Leveled
Literacy Intervention Red, Gold, Purple, and Teal systems.
Each level within LLI provides:
• Combination of reading, writing, and phonics/word study.
• Emphasis on teaching for comprehending strategies.
• Explicit attention to genre and to the features of nonfiction and fiction texts.
• Special attention to disciplinary reading, literature inquiry, and writing about reading.
• Specific work on sounds, letters, and words in activities designed to help students notice the
details of written language and learn how words “work.”
• Close reading to deepen and expand comprehension.
• Explicit teaching of effective and efficient strategies for expanding vocabulary.
• Explicit teaching for fluent and phrased reading.
When implementing LLI, the first goal is to identify the lowest-achieving students and find the
instructional reading level for each of them. For entry into LLI, it will be necessary to assess the
students’ instructional and independent reading levels. The more precise the initial assessment,
the more effective teaching will be.
The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System
The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System provides critical information on every
student’s strengths and processing needs, comprehension, and fluency. In addition, specific
optional assessments are included for diagnostic purposes.
Using Other Assessment Systems
For schools that do not have access to the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System,
teachers can:
• Use other benchmark assessments you have in your school or district.
• Use the information from any alternative assessments used in the district (e.g., Letter
Identification, Phoneme Awareness). Many publishers provide correlation charts to connect their
assessment systems with the Fountas and Pinnell levels
Tracking forms:
Assessments should be used to determine a starting point. It is critical to begin your instruction at
an appropriate level and with appropriate emphases. This means that teachers may start with the
intervention at the beginning of any level. It is important to start at a level where you are
confident the students will find success. Progress Monitoring Daily progress monitoring will
inform teaching. Monitor the progress of students through the weekly use of reading records with
one student from each group every week.
The tracking form tracks each students reading progress by reading level; presents their goal and
based on assessments administered every 3 weeks using the F&P progress monitoring
assessment, the teacher input growth and determine if the student has met their goal.

Sample Fountas & Pinnell Running Record:

Lesson Sample: