The materials for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. The program does not include complex texts and texts do not reflect the distribution of text types required by the standards. The majority of questions and tasks do not provide students with opportunities to utilize and apply evidence from the text during speaking and listening activities or writing. There is limited instruction for grammar and vocabulary called for by the standards.
In foundational skills, the materials use an analytic approach to teaching phonics. The program cites some general research; however, the program does not present a research-based or evidence-based explanation for the teaching of phonological skills or for the hierarchy in which the skills are presented. Additionally, while in Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, the program cites studies supporting explicit teaching of phonics skills, the program does not present a research-based or evidence-based explanation for the sequence of phonics. Materials contain phonological awareness lesson structures that provide teachers with the opportunity to explicitly teach phonological awareness. However, daily phonological awareness practice opportunities for students are not provided. For phonics instruction, the Fountas and Pinnell materials contain lessons which provide the teachers with instruction and repeated modeling. However, foundational skills lessons are recommended for 10 minutes a day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive daily explicit instruction to work towards mastery of foundational skills. Since Letter-Sound Relationships and Spelling Patterns lessons do not span the entire year, students do not have daily opportunities to practice decoding sounds and spelling patterns. Lessons provide limited opportunities for students to develop orthographic and phonological processing. Materials include a limited number of generative lessons to use for high frequency word instruction to be repeated by the teacher; however, the program does not specify an exact sequence of high-frequency word instruction. Materials do not include resources for frequent explicit, systematic instruction in fluency elements. Materials contain poems from Sing a Song of Poetry, for students to read during Shared Reading in lessons of the Nine Areas of Learning about Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study. Poems are suggested in each lesson, but the poems are not aligned to the program’s scope and sequence and do not consistently provide practice of the decodable element from the lesson. There are curriculum-based assessment protocols provided in the online resources, which are directly correlated to the nine areas of literacy instruction included in the program. However, there are missed opportunities for assessments to provide the teacher with instructional guidance about the next steps for all students.
The materials for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Grades 3-5 do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. While the program includes suggestions for high quality texts, the recommendations only partially meet the expectations for text complexity and may not include regular interaction with complex, grade-level text. While some questions and tasks used throughout the program (including speaking and writing tasks) include some text-based options, the overwhelming number of optional tasks may limit student time on standards-aligned, grade-level texts, questions, and tasks. There is limited instruction for grammar and vocabulary called for by the standards.
Materials contain limited explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year; however, assessments do not clearly inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students progress toward mastery, and many assessments are optional.
Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. However, materials recommend that foundational skills lessons occur for 10 minutes each day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive explicit instruction to work towards mastery of newly learned foundational skills. Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.
While some Guided Reading lessons include fluency, there is no guarantee that all students will have an opportunity to receive these lessons since they are not a part of core instruction. A fluency rubric is included, but there is not sufficient support for the use of the rubric, nor is there support for instructional adjustments to help students progress toward mastery of fluency. There is no evidence of students receiving instruction on using self-correction while reading.