Thursday, September 15, 2011

Literacy Beginnings

Literacy Beginnings by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas got a lot of attention this summer as Literacy Beginnings Blog Party was hosted by several bloggers.  I read several posts and thought I could gather some new information for myself and maybe some ideas to refine my current thinking.  I got both and am so glad I've read this text.  I think it's important to know where our children are coming from and this text includes many ideas relative to kindergarten.  I do think this text is must read for beginning teachers of young children.  It is packed with researched backed thinking and best practice. 

My favorite chapter was, Promoting Constructive Learning: Engaging Children in Inquiry.  I think I knew this but never thought about putting it in print.  There are two types of inquiry:  information seeking and wondering.  I think information seeking is easily understood.  I loved this writing about wondering, "You might never know the right answer.  The goal is often the pleasure of the process itself - speculating, asking more questions, sharing insights that are only possibilities."  I think the inquiry part of young children is often the best part if we take the time to embrace it within the mandates of education right now. 

I found this book full of new titles for me to use with my students for a variety of reasons.  I loved reading even with emerging readers, "Reading is thinking."  Often one we read and hear about this for transitional readers.  Often when I read a book, I'm looking for things I could implement or enhance my work with students.  I loved the alphabet linking chart in this book for a few reasons.  It's in color.  It had two picture clues for vowels, c, and g.  Each picture clue was also labeled with the word below the picture.  I ordered it for my classroom and another one to cut apart so my word wall headers. I'm also interested in using the concepts about print assessment described on page 224.  I also love the questions they provide to help the teacher assess a student's learning during a component of a reading/writing workshop.  There is a  collection of poems/chants to support literacy learning within the classroom.  This is just a small snapshot of this book.  I felt this text help ground my thinking about early literacy.


  1. The goal is often the pleasure of the process itself - speculating, asking more questions, sharing insights that are only possibilities."

    I love that you shared this piece of your thinking! I aggree the value is in the process!
    Celebrate Learning!

  2. Mandy,
    I have been wrestling with whether I want to purchase this book or not. It is an expensive book. However, everything I read about it makes me want to find out more.