Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking and Writing about Reading K-8, 2nd Edition

Irene C. Fountas all

Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking and Writing about Reading K-8, 2nd Edition

By Irene C. Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell
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Offering a complete picture of how to skillfully teach meaning making and fluency within any instructional context, Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency, K–8, supports you with frameworks for high-quality instruction that describe appropriate expectations for comprehending, fluency, and vocabulary development.

Fountas and Pinnell's teaching and assessment frames will give you a firm understanding of your students' reading levels: where they are, where they should be, and what they need to do to get there–for any reader, in any grade, at any moment. You'll also gain insight about the specific demands that fiction and nonfiction texts place on readers and about how effective readers think within a text, beyond a text, and about a text to gain rich understandings.


Irene C. Fountas, a professor in the School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist and consultant in school districts in the USA and overseas. She works extensively in the literacy education field and directs the Literacy Collaborative in the School of Education at Lesley University.

Gay Su Pinnell is a professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the Ohio State University. She has extensive experience in classroom teaching and field-based research, and in developing comprehensive approaches to literacy education. She has received the International Reading Association’s Albert J. Harris Award for research and the Charles A. Dana Foundation Award for her contributions to the field of education. She is also a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.


As you learn about how the characteristics of texts help or hinder a reader's improvement, you'll find effective teaching strategies for:

  • comprehending, word solving, fluency, and vocabulary
  • writing about reading in a variety of genres and using writing as a tool for thinking
  • using guided reading with fiction and nonfiction books
  • discussing books during interactive read-aloud and literature study
  • taking part in shared and performance reading.

Fountas and Pinnell's teaching tips, smart strategies, proven classroom ideas, and professional-learning opportunities will lead the way as you discover how to help readers develop effective systems of strategic actions over time. You'll also learn how to take running records of reading behavior to assess comprehension and fluency then use those assessments to inform and differentiate your teaching.


Table of contents
Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency K–8 comes with a DVD containing short, focused video segments that illustrate concepts from the book and demonstrate exemplar teaching in real classroom settings. The DVD is also a repository of useful materials to support your work–including blackline masters, forms, checklists, and numerous other classroom tools.
    Living a Literate Life: The Right of Childhood
    Creating a Classroom Community of Readers and Writers

    1. Understanding Readers, Texts and Teaching
    2. Helping Students Build a System for Processing a Variety of Texts
    3. Reading Is Thinking: Within, Beyond, and About the Text
    4. Helping Students Develop Systems of Strategic Actions to Sustain Processing
    5. Helping Students Develop Systems of Strategic Actions for Expanding Thinking
    6. Understanding the Fluent Reader: Effective Processing
    7. Recognizing Change Over Time in Fluent Reading
    8. Assessing Comprehension and Fluency to Document Progress and Inform Teaching
    9. The Role of Talk, Writing, and Benchmark Books in Assessing Comprehension

    10. Using a Variety of High-Quality Texts to Support Literacy Learning
    11. Supporting Thinking Across a Variety of Genres
    12. Using a Gradient of Text to Match Books to Readers
    13. Understanding the Demands of Nonfiction Texts
    14. Understanding the Demands of Fiction and Poetry

    15. Engaging Readers in Thinking and Talking about Texts Through Interactive Read-Aloud
    16. Creating a Literate Culture Through Interactive Read-Aloud: Shared Talk About Texts
    17. Planning for Interactive Read-Aloud and Literature Study Across the Grades
    18. Moving from Interactive Read-Aloud to Literature Study
    19. Deepening Comprehension: Engaging Students in Small-Group Literature Discussion
    20. Getting Started with Book Clubs: Thinking and Talking about Texts
    21. Promoting Shared and Performed Reading: Fluent Oral Processing of Texts
    22. Maximizing Independent Reading: Helping Students Think Within, Beyond, and About Texts in a Reading Workshop
    23. Designing Minilessons to Support Thinking About Texts in a Reading Workshop
    24. Using Guided Reading to Teach Comprehending and Fluency
    25. Using Guided Reading to Teach for the Comprehending of Fiction Texts
    26. Using Guided Reading to Teach for the Comprehending of Nonfiction Texts
    27. Writing about Reading: Moving from Talk to Written Conversation about Texts
    28. Writing about Reading in a Variety of Genres
    29. Meeting the Diverse Needs of English Language Learners
    30. Teaching for Fluency Across Instructional Contexts
    31. Expanding Vocabulary Across Instructional Contexts

    Final Thoughts

    Teacher Resources: Description of Print Materials on the DVD
    Bibliography of Children's Literature