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Kate Jordan's Page

What is Leveled Literacy Intervention?


My name is Kate Jordan. I am currently a third grade teacher in the Clarkston School district. I am working towards my Education Specialist Degree in School Principalship. This page is intended to provide quality information about Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI). LLI is currently being implemented in the school where I teach. It is a new program that is administered through the reading department, servicing grades K-3. There is minimal input from the classroom teachers as well as minimal communication about the results or increases/decreases in student performance. My hope is to gain more knowledge as it relates to the LLI program.

In 1996, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell revolutionized classroom teaching with their systematic approach to small-group reading instruction as described in their groundbreaking text, Guided Reading.

LLI has been developed in response to the demands of teachers and administrators for a powerful, scientifically-based early intervention program that can prevent literacy difficulties before they turn into long-term challenges.

The first few links on this page are directly from the Fountas & Pinnell LLI website. They are intended to be used as an overview to what the program entails.

Professional Links and Information

What is LLI? A video by the creators: Fountas and Pinnell Watch Video

The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI) is a small-group, supplementary intervention program designed for young children who struggle with reading and writing.
Lessons across the three systems progress from beginning reading in Kindergarten or Grade 1 (Level A) to beginning reading for Grade 3 (Level N).
  • LLI is designed to be used with small groups of young children who need intensive support to achieve grade-level competency.
  • Participants include low-achieving children who are not receiving another supplementary intervention.
  • English language learners can also benefit from LLI. Each LLI lesson provides specific suggestions for supporting English language learners.

Fountas and Pinnell – Early Literacy Experts Offer New Reading Intervention Program Open Education
Open Education offers an article by Thomas that summarizes the LLI program. It explains how Fountas and Pinnell were at work on their intervention program for students and teachers well before any funds that were to become available from the federal government. It also offers interesting uniqueness to the LLI program.

What are the systems that facilitate tracking student achievement? Data Support
This link provides information on how tracking the data on student achievement is supported using the LLI program.

How does LLI coincide with RTI? LLI & RTI
Where does LLI fall into the up and coming Response to Intervention ? This link gives an overview of where exactly LLI falls into the intervention pyramid.

Early Intervention at Every Age Educational Leadership
Teresa Preston examines the appropriate times to implement an intervention into student learning.

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When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works, is a comprehensive resource on struggling readers. It’s filled with specific teaching ideas for helping children in kindergarten through Grade 3 who are having difficulty in reading and writing.

Professional Development

The Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative (through Lesley University) offers some great professional development for implementing LLI into your classroom or district.

Learn how Leveled Literacy Intervention fits with the guidelines and suggestions for using ARRA funds. Also, download Irene Fountas's March 2009 letter on how to apply ARRA funds towards Center professional development offerings.

The Ohio State University- Literacy Collaborative offers professional development seminars to also address how to implement LLI into your classroom or district.

What I Learned

At the beginning of my research I literally knew nothing about LLI, other than the fact that some of my students were being pulled out of my classroom for thirty minutes at a time and they were doing some reading intervention. After researching I have found that it is intended to be an early intervention piece that will "fix" the reading problems by the time the student is in the upper elementary grades. Leveled Literacy Intervention focuses on implementing a small group intervention for students who find reading and writing difficult to learn. Children selected for LLI are the lowest achievers who are not currently receiving a one-on-one intervention such as Reading Recovery. A teacher works with three students for a period of 18 weeks with the goal of bringing them to grade level. I am very curious to find out at the end of the year and into next year if this intervention piece is actually working. Maybe I will have more to report next year!