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What is LLI?

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 8.03.36 AMWe are very fortunate to be able to use the Leveled Literacy Intervention system to support transitioning readers at Shutesbury Elementary School!  According to the key principles for LLI, “Leveled Literacy Intervention is a small group, supplementary intervention designed for students who find reading and writing difficult.”

  • What is LLI?
    • The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI) is a short-term, supplementary intervention system proven to improve literacy achievement of struggling readers in grades K through 12 with engaging leveled books and fast-paced systematically designed lessons.
  • Who is LLI for?
    • The LLI systems are designed to be used with small groups of students who need intensive support to achieve grade level competencies in grades K through 12. It also provides strong support for students who are acquiring English as an additional language and are receiving classroom reading instruction in English.
  • How long is LLI?
    • LLI is a short-term program designed to bring children up to grade-level performance.
    • LLI Primary systems include 12–18 weeks of explicit, direct instruction for 30-minutes a day, 5 days a week. Recommended teacher-to-student ratio of 1:3. Systematic intensive work occurs in phonemic awareness, letters, and phonics.
    • LLI Intermediate systems include 18–24 weeks of explicit, direct instruction for 45-minutes a day, 5 days a week. Recommended teacher-to-student ratio of 1:4.
  • What are the key features of the LLI lessons?
    • A combination of reading, writing, and phonics/word study
    • Emphasis on teaching for comprehending strategies
    • Explicit attention to genre and to the features of fiction and nonfiction texts
    • Special attention to the 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 opportunities
    • Help for students in expanding their vocabularies
    • Explicit teaching for fluent and phrased reading
    • Opportunities to write about reading to learn a variety of writing strategies
  • How does LLI relate to guided reading?
    • LLI is intended to be supplementary instruction. That means that the power of the system is in the extra, intensive help students get in addition to good classroom teaching.
    • LLI is not the same as guided reading. LLI is a more intensive framework of components designed to support the accelerated progress of low-achieving students. It is highly systematic and sequential. The books are designed to build on one another. Although word work is provided in guided reading, LLI provides more intensive and longer work in phonics and word study. Most students do not need such an intensive approach.

Information taken from


We Can Do Hard Things

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 3.08.35 PMSeptembers are often full of new and exciting moments within our school walls, as I can attest to first-hand.  After 15+ years as a classroom teacher, I have taken on a new role as Shutesbury Elementary School’s Reading Specialist/Coach.  Even with all the researching, discussing, planning, and practicing I’ve done in preparation for this challenge, “new” still sometimes feels hard.  This experience has been a great reminder of what our students often confront as we ask them to push past their comfort zones and continuously grow.  I feel so grateful to be part of a school community that embraces risk-taking and mistake-making as an integral part of learning (for both students and teachers!).  I’ve hung up a poster outside my new classroom area that states, “We can do hard things” to remind myself that whether we are 5 or 45 years old, “new” can be scary but worth the risk.  Here’s to an amazing school year full of wonder and growth for everyone!