Q. How were the SunSprouts leveled?
A. SunSprouts were developed with criteria
for guided reading and early intervention programs in
mind. We then asked educators to evaluate and level
them for your convenience. They used criteria established
by Irene Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell to assign guided
reading levels, by Joetta Beaver to assign DRA levels,
and by Marie Clay to assign Early Intervention levels.
These are the three systems most frequently used by
educators as they select books for their classrooms,
intervention programs, and bookrooms. All leveling
systems are subjective and should be personally evaluated
by the teachers who use them. The levels have
not been officially authorized or endorsed by Reading
Recovery® or Fountas & Pinnell.
Q. When will SunSprouts begin shipping to customers?
A. SunSprouts are shipping now. Cornflower, Plum,
and Cherry will be shipping in Fall 2004.
Q. How many levels will be available in the future?
A. The current publishing plan calls for a total
of 14 different levels with 20 titles at each level.
New levels will be released on an ongoing basis over
the next 2 years.
Q. Does the SunSprouts series include both
fiction and nonfiction?
A. Yes! Because we recognize the importance
of introducing beginning readers to a range of text
types, the series includes both fiction and nonfiction,
even at the earliest level. Nonfiction titles have
been designated with a blue "NF" in the catalog. Request
a Literacy catalog
Q. Have these books ever been used in the classroom?
A. The books have been widely field tested with
teachers and children, and they love them!
Q. What is shared reading?
A. Shared reading is a teaching approach that
allows young children to participate in reading before
they're able to read independently. It also demonstrates
reading as a meaningful, enjoyable activity. The teacher
invites the children to sit close to the book as she
reads to and with the whole class using a Big
Book. The teacher reads the book straight through,
modeling what expressive, fluent reading sounds like.
Then, the children are invited to join in and reread
the text. The teacher might revisit the book to demonstrate
directionality or one-to-one correspondence, to look
at letter-sound relationships or high-frequency words,
to talk about different parts of the story, or to demonstrate
other reading skills or strategies.
Q. What is guided reading?
A. In guided reading, the teacher works with groups
of 4–6 children who are reading at the same level.
Each child uses the same little book as the teacher
introduces the book and walks them through each page,
calling attention to specific words or concepts that
she thinks might present a challenge to the group. Then
the children read the book out loud (not in chorus—each
child "whisper reads" at his or her own pace)
as the teacher observes and provides feedback to support
the reading. The teacher then does some follow-up discussion
or activity to reinforce skills and strategies and
check students' understanding of the book.
Q. How do I use the Record of Oral Reading Form?
A. Complete instructions on how to use the
Record of Oral Reading for SunSprouts (PDF).
Q. What is meant by independent reading?
A. Once a child successfully completes a book
in guided reading, it may go into that child's "book
box" for additional practice. Beginning readers
will read and reread favorite books many times, which
builds fluency and automaticity. As students become
increasingly fluent, teachers generally provide opportunities
for independent reading of self-selected books that
students may not have met through guided reading.
Q. What is the difference between the Teacher's Notes
and the Teacher's Resource Guide?
Notes are included with every 6-pack
Book purchase. Guided reading six-pack notes
are 6 pages long and include a guided reading lesson
plan, 2 blackline masters, and a record of oral reading
Books & Packages will include a shared reading
lesson (single sheet, front & back) for that particular
title or set of titles.
comprehensive Teacher's Resource Guide will be available
for each level and is included only with complete classroom
Package purchases, or as a separate purchase. The TRB
will contain front matter explaining the different components
of the program, shared reading lessons for each Big
Book, and guided reading lessons for every 6-pack in
that particular level. All blackline masters and Record
of Oral Reading forms with complete assessment instructions
will also be included in the Teacher's Resource Guide.
Q. Are the specific lesson plan notes the same in
both the Teacher's Notes and the Teacher's Resource
A. Yes. Lesson plans in the Big Book Teacher's Notes
will match those found in the shared reading section
of the TRB; 6-pack lesson plans, blackline activity
masters, and Record of Oral Reading forms will match
those in the guided reading section.
Q. Can I purchase a single copy of the student books?
A. Since the books are designed for use with children
who have been grouped for guided reading (typically
4–6 children per group), the smallest unit sold
is a 6-pack.
To obtain single copies for one-on-one tutoring or for
other purposes, you may wish to purchase an add-on pack
and receive one copy each of all 20 titles. Add-ons
are also useful if you work with more than 5 children
at a time or would like to have a replacement set should
books be damaged or lost.
Q. Can Big Books be purchased separately?
A. Yes, individual Big Book titles are sold separately.
Shared reading notes for that title will be included
with any Big Book purchase.
Q. What's on the audio CDs?
A. Each book is read twice and then followed by
a song. These are intended for use at listening centers.
Students can follow along in the books as they listen
to the story.
Q. Why are Big Book versions only available for some
A. The SunSprouts Big
Books were selected because they contain unique
qualities necessary for a successful shared reading
session. Some were chosen because they introduce characters,
such as Wolf and Bear, that children will meet again
and again in the SunSprouts stories. Others were
selected because they contain a repetitive refrain or
are well-suited for Reader's Theater or role-playing.
Nonfiction titles were also chosen for introducing children
to nonfiction text structures or to use as models for
Why are there no Big
Books at the Lemon
A. We know it's important for emergent readers to
have lots of shared reading experiences. The Lemon-level
books were specially designed with the guided reading
needs of the earliest readers in mind. They're smaller
than books at the other levels, so they fit comfortably
in the hands of a brand-new reader, and each page contains
only a single line of highly supportive text. We encourage
you to choose Big Books from the other levels or your
own collection to enjoy with your emergent readers.
Big Book titles suitable for emergent readers will
available in our StoryBlossoms
collection coming next summer. Look for these titles
online in January 2003 or in our January 2003 catalog.
What additional plans does ETA hand2mind have for publishing
A. Revisit our website or watch for our January
catalog to get more information about the following
exciting new products:
- 24 titles (fiction only) for shared reading. Includes
Big Books, matching 6-packs, and audio CDs
Stories - 6 titles for shared reading that
focus on phonological awareness. Includes
Big Books, 6-packs, audio CDs.
- Chapter Books (fiction) for fluent readers. 6-packs only.
Scooters - 50 fiction and non-fiction
titles for struggling readers feature high-interest
topics and stories written for students reading 1–3
years below grade level. Includes 5 different levels
for Grades 3-6.