The Foundation for Comprehensive Early Literacy Learning cell preschool Literacy Project



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The Foundation for Comprehensive Early Literacy Learning
CELL Preschool Literacy Project

The CELL Preschool Literacy Project is designed to provide professional development to support teachers in preparing young children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language and early reading and writing skills to ensure school success. Workshops are organized to help schools implement the goals of early childhood education standards and foundations, including those for English learners and children with special needs, and to use assessments to monitor progress towards those goals. Research based teaching methods that are best practices are organized into a Framework of Instruction to support teaching in whole groups, small groups and for individual independent work and intervention. Family Literacy and its importance are also emphasized during the training sequence. The CELL Preschool Literacy Project is based on the understanding that literacy is a learned skill, not a biological awakening, and provides teacher training to promote coherent, skills-based instruction in the years before kindergarten.


The goals of the CELL Preschool Literacy Project are based on:

Early childhood education research

Research in early language and literacy acquisition

Research in best teaching practices

Major components of Early Reading First

State content standards for preschool language and literacy

State Preschool Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy, and

State Preschool Learning Foundations in English Language Development,

and include the following:
Improve existing early childhood programs by integrating scientifically based reading research into all aspects of the program (including instructional materials, teaching strategies, curricula, parent engagement, and professional development);

Enhance children’s language, cognitive, and early reading skills through professional development for teachers;

Provide early language and reading development and instructional materials as developed from scientifically based reading research;
Provide preschool-age children with cognitive learning opportunities in high quality language and literature-rich environments;
Use screening instruments to identify preschool children who may be at risk for reading failure and assessments of instruction to monitor achievement;
Provide instruction to English learners consistent with the scientifically based research.
CELL Preschool Framework for Classroom Instruction
The Framework includes areas of instruction and teaching methods to address

preschool standards and foundations.
ORAL LANGUAGE

• Assists students in language acquisition

• Develops and increases vocabulary

• Promotes the use of accurate language structure

• Uses oral language to access reading and writing

PHONOLOGICAL SKILLS

• Builds a foundation of phonemic awareness for explicit skills learning

• Teaches systematic phonics

• Supports development of accurate spelling



READING ALOUD

• Builds vocabulary

• Introduces good children’s literature

• Increases repertoire of language and its use

• Develops comprehension strategies

• Improves listening skills

• Promotes phonemic awareness

SHARED READING

• Promotes the development of early reading behaviors

• Encourages cooperative learning and child-to-child support

• Stresses phonemic awareness, phonologic skills and fluency

• Focuses on text comprehension

GUIDED READING

• Provides direct instruction of problem-solving strategies

• Allows observation of strategic reading and use of phonological information

• Allows for classroom intervention of reading difficulties

• Teaches comprehension skills


INDEPENDENT READING

• Allows students to practice strategies being learned

• Develops fluency using familiar texts

• Encourages successful problem-solving



INTERACTIVE WRITING

• Teaches letter identification and formation

• Provides an opportunity to jointly plan and construct text

• Develops letter-sound correspondence and spelling

• Teaches phonics

INDEPENDENT WRITING

• Encourages writing for different purposes and different audiences

• Fosters creativity and an ability to compose

The CELL Preschool Literacy Project helps teachers learn how to use the framework effectively in their classrooms and how to integrate the individual elements into an overall system of classroom instruction. Teaching methods included in the framework can be used in any curriculum. Oral language is the foundation for all of the elements of early literacy learning. The dialogue, discussion, verbal interaction, and active oral engagement of each student are stressed as each of the framework elements is used. Knowledge of the structure of language is known to increase with communication that occurs surrounding the literature that is read aloud and the themes that are studied across the curriculum of the classroom. The practice of oral language and the development of new vocabulary through discussion and reading from a broad range of text types are reciprocal in nature. Skills development is also emphasized across each of the framework elements. Emergent readers must have the opportunity to develop phonemic awareness and to practice phonological strategies and decoding skills. These skills are best acquired in the context of meaningful activities and should be given extensive practice by reading quality literature and engaging in authentic writing activities.

Teachers’ knowledge base and their classroom practices are the focus of the professional development provided by the Foundation. State preschool standards and foundations are the specific focus of the training. The teachers receive initial training in the elements of the framework and begin implementation of the framework immediately after the first session. They receive feedback regarding their efforts at each subsequent session. This format allows a school to begin partial implementation and develop a resource for observation, demonstration, and support of the project as well as ensure appropriate pacing of the professional development.

No specific classroom materials are recommended or required, rather the training helps teachers use whatever district selected instructional materials they have and organize their teaching for maximum result. High quality teaching materials from a wide variety of sources are used during the training. Professional books, including three specifically designed to support the frameworks, and an extensive set of professional readings are provided during training. Teachers participate in five full-days of planning activities and framework training sessions scheduled at least one month apart to allow time for teachers to try methods covered during the training days.
Faculty study groups take the form of guided meetings and are developed to support teachers’ learning and are scheduled monthly throughout the initial training year. The agenda for these meetings is created by the Foundation trainers and are correlated with the training sessions. These support the training and continue the professional development through peer support and interaction.


Outline of 5-day Training Sessions
Trainings are specifically designed to focus on teaching methods and how they meet the learning goals of the Prekindergarten Guidelines in English/Language, the Preschool Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy, and the Preschool Learning Foundations in English Language Development, all attached.
Workshop sessions focus on the multiple uses of each teaching method:

Use in supporting oral language and vocabulary development

Use in supporting literacy acquisition

Supporting English learners and children with special needs

Use in whole group, small groups, and with individual children

In addition to informal teacher assessments designed to inform instruction, the training sequence also covers the Desired Results Developmental Profile-Revised and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS), a summary of the focus items in language and literacy are also attached.


Day 1

Overview of language and literacy development in preschool aged children

Review of current practices early childhood education

Review of state standards and foundations for preschool

Planning for change

Assessment training focused on language and literacy

Desired Results Developmental Profile-Revised and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS)

Informal teacher assessments

Supporting oral language and vocabulary development

Strategic use of reading aloud and shared reading

Classroom organization and management, creating the language and literacy rich environment

Developing family support for the classroom


Focus: Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy

COMMUNICATION KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

VOCABULARY AND BASIC LANGUAGE CONCEPTS
Focus: Learning Foundations in English Language Development

LISTENING

SPEAKING
Day 2

Using all classroom activities and routines to support language and literacy development

including daily schedules and transition time

Developing vocabulary using read aloud and shared reading

The reading process

Reciprocity of reading and writing

Review of assessments and how they can be used to inform instruction

Using interactive writing and shared reading to support phonological awareness in both oral language and print

Planning the strategic use of reading aloud

Using centers to support oral language, vocabulary, and print awareness

Developing family support for the classroom
Focus: Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy

WORD AND SENTENCE STRUCTURES

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS

Focus: Learning Foundations in English Language Development

EARLY READING

Day 3

Gradual release of responsibility in student learning

Small group and individual child use of guided reading

Instruction that prompts children to use their existing knowledge

Forming small groups for similar instructional needs

Whole group and small group use of shared reading and interactive writing

Developing family support for the classroom
Focus: Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy

ALPHABETICS AND WORD/PRINT RECOGNITION

CONCEPTS ABOUT PRINT

Day 4

Review of guided reading and how to group by similar instructional need

Book selection and leveling

Interactive writing

Using children’s knowledge and experience to construct print

Letter formation

Developing family support for the classroom
Focus: Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy

COMPREHENSION AND ANALYSIS OF AGE-APPROPRIATE TEXT

LITERACY INTEREST AND RESPONSE
Day 5

Revisit interactive writing using artifacts from children

Fostering independent behaviors in both reading and writing

Developing and reviewing centers that encourage independence and support small group instruction opportunities

Roles of various personnel in the classroom including volunteers

Developing family support for the classroom


Focus: Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy

WRITING STRATEGIES
Focus: Learning Foundations in English Language Development

WRITING

Role of Each Teacher during training:

• Begin to practice the elements of the framework daily in your classroom.

• Learn the theoretical constructs of literacy learning through professional reading.

• Make decisions on how the implementation of literacy instruction can be supported and extended throughout your school.

• Attend and actively participate in all training days.

• Help to coordinate guided meetings at the school site.

• Support colleagues on the team as they attempt new learning.

• Reflect on your own teaching.


Content Standards
From the California Prekindergarten Guidelines in English/Language
READING
Concepts About Print

Read books right side up and from front to back. Begin to understand that text and illustrations convey distinct information.


Phonemic Awareness

Listen to and recite familiar poems and chants; increase awareness and use of rhyming words and alliteration. Participate in games and lessons involving separation or repetition of words and word sounds. Listen to and sing along with alphabet songs while following along in an illustrated book. Participate in activities that teach alphabet letter names. Clap in rhythms that mimic multisyllabic words and phrases.


Decoding and Word Recognition

Match, sort and trace letters; know initial of first name; recognize some other letters. Recognize own name (e.g., on cubby or pocket chart), names of friends; read letters in alphabet books; begin to point to highly familiar words in books. Know that certain pictures (icons) go with certain labels (words); know that different icons carry different meanings.


Vocabulary and Concept Development

Have many opportunities to converse with adults and peers about a variety of people, objects, activities, events, and ideas in the environment; sort objects by category. Identify common objects in the environment. Regularly learn new vocabulary through activities, conversation, and teacher-guided instruction.

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade Level Appropriate Text

Offer plausible predictions about a story during the initial reading; predict the next events in a story after several readings; plan and carry out a sequence of actions in the classroom. Contribute relevant personal experiences and prior knowledge during storybook reading; tell (oral) stories about self and family; respond to teacher requests to relate personal knowledge and experience to text.

Narrative Analysis of Grade Level Appropriate Text

Have many opportunities to hear interesting, culturally diverse stories read aloud; attend to storybook reading or storybook tapes; respond orally during storybook reading; draw pictures based on a story and talk about drawing; act out stories; spontaneously discuss stories.

WRITING
Organization and Focus

Draw pictures to represent people, objects, events or concepts (e.g. winter); make controlled and uncontrolled scribbles and name the scribbles or describe their meaning; make mock letters, letter strings, letter groups; label pictures; write initial or whole name.


LISTENING AND SPEAKING
Comprehension

Have many and varied opportunities in a supportive, stimulating environment to converse with adults and peers about topics of personal interest and importance and about topics beyond direct, current experience.



From the California Preschool Learning Foundations in Language and Literacy for Ages 3 and 4
COMMUNICATION KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Children understand and use language to communicate with others.

Respond on topic for at least one turn in a conversation.

Use language for several purposes in familiar social situations.

Children extend their understanding and usage of language to communicate with others.

Respond on topic in extended conversations.

Use language for a variety of purposes across a range of social situations.
Children use language for producing narratives.

Produce simple narratives that are real or fictional.



Children extend the use of language for producing narratives.

Produce extended narratives that are real or fictional.



VOCABULARY AND BASIC LANGUAGE CONCEPTS

Children comprehend and produce a variety of words.

Demonstrate understanding of words for most familiar objects, persons, and actions.

Use words for most familiar objects, persons, and actions.

Children extend their comprehension and production of a variety of words.

Demonstrate understanding of words for some attributes and some abstract concepts.

Use words for a variety of attributes and some abstract concepts.
Children comprehend and produce basic language concepts.

Demonstrate understanding of words that indicate position/location, amount, and size.

Use words that indicate position/ location, amount, and size.
Children extend their comprehension and production of basic language concepts.

Expand comprehension of words that indicate position/location, amount, and size.

Expand use of words that indicate position/ location, amount, and size.
Children comprehend and produce words for categories.

Demonstrate understanding of how words group into categories.



Children extend their comprehension and production of words for categories.

Extend understanding of how words group into categories.



WORD AND SENTENCE STRUCTURES
Children begin to understand word structures.

Begin to demonstrate an understanding of past tense verbs.

Begin to demonstrate an understanding of possessive nouns.

Begin to demonstrate an understanding of plural nouns.

Begin to demonstrate an understanding of pronouns.
Children expand their understanding of word structures.

Demonstrate an understanding of past tense verbs used in increasingly complex sentences.

Demonstrate an understanding of possessive nouns used in increasingly complex sentences.

Demonstrate an understanding of plural nouns used in increasingly complex sentences.

Demonstrate an understanding of pronouns used in increasingly complex sentences.

Children use basic word structures.

Begin to use verb markers, including past tense and present ing, even if not always correctly.

Begin to use possessives, even if not always correctly.

Begin to use plurals, even if not always correctly.

Begin to use some pronouns, even if not always correctly.

Children expand their use of word structures.

Regularly use verb markers in sentences, even if not always correctly.

Regularly use possessives in sentences, even if not always correctly.

Regularly use plural nouns in sentences, even if not always correctly.

Regularly use pronouns in sentences, even if not always correctly.
Children comprehend and produce sentences, including requests.

Comprehend simple sentences in familiar contexts, including requests.

Use simple phrases and sentences.
Children extend their comprehension and production of sentences, including requests.

Comprehend increasingly varied and grammatically more complex sentences, including requests, in familiar contexts.

Use increasingly varied and grammatically more complex sentences.
PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
Children orally manipulate words and syllables without the support of pictures, objects, etc.

Orally put together compound words that are familiar to the child (without the support of pictures, objects, etc.).


Orally put together the two syllables of two-syllable words that are familiar to the child (without the support of pictures, objects, etc.).

Orally take apart compound words into syllables that are familiar to the child (without the support of pictures, objects, etc.).

Begin to delete an onset from a spoken word with support, for example, picking from a series of pictures.

Begin to orally blend individual phonemes to make a simple word with support, for example, picking from a series of pictures.

ALPHABETICS AND WORD/PRINT RECOGNITION
Children begin to recognize letters of the alphabet.

Recognize first letter of own name.

Match letter names to their shapes.

Identify the first letter of own name.

Children extend their recognition of letters of the alphabet.

Recognize own name or other common words in print.

Match more than half of upper- and lower- case letter names to their shapes.

Recognize beginning letters in words in books and environment.

Begin to recognize that letters have sounds.


CONCEPTS ABOUT PRINT
Children begin to understand that print carries meaning.

Hold a book upright, turning pages from front to back.

Recognize print as distinct from other kinds of images.

Demonstrate emerging knowledge that symbols and print carry meaning.


Children extend their understanding that print carries meaning.

Understand that print in English is organized top to bottom and left to right.

Understand that print is read.

Demonstrate knowledge of the various purposes of print.

Begin to recognize that print represents spoken language.

Understand that a given word in print represents the same spoken word every time it is seen.



COMPREHENSION AND ANALYSIS OF AGE-APPROPRIATE TEXT
Children demonstrate comprehension of age-appropriate text.

Demonstrate knowledge of main characters or events in a familiar story through retelling, reenacting, or doing art.

Demonstrate knowledge of information from non-fiction text through labeling, describing, dramatic play, or art.
Engage in conversations about fiction and non-fiction that may include asking and answering basic questions (i.e., who, what, where).
Children demonstrate increasing comprehension of age appropriate text.

Demonstrate knowledge of details in a familiar story including ordering of events through retelling, reenacting, or doing art.

Use information from non-fiction text in a variety of ways, including organizing, matching, relating, categorizing, or by comparing and contrasting.

Engage in detailed conversations about fiction and non-fiction that may include asking and answering how, why, and what next questions.



LITERACY INTEREST AND RESPONSE

Children demonstrate interest in literacy activities.

Demonstrate interest in books and print materials with adult guidance.


Children demonstrate a broad interest in literacy activities.

Demonstrate interest in a range of literacy activities with increasing independence.

Engages in drawing and pretend writing independently.
Children demonstrate interest in literacy activities.

Engage in routines associated with literacy activities.


Children demonstrate a broad interest in literacy activities.

Assume roles and engages in routines associated with reading.


WRITING STRATEGIES
Children demonstrate emergent writing skills.

Experiment with grasp and body position using a variety of drawing and writing tools.

Write marks to represent own name.

Imitate writing and writing-like behaviors during play.

Begins to understand that what is said or expressed can be written down and read.
Children demonstrate increasing emergent writing skills.

Adjust grasp and body position for increased control in drawing and writing.

Write first name nearly correctly.

Use writing and writing-like behaviors for a variety of purposes during play.

Expands understanding that what is said or expressed can be written down and read.

From the Preschool Learning Foundations in English Language Development



for Ages 3 and 4

LISTENING
Children listen with understanding.

Focus: Beginning words


Attend to oral language in English in different social contexts often relying on intonation and facial expressions or the gestures of the speaker.

Demonstrate understanding of words for most familiar objects or frequently used phrases.

Begin to demonstrate an understanding of a larger set of concrete nouns and verbs and more personal pronouns and possessives.
Focus: Requests

Begin to follow simple directions in English especially when there are contextual cues.

Respond appropriately to requests involving one step when personally directed by others, may occur with or without contextual cues.

Follow directions that involve a one- or two-step sequence with less reliance on social cues.

Focus: Abstract concepts
Demonstrate age-appropriate understanding of concepts in the home language.

Begin to understand language chunks in English (e.g., "let's go") and words related to basic concepts (e.g., spatial location [in/on, up/down, here/there], quantity [one, a lot, more], quality [colors], time terms [now, before, today], size [big, small, tall, short]).

Understand words in English related to more advanced concepts (e.g., spatial location [above/under, near/far] size [wide/narrow, deep/shallow], time terms, [then, after, yesterday] and more quality [more colors and some textures] quantity terms [more numbers].

SPEAKING
Children use non-verbal and verbal strategies to communicate with others.
Focus: Communication
Use gestures to request objects or actions.

Combine non-verbal and some verbal communication strategies to be understood by others. May combine home language and English (e.g. code-switch).

Show increasing reliance on verbal communication to get meaning across. More actively seek out word learning opportunities such as asking the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Focus: Vocabulary production


Use age-appropriate home language as reported by parents, teachers, aides or others.

Begin to use English vocabulary.

Use new vocabulary to share knowledge of concepts.
Focus: Conversation
Converse in the home language, as reported by parents and other relatives.

Begin to engage with peers and teachers using some English vocabulary but may insert some words from the home language.

Sustain a conversation in English about a variety of topics.
Focus: Sentence length and complexity

Use a range of utterance length in the home language when speaking with peers, family members and other adults who speak the home language.

Use two- to three-word utterances in English to communicate.

Increase sentence length by adding appropriate possessives (e.g., him, her), conjunctions (e.g., and, or) or other elements.

Focus: Grammatical markers
Use age-appropriate grammar in the home language (e.g., plurals, simple past tense, use of subject, verb, and object), sometimes incorrectly.

Begin to use some English grammatical markers (e.g., -ing or plurals), but may apply the grammatical rules of the home language to English.

Begin to demonstrate an age- appropriate understanding of different forms of grammar (e.g., plurals, simple past tense, use of subject, verb an object, etc.) in English, sometimes incorrectly.
Focus: Inquiry
Ask what and why questions in the home language.

Begin to use what and why questions with one word in English.

Begin to use 'what', 'why' and 'when' in English in more complete forms.
Children begin to understand and use social conventions in English.
Focus: Social conventions
Use social conventions of the home language.

Demonstrate a beginning understanding of English social conventions such as saying please and thank you and tone of voice and meaning.

Appropriately use words and tone of voice associated with social conventions in English.
Children use language to create oral narratives about their personal experiences.
Focus: Narrative development
Create a narrative in the home language.

Begin to use English to talk about personal experiences to a peer but may complete the narrative in the home language. Code-switching is acceptable.

Produce simple narratives in English that are real or fictional.


EARLY READING
Children demonstrate an appreciation and enjoyment of all aspects of reading and literature.
Focus: Teacher-directed reading
Pay attention to teacher reading a storybook.

Begin to participate in reading activity when the language is predictable.

Request a variety of genres.

Children demonstrate an appreciation and enjoyment of all aspects of reading and literature.

Focus: Independent reading
Rarely choose a book during free choice time.

Ask to be read to or choose to visit the book area during child-initiated time.

Show interest in reading books in English with increasing independence.
Conventions of book handling.
Focus: Book handling
Begin to recognize the front and back of a book that is written in the home language and/or English, beginning to end.

Continue to improve in understanding of how to read a book.

Understand that print in English is read from left to right; top to bottom, and turn pages left to right when reading a story.

Children demonstrate awareness that print carries meaning.
Focus: Environmental print
Begin to recognize that symbols carry meaning.

Recognize that an increasing number of symbols in English and the home language carry meaning. Understand that a given word in print carries a consistent meaning.


Children demonstrate awareness that print carries meaning.
Focus: Classroom print
Begin to make associations about print in the home language.

Begin to recognize familiar labels.

Increasingly name familiar labels in English.
Children demonstrate progress in their knowledge of the alphabet in English.
Focus: General letter awareness
Interact with material representing the alphabet in English.

Begin to talk in the home language about letters while playing and interacting with them.

Begin to show understanding that words are made up of letters.
Children demonstrate progress in their knowledge of the alphabet in English.
Focus: Letter concepts
Begin to distinguish between drawing and writing.

Begin to understand that letters in English are symbols that make up words.

Know that certain alphabet letters can name objects.

Children demonstrate progress in their knowledge of the alphabet in English.

Focus: Letter recognition
Begin to recognize first letter in own name in any language or the symbol for their name.

Identify five or more letters of the alphabet in English.

Identify at least ten or more letters of the alphabet in English.
Children demonstrate phonological awareness.
Focus: Rhyming
Listen attentively to rhymes, simple songs, poems, and finger-plays in English and/or the home language.

Begin to try out repeating some rhymes in simple songs, poems, and finger-plays in the home language and/or English.

Repeat all or larger parts of rhymes in simple songs, poems and finger-plays in the home language and/or English.
Children demonstrate phonological awareness.
Focus: Matching sounds
Begin to clap to simple songs, poems and fingerplays.

Begin to recognize words that have similar sounds in English.

Recognize and produce words that have similar sounds.
Children demonstrate phonological awareness.
Focus: Sound differences in home language and English
Show awareness of different sounds in words in the home language.

Attend to different sounds in words in English.

Participate in activities such as games and songs in English that stress sounds (i.e., phonemes) in words.
Children show increasing understanding of book reading.
Focus: Personal connections to story
Begin to identify and relate to a story from own life experiences in the home language.

Relate own experiences with the topic of the story and tell about it in telegraphic speech in English.

Begin to engage in extended conversations in English about stories or written text read by teacher.
Children show increasing understanding of book reading.
Focus: Story sequence

Begin to understand the sequence of a story (beginning, middle and end) in any language.

Retell a story heard in English and in the home language using some English in the sequence, beginning, middle, and end.

Retell in English the majority of a story heard in English.



WRITING
Children use writing to communicate their ideas.
Focus: Writing as communication
Begin to recognize that written language is used to communicate.

Begin to understand that what they say in their home language or in English can be written down and read by others.

Begin to understand that what they write in their home language or in English can be read by others.
Children use writing to communicate their ideas.
Focus: Writing in English and home language
Begin to recognize that written language can be in the home language (if applicable) or in English. Show awareness of two different writing systems.

Continue to develop writing by using strings of English letters to represent words.


Children use writing to communicate their ideas.
Focus: Writing name
Write marks to represent own name; may resemble how it is written in the home language. Attempt to copy own name in English and/or the home language.

Write first name on own in English and/or the home language.



Assessments
Focusing on language and literacy sections
Desired Results Developmental Profile- Revised (DRDP-R)

Preschool Instrument (age 3 to kindergarten)
Measure DR 1
Lang. 1 - Comprehends meaning

Lang. 2 - Follows increasingly complex instructions

Lang, 3 - Expresses self through language

Lang. 4 - Uses language in conversation

Measure DR 2

Lit. 1 - Interest in literacy

Lit. 2 - Letter and word knowledge

Lit. 3 - Emerging writing

Lit. 4 - Concepts about print

Lit. 5 - Phonological awareness

English Language Learners

ELL 1- Listens to and understands English

ELL 2- Speaks English



Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS)
6. Child Related Display
Individualized children's work predominates. Much of the display relates closely to current activities and children in group. Most of the display is done by the children. Many items displayed on the child's eye level. Materials must be meaningful to the children to be considered appropriate.
15. Books and Pictures
A wide selection of books are accessible for a substantial portion of the day. A wide selection of books includes a variety of topics: fantasy; factual information; stories about people; animals; nature/science; books that reflect different cultures and abilities. These books and other language materials that are used daily are rotated to maintain interest. Examples of additional language materials are posters and pictures, flannel board stories, picture card games, and recorded stories and songs. Books are organized in a reading center, and some books relate to current classroom activities or themes. All accessible books do not have to be in the book area. They should also be located in other areas of the room. Staff read books to children informally (e.g. during free play, at naptime, as an extension of an activity.

16. Encouraging Children to Communicate

Staff balance listening and talking appropriately for age and abilities of children during communication activities (e.g. leave time for children to respond; verbalize for child with limited communication skills.) Staff link children's spoken communication with written language (e.g. write down what children dictate and read back to them; help them write note to parents.) Communication activities take place during both free play and group times (e.g. small group discusses trip to store). These activities require that staff take action to draw communication from a child. Materials that encourage children to communicate are accessible in a variety of interest centers (e.g. small figures and animals in block area; puppets and flannel board pieces in book area; toys for dramatic play outdoors or indoors).

17. Using Language to Develop Reasoning Skills
Staff encourage children to reason throughout the day, using actual events and experiences as a basis for concept development (e.g. children learn sequence by talking about their experiences in the daily routine or recalling the sequence of a cooking project.) Concepts are introduced in response to children's interests or needs to solve problems. Concepts include same/different, matching, classifying, sequencing, one-to-one correspondence, spatial relationships, cause and effect. Staff talk about logical relationships while children play with materials that stimulate
reasoning. Children are encouraged to talk through or explain their reasoning when solving problems.
18. Informal Use of Language
Staff have individual conversations with most of the children. There are many staff-child conversations during free play and routines. Language is used to exchange information with children and for social interaction. Children are asked questions to encourage them to give longer and more complex answers (e.g. young child is asked "what" or "where" questions; older child is asked "why" or "how" questions.) Staff encourage communication among children, including those with disabilities (e.g. remind children to listen to one another; teach all children to sign if classmate uses sign language.)
34. Schedule

Variations made in schedule to meet individual needs (e.g. shorter story time for child with short attention span; child working on project allowed to continue past scheduled time; slow eater may finish at own pace.) Smooth transitions between daily events (e.g. materials ready for next activity before current activity ends; most transitions handled a few children at a time rather than whole group). No long waiting period during transitions between daily events. Schedule provides balance of structure and flexibility (e.g. regularly scheduled outdoor play period may be lengthened in good weather.) The written schedule need not be followed to the minute.

36. Group Time
Different groupings provide a change of pace throughout the day. Staff engage in educational interaction with small groups and individual children as well as with the whole group (e.g. read a story, help small group with cooking or science activity.) Whole group gatherings are limited to short periods, suited to age and individual needs of children.
37. Provisions for Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities are integrated into the group and participate in most activities. Most of the professional intervention is carried out within the regular activities of the classroom. Staff contribute to individual assessments and intervention plans. Staff follow through with activities and interactions recommended by other professionals to help children meet identified goals. Modifications are made in environment, program, and schedule so that children can participate in many activities with others. Parents are frequently involved in sharing information with staff, setting goals, and giving feedback about how program is working.



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