User's Guide to the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation Tool, Pre-K (Ellco Pre-K) / Edition 1

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SAVE when you order the ELLCO Pre-K User's Guide and ELLCO Pre-K Tool together!

Trusted by schools across the country, ELLCO helps build better literacy programs by assessing the quality of both the classroom environment and teachers' practices. With ELLCO, educators reliably gather the essential data needed for professional development and program improvement that lead to better literacy outcomes for young children. These two NEW editions of ELLCO are even better because they're

  • Age-specific. Assessment is effective and accurate with the new ELLCO editions, designed especially for preschool and early elementary environments. ELLCO Pre-K prompts users to look for preliteracy activities like storybook reading, circle time conversations, and child-originated storywriting, while ELLCO K–3 has been reworked to reflect the evolving literacy skills of K–3 students.
  • Streamlined. Each new edition of ELLCO has just two parts: a classroom observation to gather critical information about 5 key elements of the literacy environment, and a teacher interview, which supplements the observation with educators' firsthand reflections.
  • Easier to administer. Users will get complete information about conducting classroom observations, scoring accurately, and limiting bias. They'll also get helpful descriptors for all 5 levels of the rating scale.
  • Informed by user feedback. The new editions of ELLCO were created using feedback from the education professionals who know the tool best.

With these new editions of the assessment tool thousands trust, preschools and elementary schools will have the information they need to determine the effectiveness of their classroom environments, strengthen the quality of their programs and teaching practices, and improve young children's early literacy outcomes.

Measure 5 key literacy elements:

  • classroom structure
  • curriculum
  • the language environment
  • books and book reading opportunities
  • print and early writing supports

Order with the ELLCO Pre-K Tool and save $10! Use code S1050 when placing your order.

The User's Guide is part of ELLCO, the bestselling classroom observation tool that helps schools assess the quality of literacy practices and supports and give children the best possible start in language and literacy development. Trusted by schools across the country, ELLCO helps educators reliably gather the data needed for professional development and program improvement, leading to better literacy outcomes for young children.

Learn more about ELLCO Pre-K and ELLCO K–3.

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Editorial Reviews

Maurice R. Sykes

"The perfect tool . . . for those of us who seek to close the opportunity-to-learn gap during the early learning years."
Ethnographer, Consultant for Documentation and Professional Development, Early Reading First grant, Northeastern Illinoi - Cynthia P. Gehrie
"An organizing and validating instrument that helps classrooms to transform into zones of inquiry and conscious communication."
Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University - Laura Justice
"This exemplary resource is a must–have . . . I use it all the time and find the data it provides to be valid and reliable indices of the early childhood classroom environment."
Clinical Professor and Director of the Language Acquisition Preschool, Department of Specch Language Hearing, University - Betty Bunce
"Captures the essence of good teaching where indirect as well as direct styles of interaction are valued and where children are supported in developing their own knowledge."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557669469
  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,226,504
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Louisa Anastasopoulos, M.P.P., has extensive experience conducting classroom observations, child assessments, and interviews with teachers and parents. Her work has dealt with examinations of classroom quality as well as with early language and literacy. She has been instrumental in the design of teacher and parent interview protocols and has spent a great deal of time interacting with preschool teachers and staff. Her bilingual expertise has contributed to her ability to work with a wide variety of teachers and parents. Ms. Anastasopoulos holds a master of public policy, with a focus on education policy, from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Dr. Smith has always enjoyed working directly with young children and teachers of young children. Beginning in 1987, she collected and analyzed data for the longitudinal Home–School Study of Language and Literacy Development. Her work on that project brought her into many classrooms as an observer and researcher and propelled her interest in classroom environments and practices that promote children’s early language and literacy development. Later work conducted for the Center for Children & Families at EDC cemented her commitment to working directly with teachers, supervisors, and education leaders to promote conditions that positively affect children’s learning. Currently a consultant to EDC, Dr. Smith continues to engage in research, writing, and professional development with teachers of young children. An active volunteer in local schools and child care programs, she most enjoys spending time in the “living lab” of daily life with her three children.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 4 of User's Guide to the Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation Pre–K Tool, by Miriam W. Smith, Ed.D. Joanne P. Brady, M.Ed. & Louisa Anastasopoulos, M.P.P.

Copyright © 2008 by Education Development Center, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Scheduling and Duration of Observations

Prior to conducting an ELLCO Pre–K observation, contact the classroom teacher to explain the general purpose of your visit. Work with the teacher to choose a day for your visit in hopes of getting as typical a picture of the classroom as possible. For example, do not schedule your visit on a day when special activities or visitors are planned. You should also obtain information about the classroom schedule and time your observation accordingly. Allow at least 3.5 hours for your visit to ensure that you collect ample evidence to score all of the ELLCO Pre–K items. Plan to observe not only free–choice time and fullgroup book reading but also a variety of other activities, such as a mealtime, greeting or departing, and any other instructional time. It is important to see teachers interacting with children in various settings in order to get an accurate picture of the language environment and the types of conversations that take place between teachers and children and among children.

In addition to selecting the appropriate day and time for your visit, your initial telephone conversation with the teacher can also provide information needed to complete some items on the cover page and Observation Record page. Ask the teacher for information that will enable you to complete background information, such as the program, center, and teacher information; the duration of the classroom day; the age ranges of children and numbers of children with identified disabilities; the number of English language learners; the 4 primary language spoken in the classroom; and languages spoken by English language learners. The remaining items on the Observation Record page should be completed at the time of the observation.

Conducting Observations with Professionalism and Respect

Classroom observations can be an anxiety–provoking experience for teachers. As the observer, you can help teachers feel more comfortable by taking care to treat them respectfully throughout the entire process. Remember that you are a guest in the classroom. Be sure to greet all teaching staff, introduce yourself, and thank them for allowing you to observe. Remind them how long you plan on staying and indicate that you will do your best to keep out of their way.

Although you will need to position yourself in order to see and hear everything that goes on during your observation, make an effort to be as unobtrusive as possible. In order to ensure that you do not influence what you are trying to observe, you should minimize your impact on the classroom. After your initial greeting, do not interact with the children or the adults, and maintain a neutral facial expression regardless of what you might see or hear during the observation. Children may approach you with questions or comments, but a simple explanation that you are there to see what they are learning and are not able to play is usually enough to satisfy their curiosity.

Preparing for the Observation

Before conducting an observation, you should carefully read through all of the ELLCO Pre–K items several times to familiarize yourself with the content and sequence of the items. Be sure that you thoroughly understand what evidence is needed to rate each item before your visit, so that you can focus your attention on the classroom activities during your observation. You may wish to highlight or circle key words and phra

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Table of Contents

About the Authors

  1. Introduction
    Organization of the ELLCO Pre-K
    Underlying Assumptions of the ELLCO Pre-K
    Who Should Use the ELLCO Pre-K?
    How Does the ELLCO Pre-K Compare with the ELLCO Toolkit?
    Contents of the User’s Guide

  2. Effective Elements of Early Literacy: Kendra’s Story
    Vignette 1: Entering
    Vignette 2: At the Writing Table
    Vignette 3: Construction Zone
    Vignette 4: Circle Time
    Vignette 5: Lunch Time
    Vignette 6: Ready to Go Home

  3. Structure of the ELLCO Pre-K
    Overall Structure and Levels
    Anchor Statements
    Descriptive Indicators
    Evidence Section
    Teacher Interview

  4. How to Conduct an ELLCO Pre-K Observation
    Guidelines for Observing in Classrooms
    Scheduling and Duration of Observations
    Conducting Observations with Professionalism and Respect
    Preparing for the Observation
    Taking Evidence and Rating Items
    Focusing on the Evidence
    Rating Strategies
    Avoiding Bias
    The Teacher Interview
    Completing the Score Form

  5. A Review of Sample Items
    Recording Evidence
    Understanding the Rubrics
    From Evidence to Rubric to Rating
    Example 1: Item 8—Discourse Climate
    Example 2: Item 16—Quality of Book Reading
    Example 3: Item 17—Early Writing Environment

  6. Using the ELLCO Pre-K for Professional Development
    Tips for Incorporating the ELLCO Pre-K into Language and Literacy Practices
    Step 1: Create a Positive Climate for Teacher Development
    Step 2: Preview the ELLCO Together
    Step 3: Conduct an Initial Observation
    Step 4: Share Results
    Step 5: Generate Goals
    Beginning Steps Toward Change
    Section I: Classroom Structure (Organization, Contents, Management, Personnel)
    Section II: Curriculum (Approaches, Child Choice, Diversity) Section III: The Language Environment (Discourse Climate, Extended Conversations, Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness)
    Section IV: Books (Organization, Characteristics of Books, Books for Learning)
    Section IV: Book Reading (Approaches, Quality)
    Section V: Early Writing (Environment, Support, Environmental Print)

  7. Using the ELLCO Pre-K in Research
    Practicing and Calibrating Ratings
    Interrater Reliability
    Recalibration in the Field

Technical Appendix
Psychometric Properties of the Literacy Environment Checklist
Interrater Reliability
General Statistics
Reliability Analysis
Measuring Stability and Change
Psychometric Properties of the Classroom Observation
Interrater Reliability
General Statistics
Reliability Analysis
Measuring Stability and Change
Correlation with Another Widely Used Measure
Predicting Child Outcomes
Psychometric Properties of the Literacy Activities Rating Scale
Interrater Reliability
General Statistics
Reliability Analysis
Measuring Stability and Change
Correlations Among the ELLCO Toolkit (Research Edition) Measures

Web Sites
Web Resources
Research Articles, Books, and Book Chapters
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