Monday, September 15, 2014

Library Proposals Requested for "Families Learning Summit"

The National Centers for Families Learning (NCFL) presents its annual Families Learning Summit in Houston, March 16-18, 2015. NCFL is calling for session proposals from outstanding family learning practitioners that demonstrate successful learning models which promote family success. "Have you had success helping families build 21st century skills or using new instructional strategies? Has your program found a way to incorporate family mentoring and family service learning? Are you a part of a successful collaborative effort focused on increasing your community's literacy rates?" Through its strategic partnership with ULC, NCFL wants to showcase the important work that libraries do in the family learning arena. The deadline for session proposals is Friday, October 3. More information here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Data Sources for Early Literacy Research

Image source: Pixabay
The following data analysis tools are suggestions provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Consider using these tools to develop a clearer image of the literacy needs of young children and families in your community.

Data Analysis Tools: Child Well-Being

Kids Count State Profiles

If you want to improve conditions for children or families, native-born or immigrant, at risk or below the poverty line, this tool is invaluable. Kids Count profiles are provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which fosters community support for vulnerable children and families. It lets users do web-based searches for data within a single state or territory, and includes community-level data by location or topic. You can create profiles, maps, rankings, line graphs, or raw data to identify or confirm a program need. It allows you to compare conditions for children across states or the entire U.S., or to search by topic, e.g., immigrant children living in poverty in homes where no parents work, or teens aged 16 to 19 not in school and not high school graduates. Much information is collected from reliable sources such as the U.S, Census Bureau, but data are combined for you to identify children’s needs. The foundation also aggregates data from its state partners, and some key Information is published in data books. The site provides many pertinent good practice models, ideas, and case studies supported by its data.

National Center for Children in Poverty State Profiles

This suite of tools from the Mailman School of Health at Columbia University helps plan projects to improve the wellbeing of low-income children and their families. Tools include economic profiles for children; state-based policies that significantly affect children, adolescents, and family economics by state; an income needs calculator and state-by-state budget calculator; and a "wizard" that creates custom tables of national- and state-level statistics about low-income children. Data on areas of interest such as parental education, parental employment, marital status, and race/ethnicity—among many other variables—are included, and all are easy to use. Data are aggregated from multiple sources, with the goals of providing practitioners and advocates information about emerging challenges and insights for turning research into practice; giving policymakers information to make good decisions; and supplying facts, trends, and policy developments to help the media accurately report about the realities faced by low-income children and families in the U.S.

Data Analysis Tools: Education

Useful for anyone planning an early learning program, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) collects and communicates research supporting effective early childhood education. It aims to describe excellence in terms that policy makers can use and the general public can easily understand; to monitor and evaluate national and state progress in this area; to develop and analyze model legislation, standards, regulations, and other policies that improve quality of and access to good preschool programs. You can also compare alternative policies. The 2010 Yearbook allows users to click a state or region to view its profile as a PDF document. The Roadmap to State Profile Pages link describes the data and terminology used in the profiles. Other tools include fast facts and figures, research data, and publications.

State and County Estimates of Low Literacy

This site can help users plan literacy programs for adults. It provides estimates of adults who lack basic prose literacy skills (BPLS) for all states and counties in the United States based on statistical models developed from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) and the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). NCES produced user-friendly tables to compare literacy estimates across states or counties and across years, including data such as levels of educational attainment and race/ethnicity distributions. These are considered the best predictions that can be made in the absence of any other literacy assessment data available. You can view state or county estimates or compare any two states or counties.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Media and Play

The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces
by Dorothy Stoltz, Marisa Conner, and James Bradberry. 
Excerpts from a new book, soon to be published by ALA Editions, is featured on the Little eLit blog. Check out how authors Dorothy Stoltz and Marisa Conner used their experience on the Little eLit advisory board to shape a chapter about young children and new media in their upcoming book about early learning spaces. The book is available for pre-order at the ALA store.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Curriculum and Assessment: Language Development/Emergent Literacy

Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners provides curriculum and assessment language development/emergent literacy information. You can find a wealth of material on the Collaborating Partners website.

Two resources of note include the following:

  • Planning for Early Literacy Success: Intersection between WI Model Early Learning Standards and Common Core State Standards (Live Binder): Guidance on setting learning expectations in language and early literacy for 4K that reflect both the WI Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) and the Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts (CCSS-ELS). Includes resources on using recommended practice and research, local data, and alignment documents that show WMELS and CCSS-ELA for birth-5, kindergarten and first grade.
  • This series of seven professional development sessions is designed to promote evidence-based universal practices that support the six standards-based content areas of early literacy. The target audience for training includes all teachers and providers serving children in the birth through 5 years range.  While adaptations and modifications to meet the needs of individual children are strongly encouraged, universal practices are the primary focus of this training.
    • Session 5: Providing Effective "Read Alouds"

Image Source: Pixabay

Video: Talking is Teaching - Talk, Read, Sing

Talking is Teaching / Talk Read Sing is a campaign of Too Small to Fail in partnership with various organizations that are dedicated to improving early childhood development. They are currently active in Oakland, CA but will be in other communities soon. To read more, visit

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chip Donohue from the Early Literacy Symposium Publishes Book

A new book edited by Chip Donohue

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning

Edited by Chip Donohue
Routledge – 2015 – 270 pages

Attendees of the Growing Wisconsin Readers Early Literacy Symposium will readily recall the passionate keynote offered by Chip Donohue (see "Embrace Engagement: Thoughts on Chip Donohue’s Keynote on Young Children in the Digital Age"). Mr. Donohue has edited a new book co-published by Routledge and NAEYC that furthers discussion points brought to our attention last March. It sounds like a great resource for your library or your system's professional collection!

From the Routledge website, the book is described as follows:

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years offers early childhood teacher educators, professional development providers, and early childhood educators in pre-service, in-service, and continuing education settings a thought-provoking guide to effective, appropriate, and intentional use of technology with young children. This book provides strategies, theoretical frameworks, links to research evidence, descriptions of best practice, and resources to develop essential digital literacy knowledge, skills and experiences for early childhood educators in the digital age.

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years puts educators right at the intersections of child development, early learning, developmentally appropriate practice, early childhood teaching practices, children’s media research, teacher education, and professional development practices. The book is based on current research, promising programs and practices, and a set of best practices for teaching with technology in early childhood education that are based on the NAEYC/FRC Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media and the Fred Rogers Center Framework for Quality in Children’s Digital Media. Pedagogical principles, classroom practices, and teaching strategies are presented in a practical, straightforward way informed by child development theory, developmentally appropriate practice, and research on effective, appropriate, and intentional use of technology in early childhood settings. A companion website provides additional resources and links to further illustrate principles and best practices for teaching and learning in the digital age.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Growing Wisconsin Readers Promotional Images

Growing Wisconsin Readers Promotional Materials
There are additional ways to promote Growing Wisconsin Readers early literacy materials beyond the brochures and posters.  On the "Resources for Librarians" webpage, you will find the following Growing Wisconsin Readers images: the GWR logo, with and without the URL; the GWR QR code; and the early literacy tip sheet.

These images are great for creating continuity among your various early literacy endeavors, as well as increasing early literacy visibility within your community.  Consider adding the logo to your website, including the QR code on a storytime handout, or sharing the tips on your library Facebook page.  Are you using the Growing Wisconsin Readers materials in a resourceful way?  Share your experience on the blog by contacting