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March 2016

IEL Adds New Adapted Lessons Plans for Science

Preschool teachers often wonder about how to include science activities in their classroom. To help, IEL has two new adapted lesson plans that address IELDS science benchmarks. Like others, the plans for benchmarks 12.A.ECb and 12.B.ECb include a list of adaptations that will help teachers tailor the lesson to young children with a variety of learning needs. IEL has 14 other adapted lesson plans: five each in math and language arts, two in social studies, and one each in the arts and physical development and health. More will be added soon.

Wondering About Parent-Child Relationships? We Have Answers

Parents often hear about the importance of building strong relationships with their young children but may wonder exactly why this is so important. IEL’s latest FAQ discusses the importance of strong parent-child relationships, what you can do to build strong relationships with young children, how busy parents can make time for their young children, and where they can find help. IEL has more than 25 other FAQs on various topics in early learning.

Creating a Language-Rich Classroom for Young Dual Language Learners

In her latest blog, Dr. Bernadette Laumann discusses the importance of creating warm, supportive relationships with individual children that encourage language development. She stresses the importance of intentional, meaningful teacher and child conversations in creating a language-rich environment not only for dual language learners but the entire classroom.

Starting to Think About Kindergarten? We Have Resources

With the start of spring, many parents of preschoolers are beginning to think about kindergarten. Will your child be old enough to attend? Check out our FAQ on What Is the Kindergarten Entry Age in Illinois? Our Starting Kindergarten? Help Make It a Good Experience! Tip Sheet gives parents tips on how to get their child off to a good start, such as visiting a kindergarten classroom in the spring. Also consult our Getting Ready for Kindergarten Tip Sheet for some things to think about as the school year approaches.

Order Illinois Early Learning Guidelines Posters and Brochures

Are you looking for written materials about the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Birth to Age 3 (IELG) to share with caregivers and families? The Illinois Early Learning Project will mail IELG posters and brochures free of charge to any address within the state of Illinois. The posters and brochures are available in English and Spanish. Please use the online form or call us at (877) 275-3227 to order these resources.

Help Us Serve You Better

The IEL Project wants to hear from you to learn how we can best serve you through our Web-based resources. Please complete our online survey and let us know how we can support you in your role as a parent, caregiver, or teacher of young children.

Question Answering Service

The Illinois Early Learning Project provides reliable resources and information in response to your questions on the parenting, care, and education of young children in Illinois. To take advantage of this service, please call our toll-free number at (877) 275-3227 during business hours or send us your question using our online form.

Upcoming Conferences

YWCA Lake County 2016 Annual Child Care Conference & Business Expo, May 7, Deerfield, IL

McCormick Center Leadership Connections, May 12–14, Wheeling, IL

Becoming Young Thinkers Institute, June 14–16, Peoria, IL

Summer Institute on the Project Approach, July 25–29, Davenport, IA

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Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends to help spread Illinois Early Learning News throughout the state!

We'd Like to Hear From You

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact Bernadette Laumann at (877) 275-3227 or