Posted on 01/02/2019 at 08:02 AM by Blog Experts

Many early childhood teachers are using the Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) Prek-K Tool to assess and improve the literacy learning in their classrooms. The tool has a General Classroom Environment section, which includes areas of (1) Classroom Structure and (2) Curriculum. It also has a Language and Literacy section, which includes areas of (3) The Language Environment, (4) Books and Book Reading and (5) Print and Early Writing. In these five areas there are a total of 19 items and each has 2-4 areas where you can be scored on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being deficient and 5 being exemplary. The tool can be completed by the teacher, an administrator or an outside evaluator.

At Northwest AEA, we have been using the ELLCO with preschool programs of various districts for the past three years. We start with each district by using the tool to do both a teacher self-evaluation and professional outside evaluation. Based on the scoring we then set up goals for improvement while providing consulting services, funds for related purchases, and corresponding training.  We then re-assess, and every time we see improved scores! This means greater literacy skill teaching on the part of the teacher and greater literacy skill learning on the part of the student.

Ongoing use of the ELLCO has also proved valuable for district’s completion of the Preschool Desk Audit, for showing evidence of a process being in place for implementing various Iowa’s Quality Preschool Program Standards annually to the Department of Education. Contact anyone in the Northwest AEA Early Childhood Department if you’d like to know more about this tool. It could be your next best friend!

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