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All Tip Sheets are available in English and Spanish (español). Most Tip Sheets are available in Polish (Polski). Selected Tip Sheets are available in Korean (한국어), Chinese (中文 (中国), Arabic (العربية), Russian (Русский) and French (Français). IEL Tip Sheets are easy-to-read, one-page resources on a variety of topics of interest to parents and teachers of young children. You can also search Tip Sheets by Topic.
Graphic Tip Sheets
Graphic Tip Sheets are meant for busy families. Put them on your refrigerator, corkboards, or other common household areas as quick reminders of important activities you can enjoy with your family.
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Videos & Podcasts
These videos show some family activities that help infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children learn about the world. For each video we provide some background information, a transcript, and a list of resources about the topic.
Early Learning Moments Videos
The Illinois Early Learning Moments have been developed to assist infant/toddler care providers in implementing the strategies for interaction outlined in the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three (IELGs). Each Early Learning Moment includes a video, information about the area being covered, suggestions for creating an environment to support children’s development, and a series of questions to help you assess whether your everyday environment and interactions support the development of the children under your care.
These videos were filmed in various child care settings. For each video, we provide some brief background information, a transcript, and a description of strategies teachers or caregivers used to help children meet standards in the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3. Having promised parents and the child care center that the children’s identities would remain anonymous, IEL has dubbed out any mentions of the children’s names in these videos. In the transcript and the introduction to the videos, we have inserted pseudonyms for the children.
These videos were filmed in a variety of settings, including programs at public universities, community colleges, and private homes. For each video, we provide background information, a transcript, and a description of how various 2013 Illinois Early Learning and Development benchmarks are met.
Podcasts are a great way to explore early childhood education topics on the go. The Illinois Early Learning Project will continue to add new audio content that can be streamed or downloaded to your device.
Standards & Guidelines
Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3
2013 Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards
Illinois Learning Standards for Kindergarten
Kindergarten Standards Resources and KIDS Assessment
Children with Disabilities and Developmental Delays
Increasingly, children with developmental delays or disabilities attend child care or preschool programs where teachers may have limited information about how to include a child with special needs. Parents who have a child with special needs also may want to know more about adapting family activities to more fully include the child. View more blogs.
Culturally Responsive Practices
An increasing population of children entering child care or preschool who speak a home language other than English. This blog is intended to help parents and teachers support these children as they learn English and their home languages. View more blogs.
Learning and Growing Together
Children grow and develop rapidly in the first five years of life. Every day routines and playtimes provide rich opportunities for young children to learn. This blog explores practical and enjoyable ways that caregivers, families, and teachers can help children learn as they play and explore their world. View more blogs.
Perspectives on the Project Approach
View blogs by Lilian Katz, Sallee Beneke, or practicing early childhood directors. View more IEL blogs.
Learning at Home Activities
Questions and Answers (Q&A)
The IEL staff has prepared a series of questions (and their answers!) on topics in early learning.
These Resource Lists are related to popular topics and contain a wealth of information on early care and education.
Our tool kits are designed to assist teachers and caregivers in their work with young children. The resources have been created as starting points for developing materials that address the individual needs of the children and families in their programs.
Find resources, strategies, and activities to keep young children learning at home and at school during the COVID-19 situation.
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Illinois Educators are invited to submit simple documentation of project work from their classrooms. IEL staff will help edit and publish your project! By sharing documentation of their experiences implementing the Project Approach, Illinois teachers can help each other learn new strategies and ideas for implementation.
Project Approach Tip Sheets
Blog: Perspectives on the Project Approach
View the most recent blog postings. View blogs by Lilian Katz, Sallee Beneke, or practicing early childhood directors.
Project Approach Resources
The Legacy of Lilian Katz
Describe the effects of forces in nature.
Magnets and Cars
Exploring Sound on the Dam
An Engineer Changes His Mind
Bethany Draws a Wheel
Air and Tires
Fun at Home with Preschoolers: Play with Light & Shadow
Say Yes to the Mess! Water Works
Say Yes to the Mess! Snow Time
Say Yes to the Mess! Play with Rocks
Playground Physics: On a Roll!
Playground Physics: Hang in There!
Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Science
Cracks and Holes Project