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Classroom Observation to Enhance Early Language


Classroom observation that is focused on specific behaviors and environmental factors can be a powerful instructional tool that provides a great deal of information to help teachers, principals, and other educators enhance language and literacy learning in early childhood classrooms.


This module offers multiple tools and insights for effective observation and feedback strategies, and will also provide an overview of the ELLCO Toolkit. It will help trainers and teachers identify the practices and environmental supports that nourish children’s early literacy and language development in classrooms settings. These early skills establish the base for engaging students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and other literacy paths.


Participants will practice engaging with these tools, including the ELLCO Toolkit, and other techniques through guided sessions of classroom observation. This form of rehearsal helps participants better understand the whole classroom and helps teachers tailor tools to allow for unique instructional practices that help improve student performance.


Key Points

  • A school’s environment can create a powerful influence in children’s language acquisition and early literacy foundation.

  • The practices of teachers, principals, and other school leaders contain multiple features that can facilitate learning.

  • Classroom observation provides a basis for planning discussions with peers and other school leaders.

  • Early learning is foundational to academic achievement and students who graduate college and career ready.




1-3 hours




Kathy Ward-Cameron


Kathy Ward-Cameron, the executive director/ founding president of the Early Literacy Institute, has been on the leading edge of the national focus on early literacy and practice-based coaching for early childhood practitioners for over two decades. She served on the research team for the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE) at the University of Virginia and is a master instructor for Brookes Publishing on the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) Toolkit. Kathy has been a teacher, administrator and coach.

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