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March 2018

Careful Planning, Collaboration Can Aid Smooth Transition to Kindergarten

In her latest blog, Dr. Bernadette Laumann notes that the transition to kindergarten for young children with disabilities is most successful when a child’s family, preschool team, and the receiving elementary school staff work together to ensure a smooth process. She notes the transition should begin many months before the start of the new school year, and with careful planning and attention to the individual needs of each child, the transition to kindergarten can be a very positive experience.

Eight More Tip Sheets Translated into French

IEL has added eight more Tip Sheets aimed at parents to its collection of French Tip Sheets. These Tip Sheets are mostly focused on health-related topics such as autism, eye care, hearing, and dental care. IEL now has nine Tip Sheets available in French.

Questions and Answers (Q&A): Academic Redshirting

As parents make decisions about enrolling their 5-year-old child in kindergarten, there may be questions about whether it wouid be best to “hold a child back” until they are a year older (sometimes known as “academic redshirting”). Our Q & A about academic redshirting has information that may be helpful when making this decision.

Lesson Planning in the Context of Projects

Teachers who engage young children in project work may wonder about how to create lesson plans that document what the children are learning. They may have questions about how to include children with disabilities or children who are dual language learners in projects. IEL Project Lesson Planning Aids for the Project Approach provide examples about how to integrate lesson plan components (e.g., assessment, expansion, benchmarks) in the context of projects.

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

IL ASCD Pre-K and Kindergarten Conference, March 7–9, Schaumburg, IL

Limit is the Sky Conference, March 10, Joliet, IL

Early Choices Inclusion Town Hall, March 12, Normal, IL

Early Choices Inclusion Town Hall, March 15, Chicago, IL

Heart of Illinois AEYC, “Engaged Learners, Inspired Teachers,” March 23, Peoria, IL

Heart of Illinois AEYC Spring Mini-Conference, April 7, Peoria, IL

Leadership Connections National Conference: Building Bright Futures, May 10–12, Wheeling, IL

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We'd Like to Hear From You

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