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May 2018

IEL Project Resources Available in Multiple Languages

Did you know that the IEL Project website is available in both English and Spanish? All Tip Sheets are available in English, Spanish, and Polish. Some Tip Sheets are available in other languages: Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and French. We plan to translate more Tip Sheets in multiple languages to serve early care and education providers and families in Illinois.

Five Things Children Gain from Puzzle Play

In her latest blog, Dr. Rebecca Swartz explores how puzzles can not only help build cognitive and fine motor skills but also social, emotional, and language skills when caregivers use puzzle time thoughtfully. She discusses how young children can learn spatial vocabulary, sequencing, problem-solving, task completion and persistence, and fine-motor and hand-eye coordination while playing with a wide variety of puzzles.

Helping Young Children Resolve Conflicts

IEL has a resource guide for teachers, parents, and other caregivers on how to help young children resolve conflicts. Resources include several IEL Tip Sheets, such as Making and Keeping Friends, as well as national websites such as the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations.

Growing a Garden

Spring has finally arrived! Planning a garden project with young children can be a wonderful way to address many IELDS standards and engage families in your program. For example, see Garden Project Sprouts From Simple Question: “What’s That?” The IEL Project also provides several Tip Sheets with suggestions for engaging young children in gardening.

Summer Institute on the Project Approach

Early childhood educators are invited to attend the Summer Institute on the Project Approach held at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. The Institute is presented by Dr. Sallee Beneke, Dr. Chip Donohue, and Ms. Debra Brownson. Meet colleagues interested in implementing project work in their classrooms.

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

NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, June 10–13, Austin, TX

4th Annual IL Birth to Third Grade (B-3) Continuity Conference, June 13–14, Bloomington, IL

Summer Institute on the Project Approach, July 23–27, Davenport, IA

ILAEYC Growing Futures Conference, Oct. 18–20, Peoria, 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