Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) K-3 User's Guide, Research Edition

Authors: Miriam W. Smith Ed.D., Joanne P. Brady M.Ed., Nancy Clark-Chiarelli Ed.D.

Format: Paperback, 104 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781557669483
Price: $35.00

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ELLCO K–3 at-a-glance


Trusted by schools across the country, ELLCO helps build better literacy programs by assessing the quality of both the classroom environment and teachers' practices. With ELLCO, educators reliably gather the essential data needed for professional development and program improvement that lead to better literacy outcomes for young children. These two NEW editions of ELLCO are even better because they're

  • Age-specific. Assessment is effective and accurate with the new ELLCO editions, designed especially for preschool and early elementary environments. ELLCO Pre-K prompts users to look for preliteracy activities like storybook reading, circle time conversations, and child-originated storywriting, while ELLCO K–3 has been reworked to reflect the evolving literacy skills of K–3 students.
  • Streamlined. Each new edition of ELLCO has just two parts: a classroom observation to gather critical information about 5 key elements of the literacy environment, and a teacher interview, which supplements the observation with educators' firsthand reflections.
  • Easier to administer. Users will get complete information about conducting classroom observations, scoring accurately, and limiting bias. They'll also get helpful descriptors for all 5 levels of the rating scale.
  • Informed by user feedback. The new editions of ELLCO were created using feedback from the education professionals who know the tool best.

With these new editions of the assessment tool thousands trust, preschools and elementary schools will have the information they need to determine the effectiveness of their classroom environments, strengthen the quality of their programs and teaching practices, and improve young children's early literacy outcomes.

View the recorded webinar: Assessing your early childhood programs literacy practices with ELLCO presented by Louisa Anastasopoulos.

Measure 5 key literacy elements:

  • classroom structure
  • curriculum
  • the language environment
  • books and book reading opportunities
  • print and early writing supports

The User's Guide is part of ELLCO, the bestselling classroom observation tool that helps schools assess the quality of literacy practices and supports and give children the best possible start in language and literacy development. Trusted by schools across the country, ELLCO helps educators reliably gather the data needed for professional development and program improvement, leading to better literacy outcomes for young children.

All ELLCO Products




Review: The Midwest Book Review
"Offer[s] classroom teachers a fresh approach to developing and promoting the literacy skills of young children."
Review by: Betty Bunce, Clinical Professor and Director of Language Acquisition Preschool, Department of Speech Language Hearing, University of Kansas
"Captures the essence of good teaching where indirect as well as direct styles of interaction are valued and where children are supported in developing their own knowledge."
Review by: Laura Justice, Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
"This exemplary resource is a must–have . . . I use it all the time and find the data it provides to be valid and reliable indices of the early childhood classroom environment."
Review by: Cynthia Gehrie, Ethnographer, Consultant for Documentation and Professional Development, Early Reading First grant, Northeastern Illinois University
"An organizing and validating instrument that helps classrooms to transform into zones of inquiry and conscious communication."
Review by: Maurice Sykes, Executive Director, Early Childhood Leadership Institute
"The perfect tool . . . for those of us who seek to close the opportunity–to–learn gap during the early learning years."

Table of Contents

About the Authors
  • Introduction to the ELLCO K3

      Research Literature Base for the ELLCO K3

      Key Components of Early Reading

      Key Components of Early Writing

      Organization of the ELLCO K3

      Underlying Assumptions of the ELLCO K3

      Who Should Use the ELLCO K3?

      How Does the ELLCO K3 Compare with the ELLCO Toolkit, Research Edition?

      Contents of the Users Guide


  • Effective Elements of Early Literacy: Kennys Story

      Vignette 1: Entering

      Vignette 2: Analyzing the Discovery

      Vignette 3: Reading Group

      Vignette 4: End of the Day


  • Structure of the ELLCO K3

      Overall Structure and Levels

      Anchor Statements

      Descriptive Indicators

      Evidence Section

      Teacher Interview

  • How to Conduct an ELLCO K3 Observation

      Guidelines for Observing in Classrooms

      Scheduling and Duration of Observations

      Conducting Observations with Professionalism and Respect

      Preparing for the Observation

      Taking Evidence and Rating Items

      Focusing on the Evidence

      Rating Strategies

      Avoiding Bias

      Considering Grade Level and Timing

      The Teacher Interview

      Completing the Score Form

  • A Review of Sample Items

      Recording Evidence

      Understanding the Rubrics

      From Evidence to Rubric to Rating

      Example 1: Item 8, Discourse Climate

      Example 2: Item 15, Strategies to Build Reading Comprehension

      Example 3: Item 16, Writing Environment

  • Using the ELLCO K3 for Professional Development

      Tips for Incorporating the ELLCO K3 into Language and Literacy Practices

      Step 1: Create a Positive Climate for Teacher Development

      Step 2: Preview the ELLCO K3 Together

      Step 3: Conduct an Initial Observation

      Step 4: Share Results

      Step 5: Generate Goals

      Beginning Steps Toward Change

      Section I: Classroom Structure (Organization, Contents, Management, Professional Focus)

      Section II: Curriculum (Integration of Language and Literacy, Independence, Diversity)

      Section III: The Language Environment (Discourse Climate, Extended Conversations, Vocabulary)

      Section IV: Books and Reading (Characteristics, Sounds to Print, Fluency, Vocabulary, Comprehension)

      Section V: Print and Writing (Environment, Instruction, Student Writing)


  • Using the ELLCO K3 in Research


      Practicing and Calibrating Ratings

      Interrater Reliability

      Recalibration in the Field


  • Technical Report on the ELLCO Toolkit, Research Edition

      Note for the Reader

      Psychometric Properties of the Literacy Environment Checklist

      Interrater Reliability

      General Statistics

      Reliability Analysis

      Measuring Stability and Change

      Psychometric Properties of the Classroom Observation

      Interrater Reliability

      General Statistics

      Reliability Analysis

      Measuring Stability and Change

      Correlation with Another Widely Used Measure

      Predicting Child Outcomes

      Psychometric Properties of the Literacy Activities Rating


      Interrater Reliability

      General Statistics

      Reliability Analysis

      Measuring Stability and Change

      Correlations Among the ELLCO Toolkit (Research Edition)




Web Sites
Web Resources
Research Articles, Books, and Book Chapters

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