Reading and writing skills are foundational and necessary for learners to experience success in school, career, and life. As recent NAEP scores have revealed, many students need support to improve their reading and writing skills. This International Literacy Day and National Literacy Month, we offer four evidence-based resources to help caregivers, teachers, and families support literacy in young children.

Joyful Reading, Writing, and Creative Expression With Young Children

REL West Resource CollectionThese REL West resources share practical strategies for teachers to promote joyful learning experiences—through interactive reading, creative writing, and the arts—for children in preschool through the early elementary grades. The guidance offered emphasizes education of the whole child, culturally and linguistically sustaining practices, and social–emotional learning. The resources are based on the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition teaching practice brief Integrating Language Into Early Childhood Education, and other research-based guidance.

View this collection of resources.

Joyful Literacy in the Early Grades

Adult reading to childWhat does culturally sustaining, rigorous, and joyful early literacy teaching and learning look like, particularly for young multilingual children, English learner students, and students of color? In this archived webinar, Dr. Sandra Leu Bonanno shares new WestEd resources that provide guidance for implementing culturally affirming and evidence-based early literacy instruction that prioritizes joy and creativity. Dr. Leu Bonanno also shares how intentional systems can equip teachers and leaders with the tools and knowledge to implement culturally sustaining and joyful early literacy for all children.

View the webinar.

Supporting Young English Learners at Home With Language and Literacy Development

Caretaker with childIn this archived webinar, teachers, coaches, and administrators receive guidance, resources, and activities that can be shared with families and caregivers to strengthen language and literacy development with English Learners at home. The following topics are addressed in this webinar:

  • the need for home–school connections during distance learning
  • the importance of early language and literacy development
  • recommendations and activities for families and caregivers of young English Learners to develop language and literacy at home

View the webinar.

Developing Foundational Reading Skills in the Early Grades: Teaching Decoding Skills Through Small-Group Lessons

Developing Foundational Reading Skills in the Early Grades: Teaching Decoding Skills Through Small-Group LessonsThis paper, written by WestEd’s Pamela Spycher, discusses the instruction and development of foundational reading skills in the early grades. The paper

  • emphasizes helping students learn to decode, or pronounce, words through small-group decodable reading lessons;
  • discusses how to implement the California Common Core State Standards for Foundational Reading Skills and the English Language Development (ELD) Standards;
  • provides an excerpt from the California English Language Arts/ELD Framework designed to explain the components and sequencing of foundational reading skills instruction;
  • explores the importance of tailoring and differentiating foundational reading instruction in order to effectively support all learners, particularly English learner students, in developing these skills as quickly as possible; and
  • features an in-depth classroom vignette that shows how one kindergarten teacher designed teaching and learning tasks to keep his students on track to achieve reading independence.

Read the resource.

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