Category Archives: Educator Resources

Lesson plans, activity guides, and helpful tips from our literacy specialist and guest educators.

Watch the Webinar: Best Practices for English Learners in PreK

Thank you to everyone who joined us for last week’s webinar, “Best Practices for English Learners in Prekindergarten” with experts Dr. Patricia Garcia-Arena, Principal Researcher, and Dr. Rebecca Bergey, Senior Researcher, at the Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research. You can access the webinar below, or here on Youtube.

The webinar showcases COLLTS, which stands for Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talents in Students. COLLTS is a research-based early childhood curriculum newly released from The Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

A major goal of the Center for English Learners at AIR is to create the highest quality PreK curriculum to meet the needs of Dual Language Learners and that all children can benefit from. The COLLTS program is distributed exclusively by Bebop Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books.

Purchase the COLLTS curriculum in:

Order the read aloud book bundles in:

Where can I learn more about the research study behind the COLLTS curriculum?

In 2019, COLLTS was used in treatment classrooms to support Dual language learners’ (DLLs’) oral language development. The intervention consisted of teacher professional development; curricular materials that guided teachers in principles of effective instruction; interactive book reading, in which children are exposed to language in rich semantic contexts; and targeted skills instruction to build foundational literacy skills. Key findings of the research study include:

  • Children who participated in the intervention showed significantly larger gains than children in control classrooms in three domains of oral language. These domains have consistently been shown to be developmentally sensitive and positively related to the bilingual reading achievement of DLLs
  • The study demonstrates that an intervention can be easily integrated into preschool programming and result in significant improvements in children’s oral language, compared with children in control classrooms whose teachers did not receive COLLTS curriculum and training.

Read the Journal Article: Developing Oral Language in Young Dual Language Learners, Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talent in Students (COLLTS)

Learn more about the pilot and study findings here. And watch the webinar about Research findings here.

Can we see a sample of the PreK curriculum before we buy?

Yes! On our website, you can preview an English unit and a Spanish unit. Please contact COLLTS@leeandlow.com to see a full unit in English and full unit in Spanish.

Can we pilot before we buy for the whole school/district/library system?

Yes! Please contact COLLTS@leeandlow.com to order one kit and book bundle to pilot.

Can we get additional professional development for our preschool program?

Yes! Please contact Dr. Patricia Garcia-Arena at pgarcia-arena@air.org.

Where can I learn more?

Fill out our interest form and we’ll be in touch!

 

Diverse Texts Aren’t Just for Elementary School: Building Inclusive Curricula for Middle and High School

In this guest post, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo and Stephen Chiger, co-authors of Love and Literacy: A Practical Guide for Grades 5-12 to Finding the Magic in Literature, share different ways that high school educators can approach text selection and build inclusive curricula.

Here’s a thought experiment: Consider the two high school book lists below.  Which one would you prefer for a child you love?

All of the texts above are powerful, and all could make for fruitful study. But readers of this blog won’t likely need to be convinced of the advantages of list 2. A great curriculum makes space for more than one voice; it invites students to see themselves and each other through new eyes.

Why, then, do so many middle and high schools still look more like reading list 1?

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Upcoming Webinar: Best Practices for English Learners in PreK

Join our upcoming webinar “Best Practices for English Learners in PreK” on Thursday, June 3rd at 3:00 PM ET.

In this conversation with two experts from the American Institutes of Research (AIR), we will explore best practices for English Learners in PreK as well as a preview of the new curriculum, COLLTS, from The Center for English Learners at AIR. Our expert panelists are Dr. Patricia García-Arena, Principal Researcher, and Rebecca Bergey, Senior Researcher.

Attendees will come away with ready-to-implement strategies for teaching our youngest students. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, professor of early childhood education, or parent, please join us for this incredibly timely and essential conversation!

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Introducing COLLTS, a New PreK Dual Language Curriculum from the American Institutes for Research

The Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) released its newest curriculum for Preschool learners!

Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talents in Students (COLLTS) is an early childhood curriculum available exclusively from Bebop Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books. Through the use of interactive reading with outstanding children’s literature and nonfiction, this NEW PreK curriculum targets:

  • foundational and pre-reading skills
  • oral language proficiency
  • background and conceptual knowledge

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Watch the Webinar: Teaching About Juneteenth with Children’s Books

We had a great virtual turnout for last week’s webinar, “Teaching About Juneteenth with Children’s Books” with Newbery and Caldecott Honor-winning author and poet Carole Boston Weatherford (Juneteenth Jamboree), alongside expert educators Dr. Amanda Vickery, Assistant Professor of Social Studies at University of North Texas, and Dawnavyn James, Missouri-based Early Childhood and Elementary Educator. If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can access the webinar below, or here on YouTube. Keep reading for links to resources and booklists shared during the webinar.

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2021 Summer Reading Book List for Grades PreK-8+

Diverse Summer Reading List graphic

Let’s kick off summer with our fun, colorful, and printable Diverse Summer Reading List that will get all kids engaged in reading! Our list includes both fiction and nonfiction, bilingual Spanish/English titles, and a diverse range of cultures—in other words, the right book for every reader! Let’s enjoy these upcoming summer months with an exciting page-turner. You can find the full Summer Reading collections here:

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Upcoming Webinar: Teaching About Juneteenth with Children’s Books

Juneteenth, a blending of the words June and nineteenth, is an annual celebration on June 19th commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is currently recognized by more than 47 states as a state holiday or observance, with propositions to make it a federal holiday. How can we acknowledge, celebrate, and teach about the significance of Juneteenth?

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Lee & Low Books is an Official MWBE Vendor for My Brother’s Keeper

Lee & Low Books is proud to be an official vendor of My Brother’s Keeper and one of the only Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) certified publishers of multicultural children’s books. Schools across the country will now be able to bring more equity, inclusion, and diversity into their classroom libraries.

My Brother’s Keeper launched in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. The MBK Alliance, now an initiative under the Obama Foundation, focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.

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Encouraging Literacy in the Youngest Readers with I’ll Build You a Bookcase

Slider Image of all four bilingual editions of I'll Build You a Bookcase to the left of image of people of diverse backgrounds in a park surrounding two bookshelves

Last year, we were thrilled to announce our collaboration with William Penn Foundation and OpenIDEO on the Early Childhood Book Challenge. The winning story, I’ll Build You a Bookcase, releases today!

Written by early literacy specialist and parent educator, Jean Ciborowski Fahey, and illustrated by the award-winning Simone ShinI’ll Build You a Bookcase is for children birth to age 3. Told in simple, sweet rhyme, it celebrates the joy of reading and discovering new stories and is designed to inspire parents and caregivers to read to their child every day.

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Writing Poetry in the Classroom: A Lesson With Author Mark Karlins

Kiyoshi's Walk coverIn this guest post, author and poet Mark Karlins shares how his latest title, Kiyoshi’s Walk, can be used to engage students (and anyone!) to write poetry in the classroom and at home. Mark Karlins also shares how the traditional Japanese poetry form, renga, can help create community in a classroom especially in time for National Poetry Month! 

As I was writing Kiyoshi’s Walk, all I was thinking about was writing an engaging story about a child who wanted to learn to write poetry, a story which has a strong grandfather-grandchild relationship and a progressive structure that keeps people reading and listening. Now that Kiyoshi’s Walk has been published, I’ve begun to think about how the story can expand and become a base for teaching writing both at home and in the classroom. A walk outdoors with a parent and child, a stroll through the playground of a school, even an indoors excursion from one window to the next, can provide experiences for the writing of haiku. Grandfather Eto and Kiyoshi demonstrate a way this can happen.

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