Achieving Excellence in Preschool Literacy Instruction  book cover
1st Edition

Achieving Excellence in Preschool Literacy Instruction

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ISBN 9781593856106
Published January 17, 2008 by Guilford Press
344 Pages

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Book Description

High-quality preschool programs are essential to improving children’s outcomes in reading achievement and leveling language and literacy disparities among students from diverse backgrounds. Grounded in state-of-the-art research evidence, this practice-oriented book demonstrates how preschool professionals can create, evaluate, and sustain exemplary programs. Chapters from leading authorities cover coaching, assessment, and differentiation, as well as explicit strategies for teaching English language learners and helping at-risk readers. Discussion questions and suggested activities for professional development are included, as are reproducible assessment forms and planning tools for use in the classroom.

Table of Contents

Foreword, William H. Teale

I. Background

1. Evidence for Creating, Expanding, Designing, and Improving High-Quality Preschool Programs, Andrew J. Mashburn

2. The Scientifically Based Reading Research Approach to Early Literacy Instruction, James F. Christie

3. Establishing a Science of Professional Development for Early Education Programs: The Knowledge Application Information Systems Theory of Professional Development, Sharon Landesman Ramey and Craig T. Ramey

II. Professional Development and Teacher Support

4. Models for Coaching: Making Them Work for Preschools, Sharon Walpole and Carla K. Meyer

5. Mentoring Preschool Teachers, Shelley Gray

6. Formative Assessment of Classrooms: Using Classroom Observations to Improve Implementation Quality, Bridget K. Hamre, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, and Robert C. Pianta

7. Are Early Childhood Classrooms Preparing Children to Be School Ready?: The CIRCLE Teacher Behavior Rating Scale, Mike A. Assel, Susan H. Landry, and Paul R. Swank

8. It's in the Details: Approaches to Describing and Improving Preschool Classrooms, David K. Dickinson, Betsy G. Watson, and Dale C. Farran

III. Optimizing Early Learning Environments

9. Characteristics of Classroom Environments Associated with Accelerated Literacy Development, Renée Casbergue, Lea M. McGee, and April Bedford

10. Increasing Children’s Learning by Getting to the Bottom of Their Confusion, Judith A. Schickedanz

11. Strategic and Intentional Shared Storybook Reading, Sonia Q. Cabell, Laura M. Justice, and Carol Vukelich

12. Differentiating Instruction in the Preschool Classroom: Bridging Emergent Literacy Instruction and Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Terri Purcell and Catherine A. Rosemary

13. Language and Literacy Practices for English Language Learners in the Preschool Setting, M. Adelaida Restrepo and Virginia Dubasik

IV. Making Data-Based Decisions

14. Quality Counts: Design and Use of an Early Literacy Program Review Tool, Kathleen A. Roskos and Carol Vukelich

15. Indicators and Goals of High-Quality Program Evaluation for the Preschool Classroom, Khara L. Pence

16. How to Evaluate a Screening Process: The Vocabulary of Screening and What Educators Need to Know, Christopher Schatschneider, Yaacov Petscher, and Kellee M. Williams

17. Curriculum-Based Measurement of Preschoolers’ Early Literacy Skills, Tanis Bryan, Cevriye Ergul, and Karen Burstein

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Laura M. Justice, PhD, is Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. A certified speech-language pathologist, her research and teaching interests include language disabilities, early literacy acquisition, parent-child interactions, and preschool quality. Dr. Justice’s research on these topics has been supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the International Reading Association, and has received recognition from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Editor’s Award, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology), the Council for Exceptional Children (Early Career Publication Award from the Division for Research), and the U.S. President (2005 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering). She has coauthored several books on young children's language and literacy development.


Carol Vukelich, PhD, is the L. Sandra and Bruce L. Hammonds Professor in Teacher Education and Director of the Delaware Center for Teacher Education at the University of Delaware. Her research and teaching interests include children’s early literacy development and teachers’ professional development, specifically coaching and reflection strategies. Dr. Vukelich has served as President of the Association for Childhood Education International and the International Reading Association’s Literacy Development in Young Children Special Interest Group. She has coauthored several books and an early literacy curriculum program.


"Justice and Vukelich have assembled an outstanding group of educators to produce a book that is both scholarly and practical. This is an excellent resource for early childhood preservice teachers and for ongoing professional development."--Dorothy S. Strickland, PhD, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor Emerita, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"This 'one-stop shop' for excellence in preschool settings is a 'must read' for early childhood professionals across the nation. Teachers, principals, child care providers and directors, and higher education faculty will benefit from the remarkable collection of language and literacy information presented in these pages. From designing high-quality programs to optimizing early learning environments, from assessments to coaching, this book has it all. It is informative, objective, interesting, insightful, and filled with practical applications. Each author is an expert in the field, which greatly contributes to the book's significance. The editors have done an outstanding job compiling the best of the best. If you are interested in creating a classroom of excellence in language and literacy, it is essential that this book becomes part of your classroom and personal library."--Susan J. Kimmel, PhD, Interim Director, Center for Early Childhood Professional Development, University of Oklahoma

"With the proliferation of publicly supported preschools, it is essential that educators and policymakers are informed by the most current and appropriate research on language and early literacy instruction. This book addresses the wide variety of issues that preschool teachers and administrators face every day. The contributors share their expertise on these issues from several perspectives that are grounded in scientifically based reading research. This text is relevant and important for graduate students in early childhood education and literacy, as well as for educational leadership candidates who may one day be making decisions on appropriate curricula, assessments, and teaching practices to best serve our youngest learners."--Deborah Gee Woo, EdD, Department of Literacy Education, New Jersey City University

"This book presents important information that will allow early childhood teachers, literacy coaches, administrators, and project coordinators either to develop or rethink and revise their language and early literacy programs. Particularly helpful are the multiple research-based perspectives that provide practical knowledge related to developing effective programs. Creating high-quality language and literacy learning environments and supporting early childhood teachers is critical. This timely book is a useful resource for anyone interested in developing and sustaining effective language and literacy environments for preschoolers."--Barbara A. Bradley, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, University of Kansas