WIDA Early Years releases Making Connections

August 4, 2021

Have you heard the exciting news? WIDA Early Years Connection documents are undergoing a major refresh! The WIDA Early Years team has released Making Connections: Using Early Learning and Development Standards and WIDA Early Years Resources to Plan Instruction for Young Multilingual Children. These new resources will replace the existing versions of the Connection documents published for current WIDA Early Years member states. We invite you to preview the new state-specific Making Connections by exploring those already available on the WIDA website for Illinois, Maryland, Wisconsin and New Mexico.

Making Connections was designed with early childhood educators in mind. It includes suggestions, tools and sample plans for teachers who want to incorporate WIDA Early Years resources and their state’s early learning and development standards into their plans to provide equitable early childhood opportunities for the young multilingual children in their care. The document is an invitation for early childhood educators who are interested in learning more about adopting a language-focused approach to their instructional planning.

The document is organized in three sections:

  • An introduction, in which the reader is introduced to a language focus approach, as well as the need for an equity lens, when working with standards. The introduction also provides an overview of key WIDA Early Years resources.
  • A “Getting Started” section, designed to demonstrate how to embed WIDA Early Years resources into a language-focused approach to planning equitable opportunities for young multilingual children.
  • A final section that discusses how concepts and ideas in the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition are also embedded within WIDA Early Years resources.

In addition, the document introduces three tools that can also be found on the Early Language Development webpage:

A Language-Focused Approach to Planning Equitable Opportunities allows readers to learn more about a language-focused approach to planning equitable learning opportunities for multilingual children.

The Language-Focused Planning Tool is designed to assist ECE practitioners embed a language-focused approach to planning.

The Language-Focused Planning Tool: Annotated Guide provides guiding questions to help ECE practitioners use the Language-Focused Planning Tool.

Explore Making Connections to see how these tools can be used to plan equitable learning opportunities for multilingual children.

To find the Making Connections documents currently available, visit the WIDA Resource Library.

Learn more about Making Connections

Join the WIDA Early Years professional learning team for the upcoming webinars:

Introduction to Making Connections: An Overview of New WIDA Early Years Resources for Early Care and Education Professionals
This interactive webinar will provide an overview of the new Making Connections resource, including the three tools highlighted within this article. Participants will have an opportunity to make connections with other early childhood professionals to consider how this resource can be used in their local context. September 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m. CT
September 22, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT

Introduction to Making Connections: A Language-Focused Approach to Planning Equitable Learning Opportunities
Join this interactive webinar to deepen your understanding about the Making Connections resource and three language-focused planning tools. Participants will have an opportunity to practice using the tools and to engage in activities introduced in an Early Years eWorkshop.
October 13, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT
October 20, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

If you’d like to learn more about Making Connections or have questions, please email EarlyYears@wida.us.

About the Author

Stevie Alverson is a professional learning specialist with WIDA Early Years. Her work focuses on designing and facilitating professional learning opportunities for educators who work with young multilingual learners and their families.


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