Language and Early Literacy

Language and Early Literacy Standard 1:

Demonstrates skills and strategies needed for receptive communication.

P-LC 1.

Child attends to communication and language from others.

​ P-LC 2.

Child understands and responds to increasingly complex communication and language from others.

Attends to a​n adult or peer who is communicating verbally or ​nonverbally.

  • As Mykyla listens to her caregiver talking about cookies, she smiles and nods enthusiastically.
  • At story time, Max watches as his teacher signs “Mama, Do You Love Me?" 
  • Liam looks at his caregiver when he talks about the day's activities.
  • William focuses on the classmate who is telling a story during share time.

Follows simple directions.

  • When the teacher asks Carter to choose a center to begin working, Carter points to the Art Center.
  • When his teacher signs, “Get your coat and wait at the door," Carlos does so.
  • When the teacher states, “Throw away your cup and your napkin and come to the rug," Olivia complies.
  • When the therapist asks Mary and Albert to get out the box of markers, put it on the table, and come over for circle time, they both follow his directions.

Gains information by listening to/processing communications from others.

  • After listening to the story, Sarah tells her friend, “There are three bears in Goldilocks".
  • Kelly's teacher tells the class that a nurse is going to visit the classroom tomorrow. At the end of the day, Kelly tells her mommy, “A nurse is coming to our class!"
  • After a fire fighter visits their class, the teacher asks what materials the children think they need in the fire station they are creating in dramatic play. Paisley responds, “We need hats and coats and boots!"
  • Emily listens to the book The Snowy Day, and signs to the teacher that she thinks Peter's snowball went away because his house was warm.

Interprets or applies information someone else communicates verbally or nonverbally.

  • A nurse visits Becky's classroom and talks with the class about why it is important to wash your hands. Later, Becky tells a doll, “Wash your hands before you eat. Germs make you sick."
  • On the playground, Crystal reminds Jason, “We can't play on the slide. Remember? The teacher told us that it's closed. It's all wet."
  • Jackson holds up the book about firefighters that was read earlier that morning. “Let's play fire fighters! Use the hoses just like they did in the book."​​

Language and Early Literacy Standard 2: 

Demonstrates the knowledge, skills and strategies needed for expressive communication.

Uses non-verbal communication to convey emotions.

  • Elizabeth frowns when she hears the clean-up song begin.
  • Frustrated that he could not open the container, Lucas stomps his feet on the ground and shrugs his shoulders.
  • When the teacher announces that a special visitor is coming to read a book later that day, Ella smiles and claps.

Identifies or chooses an object or person by pointing, physically touching or moving toward another.

  • While playing “Farmer in the Dell" Simone chooses Elly to be the “farmer's wife" by taking her hand.
  • When asked what he wants for a snack, Darius points to the graham crackers from the assortment on the table.

Uses gestures and/or movements to initiate interactions or to get needs met. 

  • Kyle touches another child on the arm, takes his hand, and then walks over to the dramatic play center.
  • Victor consistently waves his hands to indicate he wants more food.
  • Kelsey points to indicate who she wants to sit by at circle time.​
P-LC 4.

Child understands, follows, and uses appropriate social and conversational rules.

​ P-LC 6.

Child understands and uses a wide variety of words for a variety of purposes.​

Initiates communication to have needs met.

  • Easton looks at the interventionist, who says, “Easton, do you want to use this block?" and Easton says, “Yes, I want to build a bridge."
  • As the children are walking in from the playground, Craig signs, “I want a drink of water" to his therapist.
  • During center time Millie walks over to where her teacher is standing and asks, “How long until lunch?"
  • Chance asks William for the puzzle piece he cannot reach.

Uses words, signs, pictures, and/or symbols to communicate.

  • Samantha gets her PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) board and shows the picture of the outdoors to the teacher ​to communicate that she wants to go outside.
  • When broccoli is put on his plate, Peter signs, “I don't like that" and pushes his plate away.  
  • Allison puts the music center picture on her visual schedule to let her teacher know where she wants to go.
  • Singe says, “Elly took my blocks. She should give them back." 

Uses different types of words to communicate about people, objects and activities that are familiar as well as new.

  • Arabella points to the classroom fish tank and says, “Those are our fish and this is their fish tank."
  • After running around the whole playground, Hunter uses descriptive words as he says, “I run really fast! I am fast like a rabbit!"
  • During group time Iona's teacher explains what a “microscope" is, and during free play Iona uses the new word when she looks through a paper tube and says, “I am using a microscope to look at these beads."

Responds appropriately in conversations and discussions with peers and adults.

  • When asked “How old are you?" Mike replies, “Three. I have a dog."
  • When her therapist signs, “Do you want to play with the dolls?"  Kate signs “No" and then points to the paintbrush on her communication board.
  • When asked what he would like to do, Josiah tells his teacher that he wants to build a castle in the sandbox. His teacher restates Josiah's intent to which Josiah responds, “It's going to be really big with a bridge."

Asks many types of questions.

  • When her mother picks her up at the childcare center, Laura asks, “Where is Daddy?"
  • Evelyn points to a photo of Addison's family and asks Addison, “Who is that?"
  • As the caregiver is reading, Keshon asks, “Why do Jack and Jill fall down?"
  • Oliver sees Wyatt standing at the door crying after his mother left and asks, “Are you sad?"
  • After he finishes looking at books in the book center, Henry asks his friend, “What should we do now?"

Adjusts the pitch, intonation, pace, and volume of their communication based on the situation.

  • The teacher reminds everyone about the rules when the class goes to the library, and Alex whispers, “I'm going to talk real quiet."
  • Corey raises his voice higher as he pretends to be the Mother Bear. 
  • Cecilia repeats her response in Spanish when she realizes her teacher was speaking to another child and did not hear her the first time.
  • “Garcia emphatically signs, “No, I don't want to go" when his mom tells him it's time to go.​
​ P-LC 5.

Child expresses self in increasingly long, detailed, and sophisticated ways.​

Speaks clearly enough to be und​erstood by familiar people ​from his/her own commun​ity.​

  • Pointing to the fresh lettuce harvested from the class garden, Riley tells a friend, “Dis is the food for the wabbit!"
  • Levi asks Zoey, “Will you play on the 'puter wif me?"
  • Owen excitedly tells her therapist, “My mom and dad are coming to lunch today. They get to sit with me."

Uses simple sentences to express self but may not always use correct grammar.

  • Tomas says, “Me want to play."
  • Luis told his teacher that he “runned" fast on the playground.
  • Olivia signs “Can I have a cookie" after listening to the story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Uses more complex sentences, but grammar is sometimes incorrect.

  • Kendra says, “I want to play blocks with Sicily."
  • Marcus signs, “I played in the sandbox with Billy."
  • Devon says, “I gave the mouses a cookie, a glass of milk, and a straw."

Uses multiple sentences together with correct grammar consistent with his/her home language most of the time.

  • Kinsley says, “I like pizza and ice cream."
  • George says, “I want to play with my friends in housekeeping. We can make a cake."
  • Kristin says, “I ran to the sandbox with Billy and we filled all the buckets."
  • Jake says, “When I am four, I will go to Disneyland."​

Language and Early Literacy Standard 3: 

Demonstrates early literacy skills that are foundational for the reading process.

Actively participates in storytelling, read alouds, and individual opportunities to hear someone reading.

  • While listening to The Very Hungry Caterpillar Jason asks, “Do caterpillars have teeth?"
  • Christy says, “…caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap…" as the teacher reads the story.
  • As the teacher reads Goldilocks and the Three Bears out loud, Michael and several others act out the story line.

Demonstrates self-directed interest in the reading process.

  • During free time, Ingrid chooses to join a small group that is listening to a story. 
  • Adam claps and smiles when his teacher chooses his favorite book to read.  
  • Jacques chooses a Braille copy of the book Ferdinand to explore while he rests.
  • Carrie asked her teacher if she could take several books home to read with her sister.
  • Drew draws pictures of three little pigs and a big bad wolf after hearing the story.
  • Cassidy shows her therapist her favorite page in her storybook and they both laugh at the rabbit jumping high in the air.

Imitates the act of reading.

  • Chris pretends to read a book to a doll in the housekeeping area.
  • Yolanda chooses to “read" the Daily Message that was written by the teacher earlier in the day.
  • While pretending to be a teacher, Reese “reads" the classroom rules to his friend Claire.​
​ P-LIT 2.

Child demonstrates an understanding of how print is used (functions of print) and the ​rules that govern how print works (conventions of print).

Recognizes that print conveys meaning.

  • Nicky recognizes and “r​eads" environmental print (McDonalds, Kroger, K-Mart, etc.).
  • While standing in front of the gerbil cage, Billy points to a label that the teacher posted and says, “That means gerbil."
  • Barb points to the words (not the pictures) as she “reads" the story using some words as they are written and some of her own words.
  • Marco runs his finger over the braille in the book and says to his friend, “I wonder what that says?"
  • Yolanda points to another child's name card and says, “Alex."

Demonstrates book handling skills.

  • Damon pulls out a book from the basket and realizes that the book is upside down and backwards. Damon flips it over to the cover and turns it upright before opening the book.
  • Isaiah flips open a book to a random page, glances at the pictures and the text, and quickly turns the book right side up. 
  • Erin looks at pages of a known storybook, gently turning the pages one at a time while moving from the front of the book to the back.
  • Piper picks out a favorite book, opens the cover and begins turning the pages while looking at each page from left to right. 

Demonstrates understanding of some basic print conventions. 

  • John points to the text on a page in a picture book and asks, “What does this say?"
  • When the teacher turns the page of the big book and asks, “Where should I start reading this page?" Raelynn comes up and points to the beginning of the text on the page.
  • Landon moves his finger from left to right across a line of print in his favorite book, From Head to Toe, reciting “I can do it."
  • Ashlyn “reads" a book, following the print from left to right, and top to bottom. 
  • As Nevaeh listens to the book, WOW! School! she points to the exclamation mark and asks, “What's that?"​
​ P-LIT 3.

Child identifies letters of the alphabet and produces correct sounds associated with letters.​

Recognizes some letters of the alphabet.

  • Erin recognizes some letters in her name. As she is walking down the hall, she ​points to the ​EXIT sign and says, “Is that my name?"
  • While placing the wooden signs along his block building, Rudy recognizes the letter “d" in the sign, Do not Enter and “s" in the Stop.
  • When looking at the magnetic letters, Alex picks up the “A" and says, “That's in my name."  

Recognizes some letters and words in print.

  • Jon picks out his name on the computer screen and signs, “That's my name."
  • As Calvin puts his name card under the “I am here today" label, his teacher asks, “Do you have the letter 'c' in your name like Caleb?" Calvin looks at his card and points to the letter 'c' at the beginning of his name.
  • When the teacher asks if someone can find the word “see" in the Daily News, Lesha comes up and points to the word “see". 

Identifies some known letters of the alphabet in familiar and unfamiliar words. 

  • When looking at a book, Becky points to the “B" says, “That “B" is in my name." 
  • When holding a “J" magnet letter, Suzy says, “That letter is in John's name."
  • Allie feels the Braille letters on her name card and says, “That's me…A-l-l-i-e."​
​ P-LIT 1.

Child demonstrates awareness that spoken language is composed of smaller segments of sound.

Listens to and identifies different types of ​sounds.

  • While on the playground Greyson hears the fire truck siren and says, “Firetruck!"
  • While on a class listening walk, Brayden not​​ices the chirping of several birds and says, “I hear birds!"
  • With his back turned to the group of children, Mason listens carefully as a child says to him, “Good Morning, Mason." Mason squeals, “It's Harper!" and turns around to see Harper standing there.
  • While looking at the elephant animal card and the tiger animal card, Willow listens to the sound of a tiger and points to the tiger.
  • Levi listens carefully as he shakes both containers to find the one that contains the jingle bells.  As he confirms his selection, he says, “Yup. It's this one! I heard it jingle."

Recognizes rhyming words. 

  • While using an amplification system to read a book together, the therapist stops and says, ““Oh, goat and boat rhyme! They sound the same at the end. Goat, boat." Emma then repeats, “Goat, boat, goat, boat." The therapist responds, “Yes, goat and boat rhyme".
  • While reading a poem, the teacher pauses and says, “Jill. Hill. Hmm. Do those two words rhyme?" Emmett nods his head up and down and smiles.
  • The teacher asks the children to line up if their name rhymes with the pretend word, “Temma".  Emma quickly stands up, smiles, and begins to line up.
  • While singing the line “one jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool", Benjamin stops and says, “Hey! Pool. Cool. Those words rhyme!"

Produces a rhyming word.  

  • When his early interventionist asked which two words rhyme: /stair, steel, chair/ Liam signs, “stair and chair."
  • When the teacher says, “One- two- three, come along to me. What two words rhyme?", Isabella responds, “Three and me".
  • While reading Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop, the teacher asks, “What rhymes with “pop?" and Aaron responds, “top."
  • Jerry plays a game with his name: “Jerry, berry, Mary."  
  • T.C. provides a rhyming word at the end of the poem he has not yet heard. “I have a cat whose name is Matt; he has a ball he likes to bat. The other day he wore a ___(hat)."
  • While singing a song with rhyming words, such as The Ants Go Marching One by One, Lane makes up other rhyming words: “The ants had fun. The ants got none."

Discriminates separate syllables in words.  

  • During circle time, Imani claps the three syllables in his classmate's name, Ol-i-ver.
  • On her turn, Charlotte turns the picture card over and says, “kangaroo".  Charlotte then uses the tambourine to beat out the syllables while saying the word in chunks, “kan-ga-roo". 
  • As Sam stomps out the syllables in the word De-cem-ber, Sam reports that there are 3 syllables in the word. 

Recognizes letter sounds that match.

  • While repeating the tongue twister for the third time, Aiden laughs and says, “My lips gets tired saying /p/ all the time!"
  • During the Name Game, the teacher sings, “Where is /L/? Where is /L/?"  Luke stands up and sings, “Here I am! Here I am!"
  • During the morning circle David says, “David and Danielle both start with the sound /d/!"
  • The teacher shows a collection of various objects and says to the children, “I'm thinking of something that starts with the sound /b/.  What could it be?"  Lillian points to the banana. 

Makes some letter-sound connections.

  • Gavin sees the letter “D" on a block, points to the “D" and says, “This is for Daddy." 
  • Maisie says, “Michael, 'Mmm' starts your name, too."
  • Tatianna says, “My name starts with a T sound".

Identifies some beginning sounds of words.

  • Ashlyn says, “Butterfly starts with /b/.
  • When Samantha's interventionist shows her the letter “s" Samantha says, “My name starts with /s/."
  • Caitlyn says, “My name is like cat, both words start with a /ka/."​
​ P-LIT 5.

Child asks and answers questions about a book that was read aloud.

Gains meaning from pictures.​

  • Alana looks at a poster and signs, “That's a dog. He's brown."
  • Bryan looks at a picture James drew of his own house and says, “My house is ​like yours. It has two windows and a door."
  • Caroline looks at Skylar's collage of favorite sea animals, which has several sharks pasted on the paper, and says, “You like sharks".

Uses pictures or illustrations to answer questions, provide descriptions or retell details related to stories, songs and text that are read aloud.

  • The teacher holds up the book Big Red Barn and asks the children what they think the story will be about.  Cooper looks carefully at the illustration on the cover and signs, “Farm."
  • Nina points to characters in a book and recalls, “This little pig builded a straw house."
  • Juan smiles as he puts the picture story cards in the right order so that it tells a story.
  • After the teacher reads the first part of A People House, Johann finishes the story by “reading" the pictures.
  • Micah looks at the picture on the following page and guesses what will happen next in the story.

Recalls information and draws simple conclusions from text that is read aloud.

  • After reading the story, The Gingerbread Man, the teacher asks the children to identify some of the characters in the story.  Weston recalls the fox and the gingerbread man. 
  • As the teacher was reading The Little Red Hen to Luna, the teacher asks her what the problem seems to be in the story.  Luna responds, “Nobody will help the little red hen."
  • While her interventionist reads The Polar Express, Amy asks, “Where is the train going?"
  • While reading the story Jamaica's Find, the teacher asks the children about how they think the girl who lost the stuffed animal dog might be feeling.  Asher responds, “She's sad. But Jamaica is happy."​
​ P-LIT 4.

Child demonstrates an understanding of narrative structure through storytelling/re-telling.​

Acts out main event​s of a familiar story.

  • Tom is wearing overalls and says, “I'm Corduroy."
  • Andy puts pegs in a pegboard to build a birthday cake for Frances, just like in the book, A Birthday for Frances.
  • LaChelle says, “I'm Goldilocks, you're the mama bear, you're the papa bear, and you're the baby."
  • Mira and Joey act out Old MacDonald Had a Farm using puppets.

Uses pictures and illustrations to tell and retell a ​story.

  • Sevin uses flannel board characters to retell the story, The Three Questions.
  • Logan draws pictures of the big bad wolf blowing down the straw house.
  • Clarence tells a story to his friend Amanda using pictures of animals taken when their class visited the zoo.

Uses prior experience to help make sense of stories.

  • While the teacher reads Arthur's Tooth, Meisha points to her mouth where she has lost a tooth.
  • After hearing The Snowy Day, Leandra says, “My brother and me made snow angels."
  • Jim tells about his train trip after reading Freight Train.

Retells a story including many details and draws connections between story events.

  • After hearing the story of Pepe the Bull, Phillip tells the story to the stuffed animals in the quiet area, recalling many details from the story.
  • After reenacting The Three Little Pigs together during circle time, Molly builds three houses in the block area and uses the wolf and pig characters to retell the story.
  • Several friends re-enact the story of Stone Soup in the dramatic play area. Later, on the playground, Ben finds the perfect rock and brings it to the classroom to use when they play Stone Soup again.

Language and Early Literacy Standard 4: 

Demonstrates early literacy skills that are foundational for the writing process.

Recognizes that oral communications can be represented by written language.

  • In the housekeeping center, Sam uses scribbles and symbols to write down Billy's lunch order.
  • Luisa “rereads" the story she pretended to write, using different words than what she originally used when writing it.
  • Tyler writes a sign naming his block structure.

Dictates words to an adult to be written down to convey a message.

  • Tonya asks her teacher, “Will you write, 'This is my house?'"
  • When the interventionist offers to write a message on his drawing.  Kiley signs, “Write, 'I love my dog.'"
  • Joshua asks his teacher to write a note to his mom.  When she asks what she should write, Joshua says, “Tell her I have been good at school today."

Recognizes that once an oral message is written it reads the same way every time.

  • Zaylen recognizes the message written by his teacher on one of his drawings and “reads" it to Justin.
  • During circle time the teacher writes the word snow on the chart paper.  Later in the day, Millie points to the word on the chart and says, “That says, 'snow'."
  • Tommy hears the teacher point out the sign above the door and say that the word is “Exit." Later he tells his friend Emma, “That says 'exit.'."​
​ P-LIT 6.

Child writes for a variety of purposes using increasingly sophisticated marks.​

Labels pictures or produces simple texts using scribble writing.​

  • ​On his painting, Waylon uses scribble writing to label the “sun", “flower", and “bird".
  • Next to her drawing, Lynley makes several scribble-like marks on her paper and says, “This says, 'I love my cat'."
  • Tracy makes random marks at the top of the paper, points to the marks and says, “That's my name. Everyone will know it's my picture."
  • After building “McDonalds", Matias makes scribble marks on a small piece of paper, tapes it to a ​wooden sign, places it at the entrance of his structure and says, “Open."

Labels pictures or produces simple texts using letter-like forms. 

  • Andre uses lines and circles to write, “I like pizza."
  • Sybil draws some circles and squiggly lines, points to the letter-like marks and signs, “dog".  
  • Uses scribble writing or letter-like forms to represent words or ideas.
  • Burton produces small and large shapes that represent writing letters and words.
  • Elena calls out random letters while writing letter-like marks on the edge of her collage.

Writes recognizable letters.

  • Yo Lee uses a dry erase marker to write the letters z, E, t, o on the mini white board.
  • Liz writes 'i' and 'Z' with chalk on the sidewalk and tells a friend, “I wrote my name!".
  • Valerie copies the word “zoo" that her teacher wrote to create a label for her block building.

Writes familiar words. 

  • Amy places her name card next to the paper and writes “M- Y- A" as she signs in upon arrival.
  • While decorating a birthday card for his brother, Karem writes “love" in the middle of the heart.
  • When writing her name on the Taking Turns List at the Sensory Table, Sofia also writes the name of her friend, turns to her friend and says, “Ava, I wrote your name, too."​

Uses tools for writing and drawing.

  • Kim uses a stick to draw a picture in the sand.
  • Tyler uses markers to draw.
  • Dora uses a pencil to make marks on paper.

Experiments with different ways to grasp writing tools.

  • Carlito picks up a pencil with a fist grasp.
  • Rosa picks up the pencil with the weighted holder and grips it with four fingers.
  • Hans uses a pencil with a finger-grasp.
  • Crystal grasps a paintbrush at the easel.

Adjusts body position when writing.

  • After painting a picture at the table, Caleb moves to a comfortable position to write his name.
  • Jose moves from lying on the floor to a table so that he can write more easily.
  • Andrea places the pencil in her right hand to write her name.

Adjusts paper position when writing.

  • Alexander moves the paper so he can write on it more easily.
  • Miquel holds the paper with his non-writing hand to help keep it in place while writing on it.
  • Jennifer asks for a clipboard to put her paper on while writing a letter to her mom in the reading center.

Shows awareness of the directionality of print on a page when writing (top to bottom, left to right).

  • Julie places stickers from left to right on her paper.
  • Using two fingers, Jimmy traces the letters of his name, starting with the letter “J" and ending with the letter “y".
  • Randall writes the first two letters of his name left to right, then writes the third letter in the bottom left-hand corner of the page.
  • While finger painting, Dareen writes each letter of his name in the correct order, moving from left to right.
  • Nicolas begins to make a list of friends in his class.  Nicolas writes his name at the top of the paper. Then, moving from the top of the paper towards the bottom, Nicolas writes three more names, one underneath the other, using letters and scribbles.​

Unmatched Head Start Goals​​​

 P-LC 3.

Child varies the amount of information provided to meet the demands of the situation.

 P-LC 7.

Child shows understanding of word categories and relationships among ​words.