1. Child demonstrates phonological and phonemic awareness



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JUNE 2006 ELAS Kindergarten /First Grade Age by Age Accomplishments, Page 1

1. Child demonstrates phonological and phonemic awareness.

Things to consider: To what extent does the child understand that the letters in words are made up of sounds? Does the child understand similarities in the sounds of written words? To what extent does the child hear the sounds that letters make? Which point on the continuum best describes the child’s current level of performance?

←Emergent–––1——––––––––––—2————————3––———————4—–Competent→



Shows awareness of separable and repeating sounds in music and words (e.g. dances, marches or claps to beat), and can sometimes identify syllables in words if easily distinguished (e.g. “playground”)
Makes up and chants own rhymes (e.g. when playing in the water table, rhymes words like “squishy, wishy, dishy soap”, or contributes words when play rhyming games)
May know the beginning letter sound of name

Listens to word and finds words that rhyme (e.g. “Willoughby Wallaby Wunny, an elephant sat on bunny”)
Plays with words, giving them new beginning sounds (e.g. “cat, hat, sat, fat, dat, gat”)
Plays with alliterative language (e.g. “Peter, Peter, pie eater”)
Starts to make letter-sound associations (e.g. notices that SAT has same S sound as in SOUP)


Knows that substituting sounds will change what the word says (e.g. knows that the /s/ sound can replace the /k/ sound in “cat” to say “sat”)
Recognizes that some words have the same ending phoneme (e.g. “book” and “cook”)
Occasionally “sounds out” simple words while reading or writing
Demonstrates knowledge of letter-sound correspondences (knows many letter sounds)

Listens to words and identifies the number of syllables

Distinguishes beginning, middle and ending sounds of words
Merges spoken word segments into words (e.g. “com” “pu” “ter”)
Reads or writes words using same sound/spelling patterns (took, look, book, cook)
Uses letter-sound knowledge and context clues to decode unknown words




Ways to look!

Observe and record what the child does when “reading” aloud (Note if the child makes letter-sound connections)

Watch and listen to child while reading stories in different contexts

Write down what the child says during rhyming and other language games

JUNE 2006 ELAS Kindergarten/First Grade Age by Age Accomplishments, Page 2
2. Child uses word recognition skills and demonstrates fluency.

Things to consider: What early reading skills does the child demonstrate? What sight words does the child know? To what degree does the child know that speech is recorded in print? What letters does the child recognize? What tools does the child use to read? Which point on the continuum best describes the child’s current level of performance?

←Emergent––1——–––––––———2——————––—3––—–––—–—–—4—–Competent→



Recognizes several words by sight in context (e.g. many classmates’ names, text labels in classroom, frequently used, high interest words like “dog” or “toy”)
Recognizes and names most uppercase and lower case letters
Recognizes and uses print in the classroom and outside (e.g. written classroom labels, outdoor and indoor signs)
Attempts to read a book to self or others, relying on both pictures and text

Recognizes most print in the classroom environment (e.g. area names- “Art Area”)

Identifies some alphabet letters, especially those in his/her own name
Shows some recognition that it is the print that is read in stories (e.g. while “reading”, child’s eyes follow the text, and/or narrates pages with text, not pictures alone)
Displays book handling skills such as turning the book right side up, turning one page at a time, turning pages from left to right, recognizing familiar books by cover

Recognizes that a variety of print letter formations and text forms are used for different functions (e.g. grocery list, menu, store sign, telephone book, newspaper, and magazine)
Recognizes name in a variety of contexts (e.g. child can locate his/her name on helper chart and sign in sheet)

Recognizes that it is the print that is read in varied contexts (e.g. during dramatic play, child asks, “What says ‘pan dulce’?” when pretend ordering from a bakery menu)


Exhibits reading-like behavior (e.g. “reads” aloud to others while talking about characters and showing pictures; pretends to read by pointing with finger; reads own “writing”)

Has a substantial reading vocabulary of 300 or more words
Recognizes some common, irregularly spelled words (e.g. said, house)
Can track print while listening to text being read
Reads simple text with fluency
Is beginning to monitor and correct own reading (e.g. re-reads when sentences do not make sense)

Ways to look!

Take a photo of the child experimenting with letters, and annotate use of letters

Observe and record what the child does when “reading” aloud. Note if the child reads any sight words

Keep a running record of child’s comments and questions while child reads

Observe child reading to self and others; note strategies used

JUNE 2006 ELAS Kindergarten /First Grade Age by Age Accomplishments, Page 3

3. Child demonstrates expanding vocabulary and communication skills.

Things to consider: How would you describe the complexity of the child’s vocabulary? How would you describe the child’s grammar? How would you describe the child’s communication skills? How complex are the child’s communication efforts? Which point on the continuum best describes the child’s current level of performance?

Emergent––1——––––––———2—————––—3––—–––—–—–—4—–Competent→




Includes details when experimenting with new vocabulary during play using concepts presented earlier (e.g. during play, child says, “my birds are migrating south for the winter”)
Consistently describes relevant previous experiences and relates them to new events and/or ideas (e.g. during a discussion about a field trip to the pet store, the child tells the group about how she went to the pet shop with her aunt to look at the animals)
Uses descriptive vocabulary and complex language consistently (e.g. “I used the skinny rod to make the window and used the fabric to make the curtains.”)

Describes recent experiences that are sometimes (but not consistently) related to the current topic (e.g. during a discussion about a trip to the pet store, the child tells about a dog that was at the park)
Asks questions or makes statements to obtain assistance or share information (e.g. “Can I have a snack?”)
Primarily uses 5-6 word sentences to express ideas
Uses role appropriate language and sounds during dramatic play, and sometimes describes roles (e.g. “You be the mommy, I’ll be the daddy.”)

Uses vocabulary heard during activities and stories, but may generalize concepts (e.g. during free play child says, “I’m a making a cocoon for my ant”, after discussing the life cycle of a butterfly.)

Uses if-then statements, compound sentences and explanations (e.g. “I wanted to make a long snake but Mimi has the scarf.” “If I set the table, then you can eat.”)
Uses language for a variety of purposes: to express relationships, make connections, express feelings, initiate play with others, and communicate and negotiate ideas and plans for activities
Uses complex language during dramatic play, and sets the stage by describing roles, setting, actions and events (e.g. “Pretend we are on our way to work, and the baby starts to cry and we find a dog.”)

Elaborates in detail, not just the main points, on personal and classroom topics (e.g. explains step by step with detail how to make or do something)
Expands ideas using rich vocabulary complete sentences and correct syntax
Expresses personal opinions and provides rationale (e.g. “I don’t think she wanted to hurt you. Mary wanted the arch for the top of her building.”)
Uses common antonyms and synonyms
Understands many nuances of language (e.g. Tells jokes and riddles involving double word meanings)


Ways to look!

Note child’s comments while playing in centers

Listen to child’s communication during peer and small group interactions

Note child’s language during dramatic play, and while talking about experiences during lunch or snack

Listen for vocabulary and complexity of language structure

Record child’s language during one-on-one teacher-child interaction


JUNE 2006 ELAS Kindergarten /First Grade Age by Age Accomplishments, Page 4
4. Child demonstrates comprehension skills.

Things to consider: How would you describe the child’s story/text comprehension? Can the child identify the different characters and components of the story, or make predictions? How does the child respond to fiction and nonfiction texts? How would you describe the child’s listening skills? Which point on the continuum best describes the child’s current level of performance?

Emergent––1——––––––———2—————––—3––—–––—–—–—4—–Competent→


Uses a familiar book as a cue to retell very simple stories by describing a few key highlights, but may divert from actual storyline
Answers factual recall questions about book being read
Usually responds to simple questions during one-on-one activities while staying on topic

Uses a familiar book as a cue to retell the story, with a clear, logical sequence; similar to that of the story
Makes comments pertinent to stories being read and connects information in books to his/her personal experiences (e.g. during a small group reading of Caps for Sale, the child tells the group, “My daddy has lots of hats too.”)
Listens for various purposes (e.g. demonstrates that a response is expected when a question is asked; enters into a dialogue after listening to others; repeats parts of stories, poems, or songs)

Retells stories through puppet shows and dramatizations with a beginning, middle and end
Makes comments and asks questions about fiction and nonfiction texts that are relatively complex in nature (e.g. “I think she took that hat because she didn’t like her hair.”)
Regularly relates relevant personal experiences to story (both familiar and unfamiliar), characters’ experiences, language, customs, and cultures



Discusses how, why, and what-if questions about fiction and nonfiction texts
Predicts and justifies what will happen next in stories
Identifies the main character, setting, and important events in a story or includes them in a story retelling
Remembers directions and can accurately relay them to others (e.g. while playing a board game, tells step by step directions to newcomers)

Asks questions to clarify understanding of stories and ideas (e.g. during a reading of Officer Buckle and Gloria, asks why Officer Buckle never noticed that children didn’t listen to his safety speeches)



Ways to look!

During a story reading, describe the nature of the child’s comments and answers to questions

Keep a record of the child’s participation during story discussions

Record what the child says when talking with him/her about a story

Use one of the literacy prompt strategies and document child’s response

JUNE 2006 ELAS Kindergarten /First Grade Age by Age Accomplishments, Page 5


5. Child demonstrates early writing skills.

Things to consider: How would you describe the nature of the child’s efforts to write? To what extent does the child use letter-sounds when writing? How would you describe the child’s writing methods (e.g. spaces between words)? Which point on the continuum best describes the child’s current level of performance?


Emergent––1——––––––———2—————––—3––—–––—–—–—4—–Competent→


Uses letter-like forms in writing attempts
“Writing” appears to be randomly placed on page
“Writes” messages as part of play primarily using pictures, scribbles and some letter-like forms (e.g. during dramatic play, takes another child’s food order)



Attempts to put ideas into writing using letter-like forms and conventional letters
Sometimes uses letter-sound knowledge during writing attempts, primarily for initial word sounds
Writes name on work
Recognizes that a variety of print and text forms are used for different functions (e.g. grocery list, menu, store sign, telephone book)


Uses left-to-right and top-to-bottom directionality and spacing between words when writing

Sometimes uses invented spelling to form words (e.g. may sound out the word family by writing “fmle”)

Uses a few conventionally spelled words in own writing
Makes signs and copies words to convey messages (e.g. in dramatic play area, copies a sign that says “Puppet Show”)

Composes readable texts using conventional and invented spelling
Uses basic punctuation rules – periods and capitalization
Writes simple sentences to convey ideas
Writes all upper and lower case letters from memory
Produces a range of writing projects during choice time and group activities (e.g. letters, stories, labels)




Ways to look!

Collect samples of the child’s writing efforts from different areas and activities

Collect and annotate a writing sample, describing how the words or sentences were formed

Get samples of the child’s writing during dramatic play and while creating projects



Keep anecdotes of when child asks for help with labeling and other writing

Note when child copies letters from signs and labels around the room
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