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2013 Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards

Illinois Early Learning & Development Standards
Language Arts

In her family child care home, Rosalie cares for children of multiple ages with different language capabilities. She knows that conversations with all of the children are important to develop their listening skills, their vocabulary, and their ability to express themselves. So, she talks with them often and listens carefully to how they communicate. For her preschool children, she listens as they tell her about things that happened at home the night before or plans their family has for a trip to Grandma’s house or a visit to the park. She asks questions to encourage them to expand on their descriptions and tell her more, and she invites them to ask questions of each other. She finds books related to their interests and reads them to the children, then encourages them to look at the books on their own, noticing the pictures and describing what they see or retelling the stories in their own words. She provides writing materials for her 3- to 4-year-olds in a variety of play areas (yet safely away from the fingers and mouths of her mobile infants and young toddlers). She loves it when a child brings her a grocery list full of scribbles or a letter telling her, “It says ‘I love you.’” She reads the scribbles and marks with the child, validating his or her efforts to communicate through writing. And, she communicates with her families to let them know just what to expect of their preschoolers as they learn more about how language works.

The domain of Language Arts includes Preschool Benchmarks in: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Preschool children’s language skills are some of the best predictors of reading success in first and second grade. Their use of language to listen and speak, as well as their understanding of reading and writing, will be critical to their academic success in the early elementary grades. Effective language and literacy instruction for young children go hand in hand. Young children are learning how to communicate what they want their listeners to know, how to play with language, how to interact with books, how to understand and tell stories, and how to begin to write as a form of communication. Language arts instruction for preschool children involves helping children gain the skills they need to function socially and in their daily lives. While teachers plan for engaging language and literacy experiences, they are also flexible, with room for spontaneity as children joyfully express themselves, explore books and stories, experiment with writing, and listen and learn together.

Preschool teachers pay attention to each child’s capabilities in language arts, recognizing that while there are developmental sequences, each child will demonstrate her capabilities in her own ways and at her own pace. Therefore, teachers are ever ready to provide individualized assistance and support to the child when needed. In fact, many of the preschool benchmarks in the Language Arts domain are written with the expectation that children will receive such assistance from their teacher. Preschool teachers recognize that mastery of listening, speaking, reading, or writing is not something to expect of preschoolers; rather, skills and understandings are emerging and need teacher support to develop.

Effective preschool teachers help young children develop both their expressive and receptive language. Teachers model the correct use of grammar and the pragmatics of communicating with others. They help children learn to speak clearly and correctly, to carry on conversations, and to ask questions. They are attentive to the child’s home language (if it is not English) and turn to the English Language Learner Home Language Development domain of the IELDS to best address the child’s overall language needs. Meaningful and interesting experiences are provided in preschool classrooms that introduce new vocabulary words to children and help expand their abilities to express themselves. “There is a direct correlation between vocabulary development and academic success, so students’ acquisition of new words should be emphasized from the start” (Resnick & Sow, 2009, p. 73).

Preschool children need

  • many opportunities to hear and use a variety of new and interesting words,
  • encouragement to express themselves in more than a single sentence, and
  • time to tell stories and give explanations that involve the use of several sentences.

Preschool teachers also help children learn to listen. Adult language modeling is important! Teachers model how to use language to request information, how to appropriately acknowledge the communication and conversation attempts of others, and how to provide appropriate answers and responses to others’ requests for information. To develop language, preschool children need to be immersed in an environment rich in language. They need opportunities to engage in frequent conversations—to talk and listen with responsive adults and with their peers.

Helping children attend to the sounds of language is another important part of language development. Preschool teachers plan engaging ways to develop phonological and phonemic awareness, important precursors to phonics. Phonological awareness is the general ability to attend to the sounds of language as distinct from its meaning. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that every spoken word can be conceived as a sequence of individual sounds. Preschool teachers plan activities that develop skills such as noticing words that sound alike, rhyming, and counting syllables in words. Many activities used to develop phonemic awareness can also be used to introduce letters of the alphabet, help children recognize the relationship between spoken and written words, and build the understanding that sounds are represented by letters that are combined to form words. Singing songs, chanting rhymes and poems, and playing with the sounds of words, syllables, and letters are beginning steps toward phonemic awareness.

One of the best ways to help children naturally develop phonemic awareness and other emergent reading skills is through the use of children’s books. Many books lend themselves to playing with the sounds of language. They are rich with rhymes, alliteration, and predictable patterns such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Martin, 1989). Children love playing with language through listening to and repeating rhymes, inventing nonsense words, and saying silly sentences.

In order for children to view reading as a skill they desire, they need to hear the language of print in all its forms and be exposed to a variety of texts. They need to laugh at books such as Cli†fford the Big Red Dog (Bridwell, 1995), learn interesting facts about animals in informational picture books such as What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Jenkins & Page, 2003), and enjoy reciting rhymes in stories such as “Little Miss Muffet” and other examples of alliterative and rhyming verse. Preschool teachers offer book-sharing experiences with individual children and in small and large groups. They discuss books with children, helping them to learn more about authors and illustrators and building their reading comprehension by identifying key events and talking about characters and settings. In such discussions, they help children make personal connections with books, comparing and contrasting stories or informational texts to their own lives. They set up a library area and provide books in other play areas so children can look at books alone and with others and can use them to enhance their play (e.g., looking at a book about buildings when building with blocks).

Understanding concepts of books and print is critical to the development of subsequent reading abilities. For example, young children need to know the orientation of the book (that books are read from front to back and from left to right) and how to turn the pages with care. With more exposure, they begin to see that pictures and words convey meaning and that letters are combined to form words that are separated by spaces. High-quality preschool environments offer children plenty of good books and time for reading and discussing them with adults and peers. In addition, preschool teachers recognize that each child experiments with different aspects of the reading process. Very few preschool children are able to identify unfamiliar words. Instead, they imitate what they have seen their family members and teachers do. For example, they hold a book and retell a story from the pictures. The story they tell may be closely related to the content of the book or it may not. Some preschool children figure out that the print on the page is important and consistent and may follow along by tracing over words with their fingers. It is important that preschool teachers accept and celebrate these legitimate stages in emergent reading and recognize that “picture reading” is an appropriate form of “real reading” for preschool children.

Encouraging children’s emergent writing efforts is one way to provide young children with opportunities to apply their growing knowledge of print concepts, alphabet letters, and sounds. Preschool teachers surround children with print and call attention to letters and words in the environment. They also make a special effort to help children learn to recognize their names and to develop the prerequisite understandings and fine-motor skills necessary for writing them. They provide plenty of meaningful writing opportunities so that children experiment with their writing skills. And again, they celebrate whatever efforts each child makes to express him or herself through writing. They let preschool children know that their scribbles, their pretend letters, and their invented spellings are okay. In fact, these beginning attempts are important milestones in the literacy journey.

All children need to feel confident about their growing understandings and abilities in using and understanding language and in emergent reading and writing. In other words, they need to be in a preschool program where the climate is conducive to exploring language, print, and books; where they feel accepted and encouraged to express themselves and to take risks in their initial attempts at reading, writing, and spelling; and where they feel both challenged and supported as they strive to increase their skills and abilities.

Goal 1 Demonstrate increasing competence in oral communication (listening and speaking).

1.A Demonstrate understanding through age-appropriate responses.

  • 1.A.ECa Follow simple one-, two- and three-step directions.
  • 1.A.ECb Respond appropriately to questions from others.
  • 1.A.ECc Provide comments relevant to the context.
  • 1.A.ECd Identify emotions from facial expressions and body language.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Perform one-step directions stated orally (e.g., “Throw your paper towel in the trash can.”).Perform two-step directions stated orally (e.g., “Get your coats on and line up to go outside.”).Perform three-step directions stated orally (e.g., “Put your paper in your cubby, wash your hands, and come sit on the rug.”).
Answer simple questions stated orally with a simple reply (e.g., “yes,” “no”).Respond to simple questions stated orally with appropriate actions (e.g., “Did you remember to wash your hands?” and the child goes to the sink and washes hands).Respond to simple questions stated orally with appropriate actions and comments (e.g., “Did you remember to wash your hands?” and the child says “Oh, I forgot!” and goes to the sink and washes hands).
Make one comment that is related to the topic of the conversation or discussion (e.g., “I have a dog, too.”).Make more than one comment related to the topic of the conversation or discussion (e.g., “I have a dog, too. His name is Champ.”).Make comments and ask questions that are related to the topic of the conversation or discussion (e.g., “I have a dog, too. His name is Champ. What’s your dog’s name?”).
Look at a person’s face or body language and ask how s/he feels (e.g., “What’s wrong with her, teacher? Did she get hurt?”).Look at a person’s face to determine how they feel (e.g., “She looks mad.”).Look at a person’s body language to determine how they are feeling (e.g., “He’s sitting there all by himself. I think he’s sad, teacher.”).

1.B Communicate effectively using language appropriate to the situation and audience.

  • 1.B.ECa Use language for a variety of purposes.
  • 1.B.ECb With teacher assistance, participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners (e.g., peers and adults in both small and large groups) about age-appropriate topics and texts.
  • 1.B.ECc Continue a conversation through two or more exchanges.
  • 1.B.ECd Engage in agreed‐upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening, making eye contact, taking turns speaking).
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Ask for help when needed.Use language to interact socially with others during various times of the day (e.g., group time, center time, outdoor play, meal time).Use language to influence the behavior of others (e.g., “That hurt when you pushed into me.”).
With teacher assistance, tell something to peers and adults in small- and whole-group situations about age-appropriate topics (e.g., Teacher: “Can you tell us what your idea is?” Child to group in block area: “I want to build a big boat.”)With teacher assistance, converse with peers and adults (with one back-and-forth exchange) in small- and whole-group situations about age-appropriate topics (e.g., Child to another child: “My Grandma lives in Florida. Where does your Grandma live?” Other child: “In Chicago.” First child: “Do you go see her there?”).With teacher assistance, converse with peers and adults (with more than one back-and-forth exchange) in small- and whole-group situations about age-appropriate topics (e.g., Teacher: “How many of you played in the snow yesterday?” Child: “I did. I went sledding.” Another child: “Me too! I saw you there.” First child: “I was with my Dad and sister. Who were you with?” Second child: “My Mom. My Dad was at work. I got really cold.” First child: “Me too!”).
Use one appropriate conversational skill, such as listening to others, making appropriate eye contact, or taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion (e.g., in the library, yells to friend, “Hey, wanna read this book together? It’s my favorite.” When friend joins him, he looks at his friend but does all of the talking.).Use two appropriate conversational skills, such as listening to others, making appropriate eye contact, or taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion (e.g., while pretending to cook in the dramatic play area, child says, “Pretend we’re the sisters.” Other child says, “I don’t want to be a sister. I want to be the Mom.” Other child replies without looking at her, “But you have to be the sister. We don’t have a Mom.” The other child leaves the area.).Use more than two appropriate conversational skills, such as listening to others, making appropriate eye contact, and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion (e.g., at snack time, talking about seeing the latest “Cars” movie and looking at each other, listening, and taking turns speaking).

1.C Use language to convey information and ideas.

Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, tell about a favorite toy or other object during a show-and-tell experience or when talking to a teacher at arrival time (e.g., “It’s my new stuffed turtle. See, his head goes in and out.”).With teacher assistance, tell about a family experience at home or a special family event (e.g., “It was my baby sister’s birthday. We had a cake, and she smooshed it all over her face.”).Share information about a personal experience and, with teacher assistance, provide additional detail (Child: “I’m going to my aunt’s house for a barbecue. I hope we have hot dogs.” Teacher: “What else do you think you’ll have?” Child: “Maybe chips. And popsicles.” Teacher: “Do you like popsicles? What flavor?” Child: “I like the orange ones.”).

1.D Speak using conventions of Standard English.

  • 1.D.ECa With teacher assistance, use complete sentences in speaking with peers and adults in individual and group situations.
  • 1.D.ECb Speak using age-appropriate conventions of Standard English grammar and usage.
  • 1.D.ECc Understand and use question words in speaking.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, speak in simple sentences that are usually, though not always, grammatically correct.With teacher assistance, speak in sentences that use regular plural nouns by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes) in speaking.With teacher assistance, speak in sentences that use an increasing number of pronouns (e.g., she, he, her, him, their, his, our, myself, yourself, herself, mine, me, you), though not always appropriately.
Use negatives (no, not) appropriately.Add /ed/ to words to indicate past tense (e.g., walk, walked; rain, rained), though not always appropriately, and begin to use past tense negatives (wasn’t, weren’t), though not always appropriately.Use irregular verbs (e.g., ate, sang, swam) and nouns (mice, geese), though not always appropriately.
Use one or two of the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with) in speaking.Use three or four of the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with) in speaking.Use more than four of the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with) in speaking.
Answer and ask questions that begin with “who” or “what”.Answer and ask questions that begin with “where” or “when”.Answer and ask questions that begin with “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how”.

1.E Use increasingly complex phrases, sentences, and vocabulary.

  • 1.E.ECa With teacher assistance, begin to use increasingly complex sentences.
  • 1.E.ECb Exhibit curiosity and interest in learning new words heard in conversations and books.
  • 1.E.ECc With teacher assistance, use new words acquired through conversations and book‐sharing experiences.
  • 1.E.ECd With teacher assistance, explore word relationships to understand the concepts represented by common categories of words (e.g., food, clothing, vehicles).
  • 1.E.ECe With teacher assistance, use adjectives to describe people, places, and things.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, make sentences more complex by adding modifiers or auxiliary verbs (e.g., “I want the sparkly one.” “He was running.”).With teacher assistance, combine two short sentences (e.g., “I have a dog. He can jump.”) into one longer sentence (“I have a dog, and he can jump.”).With teacher assistance, use complex sentences to express more complicated relationships (e.g., “When my Mom comes, I’m going to Target.”).
With teacher assistance, repeat new words that have been heard aloud (e.g., Child: “What kind of dinosaur is it again?” Teacher: “Tyrannosaurus rex.” Child: “Oh yeah, Tyrannosaurus rex.”).Ask questions about unfamiliar words (e.g., “What does mean?”).With teacher assistance, attempt to use new words that have been heard aloud in one’s own speaking (e.g., “I saw a gigantic bug outside.”).
With teacher assistance, sort objects into categories (e.g., clothing, toys, food) to gain an understanding of the underlying concepts.With teacher assistance, begin to label sorted categories of objects (e.g., “I put all of the blue blocks together.”).With teacher assistance, label and describe categories of objects (e.g., “These are all the fruits. You can eat them.”).
With teacher assistance, use descriptive words to explain how a familiar person, place, or thing looks (e.g., describing a pet or a favorite food).With teacher assistance, use descriptive words to explain how a familiar person, place, or thing looks and feels (e.g., describing a pet or a favorite food).With teacher assistance, use descriptive words to explain how a familiar person, place, or thing looks and feels, as well as describing how it sounds, smells, and/or tastes (e.g., describing a pet or a favorite food).

Goal 2 Demonstrate understanding and enjoyment of literature.

2.A Demonstrate interest in stories and books.

  • 2.A.ECa Engage in book-sharing experiences with purpose and understanding.
  • 2.A.ECb Look at books independently, pretending to read.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Show interest in reading or in written text by enjoying listening to books read aloud.Show interest in reading or in written text by asking to be read to.Show interest in reading or in written text by asking the meaning of something that’s written.
Make a comment while looking at the pictures in a book.Describe what they see while looking at the pictures in a book.Tell a story while looking at the pictures in a book.
Incorporate books into dramatic play, such as reading to a baby doll or stuffed animal.Incorporate books and other written materials into dramatic play, such as reading from a real or pretend menu.Incorporate books and other written materials into dramatic play on a regular basis.

2.B Recognize key ideas and details in stories.

  • 2.B.ECa With teacher assistance, ask and answer questions about books read aloud. View sample lesson plan
  • 2.B.ECb With teacher assistance, retell familiar stories with three or more key events.
  • 2.B.ECc With teacher assistance, identify main character(s) of the story.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, ask and answer simple questions about a story related to a particular character, action, or picture in the storybook.With teacher assistance, ask and answer simple questions about a story by describing what happened.With teacher assistance, ask and answer simple questions about a story by telling how a particular character might feel or predicting what might happen next.
With teacher assistance, use props (e.g., pictures, puppets, flannel pieces) to retell a well-known story with one or two correct details.With teacher assistance, use props (e.g., pictures, puppets, flannel pieces) to retell a well-known story with more than two correct details.With teacher assistance, use props (e.g., pictures, puppets, flannel pieces) to retell a well-known story with most of the correct details in the flow of the story.
With teacher assistance, recall something about one main character in the story (e.g., it’s a dog; he’s red).With teacher assistance, recall something about more than one main character in the story.With teacher assistance, recall most of the main character(s) in the story and tell something about them.

2.C Recognize concepts of books.

  • 2.C.ECa Interact with a variety of types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems, rhymes, songs).
  • 2.C.ECb Identify the front and back covers of books and display the correct orientation of books and page-turning skills.
  • 2.C.ECc With teacher assistance, describe the role of an author and illustrator.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Enjoy listening to and pretending to read different types of texts (e.g., picture books and predictable books with repetitive patterns).Enjoy listening to and pretending to read different types of texts (e.g., simple storybooks).Enjoy listening to and pretending to read different types of texts (e.g., more complex and lengthy storybooks or books with poems, rhymes, and/or songs).
Hold books with front cover facing up.Turn pages correctly, moving from front of book to the back.Look at page on the left then page on the right.
With teacher assistance, begin to show interest when told about the role of an author or illustrator (e.g., sees similarities in Eric Carle books).With teacher assistance, respond appropriately to questions such as “What do we call the name of the person who writes the book?”With teacher assistance, respond appropriately to questions such as “What do we call the name of the person who writes the book and the person who draws the pictures?”

2.D Establish personal connections with books.

  • 2.D.ECa With teacher assistance, discuss illustrations in books and make personal connections to the pictures and story.
  • 2.D.ECb With teacher assistance, compare and contrast two stories relating to the same topic.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, talk about the pictures in a book (e.g., describe what they see on each page, tell how the characters look).With teacher assistance, make personal comments about how the pictures are like something in their lives.With teacher assistance, make personal comments about how the story is like something in their lives.
With teacher assistance, discuss how the pictures in two books are alike and/or different (e.g., noticing that photographs of real animals are used in one book and drawings are used in another).With teacher assistance, discuss how the characters in two books are alike and/or different.With teacher assistance, discuss how the plot, storyline, or actions in two books are alike and/or different.

Goal 3 Demonstrate interest in and understanding of informational text.

3.A Recognize key ideas and details in nonfiction text.

  • 3.A.ECa With teacher assistance, ask and answer questions about details in a nonfiction book.
  • 3.A.ECb With teacher assistance, retell detail(s) about main topic in a nonfiction book.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, look at the pictures or text in a nonfiction book.With teacher assistance, ask and answer simple questions about the pictures or text in a nonfiction book.With teacher assistance, look at pictures in an informational book to find an answer to a question (e.g., looking to see what a tadpole looks like and how it is different from a frog).
With teacher assistance, identify one important fact in a nonfiction book heard read aloud.With teacher assistance, identify more than one important fact from a nonfiction book heard read aloud.With teacher assistance, recall important facts from a nonfiction book heard read aloud.

3.B Recognize features of nonfiction books.

  • 3.B.ECa With teacher assistance, identify basic similarities and differences in pictures and information found in two texts on the same topic. View sample lesson plan
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, talk about how the pictures in two books about the same topic are alike and different (e.g., noticing that photographs are used in one book and drawings in another book on the same topic).With teacher assistance, talk about how the facts in two books about the same topic are alike and different (e.g., in two books about construction vehicles, notice that one includes two kinds of dump trucks).With teacher assistance, talk about how the pictures and facts in two books about the same topic are alike and different (e.g., in two books about birds, notice that they both have many birds with red beaks and show different kinds of nests).

Goal 4 Demonstrate increasing awareness of and competence in emergent reading skills and abilities.

4.A Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.

  • 4.A.ECa Recognize the differences between print and pictures.
  • 4.A.ECb Begin to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
  • 4.A.ECc Recognize the one‐to‐one relationship between spoken and written words.
  • 4.A.ECd Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • 4.A.ECe Recognize that letters are grouped to form words.
  • 4.A.ECf Differentiate letters from numerals.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Identify that labels and signs in the classroom are words.Ask to have words read (e.g., “What does this say?”).Seek out print to gather information (e.g., check the attendance chart to see who is at school today; check the job chart to see whose turn it is to feed the fish).
During shared reading experiences, practice tracking from page to page with the group.During shared reading experiences, practice tracking print from top to bottom of the page.During shared reading experiences, practice tracking print from left to right and top to bottom of the page.
Point to one word (e.g., “Can you show me just one word?).Correctly identify that two words are presented.Count number of words on a page or in a line of print in a book containing just a few words on the page (e.g., “How many words are on this page? Can you count them?”).
Point to a single letter (e.g., “Can you show me just one letter?”).Count number of letters in own name (e.g., “How many letters are in your name? Can you count them?”).Count number of letters in one or more friends’ or family members’ names (e.g., “How many letters are in this name? Can you count them?”).
Distinguish one letter from one numeral.Distinguish two or three letters from two or three numerals.Sort more than three letters and numerals into separate groups.

4.B Demonstrate an emerging knowledge and understanding of the alphabet.

  • 4.B.ECa With teacher assistance, recite the alphabet.
  • 4.B.ECb Recognize and name some upper/lowercase letters of the alphabet, especially those in own name.
  • 4.B.ECc With teacher assistance, match some upper/lowercase letters of the alphabet.
  • 4.B.ECd With teacher assistance, begin to form some letters of the alphabet, especially those in own name.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
With teacher assistance, sing or chant part of the alphabet with others.With teacher assistance, sing or chant part of the alphabet alone or with others.With teacher assistance, sing, chant, or recite the alphabet alone or with others.
Point to and name some letters in own name.Point to and name most letters in own name.Point to and name letters in own name and some other upper/ lowercase letters.
With teacher assistance, engage in letter sorting and matching activities (e.g., find two magnetic letters that look exactly the same).With teacher assistance, engage in letter sorting and matching activities (e.g., from a small container of letters, locate all the m’s).With teacher assistance, engage in letter sorting and matching activities (e.g., locate letters that are and are not in own name).
With teacher assistance, use a small group of letters that represent both upper and lower case (e.g., Ss, Mm, Oo, Pp) to match one upper- and lowercase letter (may be from own name).With teacher assistance, use a small group of letters that represent both upper and lower case (e.g., Ss, Mm, Oo, Pp) to match two to three upper- and lowercase letters.With teacher assistance, use a small group of letters that represent both upper and lower case (e.g., Ss, Mm, Oo, Pp) to match more than three upper- and lowercase letters.

4.C Demonstrate an emerging understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

  • 4.C.ECa Recognize that sentences are made up of separate words.
  • 4.C.ECb With teacher assistance, recognize and match words that rhyme.
  • 4.C.ECc Demonstrate ability to segment and blend syllables in words (e.g., “trac/tor, tractor”).
  • 4.C.ECd With teacher assistance, isolate and pronounce the initial sounds in words.
  • 4.C.ECe With teacher assistance, blend sounds (phonemes) in one‐syllable words (e.g., /c/ /a/ /t/ = cat).
  • 4.C.ECf With teacher assistance, begin to segment sounds (phonemes) in one-syllable words (e.g., cat = /c/ /a/ /t/).
  • 4.C.ECg With teacher assistance, begin to manipulate sounds (phonemes) in one-syllable words (e.g., changing cat to hat to mat).
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Recognize words forming sentences as s/he dictates to the teacher.Show awareness of words in a sentence (e.g., clap each word in a sentence).Indicate the number of words in a sentence (e.g., count each word in a sentence).
With teacher assistance, recite finger plays, chants, rhymes, and poems containing rhyming words.With teacher assistance, provide rhyming words in songs, poems, or books with a rhyming pattern (e.g., “Jack and Jill went up the .”).With teacher assistance, identify rhymes in songs, poems, or books (e.g., “Hey, that sounds like ‘whale’ – ‘pail’, ‘whale’.”).
Provide second syllable for common words when teacher provides the first syllable (e.g., “I am holding a pen .” Child says “cil” to make the word “pencil”.).Show awareness of syllables in a word (e.g., clap each syllable in a word).Indicate the number of syllables in a word (e.g., count or clap each syllable in a word).
With teacher assistance, respond when called by first sound of his/ her name (e.g., “Whose name begins with ‘BBBB’?”).With teacher assistance, substitute beginning sound of a word to say a new word or nonsense word (e.g., cat, hat, mat, sat; Heather, weather, meather, seather).With teacher assistance, identify the first letter in a word or name that s/he is attempting to write (e.g., “What sound does cat begin with?” “KKKK” “Yes, a K does make that sound. So, does a C.”)
With teacher assistance, respond when teacher stretches the sounds of his/her name. With teacher assistance, state word when teacher stretches the sounds (e.g., “Whose turn is it to line up after you? Ssssss-aaaaaammmm.” Child says “Sam.”).With teacher assistance, stretch out sounds in words with teacher (e.g., “Let’s stretch the sounds to help us write the word ‘can’.”).

4.D Demonstrate emergent phonics and word-analysis skills.

  • 4.D.ECa Recognize own name and common signs and labels in the environment.View sample lesson plan
  • 4.D.ECb With teacher assistance, demonstrate understanding of the one-to-one correspondence of letters and sounds.
  • 4.D.ECc With teacher assistance, begin to use knowledge of letters and sounds to spell words phonetically.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Identify own first name (e.g., point to own name on cubby and say, “That says Jason!” or find name card at sign-in time).Recognize environmental print and one or two classmates’ names (e.g., road signs from a restaurant or a local store).Identify labels (e.g., the words posted to identify various centers, objects, and materials) and more than two classmates’ names in the classroom.
With teacher assistance, respond to prompts about the sound associated with a specific letter, especially the first letter of his/her name (e.g., “Your name starts with the letter ‘m’. Can you remember the sound that this letter makes?”).With teacher assistance, identify the sound of the beginning letter of a word (e.g., “What letter makes the sound you hear at the beginning of the word ‘snake’?”).With teacher assistance, identify examples of alliteration (e.g., saying that the words “big blue bouncing ball” all begin with the /b/ sound).
With teacher assistance, identify individual sounds by saying names of classmates that begin with the sound that is made by a specific letter.With teacher assistance, identify individual sounds through activities such as naming words that begin with the sound that is made by a specific letter.With teacher assistance, spell words phonetically, using known letter sounds (e.g., “s” for snake, “kt” for cat).

Goal 5 Demonstrate increasing awareness of and competence in emergent writing skills and abilities.

5.A Demonstrate growing interest and abilities in writing.

  • 5.A.ECa Experiment with writing tools and materials.
  • 5.A.ECb Use scribbles, letterlike forms, or letters/words to represent written language.
  • 5.A.ECc With teacher assistance, write own first name using appropriate upper/lowercase letters.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Choose one type of writing material to engage in making marks or scribbles identified as a name.Choose one or two types of writing materials (e.g., markers, pencils) to engage in making letterlike forms identified as a name.Use a variety of writing materials (e.g., markers, pencils, crayons, chalk) to attempt to write own name and/or the names of friends and family members.
Make marks or scribbles and identify as writing in play activities, such as developing a grocery list during dramatic play or a sign for a block construction.Make letterlike forms and identify as writing in play activities, such as developing a grocery list during dramatic play or a sign for a block construction.Make letters or words in play activities, such as developing a grocery list during dramatic play or a sign for a block construction.
With teacher assistance, make marks or scribbles to represent own name on sign-up charts, drawings, and other pieces of work.With teacher assistance, make letterlike forms to represent own name on sign-up charts, drawings, and other pieces of work.With teacher assistance, write increasingly recognizable letters of own name on sign-up charts, drawings, and other pieces of work.
If available, show interest in letters on an electronic keyboard (e.g., computer, iPad).If available, show interest in letters in own name on an electronic keyboard (e.g., computer, iPad).If available, and with teacher assistance, locate and type letters in own name on an electronic keyboard (e.g., computer, iPad).

5.B Use writing to represent ideas and information.

  • 5.B.ECa With teacher assistance, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to express an opinion about a book or topic.
  • 5.B.ECb With teacher assistance, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. View sample lesson plan
  • 5.B.ECc With teacher assistance, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to narrate a single event and provide a reaction to what happened.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Contribute personal opinions to be included in group-dictated pieces of writing (e.g., “My favorite food is ,” “I like because .”).Contribute factual information to be included in group-dictated pieces of writing (e.g., brainstorm characteristics of a familiar type of animal, food, or vehicle; recall and share true information about a familiar topic).Contribute to group-dictated stories about a shared experience (e.g., tell about something that happened on a field trip; describe how the dramatic play area was changed into a pet store and new ways the child was able to use that area of the room).
With teacher assistance, draw a picture about a personal event that took place and dictate to the teacher to share information and feelings about it.With teacher assistance, draw a picture about a personal event that took place and use scribbles and/or letterlike forms to share information and feelings about it.With teacher assistance, draw a picture about a personal event that took place and use scribbles, letterlike forms, letters, and/or words to share information and feelings about it.
With teacher assistance, participate in making decisions for a group- dictated piece of writing created electronically (e.g., on a computer, iPad, or Smart Board).With teacher assistance, participate in making decisions for a group- dictated piece of writing in which photographs will be taken to use for illustrations.With support from the teacher, use electronic means (e.g., a computer, iPad, or Smart Board) to create a piece of writing.

5.C Use writing to research and share knowledge.

  • 5.C.ECa Participate in group projects or units of study designed to learn about a topic of interest.
  • 5.C.ECb With teacher assistance, recall factual information and share that information through drawing, dictation, or writing.
Example Performance Descriptors
EXPLORING DEVELOPING BUILDING
Join in an activity to learn about a topic of interest to the group.Join in multiple activities to learn about a topic of interest to the group.Join in multiple activities to learn about a topic of interest to the group and contribute documentation to the study (whether it be drawings, photos, or writing).
With teacher assistance, share through dictation factual information gained from hands-on experiences or written sources.With teacher assistance, share through drawing factual information gained from hands-on experiences or written sources.With teacher assistance, share through writing (whether scribbles, letterlike shapes, letters, or words) factual information gained from hands-on experiences or written sources.

Notes

The Language Arts standards align with the following sections of the Kindergarten Common Core:

 

Standard 1.A: Speaking and Listening 2-3.

Standard 1.B: Speaking and Listening 1-1a, 1-1b.

Standard 1.C: Speaking and Listening 4 and 6.

Standard 1.D: Speaking and Listening 6, Language 1a -2d.

Standard 1.E: Listening 4, 4a, and 5, Language 4b, 5a-5d, 6.

 

Standard 2.A: Reading Literature 10, Reading Foundational Skills 4.

Standard 2.B: Reading Literature 1-4, Reading Informational Text 1-2, 4.

Standard 2.C: Reading Literature 5-6, Reading Informational Text 5-6.

Standard 2.D: Reading Informational Text 7, 9-10, Reading Literature 7, 9.

 

Standard 3.A: Reading Informational Text 1-3.

Standard 3.B: Reading Informational Text 7-9.

 

Standard 4.A: Reading Foundational Skills 1-1c.

Standard 4.B: Reading Foundational Skills 1d.

Standard 4.C: Reading Foundational Skills 1d.

Standard 4.D: Reading Foundational Skills 3a-3c.

 

Standard 5.A: Language 1a.

Standard 5.B: Writing 1-3, 5-6, Speaking and Listening 5.

Standard 5.C: Writing 7-8.

Additional Resources

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Tools for Teachers

Links to resources for the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards created by the Early Childhood Center of Professional Development in Arlington Heights.

IELDS Webinar

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llinois Early Learning and Development Standards for Preschool (ages 3 to kindergarten enrollment age)

Resources

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