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Each month, Richland First Steps selects one school readiness goal from the SC Early Learning Standards (SCELS) to spotlight throughout our programs for children, families, and child care providers.

This month’s concept comes from the Language Development and Communication domain of the SCELS. Like all of the standards, there are developmental indicators that show a child’s progress on this goal at each stage:

Infants (Birth to 12 months)

  • Explore books and paper by tasting, mouthing, crumpling, banging, and patting. 
  • Look at pictures while cuddling with caregiver.

Younger Toddlers (8 to 21 months)

  • Turn pages (but not always in the right order); point to and label pictures in books; sometimes treat pictures as real (licking a picture of ice cream, rubbing “fur” of a cat in a book).
  • Identify some environmental print and logos (favorite cereal box, a sign for a familiar store).

Older Toddlers (18 to 36 months)

  • Hold a book upright, turn some pages front to back (but not always in the right order), close book, and say, “done” or “the end.” 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the need for and the uses of print (pretend to read a “grocery list” during play; say, “I want chicken” when looking at a menu). 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of realistic symbols such as photographs, and later, abstract symbols such as signs and environmental print (know which pictures stand for which activities on a daily schedule; say, “That means light” when looking at a symbol of a light bulb located over the light switch).

Younger Preschoolers (36 to 48 months)

  • Hold a book upright while turning pages one by one front to back, but not always in order. 
  • With prompting and support, recognize print occurs in different forms and is used for a variety of functions (sign naming block structure, “message” on card for family member). 
  • Demonstrate an understanding that print and symbols can tell people what to do (to organize classroom activities—where to store things, when they will have a turn).

Older Preschoolers (48 to 60+ months)

  • Hold a book upright while turning pages one by one from front to back.
  • Recognize print in different forms for a variety of functions (writing a message to friend, pointing to print and saying, “Those words tell the story,” or reading familiar signs in the environment).
  • Recognize print and symbols used to organize classroom activities and show understanding of their meaning (put toys in box with correct symbol and name; check sign-up sheet for popular activity; check schedule to learn next activity). 
  • With prompting and support, run their finger under or over print as they pretend to read text. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some basic print conventions (the concept of what a letter is, the concept of words, directionality of print). 
  • Identify their name and the names of some friends when they see them in print.

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