Presented by Gaye Tylka
Early Childhood RtI Statewide Coordinator
CESA #4/DPI-Office of Early Learning
For more information on language & literacy,
RtI in early childhood settings or to share a
success story, please contact me at:
Based on current research,
what are the critical content
areas of an early literacy
Listening & Understanding
meaning through listening to
communications of others and sounds in the
Listens and responds to communication with
Follows directions of increasing complexity
Speaking & Communicating
gestures and movements (non-verbal) to
Uses vocalizations and spoken language to
2011 EARLY LITERACY Update
manipulate, or analyze the auditory
parts of spoken language
Understand the alphabet represents sounds of
spoken language and letters of written language
Appreciate books and how print works
Use writing to represent thoughts or ideas
Wisconsin Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) – English Language Arts (ELA)
is expected of students
by the end of 5-year-old
kindergarten (5K) & beyond
identify the alignments or
WMELS – Literacy and the CCSS-ELA for 5K:
Concepts about Print
WI Dept. of Public Instruction, Literacy Live!
Early Literacy and Language Development, April 2013
Roskos, K., et.al. Early Literacy Materials Selector (ELMS),Corwin Press,
letters and their sounds
Includes “alphabetic principle”
MORE than reciting or singing the ABCs
Understands that a letter is a symbol
Symbols grouped together form words
Strings of words form sentences with
Evidence suggests connecting names and sounds of
alphabet letters to children’s names is an effective
way to introduce the alphabet.
ABC “owls” set the stage for the children to bring in their favorite
words, labels and logos for display.
and understanding the different
sounds of a spoken language
Ability to hear, identify and manipulate
individual sounds in words (phonemic
Develops along a continuum of complexity
(Beginning - rhymes, beginning sounds,
A variety of topics is available. This tub combines a favorite topic, animals,
with the season. The visual engages the children’s curiosity about what they
might find here.
that print carries a message.
Spoken words can be written down and read.
“Conventions of print” – moves left-to-right;
upper/lower case letters, punctuation, etc.
Book characteristics (front/back/spine)
Books and print are incorporated into this area to reflect real kitchen
environments and functions of print.
Children decide when they want snack and, using print and pictures, serve
themselves. Two to four chairs at the table offer an opportunity for children
to engage in conversation while they eat. An adult can join in to support
language and appropriate social interaction.
Children learn independence and functional use of print when they are
provided with instructional prompts such as this one for
dressing to go outside.
(grammar/structure of language)
Semantics (word meaning/vocabulary)
Pragmatics (social aspects of language)
Phonology (sounds used in a given language)
located by these
chairs to create a
space for children
to interact and
PUPPETS add an extra dimension to the book area for pretend play,
story telling and re-telling. The poster explains to observers what
children are learning while engaged with puppets.
Talking with Children:
greet every child using his/her
name while smiling and making
1-on-1 turn-taking; build on the
child’s statements, questions, and
responses using full sentences and
listen to the child; make eye contact,
be at the child’s eye level, and give the child
full attention while s/he is speaking
know words/learn more words in the child’s
home language; provide opportunities for the
child to hear and speak their home language
use a variety of approaches to communicate
with children – pictures, symbols, gestures – in
addition to printed and spoken words
develop abstract thinking skills by engaging
child in conversations about past and future
Source: WI Dept. of Public Instruction, Literacy Live!
Early Literacy and Language Development, April 2013
Often refers to the number and quality of
words a child understands and uses
Research shows increased vocabulary and
experience with language leads to greater
success in school
Vocabulary Support – Evidence-based Practices
NARRATE children’s activities (describe what the
child is doing while s/he is doing it)
Repeat and expand on child’s language
(Child: “Dog.” Adult: “Yes, it is a dog. He is a very big, red
new words that connect to words the
child already knows/uses. (Child: “The towel is
soaking up the water.” Adult: “Yes, it is soaking up the water.
Another word that means the same thing is ‘absorb’; the towel is
absorbing the water.”)
a language-rich environment
Non-stereotypical and culturally rich photographs are that depict occupations
and include print to build vocabulary.
Non-stereotypical and culturally rich photographs depict occupations
and include print to build vocabulary.
As children arrive they respond yes/no to the daily
question by placing their name tag in the
corresponding column. This question reinforces a
new vocabulary word introduced previously.
Math and literacy are supported
in this center.
Math and literacy can be supported everywhere.
Preschoolers often combine print with
Understands that thoughts/words can be
represented through symbols
Foundation for formal writing later
Writing options and experimental toys are always
available on this table, at just the right height for
Children find a variety of writing tools, papers, cards, prompts and
activities to use here.
Morning message is read aloud and used to target literacy
concepts of print.
Print, numerals, and vocabulary building are all
evident in this display.
theme of dramatic play area
Allows children to take on new roles
Adults introduce and use new vocabulary
(example: office – ‘computer’, ‘printer’, ‘appointment
book’,’ receptionist’, etc.; post office – ‘mail’, ‘postage’,
‘ mail carrier’, ‘scale’, ‘pouch’ ‘envelope’, etc.)
any of this information new to
Did you see any new ideas you can use?
Share your ideas to support language
and literacy learning.
a strategy where “the adult involves a
child or small group of children in reading
a book that may (or mat not) introduce
conventions of print and new vocabulary, or
encourage predictions, rhyming, discussion
of pictures, and other interactive
(National Center for Family Literacy, 2009).
(Source: Language is the Key, 2010)
Good strategy to use with younger children
or those with limited oral language!
Know child’s interests. Follow the child’s lead when
looking at a book together.
Ask questions. What/how/why questions; open
ended questions that require more than a one-word
answer. “Can you tell me about …?”
Answer if the child does not know the answer, but
WAIT/Give the child time to respond (count to 10 in
Repeat child’s answer and add more words. (Child:
“Horse.” Adult: “Yes, horse. It’s a big brown
Ask another question
Show your enthusiasm – offer encouragement
form of shared reading where the adult and
child switch roles so the child becomes the
storyteller while the adult assists as an
Requires multiple readings of the same book
adult uses higher-level prompts to encourage
the child to go beyond naming
objects/actions to higher level thinking
the child with a question about the
story (“What kind of animal is this story
about?”; see CROWD examples)
EVALUATE & EXPAND on the child’s response
to your questions (“Yes, it is a dog. He is a
very big, red dog.”)
REPEAT the question as a check for
comprehension or to see if the child has
more to add
- Completion questions – child says a word or
phrase to complete the sentence
R - Recall questions – tells the reader about
the child’s comprehension of the story
O - Open-ended questions – cannot be
answered with one word or yes/no; requires
W-Wh questions - who/what/where/when/why
D - Distancing questions - guide the child to
see connections between the story and their
for dialogic reading using sticky
Reading Carrot Soup:
to reading, review the book
Consider words that would be ‘next step’
vocabulary; useful in conversation
Generate list of new words
Call attention to new words; say the word
Tell what the word means
Point to the picture in the book that illustrates the
word (if available)
Connect the new word to a word the child already
knows (i.e. - “Enormous – it means really big. Say
‘enormous’ with me.”)
Use the new word in conversation during the day;
encourage children to use it, too
intended to increase a child’s
attention to print
3 evidence-based strategies:
1) ask questions about the print seen on a
2) make a comment about the print seen
on the page
3) track under the print with your finger
or a pointer as you read the words
Read the story before reading it to the children
Evidence mixed on delivering effective “read
alouds”: to large groups of children may be less
effective; small groups of 2-3 children are more
effective; offer both formats
“What do I want children to learn from this book
experience?” Rhyming? Oral language? New
vocabulary? Letter awareness?
Read the story more than one time; focus on a
different aspect of literacy with each reading
Make the book available for children to ‘pretend
Intentional questions can provide assessment
information or be used as a transition activity.
a new concept or strategy you
learned today that you will use!
steps? What do you need to
become more effective in supporting
language and literacy?