Capitalizing on Early Literacy Standards in Play


  • Teressa Sumrall Appalachian State University
  • Rebecca Lee Payne Jordan Salem College



early learning development standards, early literacy, literacy milestones


Children’s play is a primary vehicle for learning in early childhood classrooms. In order for teachers to effectively support learning, they must become attuned to how children are demonstrating progress towards important educational goals, such as those described in states’ Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS). In the research study which this article is based on, we investigated preschool teachers’ ability to identify evidence of early literacy developmental milestones in children’s play, connect these milestones to ELDS, and plan reasonable learning-rich extensions that built on children’s developmental readiness. We found that teachers were largely able to identify evidence of literacy development using vignettes and envision evidence-based pedagogical extensions that would support children’s learning. This was most evident in the areas of phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge and least evident in areas related to engagement and comprehension. Implications and recommendations for teachers and professional development are provided.






Research-to-Practice Summaries