Developmental Milestones

Early Preschool, age 3-4

• Enjoys listening to stories and looking at books

• Begins to understand that print carries a message

• Is interested in the sounds of language; repeats and plays with sounds, rhyming

• Identifies some letters, especially those in their name

• Is able to match a few letters to their sounds

• Attempts to read and write

• Begins to develop awareness that sentences and then words come apart

Late Preschool, age 4-5

• Is able to break spoken words into parts/ syllables, i.e. hap-py

• Begins to break words into separate sounds or phonemes

• Has awareness of beginning sounds of words

• Identifies more letter names

• Can make some letter-sound matches

Kindergarten, age 5-6

• Able to match most letters with their sounds

• Can match two rhyming words, can identify a non-rhyming word in a group of three words

• Identifies most upper and lower case letters

• Understands that print is read left to right and top to bottom

• Begins to match spoken words with written words

• Matches words that begin with the same sound

• Begins to blend and put sounds together to make words

• Continues to count parts/syllables in words

• Can count sounds/phonemes within a short word

• Understands sequencing within a word

• Decodes simple words

• Begins to write stories and uses inventive spelling

• Recognizes some frequently used words by sight

First Grade, age 6-7

• Counts sounds/phonemes within longer words

• Can identify which sounds remain when one sound is taken away or deleted.

• Initially start with whole word deletion in compound words as in: cowboy, take away cow what is left? (boy) Then with a single word: say /sat/, take away the /s/ sound what is left? /at/

• Blends sounds in three phoneme words (i.e. /b/ /a/ /t/ ® bat)

• Matches letters to sounds and can decode unknown words

• Can decode one-syllable words with short vowel sounds in them

• Can recognize sounds of word families

• Can read most texts designed for first grade

• Recognizes more sight words

• Can spell short words accurately

• Can read simple directions

• Self-corrects if what is read does not fit context

• Knows or can read three to five hundred words

Second Grade, age 7-8

• Consistently matches letters to sounds to read unknown words

• Begins to read with fluency

• Reads and understands text meant for second grade, fiction and non-fiction

• Spells with greater accuracy, identifying all sounds in a word

• Begins to be able to break apart multi-syllabic words, as well as read more multi-syllabic words

• Reads independently

Third Grade, age 8-9

• Reads with fluency and comprehension any material meant for third grade

• Reads longer stories and chapter books

• Uses comprehension strategies, i.e. summarizing main ideas, story retelling to help remember what is read

• Shows greater accuracy in spelling

• Can use a dictionary to look up words

• Understands more about prefixes, suffixes, and roots of words and their meanings

• Enjoys listening to stories and looking at books

• Begins to understand that print carries a message

• Is interested in the sounds of language; repeats and plays with sounds, rhyming

• Identifies some letters, especially those in their name

• Is able to match a few letters to their sounds

• Attempts to read and write

• Begins to develop awareness that sentences and then words come apart