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Early Learning Standards


Ohio Learning and Development Standards (3 - 5 years)

Approaches Toward Learning

Seek new and varied experiences and challenges (take risks).

Demonstrate self-direction while participating in a range of activities and routines.

Ask questions to seek explanations about phenomena of interest.

Develop, initiate and carry out simple plans to obtain a goal.

Use prior knowledge and information to assess, inform, and plan for future actions and learning.

Focus on an activity with deliberate concentration despite distractions.

Carry out tasks, activities, projects or experiences from beginning to end.

Focus on the task at hand even when frustrated or challenged.

Use imagination and creativity to interact with objects and materials.

Use creative and flexible thinking to solve problems.

Engage in inventive social play.

Express individuality, life experiences, and what he/she knows and is able to do through a variety of media.

Express interest in and show appreciation for the creative work of others.


Cognitive and General Knowledge

Communicate about past events and anticipate what comes next during familiar routines and experiences.

With modeling and support remember and use information for a variety of purposes.

Recreate complex ideas, events/situations with personal adaptations.

Demonstrate understanding that symbols carry meaning and use symbols to represent thinking (drawings, construction or movement).

Participate cooperatively in complex pretend play, involving assigned roles and an overall plan.

Demonstrate ability to solve everyday problems based upon past experience.

Solve problems by planning and carrying out a sequence of actions.

Seek more than one solution to a question, problem or task.

Explain reasoning for the solution selected.



Count to 20 by ones with increasing accuracy.

Identify and name numerals 1-9.

Identify without counting small quantities of up to 3 items.

Demonstrate one-to-one correspondence when counting objects up to 10.

Understand that the last number spoken tells the number of objects counted.

Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than or equal to the number of objects in another group up to 10.

Count to solve simple addition and subtraction problems with totals smaller than 8, using concrete objects.

Sort and classify objects by one or more attributes (size, shape).

Recognize, duplicate and extend simple patterns using attributes such as color, shape or size.

Create patterns.

Describe and compare objects using measurable attributes (length, size, capacity and weight).

Order objects by measurable attribute (biggest to smallest, etc.)

Measure length and volume (capacity) using non-standard or standard measurement tools.

Collect data by categories to answer simple questions.

Demonstrate understanding of the relative position of objects using terms such as in/on/under, up/down, inside/outside, above/below,

beside/between, in front of/behind and next to.

Understand and use names of shapes when identifying objects.

Name three-dimensional objects using informal, descriptive vocabulary (cube for box, ice cream cone for cone, ball for sphere, etc.)

Compare two-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language.

Create shapes during play by building, drawing, etc.

Combine simple shapes to form larger shapes.


Social Studies

Demonstrate an understanding of time in the context of daily experiences.

Develop an awareness of his/her personal history.

Develop an awareness and appreciation of family cultural stories and traditions.

Demonstrate a beginning understanding of maps as actual representations of places.

Identify similarities and differences of personal, family and cultural characteristics, and those of others.

Understand that everyone has rights and responsibilities within a group.

Demonstrate cooperative behaviors and fairness in social interactions.

With modeling and support, negotiate to solve social conflicts with peers.

With modeling and support, demonstrate an awareness of the outcomes of choices.

With modeling and support, demonstrate understanding that rules play an important role in promoting safety and protecting fairness.

With modeling and support, recognize that people have wants and must make choices to satisfy those wants because resources and materials are limited.

With modeling and support, demonstrate understanding of where goods and services originate and how they are acquired.

With modeling and support, demonstrate responsible consumption and conservation of resources.



Explore objects, materials and events in the environment.

Make careful observations.

Pose questions about the physical and natural environment.

Engage in simple investigations.

Describe, compare, sort, classify, and order.

Record observations using words, pictures, charts, graphs, etc.

Use simple tools to extend investigation.

Identify patterns and relationships.

Make predictions.

Make inferences, generalizations and explanations based on evidence.

Share findings, ideas and explanations (may be correct or incorrect) through a variety of methods (pictures, words, dramatization).

With modeling and support, recognize familiar elements of the natural environment and understand that these may change over time (soil, weather, sun and moon).

With modeling and support, develop understanding of the relationship between humans and nature; recognizing the

difference between helpful and harmful actions toward the natural environment.

With modeling and support, explore the properties of objects and materials (solids and liquids).

With modeling and support, explore the position and motion of objects.

With modeling and support, explore the properties and characteristics of sound and light. 

With modeling and support, identify physical characteristics and simple behaviors of living things.

With modeling and support, identify and explore the relationship between living things and their environments (habitats, food, eating habits, etc.)

With modeling and support, demonstrate knowledge of body parts and bodily processes (eating, sleeping, breathing, walking) in humans and other animals.

With modeling and support, demonstrate an understanding that living things change over time (life cycle).

With modeling and support, recognize similarities and differences between people and other living things.


Language and Literacy Development

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex concepts and longer sentences.

Ask meaning of words.

Follow two-step directions or requests.

Use language to communicate in a variety of ways with others to share observations, ideas and experiences; problem-solve, reason, predict and seek new information.

Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly. (Articulation)

Describe familiar people, places, things and experiences.

Use drawings or other visuals to add details to verbal descriptions.

With modeling and support, use the conventions of standard English (Grammar):

- Use familiar nouns and verbs to describe persons, animals, places, events, actions, etc.

- Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/. 

- Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (who, what, where, when, why and how).

- Use frequently occurring prepositions (to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).

- Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

With modeling and support, use words acquired through conversations and shared reading experiences. (Vocabulary)

With modeling and support, determine the meaning of unknown words/concepts using the context

of conversations, pictures that accompany text or concrete objects. (Vocabulary)

Identify real-life connections between words and their use. (Vocabulary)

With modeling and support, explore relationships between word meanings (categories of objects, opposites,

verbs describing similar actions - walk, march, prance, etc.) (Vocabulary)

With modeling and support follow typical patterns when communicating with others (listens to others, takes turns

talking and speaks about the topic or text being discussed).

With modeling and support, continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.


Reading and Writing

Ask and answer questions, and comment about characters and major events in familiar stories.

Retell or re-enact familiar stories.

Identify characters and major events in a story.

Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between fantasy and reality.

With modeling and support, describe what part of the story the illustration depicts.

With modeling and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and what part each person does for a book.

With modeling and support, identify the topic of an informational text that has been read aloud.

With modeling and support, describe, categorize and compare and contrast information in informational text.

With modeling and support, discuss some similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic (illustrations, descriptions).

Actively engage in group reading with purpose and understanding.

With modeling and support use phrasing, intonation and expression in shared reading of familiar books, poems,

chants, songs, nursery rhymes or other repetitious or predictable texts.

Demonstrate an understanding of basic conventions of print in English and other languages.

Orient books correctly for reading and turn pages one at a time.

Demonstrate an understanding that print carries meaning.

With modeling and support, recognize and produce rhyming words.

With modeling and support recognize words in spoken sentences.

With modeling and support identify, blend and segment syllables in spoken words.

With modeling and support, orally blend and segment familiar compound words.

With modeling and support, blend and segment onset and rime in singe-syllable spoken words.

With modeling and support identify initial and final sounds in spoken words.

With modeling and support recognize and "read" familiar words or environmental print.

With modeling and support, recognize and name some upper and lower case letters in addition to those in first name.

With modeling and support, demonstrate understanding that alphabet letters are a special category of symbols that can be named and identified.

With modeling and support, recognize the sounds associated with letters.

Use 3-finger grasp of dominant hand to hold a writing tool.

Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of print.

With modeling and support, print letters of own name and other meaningful words with mock letters and some actual letters.

With modeling and support, demonstrate letter formation in "writing."

With modeling and support show awareness that one letter or cluster of letters represents one word.

"Read" what he/she has written.

With modeling and support, notice and sporadically use punctuation in writing.

With modeling and support, use a combination of drawing, dictating and emergent writing for a variety of purposes (letters, greeting cards, menus, lists, books).

With modeling and support, use a combination of drawing, dictating and emergent writing to tell a story, to express ideas,

and to share information about an experience or topic of interest. (Composition)

With modeling and support, discuss and respond to questions from others about writing/drawing.

With modeling and support, participate in shared research and writing projects using a variety of resources to gather information or to answer a question.

With modeling and support, explore a variety of digital tools to express ideas.


Physical Well-Being and Motor Development

Demonstrate locomotor skills with control, coordination and balance during active play (running, hopping, skipping).

Demonstrate coordination in using objects during active play (throwing, catching, kicking balls, riding tricycle).

Use non-locomotor skills with control, balance and coordination during active play (bending, stretching and twisting).

Demonstrate spatial awareness in physical activity or movement.

Coordinate the use of hands, fingers and wrists to manipulate objects and perform tasks requiring precise movements.

Use classroom and household tools independently with eye-hand coordination to carry out activities.

Demonstrate increasingly complex oral-motor skills such as drinking through a straw, blowing bubbles or repeating an tongue-twister.

Regulate reactions to external sensory stimuli in order to focus on complex tasks or activities.

Identify and describe the function of body parts.

Participate in structured and unstructured active physical play exhibiting strength and stamina.

Demonstrate basic understanding that physical activity helps the body grow and be healthy.

Demonstrate basic understanding that eating a variety of foods helps the body grow and be healthy.

Distinguish nutritious from non-nutritious foods.

Independently complete personal care task (toileting, teeth-brushing, hand-washing, dressing, etc.)

Follow basic health practices.

With modeling and support, identify and follow basic safety rules.

Identify ways adults help to keep us safe.

With modeling and support, identify the consequences of unsafe behavior.

With modeling and support, demonstrate ability to follow emergency routines (fire or tornado drill).

With modeling and support, demonstrate ability to follow transportation and pedestrian safety rules.


Social and Emotional Development

Recognize and identify own emotions and the emotions of others.

Communicate a range of emotions in socially accepted ways.

Identify the diversity in human characteristics and how people are similar and different.

Compare own characteristics to those of others.

Manage the expression of feelings, thoughts, impulses and behaviors with minimal guidance from adults.

Demonstrate the ability to delay gratification for short periods of time.

With modeling and support, show awareness of the consequences for his/her actions.

Show confidence in own abilities and accomplish routine and familiar tasks independently.

Express affection for familiar adults.

Seek security and support from familiar adults in anticipation of challenging situations.

Separate from familiar adults in a familiar setting with minimal distress.

Engage in extended, reciprocal conversations wit familiar adults.

Request and accept guidance from familiar adults.

Interact with peers in more complex pretend play including planning, coordination of roles and cooperation.

Demonstrate socially competent behavior with peers.

With modeling and support, negotiate to resolve social conflicts with peers.

Express concern for the needs of others and people in distress.

Show regard for the feeling of other living things.

Ohio ELDS October, 2012

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