I find myself going through the list to see if he is ready, It made me really reflect. What do I really hope that my students come in with? My grade level and I come out with a list we send home with parents as they register. This list is the best case scenario. I am realistic and I know that not every child will have every skill. Children learn at different times and in different ways. However, there are some skills that are absolutely essential.
Below I have listed out some of the skills that we would ideally like to see our Kindergarteners come in with. I have broken them up into essential skills, very important skills, and academic skills.
-Must know and be able to verbally state their legal first and last name when asked
-Must know their teachers name (If you find out who your child’s teacher is in advance, PLEASE practice this! If your child accidently leaves their line or gets lost in the hallway, it makes everyone’s life much easier if they know this bit of information! We are very careful, but when you have 24 students who are 4-6 and they have never been in that environment before, things can happen. Picture herding cats.)
-Must use restroom independently, including wiping (we legally cannot help them!) and thorough hand washing.
-Must be able to talk to unfamiliar (yet safe) adults (I understand that some children are shy, but as stated above, things happen, Your child needs to be able to state their name and teacher’s name to an adult in the school who asks in case of an emergency, This is of course different if your child has a medical reason why they cannot do this.)
-Be aware of and communicate any medical conditions or needs such as asthma or allergies.
-Must make it through the day without a nap. (Please start weaning them off of naps a couple of months before school starts!)
-Use a tissue (independently) to wipe/blow their nose
-Separate from parents without tantrum. (Some kids will cry, and that is totally expected. I am talking full out meltdown and physically refusing to move.)
-Sitting/standing still for a period of 5 mins or more. This includes listening to a read aloud and standing in line.
-Socializing in large and small groups of peers
-Following one and two step directions the first time they are given
-Dress themselves independently (snapping, buttoning, zipping, and at least beginning to learn to tie shoes)
-Cut along a line using scissors
-Hold a pencil correctly
-Write at least their first name correctly
-Be responsible for their own belongings (backpacks, lunchboxes, crayons, pencils, jackets, etc)
-Raise hand (without yelling out) to get the teacher’s attention
-Share toys and materials
-Take turns in games and activities
-Speak respectfully to adults
-Know the difference between a letter, number, and word.
-Identify most (or all) uppercase and lowercase letters and letter sounds
-Know how to properly hold a book and turn pages.
-Understand that text is read left to right and top to bottom
-Identify most or all numbers 0-20.
-Count to 20.
-Count up to 10 objects with one to one correspondence
-Identify basic shapes (square, circle, triangle, and rectangle)
-Identify basic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, white, black)
-Begin to write some letters, especially those in the child's name
-Draw/copy simple pictures, shapes, and lines
-Position words (over under, beside, next to, in front, behind)
-Size words (large, medium, small)
-Recite (not just sing) the entire alphabet
Prepare your child for Kindergarten by talking about it! Discuss all of the fun things that they may do and learn. Let them know that it is okay to feel whatever they are feeling. New starts are hard for everyone! Your Kindergartener will feel more secure if they know that YOU feel positive about school!