Skills For Kindergarten

Apr 01

When I sent my first child to Kindergarten many, many years ago, it never crossed my mind what types of developmental skills he had or didn’t have that a teacher would be looking at. I mean, he could read, knew his colors and shapes, and could count. What else could there be? When that same wonderful child was in high school I became a teacher and found out there was a world of skills and experiences that his kindergarten teacher was introducing him to in school that I didn’t ever think of. Don’t get me wrong, my child was top of his class, and had picked up all the skills he needed naturally through play and talking with his family but it wasn’t anything I had taught him. It was just us going along and like all of you, trying the best we could. But in the 25 years since I sent my first child off to school, many, many thing have changed in education. First of all, school is much harder for today’s students than it was for my own. The common core standards have pushed harder skills down towards our lower grades. Can the students live up to these standards? Absolutely, but not on their own. They need guidance and direct teaching both from the school and at home. For the most part, we kindergarten teachers have found that the students that succeed in school now a days come to us with a huge bag of skills on their first day of school.

As a parent in today’s society, I know that you would love to know all of the things a kindergarten teacher is looking for before you take your child to the kindergarten screening required of the school district in august. By the time August comes around and you find out what your child needs to work on there isn’t enough time left to teach it to them before the first day of school. The school districts of my state look not only at reading and math but at social emotional, physical, and cognitive skills and a childs language abilities. I am going to give each of you an inside view of what I look for each August as a student comes to the kindergarten screening. As well as some small, fun activities that you can do with your kids to help them build their skills before that first day in August.

Remember, any skills your child brings with them on that first day is a wonderful gift you have given them and the more they bring the better they will succeed.


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