Friday, May 27, 2011

What skills are "essential" for incoming Kindergartners

A few months ago I was at the Public Library looking for books to go with our theme when I overheard a conversation between a parent and one of the Librarians. The parent was concerned that their child wasn't going to be "academically ready" for Kindergarten. She was wondering what skills her 2 year-old needed to have before starting Kindergarten.

I've been mulling over this question for awhile now, especially as my mind starts thinking about the start of next school year.

What do you think are the "essential" skills that kiddos should have when entering Kindergarten?


  1. - Knows how to write their name
    - Knows that he/ she is expected to sit in a chair or floor for more than 5 minutes.
    - Can use the bathroom independently.
    - Can use utensils independently.
    - Can tie their own shoes.

    I think that if students come to me with those skills I would be in heaven!

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  2. I'll add to Ms M's list-
    Knows how to write their name with a beginning capital letter and the rest lowercase
    knows their last name
    knows how to use scissor
    can count from 0-10
    knows the names of some letters and numbers
    knows their shapes and colors.
    Another Mrs. M
    Mrs. Mugurussa
    Time 4 Kindergarten

  3. Can write their name
    Knows their first and last name
    Can follow two step directions
    Knows the names of letters in their name
    Can use the bathroom by themselves
    Knows their colors

    I was a nanny for three years and I bought the cd "Sounds Like Fun" from Discovery Toys. It's AWESOME. It has an alphabet song with all the sounds with each letter. It also has a counting song that goes to 100. The little girl I nannied LOVED the cd and it became a challenge to her to try to count to 100 without the cd. It is available on iTunes. (Sounds Like Fun by Barbara Milne) I thought about using it at the beginning of first grade this year during calendar and now I wish I would have!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  4. We discuss this all of the time within my team!
    1. Know first and last name
    2. Write first name with first letter capitalized only
    3. Know how to use scissors
    4. Use bathroom independently
    5. Respond when name is called
    6. Know most letter names and some sounds
    7. Weaned off naptime...all day K is a long day for them!
    I wish they would come knowing how to tie their shoes!

  5. I agree with all of the ladies' great ideas. My school has a "Welcome to Kindergarten" night every June for next year's class. Some other ideas that I suggest to the parents are:
    *Bring your child to school over the summer to play on the playground.
    *Read books about coming to school (A personal favorite is Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis)
    *Give them something special to keep in their backpack or pocket that they can look at if they are feeling sad (sort of like in The Kissing Hand).
    *As a teacher, every September I ask the kids to bring a photo of their family and we make a family tree. This is very helpful for some students to look at when they are having a sad moment or two.

    Adventures in Kindergarten