More to Being Ready for Kindegarten than Knowing Your Letters and Numbers: Part 1

Non Academic Skills Useful for Transition into Kindergarten

There is more to being ready to enter kindergarten than knowing your letters and numbers.  If you are a parent of a preschooler, you have a little time before kindergarten, but if you are a Kindergarten parent, please take some time during the next month to honestly assess your child in the following skill areas:

Playing and Working Independently and Collaboratively

  1. Plays and works appropriately with and without peers
  2. Completes activities approximately on time
  3. Stays with an activity for an appropriate amount of time
  4. Plays and works with few individual prompts form the teacher

Interacting with Peers

  1. Imitates peers’ actions when learning new routines
  2. Initiates and maintains contact with peers
  3. Responds to peers’ initiations
  4. Learns and uses names of peers
  5. Shares objects and takes turns with peers
  6. Plans activities with peers

Following Directions

  1. Responds to adults’ questions
  2. Responds appropriately to multi-step verbal directions
  3. Responds appropriately to verbal directions that include common school-related prepositions, nouns, and verbs
  4. Complies with groups as well as individual instructions
  5. Modifies behavior as needed when given verbal feedback
  6. Recalls and follows directions for tasks previously discussed or demonstrated
  7. Watches others or seeks help if he or she doesn’t understand directions                                                           (S.E. Rosenkoetter, A.H. Hains & S. A. Fowler)

Kindergarten Teachers will be expecting your child to come to school prepared in the above non academic skills, so please help your child practice them every chance you have.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “More to Being Ready for Kindegarten than Knowing Your Letters and Numbers: Part 1

  1. Alexandra Hernandez

    On your blog of 7/27 there is the topic of completing activities on time. I would be interested in knowing how to help keep children focused and on working on increasing their attention span. Will there be more on this topic later?

    • kindergartenteacherclaire

      The question has been raised about how to help children to learn to stay on task while increasing their attention span. The ability to stay on task develops as children get older and when they arrive in kindergarten, children should have the ability to stay with a new task for at least 15 minutes at the start of the school year. This is something that could be practiced at home with a small timer to teach your child to stay with the task until the time is finished. Removing extra stimuli in the room, i.e., tv’s, other siblings etc. where your child is working will also help a child to learn to stay on task. This should start with an activity that your child really enjoys and just when they are having a great time, stop the activity and put it away. If we wait until a child is stressed with the activity, or has been with it too long, the child will dread this activity the next time it is mentioned. You could also start a small reward chart for your child when he/she finishes his tasks in a specific time and at the end of the week, maybe reward your child with extra stories (or something similar).

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