Kindergarten children are learning to express themselves so that others understand what they are thinking. This is new for many as they have had 5 years of Mom and Dad knowing what they are going to say, understanding what has been said and often even finishing sentences for them. Then they come to school. When a child gives me a correct answer, I will ask him/her, “How did you know that?” and almost all of the time the answer will be “I just do” or “I always knew that”. Formulating thoughts is very challenging for Kindergartners and they need us to help them learn how to do it. Listen to the conversations that you have with our own child and always try to encourage more words and thoughts from your child. Please do not let them answer you in short simple sentences. Try not to ask your child questions with one word answers. Keep probing. Ask open ended questions that will tell you how your child is thinking and feeling. Here are some samples of questions:
Not open ended: What color is your block?
Open ended: Tell me about what you are building.
Here are some sites with sample open ended questions for you to start using with your own child. Not all of the questions will be ‘just right’ for 5 and 6 year olds, but read through them and I am sure that you will find many that will be perfect for you to use with your child.
Top 50 open ended questions:
Top 100 open ended questions: