Is your child ready for kindergarten? The skills that kindergarten teachers are looking for may surprise you. You might think it’s important for children to enter kindergarten knowing their ABCs, numbers, shapes and colors so they can keep up with the curriculum. While teachers love it when children are familiar with these building blocks of academic learning, they are also looking for students with:
- Good listening skills. Loves listening to stories. Answers questions about a story. Hears and identifies letter sounds in words. Detects rhyming words and patterns. Concentrates on what the teacher is saying. Listens carefully for directions. Follows 3-step directions.
- Strong fine motor skills. Correct pencil grasp. Forms letters and numbers, and writes first name. Weaves and threads objects. Colors a simple picture. Cuts on a line. Copies simple shapes. Has mastered practical life skills i.e. buttons, zippers, and fasteners on clothing. Also beginning to learn to tie shoes.
- Solid oral language skills. Has a strong knowledge about their world. Uses words to convey needs, feelings, likes and dislikes. Uses language/words in the correct context. Identifies letter sounds. Responds to questions in complete sentences. Retells a story in own words.
- Ability to play with others. Invites other to play through conversation and body language. Communicates with others by expressing personal wants. Understands and respects rules--often asks permission. Takes turns and shares (toys and attention with others. Shows self-control by using words instead of hands. Pretends while playing (combines fantasy and reality). Is silly, playful and happy. Plays through gross motor skills (jumping, climbing, etc.)
- Enthusiasm for learning. Asks questions. Participates in activities. Becomes engaged in lessons. Wants to come to school. Is developing a habit of cooperation. Is curious and wants to investigate. Is willing to take risks and not afraid of making mistakes. Shows independence.