Children enter kindergarten with all kinds of different skillsets and levels of experience with learning in a school setting. Some are well-acquainted with the classroom through attending preschool while for others kindergarten is their very first classroom experience.
Some may be advanced in some areas while others are advanced in other areas. With such a wide range of beginning abilities and experience, the teacher’s first task is to help everyone transition into kindergarten in the smoothest, easiest way possible.
1st Year of School: 5 Essential Kindergarten Skills
A kindergarten teacher has a unique job among other teachers. For many kids, it’s their first experience in school. So a kindergarten teacher must focus a good amount of time on teaching them how to be a student as well as teaching content. Your kindergartner will be learning the following 5 essential skills:
Language and expression
Language mastery and the ability to express yourself is a foundational learning skill. Kids who lack language skills will have a hard time asking questions. Asking questions is a key that unlocks all manner of understanding. They will also get frustrated not being able to express themselves to the teacher and other students.
They will learn to follow simple instructions and to sit still while listening to the teacher. They will also learn basic conversational skills such as letting one person talk at a time and not interrupting the speaker. How to listen well and solve problems will be another learning focus. They will also be given plenty of opportunities to talk casually to fellow classmates and build social skills.
Foundational reading skills
They will gain an understanding of the basics of reading: the alphabet, recounting a story in sequence, identifying characters in a story, and creating their own simple stories. They will learn small sight words. Reading to them at home is essential before and throughout kindergarten. Don’t worry if they want to read the same story over and over. Being able to memorize a story and say it with you is one of the first steps in learning to read for themselves.
They will learn many early math skills such as recognizing numbers, counting and identifying basic shapes. At home, you can ask them “how many” questions often, with small number answers. For example, “how many pillows are in your bed?”, “how many pieces of pizza did you eat?”, or “how many chairs are around the table?”
Finding their independence
They will be learning to adjust from being away from parents and siblings. They will be learning to take responsibility for their own things such as their backpack and other belongings. In class, they’ll be held responsible for their behavior and adherence to classroom expectations. Help build confidence by encouraging independence at home as well.
Give Them the Best Start to the Educational Career
Your kindergartener is going to be going to school for a long, long time. Help them get started on the right foot as they learn the basics of being a student and begin to learn foundational content. Encourage them at home and reinforce the kindergarten skills they’re learning in the classroom to ensure their best success.
Contact Us for more information on helping your kindergartener find his or her best success in and out of the classroom.