Saturday, January 30, 2010

What do you teach as Kindergarten Readiness Skills?

As a Pre-K educator, part of my job description includes helping students acquire the self help skills they need to be successful in a larger elementary school setting. I have a Kindergarten Skills Club that meets regularly, usually on the playground for the first few minutes of recess. We practice skills like putting on jackets, zipping up, shoe tying, and "inside-outing" a coat (the kiddos' term, not mine).
Later in the year, we also learn our address, phone number, parents first and last name ----yes, they do have names OTHER than "Mommy" and "Daddy"! When we do this one, parents are always surprised that their children DON'T know their parents' first and last name. This can be very important information for a preschooler to know in an emergency! There are lots of other safety skills we practice along the way, such as looking both ways to cross a street.
I am looking to expand my club topics and would love any ideas you have to share. What do you do to get your students ready for kindergarten?


  1. Oh my - that has been such a popular question lately. Recently someone wrote that it is the job of our schools to get ready for their incoming kindergarteners not the kids job to get ready for kindergarten. This is because kids come in with such a wide range of skills and developmental needs.

    But even still, we want to help children be prepared to be successful as they move ahead in school. The most important thing that I think Pre-K teachers can do is keep school fun and help their students love to learn. Encourage their curiosity, interest to discover and explore, and creativity. We want them to love learning and have a desire to learn more.

  2. I like your set of Kindergarden readiness skills. Spot on. We have a separate afternoon class for our "Pre-K" kids where we teach the same things. And Deborah is, as always, right about teaching children to LOVE school. As corny as it sounds, attitude is everything.

    I know that most of my kids are heading off to Seattle Public School kindergardens, which means that they'll potentially be in classes of 25+ with a teacher and maybe an assistant of some kind. If they're going to thrive in that kind of classroom, they'll need to be able to focus on a single activity (even one they might not at first be interested in) for 20-30 minutes at a stretch. That's one of the things we specifically work on.

    I also like my Pre-K kids to be confident in front of an audience. I make sure each kid has a turn in front of the class at least once a week during their 4-5-year old year. Public speaking is like a muscle for young children: exercise it, or it will whither.

    Gees, I'm starting to write a post in your comments. Ew. That's just gross. Thanks for inspiring me to think about it.

  3. Haha Tom - I was thinking the same thing when I was writing! Sometimes my comments might be better saved for a blog post:) Ayn - thanks for keeping us thinking on our toes!

  4. Thank you both! Now I've had to write more because your comments got me thinking, too!


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