Readiness For Kindergarten

I know that some parents are concerned about their children's readiness for Kindergarten. I also know that kindergarten teachers are busy planning their checklists and programs to ensure that ALL students are well on the way to learning. Whether a child starts off on the ball or lingering behind the teacher's main task is to get them all on the same boat. So what is readiness? How important is it in the life of a school child? What do teachers look for? Well, today I am going to give you some idea of what we teachers look for in each child when we meet our new class.

What is Readiness?
School readiness is the child's state of having the ability to learn and cope with the school environment without undue stress. A child who is ready is identified as the child who shows that he is able to function as he is expected to in a school setting. As teachers we look out for any difficulties or behaviors that trouble the student. Some students show problems with socializing while others seem unable to complete academic tasks.

Here is a list of the characteristics of children who are ready for kindergarten as is suggested by the Beal Early Childhood Center:

 The child who shows social emotional readiness is ready to:
  • Separate from family
  • Trust adults in school
  • Learn how to share
  • Learn how to wait
  • Assume responsibility and independence
  • Handle situations, emotions, fears
  • Follow teacher's agenda

 The child who shows Intellectual readiness is:
  • Eager to learn and to engage in new activities
  • Interested in print, alphabet letters
  • Interested in listening to stories and music
  • Interested in talking about ideas
  • Interested in math concepts- number, comparisons, shapes

The child who shows motor-neurological readiness is ready to:
  • Hold writing tools
  • Use scissors
  • Button, zip own clothing
Some children show all these behaviors together while others may show only a few. What teachers do very early is to check each child for these characteristics and plan instruction and activities that allow all students to grow.

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