Each year, my Kindergarten team hosts a Stepping Up to Kindergarten meeting for upcoming Kindergartener’s parents and every year parents ask for a Kindergarten Readiness Checklist. Many times Kindergarten is a learner’s first experience with school.
This is a time we dedicate to our upcoming parents so they can better prepare their own students for Kindergarten. Plus, the jump to Kindergarten can mean a lot of changes, and parents typically have a lot of questions.
During this meeting with upcoming Kindergarten parents, we provide a Printable Kindergarten Readiness Checklist. It is a tool of skills and ideas parents can use to expose their little learners if they wish. You can grab a copy of this printable as well.
Does a Kindergarten Readiness Checklist Work For Everyone?
First, let’s start by stating that every student and every learner is unique. Children grow and mature at their own, natural rate. This Kindergarten readiness checklist is not perfect, but it could be a guide or resource. No student can mark all these skills off perfectly, nor should they.
Every child is at different levels socially and emotionally and educationally. We have all seen families who focus more on educational aspects and perhaps the social aspects are slightly lacking. Additionally, the reverse can be true. One of our goals for Kindergarten is to balance out learners to make them the best they can over many areas of the whole child.
Also, we know that due to COVID-19, things are not perfect. Where we would ask students to have playdates and interact with others, this isn’t an option for all families. Keeping in mind these limitations is helpful to families and will help the teacher to be able to better guide the learner in the future.
Parents Who Need A Little More
During our Stepping Up to Kindergarten meeting, many parents also ask for some worksheet-type activities for their little learners to do over the summer to keep their brains fresh and on track. Some teachers are for this while others are against it.
An option I use for my own children every summer is a book called Summer Bridge books. This specific Prek-K Summer Bridge book I am linking is made for students leaving PreK and going into Kindergarten. I like these books because they are color rich and fast. It typically takes a few minutes a day to complete the activities and isn’t difficult at all. Additionally, many students can complete the activities independently.
How to Learn Without Worksheets
Balance is a key to life. We typically recommend many play-based and natural learning activities to students. Candyland is a great game nonreader can play. Connect 4 is another fun game that includes math skills and reasoning skills. Enjoying a book with a parent at bedtime is highly recommended and I highly suggest Elephant and Piggie books.
Additional ideas include driving down the road and looking for letters to stores. Going for a walk and counting mailboxes or light posts are fun. Students can write with sidewalk chalk or in the dirt. Lastly, we recommend limited screen time when possible. Learning can be very informal.
Assessment Tips & Tricks
Another topic that many teachers ask about is how to get their rosters ready for Kindergarten. Many schools like to pre-assess students before the year begins. What a great way to get to put families at ease for the new year!
To do this, parents sign up their little learners for an assessment slot. Teachers spend a few minutes with the students to talk to them and meet with them. They also assess their new learners on a few Kindergarten basics skills like letters and sounds and counting.
When we have been able to do this, we do not know our roster ahead of time. Therefore students sign up and any Kindergarten teacher assesses the learner. Some schools have class lists while others don’t.
How do we manage all this data? We use one FREE ESGI pre-assessment account. All the teachers log into the same account and enter the student in. They collect the data. Everyone gets asked the same questions to each student and all the data go into ESGI.
Next, the administration uses that data from the FREE ESGI pre-assessment account to make fair and balanced rosters for everyone. Once the rosters are made, ESGI can push all that data to the correct teachers in minutes. It is amazing because when my roster drops, I also see their pre-assessment data.
If you want to learn more about ESGI pre-assessment accounts, you can click here. Everyone gets 2 months FREE to try ESGI. And you don’t need a credit card down on file. I use ESGI and have for 10 years. I truly LOVE it. You can see how I use it here.
If you want to grab a free trial of ESGI you can use my code SHARINGK to get at least 2 months FREE plus $40 off your first year.
Grab your Printable Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
If you are looking for this free printable Kindergarten readiness checklist, you can grab it by clicking here.