State of Our Schools: What does ‘prepared’ mean?

As part of the Daily Journal’s “State of Our Schools” series on pre-K, kindergarten teachers provided several recommendations for what students should be able to do when they start kindergarten. That includes being able to:

• Identify most letters of the alphabet, especially the letters in the child’s name

• Count to 10 and recognize the numbers to 10

• Identify colors and the four basic shapes – circle, triangle, square and rectangle

• Engage in a conversation and talk about their own experiences

• Recognize that print flows from left to right and to listen to a story and answer questions about it

• Follow one- and two-step directions

• Ask questions about how things work in the world around them

• Tell their full name, age and gender and to write their name

• Resolve conflicts with playmates and others appropriately and know how to share and take turns

• Adjust to new situations without their parents being there

• Express feelings

The most important advice the kindergarten teachers had for parents was to read to their children every day.

EARLY LEARNING STANDARDS

A group of early education experts from a variety of backgrounds across the state have developed curriculum and standards for children from birth to age 4. The documents are intended to prepare students for kindergarten in a developmentally appropriate way. They can be used by child care centers and by parents.

To view them, go to the Early Childhood Institute website, http://www.earlychildhood.msstate.edu/. Click on “Resources” at the top of the page and you will see curriculum and standards for infants and toddlers, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds along the right side of the page.

View the entire Daily Journal “State of Our Schools” series here: http://djournal.com/education-matters/state-of-our-schools/