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.


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, 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: