5 Cognitive Goals For Kindergarten

When 5-year-olds start kindergarten they are often eager to learn new things. However, they are not ready to meet the cognitive goals that many kindergarten teachers set for them.

Founded on Froebel’s philosophy, kindergarten classrooms are usually structured to provide hands-on learning opportunities and socialization skills in a small group setting.


In kindergarten, children develop early literacy skills. They learn to recognize uppercase and lowercase letters and match them with their sounds, identify words that rhyme and use sight words, and retell stories in their own words. They also learn to express their thoughts and feelings using clear speech and participate in group discussions by following the rules of discussion (e.g., taking turns speaking and listening to others).

Children also learn to read a few simple books by themselves and explore the ways that print conveys information. They develop knowledge about different types of literature, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction (informational and expository), and drama.

When they are studying science, kindergarten students practice predicting the effects of natural processes and then observe, compare their predictions with what actually happens, and record their observations. They will use appropriate vocabulary to discuss these observations with their peers and teachers. These scientific discussions may be connected to Scientific Investigations standard K.S.4 of the Framework.


In kindergarten, children learn basic math concepts that will serve as a foundation for their learning in preschool, elementary school and beyond. These include number recognition, simple counting, number relationships, decomposing numbers and writing numbers. They also begin an introduction to geometry by recognizing 2D shapes like circles, rectangles, and squares.

Kindergarteners will also learn about measurement using comparison and non-standard units. They will understand the concept of time and money. They will also begin an introduction to addition and subtraction by understanding minus as “pulling apart” and adding as bringing together.

Parents can help their children develop these skills at home by playing math games that incorporate the use of different types of manipulatives. It is also important to encourage your child when they get a new concept right and praise them for their effort, even if the outcome is not perfect. It will build a positive attitude towards math that they can carry with them into their future academic career.

Social Studies

Social studies is a catch-all term for the subjects that center around man and his relationships, including history, geography, civics, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology and art. The kindergarten curriculum will expand children’s understanding of the world and their place in it by introducing them to important social themes such as family, classroom, school and community.

This early introduction to the social sciences teaches kids to work cooperatively with others and respect their differences. It also helps them develop a sense of their own culture and traditions.

Students in kindergarten will learn how to identify and address their own social issues by exploring what has been accomplished in the past through historical research and analysis of national symbols. They will also begin to understand the importance of civic engagement through discussions of current events, historical field trips, learning about how to vote and integrating their classroom with the local community. In addition to this, they will be encouraged to engage in community service projects.


Children are natural scientists, but they need structure to turn their curiosity and activity into scientific inquiry. Kindergarten science provides children with the opportunity to sort piles of objects, take things apart, experiment with materials and observe their surroundings. They will learn about the properties of various objects and materials such as color, shape, temperature, odor, flexibility and more. They will also discover the similarities and differences of plants and animals and their identifying characteristics.

They will experience the changes of the seasons and learn about what living things need to survive. They will also learn about the physics of motion by using toys such as helium balloons to demonstrate push and pull.

Sonlight Science K nurtures children’s natural curiosity as they read great books, learn new vocabulary and conduct weekly experiments. The experiments provide context to the classic scientific content that they are reading and help them develop real-life skills such as measuring, observation, hypothesis and problem solving.

5 Cognitive Goals For Kindergarten
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