Kindergarten provides an opportunity for children to develop social, problem-solving, literacy and thinking (cognitive) skills. Kids also continue to develop their large and small motor skills through physical activities.
Generally, children will work on a variety of learning activities throughout the day, such as building blocks, water tables and reading activities.
In kindergarten, children learn how to recognize and write uppercase letters. They also practice the sounds each letter makes and start to understand that words are made from blending these individual sounds. According to Scholastic, developing oral language skills is one of the most important indicators of future reading success.
Kindergartners will also begin to learn how to count objects and their sizes and how to perform basic addition and subtraction. They will also be introduced to the idea of respecting different adults and people. For instance, they will be taught that they should use “please” and “thank you” when speaking to teachers or coaches and should call adults by their first names.
The term kindergarten derives from a German educational approach called the Infant Garden. It was created in the early 19th century by pedagogue Friedrich Frobel. The approach is now used globally. Kindergarten is part of the K-12 school system and is generally administered by elementary schools.
Kindergarten is an important opportunity to help children develop their math skills. This is especially true for children from low-income families. Research shows that the development of mathematical thinking in early childhood predicts later academic achievement better than either early reading or attention skills.
Kindergarteners learn the names of numbers and begin to count objects, as well as an introduction to basic addition and subtraction. They also need to understand how different numbers can be combined to make other numbers.
It’s also important to remember that children’s learning and development are not linear. It’s vital to have a curriculum that strengthens children’s problem-solving and reasoning abilities rather than limiting experiences to rote counting, number recognition, and procedures and answer-getting activities. This will give children the confidence they need to move into the more abstract stages of math. It will also allow them to be more creative when solving problems. Children’s enjoyment of math is enhanced when they use their imagination and take risks with their thinking.
A child’s social skills are crucial for her emotional development, and kindergarten is a prime time to build these critical life skills. Having well-developed social skills will help your child to feel confident, which can translate to academic success in the classroom and beyond.
Kids in kindergarten can gain valuable social skills through both spontaneous experiences and structured learning. A daycare or kindergarten setting may be the first time your child has ongoing interaction with children outside of her immediate family, and it’s also an ideal environment for teaching specific social skills, such as active listening, showing empathy, and cooperating.
Parents and teachers can teach these skills at home through modeling, role-playing, and team building activities. For some children, however, social skills may require more specialized instruction. If your child struggles with interpersonal conflicts and aggression, shows little interest in social interaction, or seems unable to manage his emotions, it might be worth exploring professional counseling.
Several studies have shown that children’s natural curiosity about the world around them provides the basis for learning science. When properly supported, it can lead to a classroom environment that allows all students to build experiences in investigation and problem solving.
A second criterion is that the phenomena selected for exploration be accessible to young children and drawn from their natural environments. An example might be a study of snails. Other possible examples might include light and shadow, movement of objects, structures, and plant or animal life cycles.
Generally, the teacher guides this kind of informal sciencing by providing the materials, asking the questions, and providing the information. Teachers may also guide the children in more formal ways, such as through “formal sciencing” (Neuman, 1972) or by helping them to do experiments focusing on specific scientific content. This would be more structured than their experiences in kindergarten. But it still leaves them space for their own investigations.