What Happens in Kindergarten?

Kindergarten is a big step for kids. They get to know their teachers and classmates, which helps build self-confidence and an understanding of school as a place where they can succeed.

Children will learn to identify letters and their sounds and will be introduced to basic math concepts. For example, they will count objects and groups of items; compare size and quantity; and begin to understand addition and subtraction.

Social and Emotional Development

In kindergarten, children move out of the supervised care of preschool teachers and begin to learn in more independent ways. They must follow their teacher’s lead, but also can choose from a variety of activities and work on different projects. Depending on their individual needs and readiness, they may require less direct supervision than they did in the past.

This is a good time to teach children to be respectful of one another and how to work together. It’s also a great time to help them gain self-awareness and independence, such as deciding when to ask for help and when to take responsibility for their own behavior.

Students also will be learning how to recognize, name and print alphabet letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and high-frequency words such as the, a and in. They will practice writing their names and drawing pictures. Students will learn to communicate and collaborate with peers, listen to others’ opinions, solve problems and develop empathy and compassion.

Physical Development

Children’s physical development involves their advancements and refinements of motor skills. This is reflected in their ability to move around the environment and engage in active play activities like climbing, jumping, throwing or catching a ball.

Physical development also contributes to cognitive development. For example, when seven-month-olds use their motor skills to push a button on a toy and hear an exciting sound, they learn how to perform an action to achieve a specific result.

In kindergarten, children will use their physical skills to learn about shapes and colors. They’ll also count, recognize and name uppercase letters and lowercase letters and learn about basic math concepts like adding and subtracting.

Numeracy and Literacy Skills

Kids will learn to recognize, print and pronounce alphabet letters (both upper and lower case). They’ll also get a taste of reading by learning about 30 high-frequency words—also called sight words.

Kindergarten classrooms usually have stricter educational standards than preschool classrooms and they follow a specific curriculum. This ensures consistency and a seamless transition into elementary school.

Children will need to be five years old before they can attend kindergarten. However, kindergarten cut-off dates vary by state.

Independence and Self-Assurance

In kindergarten, children will start to gain independence. Unlike preschool, which usually takes place at home or in childcare programs, kindergarten will likely be held at a public school and taught by a trained teacher. Many states set specific standards for kindergarten, which differ from state to state.

Teachers in kindergarten will teach more structured lessons to help prepare children for first grade. The curriculum will also introduce students to daily routines and a school environment. Kindergarten programs typically run five days a week and last for six to seven hours. Students who miss too many classes may fall behind.

It’s important for parents to communicate with their child’s teacher if they have concerns. Teachers want to know when something is causing stress so they can address it. They also want to know when things are going well so they can build a positive relationship with their student. The more they work together, the better the learning experience will be for their child.

What Happens in Kindergarten?
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