In kindergarten, children build a foundation for all later academic disciplines by learning to think logically. Here are some specific cognitive milestones you can expect your kindergartner to reach. Keep in mind that children develop at different rates and that every teacher follows a different curriculum, so your child may not do everything on this list.
In kindergarten, your child will learn to
- Categorize objects. For instance, he may place blocks in a row from shortest to tallest, or group items by color.
- Count ten or more objects.
- Recognize and write numbers up to 10.
- Sort objects into specific categories. For example, he may learn to put pictures of toys, animals, and food in their own groups.
- Compare the length, weight, and capacity of objects. For example, he might say, "That telephone pole is taller than the streetlight" or "Dad's shoe is heavier than Mom's."
- Stick with a project until it's complete — finishing a puzzle, for instance, or finding his way through a maze game.
- Collect objects, such as rocks or bugs, to examine more carefully later.
- Identify and possibly draw shapes such as circles, squares, diamonds, rectangles, and triangles.
- Understand broad concepts of time, including "yesterday," "today," and "tomorrow".
- Name the days of the week.
- Identify the seasons of the year.
- Identify the general time at which everyday events occur. For example, he might say, "I eat breakfast at 7 o'clock in the morning" and "I go to bed at 8 o'clock at night."
- Use his senses to investigate his surroundings and then tell you what he's discovered. For instance, he might say, "Lizards like to hide under rocks" or "Birds build nests high off the ground".
How the teacher will promote these skills
Kindergarten teachers will plan lots of discovery-oriented activities and even whole days of exploration. Your child may go on field trips this year to a zoo, an aquarium, or a children's science museum. If you live in a place where the seasons change, the teacher may mark those changes by asking the children to collect things like leaves, flowers, and snow and talk about how the seasons differ. Kindergarten math activities can be as simple as counting the number of blocks a child uses to build a tower, singing songs about numbers, or playing games that require dice or a spinner. Most kindergarten classrooms also contain special exploration areas such as a garden, a hamster cage, or a painting area.
More great resources
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- What to expect from your kindergartner