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Kindergarten Readiness

The Ready Kindergartener

The Ready Kindergartner, with engaged support from parents, caregivers, and community, has developed the skills and abilities necessary for achievement at age-appropriate levels.  He/she is physically, socially, and emotionally prepared to benefit from a quality kindergarten experience.

What does it mean to be ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten when they are five years old by September 1 of that school year.  But kindergarten readiness is more than a matter of age.  For a strong start in school, children need positive relationships and supportive learning environments beginning at birth.  It is our responsibility as family, caregivers, and communities to nurture the health and development necessary for school success.

South Carolina's Profile of the Ready Kindergartner describes the physical, cognitive, social and emotional signs of school readiness.  Because each child develops differently, each child will be ready in different ways.  That is why schools and educators must also be ready: prepared to meet the individual needs of students at all levels of readiness and provide whatever support and services are needed for a quality kindergarten experience.

Click on a developmental domain below for a listing of benchmarks that your child should be able to do by the time he/she reaches kindergarten.

  • Approaches to Learning & Inquiry

    - Demonstrates eagerness to learn
    - Shows curiosity through questioning
    - Shows creativity and imagination through pretend play
    - Engages in daily opportunities for play and exploration
    - Shows willingness to try new things
    - Persists in tasks that are challenging
    - Maintains attention
     - Applies learning to new situations
     - Solves problems with materials at hand
     - Uses senses and observations to learn about the world around them

  • Physical Development, Self-Help, & Motor Skills

    - Moves with control and balance while walking, running, jumping, and climbing
    - Uses fingers to control small objects, such as pencils/crayons, scissors, buttons, and zippers
    - Uses hand-eye coordination to perform simple tasks, like putting together a puzzle
    - Independently performs self-help tasks such as toileting, hand washing, tooth brushing, and dressing

  • Emotional & Social Development

    - Shares, takes turns, and plays well with others
    - Follows simple rules and directions
    - Expresses emotions through appropriate actions and words
    - Adjusts to changes in routine and environment
    - Shows self-control
    - Shows caring and understanding of others' feelings
    - Interacts with familiar adults
    - Respects the property of others
    - Resolves conflicts using words and adult support
    - Makes friends

  • Mathematical Thinking - Number Sense

    - Counts in sequence up to 20
    - Counts up to 10 objects, using one number for each object
    - Recognizes up to five objects in a group without counting
    - Compares sets of objects by quantity (more than or less than)
    - Describes and compares objects by size (big and small), length (long and short), and weight (light and heavy)
    - Understands and uses the terms first, second, and third

  • Mathematical Thinking - Matching, Sorting, Classifying

    - Recognizes and draws basic shapes, such as circle, square, and triangle
    - Recognizes and repeats simple repeating patterns, such as triangle, square, triangle, square
    - Describes positions of objects using the terms above and below
    - Sorts and classifies up to 10 objects into categories

  • Language & Literacy Development - Listening, Speaking, and Understanding

    - Converses with others, taking turns speaking and listening
    - Speaks clearly, expressing ideas and questions
    - Uses words to seek help, answer questions, and solve problems
    - Speaks in complete sentences of at least six to eight words
    - Listens to stories and retells them
    - Begins to ask questions about stories that are read aloud
    - Follows directions and completes tasks that require multiple steps
    - Asks and answers "how" and "why" questions

  • Language & Literacy Development - Early Reading

    - Shows interest in books and reading
    - Holds books upright, turning pages, one at a time from front to back
    - Knows that printed words have meaning
    - Uses pictures in a book to tell and retell the story
    - Recognizes and names/reads familiar signs and logo- Listens to a story being read aloud
    - Makes predictions about what will happen next in a story being read aloud
    - Begins to follow text from left to right as it is read aloud
    - Recognizes and names rhyming words
    - Recognizes some upper and lower case letters and their sounds
    - Recognizes that spoken words can be represented in written language
    - Recognizes written name as well as other familiar words
    - Begins to use pictures and text read aloud to learn the meaning of unfamiliar words

  • Language & Literacy Development - Early Writing

    - Draws pictures and tells their story
    - Writes using a combination of letters, letter-like shapes, and scribbles
    - Uses drawing and writing during play
    - Writes name independently or using an example

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