Ready for School

Kindergarten teachers expect (and hope!) that, come fall, new students arrive with some basic skills like knowing their ABCs and 123s. But kindergarten teachers also look for other developmental milestones and abilities.

Here are some behaviors a child will show on the path to kindergarten:

Age 1

  • Knows her name and understands when she is being spoken to
  • Responds to someone else’s distress by showing his own
  • Is becoming familiar with books and being read to
  • Understands simple requests
  • Says his first word
  • Understands facial expressions

Age 2

  • Answers simple questions
  • Scribbles with crayons
  • Enjoys being read to and may have some favorite books
  • Can flip through a book page by page
  • Knows her first name and can say it when asked
  • Communicates simple needs like hunger, pain and thirst

Age 3

  • Knows her full name, how old she is and if she is a boy or a girl
  • Uses words to express emotions (for example: “I am sad”)
  • Understands and follows two-step directions
  • Enjoys listening to and talking about books
  • Dresses herself
  • Copies a circle
  • Eats by herself

Age 4

  • “Reads” favorite books by memory
  • Is aware that letters make sounds
  • Cuts out a picture with scissors
  • Hops on one foot
  • Understands and follows a series of directions
  • Shares and takes turns

Age 5

  • Identifies rhyming words
  • Skips, jumps and hops with good balance
  • Listens without interrupting
  • Writes his own name
  • Knows words are read from left-to-right
  • Recognizes several letters, and numbers 1-10
  • Recognizes and responds to other people’s feelings appropriately
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