5 Steps to Ensure Children Are Ready for Kindergarten
2020–2021 has not been a typical school year. Teachers and families have responded to the ongoing global pandemic by completely changing their ideas and approach to what a school day looks like. Many preschool children have spent this year learning at home with their families or participating in virtual learning. Now these children are looking forward to starting both kindergarten and learning in a classroom setting.
Navigating this year has been trying for families and teachers and has led to many concerns about children’s preparation for the upcoming school year. As summer approaches, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do to ensure that children have the skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten?”
Five Steps to Ensure Children Are Ready for Kindergarten
- Plan summer learning opportunities that support preschool children’s skills in the most critical areas for kindergarten readiness.
- Participate in professional learning opportunities to explore kindergarten readiness.
- Connect with families and help them prepare for the transition to kindergarten.
- Prioritize creating a positive, trusting, and safe classroom environment for children. This is always critical for learning to occur, but it is more important than ever as a result of the pandemic.
- Assess new kindergarten students’ skills within the first six weeks of school and adjust your teaching practice based on their abilities.
How Teaching Strategies Supports the Five Steps to Kindergarten Readiness
At Teaching Strategies, we know that preparing children for kindergarten will help ensure that they are ready to be important members of their classroom community and feel excited for the new adventures and experiences to come. Here are a few ways to help these children, teachers, and families get off to the right start.
- Summer Learning Opportunities for Preschool Children
We are excited to announce that our new Teaching Guide, Building the Bridge to Kindergarten: Summer Program is now available within The Creative Curriculum Cloud. The new, digital guide offers a fun and engaging summer program that includes four weeks of exciting, hands-on activities during which children will build and create with boxes, water, and simple machines. Kindergarten readiness is the heart of this guide. Before we developed this Teaching Guide, we identified 35 critical kindergarten readiness skills across all areas of development and learning. These skills were intentionally incorporated into the daily plans so that children have ongoing opportunities to practice working as a group, problem-solving, emergent reading and writing, recognizing numbers, counting, and much more.
- Examine Kindergarten Readiness With Professional Development
Getting Ready for Kindergarten, our 3-hour interactive online professional development session, provides an opportunity for teachers to explore what it means to be “kindergarten ready” and the role they play in that readiness. Teachers will examine Teaching Strategies® resources and strategies that support creating and telling data stories and evaluating transition plans.
- Make Summer Learning Soar at Home With the Family Learning Pack
A recent NAEYC pandemic survey found that 81% of childcare, Head Start, and public preschool respondents say they are serving fewer children than before the pandemic, with an average decline of about a third. Many children have missed opportunities to build strong relationships with adults and peers as well as learning opportunities. This summer, families can help play a role in developing these skills and help ensure their children are ready for kindergarten.
- Developing Classroom Community in the First Six Weeks of Kindergarten
The First Six Weeks: Building Your Kindergarten Classroom Community Teaching Guide lays the foundation for the trusting, safe environment children will need in your classroom community. The time invested in building trusting relationships with children and families promotes the development of a kindergarten classroom community that values kindness, risk-taking, and exploration and leads to positive outcomes for all children.
- Save Time and Assess Kindergarten Readiness Easily
Streamlining assessment of kindergarten readiness skills means more time to teach and provide guidance and support. Created with the demands of kindergarten teachers in mind, the GOLD Kindergarten Entry Assessment Survey is a time-saving tool that helps teachers get a comprehensive picture of the development and learning of each kindergarten student during the busy first weeks of school. The survey asks teachers to compare a student’s knowledge, skills, and abilities with research-based widely held kindergarten entry expectations.
Ensure your kindergarten program supports all children and teachers with a solution that integrates all of the essential components for success.
Schools cannot control all factors of kindergarten readiness for all children. In a recent webinar, we examined how schools can be prepared to meet children where they are, when they arrive to kindergarten in the fall.