"Kindergarten readiness" is a term we have heard for many years. It is a term that has meant different things to different people. Now that has changed.
Legislative Act 825 enacted by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2003 has caused the term "kindergarten readiness" to be more clearly defined. Here is a summary of the main points contained in Act 825:
- The Department of Education shall determine and prepare a list of skills and knowledge that a child should have in order to be prepared for kindergarten.
- The list shall be prepared in a manner that will assist parents in preparing their children for kindergarten.
- The Department of Human Services shall provide copies of the list to child care facilities licensed by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education.
- Licensed child care facilities shall distribute the list to the parents of each three-year old, four-year old, and five-year old attending the child care facility.
Kindergarten Readiness Indicator Checklist
- Speaks in complete sentences.
- Follows directions with at least two steps.
- Understands words such as "top" and "bottom" and "big" and "little".
- Makes simple predictions and comments about a story being read.
- Matches two pictures that are alike.
- Looks at groups of objects and says which are the same shape, color or size.
- Tells things that together, for example a spoon and fork are for eating and a fish and a boat go in the water.
- Repeats a pattern you start; for example, step, step, jump-step, step, jump.
- Puts 3 pictures in order; for example 1. Planting flower seeds 2. Flowers growing. 3. Picking flowers.
- Says or sings familiar songs and nursery rhymes.
- Retells a simple story such as The Three Little Pigs after listening to it while looking at the pictures in the book.
- Works puzzles.
- Recognizes and names at least 5 colors.
- Recognizes his or her own first name in print.
- Recognizes letters in his or her own first name.
- Begins to write some of the letters in his or her own first name.
- Recognizes words or signs he or she sees often; for example, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, the name of the local grocery store where the family shops, or stop signs and exit signs.
- Holds and looks at books correctly; for example holds the book right side up and turns the pages one at a time from front to back.
- Recognizes rhyming words such as cat and hat.
- Recognizes and names at least 10 letters of the alphabet.
- Matches a letter with the beginning sound of a word; for example matches the letter "b" with a picture of a banana.
- Expresses ideas through pictures he or she draws; for example a child draws a picture of 3 family members and says who each one is.
- Counts at least 5 objects such as 3 bananas and 5 forks.
- Sees the written numeral "3" and understands this means 3 objects such as 3 bears.
- Adds and subtracts familiar objects such as cookies.
- Puts written numerals in order from 1 to 5; 1,2,3,4,5.
- Recognizes and names 3 shapes: circle, square and triangle.
- Counts from 1 to 10 in correct order.
- Uses the words "more" and "less" correctly.
- Tells if he or she is a boy or girl.
- Tells first and last name.
- Tells first and last name of parent(s).
- Tells how old he or she is.
- Takes care of own needs such as toileting, washing hands and dressing.
- Adjust to new situations without parents being there.
- Uses pencils, crayons and markers for drawing and writing and cuts with scissors.
- Draws a line, circle, X and +.
- Runs, jumps, hops, throws, catches, and bounces a ball.