How to prepare your child for Kindergarten in just 2 weeks
Many parents are having issues with the Common Core Standards for a variety of reasons, but the CCS is being implemented in almost every school in the country beginning this August. If your child is going to Kindergarten this year, this will be your first taste of the CCS. Getting your child ready for Kindergarten and CCS can be done in the first two weeks before school begins.
CCS will focus on “representing and comparing whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; describing shapes and space” in Kindergarten and most learning time will be dedicated to numbers and math. Students will learn to write numbers and to use them to represent quantities. They will learn basic addition and subtraction, will show these problems with objects and groups of objects, and will learn and use shapes to describe their worlds. They will learn key words and how to use them in a sentence.
Counting and Cardinality
•Know number names and the count sequence – test your child by asking them to count to 10 and showing them the numbers written out. Do this on Day One.
•Count to tell the number of objects – Once your child is able to count to 10, take like objects (like marbles or dice) and place them in groups, then have your child count how many are in the group. Allow them to play with the objects and make their own groups.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
•Understand addition and subtraction – use the objects as before and have kids add and take away to make equations. As they do, use a dry erase board to show the equation so they are able to get used to how these look when written out. Do this after you know they can count the objects once they’re grouped together.
Number and Operations in Base Ten
•Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value – Do this during the second week. Show your child higher numbers and teach them how to count and write them on scraps of paper, so as not to use clean sheets for practice.
•Identify and describe shapes – On Day One, show your child different shapes and ask them to name them. Afterward, ask them to draw them. This is a basic concept they need to master, like counting to 10, before moving on.
•Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes – ask your child to tell you the differences of a block compared to a circle. Cut the pieces out, buy blocks, or draw them. A fun way to learn shapes is to have kids go around the house and find objects in the shape you tell them. Then have them build something with the shapes! As they do this, take note on how well they know the shape and understand what you are asking of them. This will also determine how well they follow directions.
Reading and Vocabulary
•Know letter names and be able to identify and write both capital and lower case letters – Show your kids flashcards on Day One and make sure they know their alphabet. Then, have them write the alphabet in capital and lower case letters.
•Know basic words by sight/Sight Words – You can go online to your school’s website or visit education.com to find a list of the sight words most Kindergarten classes use. These are basics, like “a,” “the,” and “dog.”
•Placing sight words in sentences – Go to your local bookstore and buy first grade reading books, or visit your local library and check them out for free. Read these with your child nightly so that they are able to identify these basic words before school even begins, giving them a little leverage.
Visit CommonCoreStandards.org for more tips for parents. The more you know about the things expected of your child in Kindergarten, the better off you will all be when school actually begins.
*photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at freedigitalphotos.net.