What Should a Kindergartener Know Before Going to First Grade?


What should a kindergartener know before going to first grade? Check out the 4 essential skills they need to learn right now!
what should a kindergartener know before going to first grade

1. Literacy skills.

Literacy skills include reading and writing, along with other proficiencies related to information-sharing, such as drawing, speaking, and listening.

  • Know the alphabet
  • Recognize (and write) upper and lower case letters
  • Understand the basic features of letters and words
  • Begin to distinguish differences between fiction and nonfiction
  • Be able to use letter sounds and patterns to recognize new words
  • Recognize words that rhyme
  • Tell the difference between fact and fiction
  • Recall a sequence of events
  • Write their name
  • Write simple, complete sentence. For example, “I can run.”
Why literacy skills are important:

Incoming first graders are expected to be able to read, write, and share information in a variety of ways.

Developing literacy skills early on playsa key role in preparing children to succeed in first grade and beyond.

Literacy has been linked with academic achievement, reduced grade repetition, higher graduation rates, and enhanced productivity in adult life. 

2. Fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills involve the correct use of the muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. 

A kindergartener should be able to hold a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly.

They should also be able to use scissors safely and correctly, developing the ability to cut along a dotted line or basic shapes from a piece of paper.

Why fine motor skills are important:

Fine motor skills enable children to perform self-care tasks such as zipping clothes, feeding themselves, and participating in school activities.

Meanwhile, having the ability to complete these everyday tasks on their own, boosts a child’s self-esteem.

Failing to do so may cause them to become frustrated, and avoid similar tasks in the future.


3. Mathematics skills.

There are a variety of skills a kindergartener needs to understand as they go into first grade including:
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Connections and structure
  • Represent and Model Mathematics
Furthermore, children should know numbers from 1 to 30, while also developing the ability to connect pictures of multiple items with numbers (e.g., 5 apples), and be able to identify coins.

Kindergarteners should have a beginning understanding of adding and subtracting numbers between 1 and 10, using manipulatives to show their understanding. Additionally, children at this age should be able to solve real-world problems involving sorting, counting, addition and subtraction

Children should also know how to identify and work with shapes, as well as recognize basic patterns.

Why mathematics skills are important:

While your kindergartener will need to know math fundamentals, these skills are not just essential for school activities.

By developing their mathematics skills, children can improve their analytical abilities and become better problem-solvers.

In addition, researchers at Stanford University have shown that children with more mathematics skills are able to recruit certain brain regions more reliably.

4. Social skills.

Before heading into first grade, kindergarteners should know how to participate in group activities.

They should respect their peers, while learning to communicate appropriately with other students.

In addition, they should recognize the need to raise their hands before being called on, and seek help with assignments when needed.

Why social skills are important:

Developing social skills early on is important for children’s overall happiness.

Adolescents who have strong social skills are more likely to be accepted by their peers, develop friendships, be viewed as effective problem solvers, and perform better academically.

Why You Should Choose Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

From their earliest years at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), students learn the essential skills required to succeed in first grade and beyond.

The Lower School at SCH is a supportive, vibrant community for boys and girls in grades Pre K to Grade 4.

With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.

What’s Next

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