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School Readiness for Kindergarten

The early years of a child’s life are crucial in creating a foundation for life-long learning and success. In Colorado, there is increasing emphasis on school readiness to insure that a child can benefit from the education he or she receives. The idea of readiness has four key levels in Colorado:

  1. An early childhood education that prepares a child for kindergarten

  2. A focus throughout the kindergarten year of preparing a child for first grade

  3. Continuing to build on school readiness in second grade for children who need additional support

  4. Insuring, as part of Colorado’s READ Act, that children are reading at grade level if not higher by the time they complete third grade.

While part of this process focuses on education and academic content, the other half of the equation must focus on approaches to learning, social and emotional development, physical development and health, and character development.

Through approaches to learning, children become ready to learn so that they can “learn to learn,” which is an essential lifelong skill. We encourage children to learn on their own and in group settings where they are encouraged to ask and answer questions, and to participate in discussions where they share information and ideas.

 

The elements of Approaches to Learning include:

  • Initiative: Children demonstrate initiative as they explore their world.

  • Planning: Children make plans and follow through on their intentions.

  • Engagement: Children focus on activities that interest them.

  • Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in play.

  • Use of resources: Children gather information and formulate ideas about their world.

  • Reflection: Children reflect on their experiences.

 The elements of Social and Emotional Development include:

  • Self-identity: Children have a positive self-identity.

  • Sense of competence: Children feel they are competent.

  • Emotions: Children recognize, label, and regulate their feelings.

  • Empathy: Children demonstrate empathy toward others.

  • Community: Children participate in the community of the classroom.

  • Building relationships: Children build relationships with other children and adults.

  • Cooperative play: Children engage in cooperative play. 

  • Moral development: Children develop an internal sense of right and wrong.

  • Conflict resolution: Children resolve social conflicts.

 The elements of Physical Development and Health include:

  • Gross-motor skills: Children demonstrate strength, flexibility, balance, and timing in using their large muscles.

  • Fine-motor skills: Children demonstrate dexterity and hand-eye coordination in using their small muscles.

  • Body awareness: Children know about their bodies and how to navigate them in space.

  • Personal care: Children carry out personal care routines on their own.

  • Healthy behavior: Children engage in healthy practices.

 A focus on school readiness in preschool helps children prepare for kindergarten and become enthusiastic learners.