ready for kindergarten?

It's getting to be thinking about back to school time.



Mary Catherine, over at Fun-A-Day is also thinking about back to school.



We thought that we would compare thoughts.  
A pre-school teacher and a kindergarten teacher. 
 An American and a Canadian. 


I asked my last year's kindergarten kidlets (and any other alumni) what they thought kids needed to know before they came to kindergarten. Their suggestions are in bold; my thoughts are underneath.

I have to say, the kids pretty much covered what I would like my brand new, just-in-the-door kids to be able to do in kindergarten.


be friendly and have fun
Kindergarten in a nutshell.  Part 1: Knowing how to be a friend makes everything so much more enjoyable.  For everyone.  Part 2: A heart hope of mine is that the kids believe when they walk in the door that they will have fun in kindergarten. 

listen to the teacher's rules
We have rules (I am respectful. I am responsible. I am caring. I do my best. I am brave.) and routines that help us live and learn as part of a community.  I appreciate when my students "get" that it is about us and not just  me.



treat other people's toys properly
I would like my students to be respectful of the toys and equipment we have in the classroom. Everything is for using - but not abusing. I grin from ear to ear when they know how to be responsible for their own "stuff" - shoes, coats, backpacks, and any other bits and pieces they believe are essential to bring to school.



how to play on the monkey bars

This one I did not expect from the kids.  But it shows the importance of  spending time outside.  I don't expect my new kids to be ready to give up their amateur status on the monkey bars. I do want them to look forward to playing outside, be safe and, be willing to take good risks. And have rubber boots and a raincoat.  It rains a lot here.



love Ms Sandi

This one made me laugh!  I am going to inverse it.  I would like the kids to know that Ms Sandi will love them.  Our relationship is way more important than anything else that goes on in the classroom. 


how to wipe your own bum

This one made me laugh more. Mostly because one of my kidlets was reading my mind.  If I had to choose one skill that I really really want my brand new squeaky clean kindergarten kids to be able to do, it is to use the bathroom independently and appropriately. 

Undress after you get to the bathroom.  Close the door (I am sorry that you cannot see the pictures in the book we are reading).  Boys need to aim.  With their hands - not through mental telepathy.  (I don't understand their reluctance to hold and aim; I am constantly telling them to get their hands out of their pants outside the bathroom!)  We don't need a pee flood around the toilet. A reasonable amount of toilet paper.  Half a roll is  not reasonable.  I have a plunger, but I don't want to use it.  Toilet paper goes in the toilet once used.  Not on the floor. Not behind the toilet.  Flush.  Please flush.  Every time. Wash your hands.  Water and soap.  I will check. 


(And that does not mean that I do not understand  accidents - they happen - that's one reason why we have extra clothes at school.)


That's it.  


If you are looking for academic skills necessary for beginning kindergarten, you did not find any.

That's because they are not there.  

I would much rather that my new students are good at being children. 





'Cause that's what kindergarten is about --children.

click on over to 
for an
American  pre-school teacher
perspective

same same or different






            

25 comments

  1. Laughing because I know all of what you said is TRUE. Heading over for the comparison now. Thanks for creating this fun comparison.
    Julie :)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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    1. I thought that it was amazing how the kids knew what it was important to know. Out of the mouths of babes ...

      Sandi

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  2. I love this "I would much rather that my new students are good at being children." I think being smart is about knowing who you are and how you relate to other people plus knowing where to find information. Excellent post.

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree. Smart is not knowing a bunch of facts verbatim. Smart is knowing where to find that information - and how to flush!

      Sandi

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  3. Sandi, I really enjoyed talking with you about kiddos getting ready for kindergarten! :) I love how you incorporated your former students' thoughts on the subject. They seemed spot-on to me!!

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    Replies
    1. This was a fun collaboration. We should look for other opportunities for cross border posting.

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  4. I wish my son could have you as his kindergarten teacher! ;))

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  5. Sandi
    I love that you asked the kids for their ideas. Having taught both pre-K and kindergarten (with kids who didn't have much formal preparation for kindergarten) I've thought quite a bit about what readiness means. I agree that knowing how to play (including taking turns and being respectful of others) is the most valuable skill a child can bring to kindergarten.
    Lyn
    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales

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  6. It is a happy talent to know how to play. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a wise man.

    Sandi

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  7. "Boys need to aim. With their hands - not through mental telepathy." I laughed so hard at that, my husband required an explanation. :-) I just came over from Fun-a-Day and I love your post just like I loved Mary Catherine's! This makes so much sense! Definitely going to put extra emphasis on your suggestions this year. Thanks!

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  8. Ha! I had to laugh at how boys can't keep their hands out of their pants the rest of the day but neglect to aim... as a mom of three boys I really get that one! :) Thanks for some great food for thought. My second has a year to get ready for kindergarten. I'll keep these things in mind!

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  9. I love this reassuring post. The last few days I've been so worried my daughter won't be ready for kindergarten (and she still has another year to go). I'm going to return to this post whenever I start to worry she isn't ready "academically." Thanks!

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    1. Enjoy being part of your daughter's childhood, have wonderful conversations and devour books together. She will be ready to dive into kindergarten when the time comes. And please don't stress.

      Sandi

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  10. Thank you so much for this post. What a funny post that made me tear up a bit. I'm a week away from sending my daughter off to kindergarten. I have been concerned about kindergarten readiness...until I read your post. It was such a reassuring post that made my anxiety fade away, for all the things you listed, I am positive my daughter realizes...except the monkey bars :). So glad I found my way over today. Thank you so much!

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    1. Glad you popped by, and glad that my post helped you feel a bit better about sending your wee girl off to kindergarten. I hope that you both have a wonderful kindergarten year - and if you give your daughter's teacher a couple of your gnomes for small world play for the kids, s/he will be putty in your hand!

      Sandi

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  11. Oh my goodness! Your kids nailed it:) Of course the last one was hilarious!!

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    1. My kids aim to make you giggle!

      Sandi

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  12. When I sent out the request to my k alumni what new kids needed to know - that was the first response I got. I laughed and laughed!

    Sandi

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  13. This post is timely, honest, reassuring, realistic, touching, and hilarious all at once ;) Thanks so much for sharing it at Discover and Explore!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it.

      It's pretty much how kindergarten is - lots of movement, lots of hugs, lots of learning - with a little bit of bathroom humour thrown it.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Sandi

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  14. What a great post!! Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by - and for hosting Sharing Saturday every week.

      Sandi

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  15. As a former Kinder teacher turned SAHM, I really needed this post. I'm here from Fun-a-day who popped up in my FB feed. I read her post about one to one correspondence for some fresh ideas as my little boy is excitedly counting his LETTERS lately. I've recently come to think we do EC education all wrong these days so I thoroughly enjoy our time together, but I also recognize that just because I think we need to go back to letting littles be little, doesn't mean he won't have to meet standards when he gets there. He's newly turned four and sometimes I have small panic attacks about what he doesn't yet know and that we only have a small amount of time before he heads to K next year. In my mind, I rationally know that he will get it, we read, he can attend to long chapters while I read to him and that he has had so many worthwhile experiences in these years at home. As a teacher and the only one in my whole town who didn't send her kid to Pre-k, I sometimes worry. Posts like this are good for me. He doesn't yet count accurately to 10, can only recognize #s1 and 4, knows the letter H but not his ABCs and consistently tells us that he knows more than anyone and knows a hundred and ten-y things. I get a little scared that he won't have a teachable spirit and so I pray, but I also love his spunk and appreciate that he doesn't seem to lack confidence. :) We're working on using the restroom without telepathy right now!
    Thanks for this!

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  16. That was a funny post. I have 4 pre-k age children and we are working on some of those skills! They have a couple more years to practice before kindergarten. Thanks for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday. I always enjoy your posts. : 0 ) Theresa (Capri + 3)

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