Kindergarten students have many reading milestones or standards that they must learn before moving on to first grade. These standards are the foundation that are needed for the student to be successful in learning to read. What exactly are these standards and what do they mean?
Special thanks to Collaborative Corner and their help in providing this resource.
- Recognize and name all the upper-and lowercase letters of the alphabet. This is the foundation to reading. If the student does not know their letters or what sound the letter makes, they will not be able to move to the next level, blending sounds together to make or read words.
- Read common high-frequency words by sight. Each school district has a list that they want the kindergarteners to learn. These words cannot be sounded out; they have to know them from sight. The students need to learn these sight words because they help with learning to read and writing simple sentences.
- Retell familiar stories, including key details. Kindergarten students have to be able to listen to a story and be able to retell it to the teacher. This is done in many ways. The student can draw, dictate or write about the story. The best way to help your child is to read to them and ask questions about the story. For example: Who were the characters? Where did the story take place? What happened in the story?
Kindergarteners must also be able to write simple sentences using the following requirements. Teachers usually call these five steps “Five Star Writing.”
- Capital letter at beginning of the story.
- Finger spaces between the words.
- Use punctuation at the end of the sentence.
- Use sight words in the sentence.
- Sound out words or spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.
Additional kindergarten standards that are addressed during the school year are noted below:
- Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds, in three-phoneme CVC word. This means that the student must be able to recognize the beginning, middle, and ending sound in a word.
- Kindergarten students must know how to count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. Kindergarten students learn this by clapping out the syllables.
- They must be able to add or substitute individual sounds in simple one-syllable words to make new words. This means that the student makes new words by changing the first letter or the last letter of the word to make a new word.
- Recognize and produce rhyming words. This is a very hard skill for most kindergarten students to learn. Reading books to them that has a rhyming theme and asking them what words sound alike or rhyme will help enforce this skill.
- Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. By the end of kindergarten, your child should be reading emergent reader books. An example of this is linked here.
Here is an example of a passage your kindergarten student should be reading.
A Cap and a Map
I have a cap and map.
The map is in my lap.
The cap is not.
I tap on my cap.
I will take a nap.
Your child should meet these standards by the end of the kindergarten in order to be successful in first grade. If you find that your child is struggling, contact your child’s teacher and let them know your concerns. Keep in mind if your child has exceptional needs, they will most likely be learning these standards at a different rate than the other students. Never compare your child to another child. Remember, every child learns differently.
Leslie Haynes, B.Ed
Inclusion Teacher, Parent Advocate, and Special Olympics Coach