Kindergarten Standards

Welcome! As your child starts school, there will be many new habits, and academic skills to learn. The state’s learning goals for kindergarten outline the skills your child should gain by the end of the school year. 

Use this page to find out what you can expect your child to learn and talk about when they come home. You can also use it to talk with your child’s teacher about goals for your child and your child’s progress throughout the year. 

If you ever have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning, we welcome you to talk with your child’s teacher.

Social and Emotional Skills

In addition to academic skills, we also help your child build social and emotional skills, such as:

  • Respecting others
  • Becoming more self-sufficient
  • Cooperating with peers and adults 
  • Problem solving 
  • Communicating about what he/she has learned 
  • Following directions 
  • Changing easily from one task to another 
  • Handling mistakes in a positive way

English Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking

In kindergarten, your child will learn how printed words work. They'll learn their ABCs. They'll learn how letters represent sounds that are blended together to make words. These important skills will enable your child to learn new words and to read and understand simple books and stories. During group reading times, kindergarteners also develop skills important to understanding both stories and fact-based texts.

They will also begin to build their own simple sentences. Even at this early age, students start to understand that they can write to tell personal stories, share their opinions, and respond to text.

By the end of kindergarten, your child will learn to: 


  • Identify consonant and vowel sounds at the beginning, middle and end of words
  • Count, segment and blend syllables and sounds within words
  • Identify upper and lowercase letters
  • Read common sight words automatically (such as the, of, my, to)
  • Use knowledge of common letter sounds to read three- and four-letter words
  • Recognize and produce rhyming words
  • Identify parts of a book, including front cover, back cover and title page
  • Recognize common types of texts (story books, poems, informational text)
  • Understand how texts work: Words are separated by spaces, and go from left to right, top to bottom and page to page
  • Actively engage in group reading activities.
  • Listen to and discuss stories that represents different cultures and traditions
  • Ask and answer questions about text
  • Draw or write to show ideas from text
  • Make predictions and simple inferences based on text and pictures
  • With guidance, identify characters, setting, and important events in a story or main ideas and supporting points in informational text
  • With guidance, retell text using key details and correct sequence: beginning, middle and end
  • With guidance, compare characters, events, or information within a text or in multiple texts
  • With guidance, choose books and share them with others
  • Read emergent-level texts with purpose and understanding


  • Use drawings, dictating, and writing to:
    • Tell about an event or experience
    • State opinions
    • Communicate nonfiction information
  • Add details to strengthen writing based on peer and teacher input
  • Use digital tools to produce and publish their writing
  • Participate in research and writing projects

Speaking & Listening

In kindergarten, students increase their vocabulary and communication skills through shared experiences. Students of this age increase their ability to listen to adults and peers. They also extend their ability to communicate their own ideas clearly, using an increasingly
large vocabulary.

  • Ask or answer questions to get help or to clarify understanding of
  • Participate in conversations with kids and/or adults about books and kid-friendly topics
  • Take turns being a listener and a speaker
  • Answer questions following a read-aloud or video to confirm understanding
  • Talk about thoughts, feelings, ideas, familiar people, places or things in a clear, concise manner.


In kindergarten, students will demonstrate knowledge of standard English when writing or speaking. As they progress through their kindergarten experiences, these young students add written language skills to their expanding oral abilities, extending their knowledge and use of the conventions of standard English as they build their vocabularies.

  • Correctly and legibly form upper and lowercase letters
  • Correctly write first and last name (capitalizing the first letters only)
  • Use high-frequency words in writing (such as dog, run, play, like…)
  • Use complete sentences, orally and in writing
  • Capitalize the beginning of a sentence and the word “I”
  • Recognize and name end punctuation (.,?,!)
  • Spell simple words by writing the sounds heard (i.e., first, last, and middle sounds)
  • Understand and use question words (who, what, when, why, and how)
  • Build vocabulary by:
    • Reading and being read to
    • Studying and discussing text illustrations
    • Responding to text, orally or in writing
    • Using new vocabulary when conversing with teacher and peers and making real-life connections with words and their use


In kindergarten mathematics, students begin developing the concept of number by counting, drawing, writing, and ordering numbers. Students combine, sort, and compare groups of objects based on qualities like shape, size, and color. They learn that addition and subtraction are putting groups of things together and taking them apart. They explore shapes and learn their names and descriptions. They begin to understand basic measurement and solve simple problems.
By the end of kindergarten, your child will learn:

Counting and cardinality

  • Count forward to 100 by ones and tens
  • Count forward from any number in a given sequence (ex. Begin with 7 and count to 20)
  • Write numerals from 0 to 20 or more
  • Represent number of objects with numerals 0 to
  • Use a number to represent an amount of objects
  • Count objects and recognize that each number said represents one object
  • Count and recognize the last number said is how many objects there are and that the number
    doesn’t change even if counted a different way
  • Recognize when counting that the number gets bigger
  • Count to answer “how many,” using sets of objects
    of 20
  • Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the
    number of objects in another group
  • Compare two written numbers between 1 and 10

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

  • Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, sounds, numbers, drawings, etc.
  • Solve addition and subtraction word problems within 10 using objects or pictures
  • Fluently take apart and put together numbers within 10 (for example, 5 = 2 + 3, 5 = 4 + 1)

Number and Operations in Base 10

Work with numbers from 11 to 19 to understand place value using objects or drawings and recording with drawing or numbers (ex. 18 = 10 + 8)

Measurement and Data

  • Describe attributes of objects, such as length and weight
  • Make direct comparisons using measurable attributes such as length, weight and capacity (longer/shorter, heavier/lighter, etc.)
  • Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category


  • Identify, name, and describe shape
  • Sort shapes using a sorting rule and explain the sorting rule
  • Describe the location of one object relative to another object using pairs of words such as in/out, over/under, above/below, between/next to and behind/in front of
  • Identify, describe and compare two-dimensional (flat) or three-dimensional (length, width and height) objects
  • Make a larger two-dimensional shapes using two or more two-dimensional shapes (for example, using two triangles make a larger rectangle)
  • Model shapes in the world using materials (toothpicks and gumdrops) and drawings


In kindergarten science, your child will begin to explore the process of scientific inquiry. They understand that scientists observe carefully and ask questions. Your child will develop the skills of observing, sorting and identifying parts and begin using scientific tools to understand the natural world. In kindergarten, your child learns to ask, “How do we (as scientists) explore and observe our natural world?” We will study wood and paper in physical science and organisms in life science.

By the end of the kindergarten year, your child will learn to:

  • Sort objects by properties including shape, size, color, texture and hardness
  • Identify observable characteristics of living organisms (for example, spiders have eight legs; birds have feathers; plants have roots, stems, leaves, seeds, flowers)
  • Observe and show how living things look different under a magnifier
  • Wonder and ask questions about objects, organisms and events based on observations of the natural world
  • Follow all safety rules during investigations

Social Studies

Your child's classroom and school serve as a mini world. In it,  your child will learn about how decisions are made with respect to rights, rules and responsibilities. They begin to learn the basic concepts of fairness and respect for the rights and opinions of others.

By the end of the kindergarten year, your child will:

  • Understand and create timelines to show personal events in a sequential manner
  • Understand their point of view
  • Evaluate the fairness of their point of view
  • State own viewpoint and listen to viewpoints of others
  • Retell and explain personal history
  • Apply the ideals of justice and fairness when making choices or decisions in the classroom or on the playground
  • Remember the people who make and carry out rules in the classroom and school (i.e., teacher, librarian, cafeteria and playground, assistants, custodian, learning specialist, principal)

Health & Fitness

Demonstrates physical skills appropriate to grade level (e.g., body control, personal space, variety of movement patterns, safety).

Art & Music

Your child will become aware of the space around them, how to echo beats and rhythms, develop voice skills and use tools.

By the end of kindergarten, your child will experience the arts through:

  • Responding
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Building
  • Acting
  • Dancing
  • Singing

Your child will also work with a music specialist to:

  • Echo pitches, dynamics, beats, and rhythms
  • Experience explore, and discover pitch and melody, dynamics, tempo, and sound sources as they use their voices, bodies, and instruments in games and activities
  • Discover traditional children's songs, nursery rhymes, folk songs, classical music and world music
  • Begin to develop singing and playing skills and techniques while exploring the elements of music


How to Help at Home

You are your child's first teacher and most significant adult in your child's life. Ways you can encourage learning include:

Take time to talk with your child about school. Share your day as well. Go for walks and talk together about what you see. Talk while you are working. Spend time listening to your child talk. Talk with your child as you use simple math throughout the day.

Encourage all kinds of writing. 
Give your child blank paper, crayons, pencils and markers. Use coloring books and workbooks sparingly. Blank paper encourages creativity.

Limit screen time. 
Watch only a few selected programs together and discuss them with your child.

Encourage your child to run, skip and play outside. Play time is learning time for kids. 

Spend time together.
Arrange special time alone with each child in your family. Play games together. Sing together.

Most importantly, have fun learning with your child.

More Resources

Here are organizations with more tips and resources you can use:

Your child’s teachers can also share more tips and suggest activities to strengthen your child’s skills at home.