Preschool offers unique advantage of readiness assessments

What teachers look for in assessing school readiness

Preschool is a great way to get your child ready for kindergarten. One advantage to preschool is that you will have a better way of measuring your child's learnign abilities based on what your preschool teacher observes and compares to classmates. When your child doesn't attend preschool, it's hard to measure your child's ability because you have nothing to base your answers on.  

If your child can do the following, chances are he is ready... 
  • Can wash hands, blow nose, brush teeth, use utensils to eat, cup to drink, get dressed and fasten closures like buttons and zippers.
  • Can put away jacket, hat; can put papers on teacher’s desk.
  • Is careful around potentially dangerous objects like scissors or a parking lot.
  • Can follow basic health and safety routines like a fire drill; knows first and last name and other identification, such as address. Can identify himself (i.e. boy, son, friend).
  • Responds to and makes greetings; responds to teacher’s directions; responds to adult approval/disapproval (e.g. holding an adult’s hand when crossing the street).
  • Seeks help when needed; accepts responsibility for age-appropriate tasks; follows familiar rules and routines.
  • Takes turns when in a group; is able to sit calmly, listen, and work with other children; can move from one task to another on request.
  • Attempts to solve problems independently and can focus on a task to completion.
  • Tells another child when he is bothered (e.g. “Stop pushing me.”)
  • Establishes relationships with peers, shows respect to others, cooperates and shares with others, and adapts to new people and situations.
  • Shows sensitivity to others’ feelings and offers help to a peer who appears in need.
  • Displays a wide array of feelings.
  • Participates in music activities like singing, games, and performances.
  • Uses complex sentences and asks questions like “who,” “what,” and “why.”
  • Uses eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures when communicating with others.
  • Retells a simple story after hearing it; uses pictures to predict what will occur next in a story; invents his/her own stories.
  • Counts in sequence.
  • Has an understanding of time (e.g. sleep at night, eat breakfast in the morning).
  • Can match items and create patterns.
  • Demonstrates ability to use writing, painting, and coloring instruments as well as scissors and other tools and various types of technology.
  • Performs fine motor skills, demonstrates balance and control, and can safely negotiate uneven surfaces such as stairs.

Source: New York State Education Department