3 Things You Need to Know About the Kindergarten Curriculum

Kindergarten! For many parents, entering Kindergarten is seen as a major milestone; it signifies the transition from “my baby” to “my big kid.” I know this feeling is very intimidating because my five year old twins entered elementary school this year. My mornings now consist of me standing on the outside of their elementary school, waving to my big kids goodbye as they walk alone to their classroom. Although I now get my mornings off (aka mommy alone time), I can’t help but think, “How did five years go by so quickly?” Soon, they’ll be off to middle-school, high school, and college. Okay, maybe I’ll slow it down a bit! Before they get there, they have to complete their first year of school and learn new concepts. If you have a child in kindergarten, here are three things you need to know regarding your child’s education.

#1. Common Core Standards

In 2010, The California State Board of Education adopted universal learning standards for students in K-12 called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS are standards for English and math that aim to help students get a good public education, even if they change schools or move to different states. Currently, there are 41 states who have adopted the CCSS, click here to see the map of participating states.  

#2. Common Core – English

CC English standards emphasize strong literature comprehension by separating English into two parts: reading and writing. In reading, Kindergarteners are required by the end of the school year to identify the main topics of stories and retell key details. They are also required to demonstrate understanding of spoken words, sounds, and syllables. In writing, students will be required to write simple words (e.g., cat, pan, man) and use picture drawings to retell stories. Online interactive programs like Zoo-Phonics are also used in the classroom to support students with phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition. McGraw Hill and StarFall online games are also used to meet both parts of the English curriculum.  Click here to see the full list of common English standards.

#3. Common Core – Mathematics

CC math standards consist of two standards: practice and content. Kindergartens will practice counting to 100 by ones and tens. They will also learn to compare, breakdown, and compose numbers to 20. Geometry concepts like identifying, comparing, creating, and describing shapes focus on the content part of the CC math standard. Online game JIJI math is an approved integrative program used to support with meeting math standards. Click here to see the full list of common math standards.

Along with English and math, kindergarteners are also exposed to other subjects like science, history, and physical education. To get a better understanding of the lessons taught with those subjects, it is wise to ask your child’s teacher. Nowadays most teachers use communication apps like Class Dojo and Seesaw Family, which can be downloaded onto your cell phone. In my experience, these apps are great in strengthening the parent-teacher relationship. I’m able to see photos of my child during events, lessons, and in special activities. In addition, I’m able to direct message their teachers and feel connected, eliminating the my baby blues.

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Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Karen Cervantes Jimenez a grant writer, story teller, and advocate of the physical and social environment. She believes everyone is unique and that by sharing their personal stories, they can make a difference in education. She is a LAUSD and CalState University of Northridge alumna. In addition, she is an Autism Awareness and Emotional Intelligence advocate. She has three children (who are her inspiration) and lives her family in Buena Park, CA.

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