This post is meant for kindergarten teachers who are gearing up to test those incoming preschool students to check their kindergarten readiness skills before officially starting school in the fall. There are a lot of moving parts to a kindergarten readiness assessment (or Kindergarten Round-Up as my previous district called it).
Below you will find an entire pack of ready to print assessments for incoming kindergarteners to test their readiness skills.
Why We Check for Kindergarten Readiness Skills
Kindergarten is an important milestone in every child’s life. By assessing incoming kindergartner’s skills before school starts, it gives teachers and parents the opportunity to see what specific things children may need help with before the fall. For example, if they are still missing a lot of their alphabet knowledge or can’t write their first name completely just yet, that would be something that parents need to focus on more at home over the next couple months.
Kindergarten readiness screenings help both the parents and the teachers get an overall comprehensive assessment of the child’s specific skills so that there are no surprises when school starts. The more prepared that children are both academically and emotionally for kindergarten, the more successful they will be.
These developmental screenings can help parents who are on the fence about holding their child back one more year make a better decision. They also help us teachers make some instructional decisions for class placement based on students’ ability.
What Should Kindergartners Know?
Kindergarten readiness skills are important and can vary a bit from state to state. Kindergarten prepares kids for the rest of their academic future and is a big change from their preschool days. We want them to be prepared but we also don’t want to push kids into a stressful situation that they aren’t ready for.
Here are some skills that incoming kindergarteners should possess:
✔️ Can name and recognize 10+ letters
✔️ Can recognize their own name in print
✔️ Recognizes that some words rhyme
✔️ Can write all or most of the letters in their own first name
✔️ Follows 2-step directions
✔️ Holds and looks at a book correctly
✔️ Can draw pictures to tell a story
✔️ Can retell a simple story
✔️ Starts and joins in conversations
Kindergarten Assessment Printables
When my team completed the assessment forms to learn each student’s ability, we made sure that there were still fun activities to entice the students. One station let students create a “Ready for Kindergarten Crown” as well as an adorable rocket ship craft made out of shapes and a coloring page for them to do. This helps them to associate going to kindergarten as still being a fun and exciting transition besides just gathering student data and checking on their areas of early learning.
Here’s exactly how my team ran our Kindergarten Roundup Transition Night:
You can set up the stations and station signs from the Kindergarten Roundup Pack however you would like. Sometimes we liked to have students rotate between the alphabet, math and fine motor assessments; other years we had one teacher do all of those and students rotated between the craft, crown and coloring pages. You can really do whatever works best for you. For both the rocket and crown, we had an example already made on the table for kids to look at and replicate.
1. Alphabet Assessment
The first station was of course a quick alphabet assessment. We looked for students’ uppercase letter recognition, students’ lowercase letter recognition as well as students’ letter sound knowledge. Knowing the alphabet letters and letter sounds are probably one of the most important skills that incoming kindergartners can have because it will set them up properly for reading, which begins fairly quickly. By the end of kindergarten, kids should be reading some simple decodable books independently.
We simply put the student packet in front of the student. They do not need to write in it so you will only need to print one of these. There are two versions of the assessments: option 1 is more thorough and option 2 is a bit shorter. Decide which one works best for your needs. Then students can either rotate to the next station and complete their math assessment sheets with a different teacher or the same teacher can give the entire assessment.
2. Math Assessment
For the basic math assessment, students are given a sheet with the numbers 1-10 for number recognition and 8 different shapes (the basic ones) to identify. You will also need counters so that they can count objects for the one-to-one correspondence part.
3. Assessing Fine Motor Skills
Having decent fine motor skills in kindergarten might honestly be more important than letter or number recognition. During this time, incoming kindergartners are given a quick assessment to write their name, as well as lines and shapes to cut out.
It’s important that by the end of the school year in pre-K, they can write their name, hold a pencil and have simple cutting skills because these are all things that they are expected to do independently in kindergarten.
Getting Ready for Kindergarten Pack
This handy assessment has everything that you need to assess incoming kindergarten students to foresee any potential problems. It also has additional support activities for parents and guardians to take home. The first is a “Getting Ready for Kindergarten Pack” which is full of activities for grown-ups to do with their children. This gives kids extra practice on some of the skills they were assessed on so they are ready for the beginning of the year in kindergarten.
The other item that we send home with families is a summer journal. Children can draw a picture and dictate a sentence to an adult, who will write it at the bottom. This is a great way to start incorporating some kindergarten writing skills at home. It is helpful to show student progress over where they were when they left preschool upon entering kindergarten.
Ready or Not, Here We Come Kindergarten!
While we do focus on the basics of letter and number recognition or reading skills during these assessments, kindergarten readiness actually encompasses so much more than a few isolated skills. When students come in to show their kindergarten readiness skills, I always looked at all parts of the child’s development and completed my own informal assessments as well. I made notes for each individual student that I assessed on their observation form.
I looked at things like:
Did they have a correct pencil grasp?
Did they have a difficult time sitting still or were they easily distracted?
Were they super shy?
How were their language skills?
This way, it helped when we made our kindergarten groupings for the school year plus I could reach out to the child’s teacher in early childhood if I felt like I had any unanswered questions or concerns to get a better picture of the child as a whole.
ENTIRE Printable Kindergarten Readiness Assessment
These kindergarten assessment printables are all available in the Kindergarten Roundup Pack.
Besides the assessment worksheets listed above, it also includes:
- signs for check-in and navigation between tables
- editable certificates
- an adorable rocket ship craft
- ready for Kindergarten crowns
- gift tags to attach to a fun treat for when they finish
- activities to send home with families
Different Ways to Use these Kindergarten Assessment Activities:
You can defintely use the Kindergarten Assessment Pack in whichever way works best for you and your team!
Here are some ideas of ways others have used this pack:
📝 Kindergarten round-Up
📝 Kindergarten readiness testing days
📝 Kindergarten transition Days
📝 The first week of school in kindergarten
📝 End of the year in Pre-K