Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Kindergarten Teachers’ Wish List


Summer’s more than halfway over.  I never really like to say that out loud!

Soon, school hallways will be filled with voices and laughter…and some new kindergarteners.  Adjusting to school can be difficult for these little ones, and libraries are striving to help them succeed with lots of kindergarten readiness programming. 

However, the question remains—what skills do kindergarten teachers want to see in their students when they convene for the first time in August or September? 

Last year, my library polled our local kindergarten teachers to find out, and then developed a flyer to alert caregivers to those skills…and allow children to practice them on the back. 

What ranked with teachers?  The following academic skills:

  • Printing their name.
  • Naming and drawing a square, triangle, circle and rectangle.
  • Counting up to ten objects.
  • Completing a pattern.
  • Recognizing the numbers 1-10.
  • Recalling a short story they just listened to.
  • Drawing a picture and explain it.
  • Cutting with scissors.
  • Knowing what opposites are.
  • Knowing the letters of the alphabet.
  • Knowing the beginning sounds of all 26 letters.
  • Knowing the colors
  • Hearing and generating rhymes.

However, the skills needed went beyond academics into social and life skills, including:

  • Knowing how to use the toilet and wash their hands.
  • Knowing how to dress themselves, including buttons and zippers.
  • The ability to sit and listen in a group.
  • The ability to follow simple directions.
  • Knowing their phone number and how to dial it. 
  • Knowing how to share and take turns with friends.

And most surprisingly to me…

  • Knowing their true first and last name.  Many children are called by a nickname, and that’s all they know.

We are trying to work these skills into our programming.  On the back of the information flyer with this list, we also created a space for kids to practice writing their names, draw a picture, finish a pattern, and cut a line.

How are you getting your young students ready for kindergarten?

This post addresses the core competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group, III. Programming Skills, IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials, and V. Outreach and Advocacy.


  1. Lisa Bintrim

    Thank you for sharing this! This is really helpful information. As much as we emphasize storytime, I feel like I get at more of these skills in my arts and crafts programs. For example, this afternoon we did a Roll an Aquarium art game. They practiced scissor skills (cutting out the paper die), numbers, colors, shapes, and following directions. And I go around and ask the kids questions about what they are drawing, so they practice that too. They even practice washing their hands afterward!

    1. Maria Trivisonno

      Until this survey, I did NOT realize how much daily skills (like opening snack containers, using zippers and buttons) were so important for Kindergarten teachers. Washing hands practice is WONDERFUL. And yes, the “school” skill we heard most about where scissors!

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