GreatSchools.org, a non-profit that provides data to parents about their local schools, recently rolled a tool that helps you get a more informed answer to that question. The Milestones video series is an archive of reference points that parents can use to compare their kid’s verbal, written and math skills against a similarly aged kid who has passed specific Common Core milestones.
The videos are organized by grade level (K-5), subject and skill or concept, and each one focuses on 2 or 3 goals that a student should reach by the end of the school year. The videos feature teachers working with kids, and dispense with impenetrable edu-speak in favor of illustrating how the Common Core plays out at ground level. If a quick review of them has you leaning toward “reality TV star” with regards to your own kid, there are accompanying articles, activities and worksheets you can use to kick their deGrasse into shape.
The complete series is 62 videos, so here’s a recap of the most salient points for kindergarteners. Because, if you have a kindergartner and you try to actually watch any of them on your phone, they’ll climb on your head and kick you until you switch it to My Little Pony. Watch the whole series here.
What Reading Skills Look Like By The End Of Kindergarten
- Know what sounds letters represent
- Sound out some new words
- Catch and correct their own mistakes
- Read simple words accurately
- Pay attention to periods and commas so they don’t sound. Like. Robots.
- Learn a new word every time they read
- Use different strategies (context, pictures, glossaries, wild guesses) to figure out the meanings of words
- Answer questions about a book
- Point to textual evidence to support their answer
- Talk about what they learned from books
- Connect that new information to something they already know
What Math Skills Look Like By The End Of Kindergarten
- Be able to add and subtract numbers between 1 and 5 quickly and accurately
- Know the correct answers from memory
- Addition means combining
- Subtraction means taking away
- Start a simple addition/subtraction word problem using numbers 1-10 on their own
- Know whether to use addition or subtraction
- Solve it correctly
What Writing Skills Look Like By The End Of Kindergarten
- Learn about a topic (mostly from being directly taught, but also from reading).
- Understand the evidence and details that supports the topic
- Take simple notes to help them remember. (“Notes” can mean any memory aid—drawings, objects, etc.)
- Write a simple topic sentence that tells the main idea
- Communicate examples and ideas with drawings and simple sentences
- An introductory sentence
- Examples that support the topic
Did you check off all the boxes? Great! Your kid can take the rest of the year off!