Kindergarten Skills Assessment Checklist

by Karen LoBello

Kindergarten students grow and learn rapidly. Teachers evaluate the boys and girls at the onset of the year to find out what they already know. They conduct ongoing assessments -- one-on-one evaluations, portfolio compilations and informal observations -- throughout the school year to determine progress. These indicators show whether the child is emerging, progressing or using the skill consistently and effectively. Each school district differs; however, there are common expectations for kindergarten students.


Prior to entering kindergarten, a child should be able to dress himself and take care of bathroom needs. He needs to interact politely with peers and adults and express frustration without harming himself or others. A kindergarten student learns to follow directions and work independently. He must demonstrate respectful and responsible behavior, follow classroom routines and use classroom and playground equipment appropriately.


Kindergarten students develop large motor skills. They coordinate their bodies through rhythmic movements, such as running and skipping. They join in class games. Kindergarten is also a time for cultivating fine motor skills, such as cutting, tracing, coloring and building with clay. Boys and girls draw horizontal and vertical lines and copy shapes, such as circles and squares.

Reading Readiness

Students in kindergarten understand the concept of print. They hold books correctly and know that reading occurs from top to bottom and left to right. They make predictions based on a book’s title and illustrations. They have knowledge of the letters and sounds of the alphabet and eventually read high-frequency words. They re-tell stories in sequence and recognize rhyming patterns.


Five- and six-year-old boys and girls use drawing and writing to communicate thoughts. They can write their first and last names. They understand how to write from left to right on the paper and can use both upper- and lower-case letters. Kindergarten children typically begin writing consonants and later add in vowels. They soon progress to writing simple sentences. The class, as a whole, drafts lots of creative stories.

Oral Language

Boys and girls in kindergarten often explore oral vocabulary through puppetry. They express thoughts and interact with other characters. They join in on group discussions. Teachers typically host “show and tell” sessions where students speak in complete sentences in front of a group. The students learn rhymes and can recite them with their peers.


Students begin counting to 20 and gradually work their way up to 100. They recognize numbers and can count objects. They identify coins, such as a nickel, dime and quarter. Kindergarten students distinguish shapes and can sort objects with similar attributes. They grasp mathematical concepts, such as longer or shorter and larger or smaller. As time progresses, they add and subtract simple numbers through 10.

About the Author

Karen LoBello is coauthor of “The Great PJ Elf Chase: A Christmas Eve Tradition.” She began writing in 2009, following a career as a Nevada teacher. LoBello holds a bachelor's degree in K-8 education, a secondary degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in computer education.

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