What Are Objectives for Kindergarten in the Cognitive Domain?

Kindergarten students make great cognitive leaps developmentally.
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Kindergarten is an important year since children make many cognitive leaps during that time. The term "cognitive domain" refers specifically to intellectual and academic learning. Around age five, children learn to think in new ways, and at the end of the kindergarten, they are ready to tackle new challenges.

1 Number Sense

Several objectives are expected of kindergartners in the area of math. Kindergarten students are expected to develop strong number sense. They should master one-to-one correspondence, including the ability to count more than 10 objects. They are expected to compare numbers of things to tell which has more or less. They should begin to break down numbers fewer than 10 -- for example, to know that 4 and 6 make 10. Students should be able to solve simple number problems such as knowing whether to add or take away.

2 Phonemic Awareness

Many cognitive objectives relate to literacy in kindergarten. Students need to be fluent in letter-sound correspondence, the ability to match each letter to its sound. It is also crucial that they are able to work with sounds in words by recognizing rhymes, putting sounds together to make words and segmenting each sound in a word. They will need to sound out simple words and put the sounds together to read the word. Kindergarten students should have mastered these skills and be able to read on a basic level by the end of the year.

3 Science Discovery

In kindergarten students are expected to categorize and sort objects. This can naturally come from exploring the world around them. They should be able to explain the reasoning behind their categories and sort in more than one way. Another objective is for students to use their five senses to explore and describe the world around them. They should formulate questions and explore answers.

4 Knowledge of Self and Others

One objective is for students to notice and articulate similarities and differences between themselves and others. Although still egocentric, students can begin appreciating the differences they notice in others. Students also begin making sense of their place in the world by learning where they live and how this fits in with the larger world. Students learn that the world is a big place with many different cultures and customs and can also describe some of their own customs or traditions.

Katrice Morris is an educator based in Georgia. She has six years of classroom teaching experience in the primary grades and certified to teach grades Pre-K through 8 in the state of Georgia. She holds an Master of Education in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.