can adequately prepare our youth for college and the workforce.”
~ Georgia Gov. Sony Perdue
To ensure a child is successful in college and a career, new academic standards were established and adopted by most states last summer. The Common Core State Standards provide a roadmap for parents and teachers to help a child succeed academically; it provides benchmarks for each grade level.
After briefly reviewing the sixty-six page document, my interests quickly led me to the Reading Standards sections containing the foundational skills for kindergarten. These standards are designed to foster understanding and knowledge about concepts in print, the alphabetic principle and basic writing; they contain the rudimentary components that aid in developing a proficient reader. They are broken into four categories: print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency.
They provided the following benchmarks for kindergarten students:
Follows the words in a book from left to right, top to bottom with return sweep
Understands that letters represent sounds which form words – aka alphabetic principle
Recognizes upper- and lowercase letters
Understands spoken words, syllables and sounds – rhymes, onsets (e.g. alliterations), syllables in words, segments blends and manipulates sounds
Knows basic letter-sounds relationships – consonants, short and long vowel sounds
Recognizes high frequency words by sight – e.g. the, of, to, you, my
Reads emergent reader text
For more information, visit their website at Common Core State Standards Initiative.