SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

A Midyear Checklist for Kindergartners

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Most schools have recently passed or are fast approaching the halfway mark in the 2012-13 school year. At this point, it’s important for parents to know if their kindergarten child is also halfway through the required academic skills. Is remediation needed? There is still a large block of time between now and the last day of school to get a student back on track. Or, if your child is ahead of the standards, it’s a great time to accelerate reading and math skills.

This is especially important now that nationwide Common Core standards are in place. The criteria listed below can be used as an informal guide to see if your kindergartener is on track with Common Core progress.

Kindergarten students should now be able to easily complete the following math skills:

  • Count to 50 by ones and tens
  • Write numbers from 0-10
  • Represent number of objects, with a written numeral, from 0-10
  • Recognize that “0” means no objects
  • Start to connect counting to cardinality. (This means the last count represents the whole. For example, counting out 15 pennies and understanding that there are 15 in all.)
  • Know different ways to get 2, 3, 4 or 5. For example, 1+1, 0+2, 1+2, 2+1, 0+3, 1+3, 2+2, 1+4, 2+3, 0+5, etc.

Your kindergarten child should be able to complete the following English/Language Arts skills:

  • Recognize uppercase letters of the alphabet
  • Demonstrate some understanding of letter sounds
  • Recognize and be able to produce some rhymes
  • Know some common, high-frequency words; for example, the, is, me, my, you, of
  • Be able to sort objects into categories, such as shapes, colors, animals, etc.
  • With minimal support, ask and answer questions about key details in stories


Reviewing these 12 skills with your kindergartner now is a simple way to see if your child is progressing adequately. If you have questions about your child’s progress at the halfway mark, schedule a meeting with her teacher.

> Coming Soon to Your School: Common Core Standards

> Get Your Kindergartner Ready for Common Core


#1 Livia McCoy 2013-01-16 12:31
This is so helpful to parents, Connie. Great job!

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