Math | Science | Language Arts | Social Studies

Math

(1) Number and Operations

Understanding the concept of number is fundamental to mathematics. Children come to school with rich and varied informal knowledge of number. A major goal is to build on this informal base toward more thorough understanding and skills. Children move from beginning to develop basic counting techniques in PreKindergarten to later understanding number size, relationships, and operations.

 

The child:

  1. arranges sets of concrete objects in one-to-one correspondence

  2. counts by ones to 10 or higher

  3. counts concrete objects to five or higher

  4. begins to compare the numbers of concrete objects using language (e.g., “same” or “equal,” “one more,” “more than,” or “less than”)

  5. begins to name “how many” are in a group of up to three (or more) objects without counting (e.g., recognizing two or three crayons in a box)

  6. recognizes and describes the concept of zero (meaning there are none)

  7. begins to demonstrate part of and whole with real objects (e.g., an orange)

  8. begins to identify first and last in a series

  9. combines, separates, and names “how many” concrete objects

Interactive Student
2 How Many?
2 Let's Count - English or Spanish
2 Count your chickens
2 Egg Counting with Elmo

3Counting 1-5

3 Counting 1-10

Interactive Teacher
Helen's Counting Game
 Count Us In, Game 1: Counting Sheep

 Count Us In, Game 3: Garden Count

(2) Patterns

Recognizing patterns and relationships among objects is an important component in children’s intellectual development. Children learn to organize their world by recognizing patterns and gradually begin to use patterns as a strategy for problem-solving, forming generalizations, and developing the concepts of number, operation, shape, and space. Pattern recognition is the first step in the development of algebraic thinking.

The child:

  1. imitates pattern sounds and physical movements (e.g., clap, stomp, clap, stomp,…)

  2. recognizes and reproduces simple patterns of concrete objects (e.g., a string of beads that are yellow, blue, blue, yellow, blue, blue)

  3. begins to recognize patterns in their environment (e.g., day follows night, repeated phrases in storybooks, patterns in carpeting or clothing)

  4. begins to predict what comes next when patterns are extended

Interactive Student
What's Next
Music Patterns
Check out Cookie

 

Interactive Teacher
Connect the Dots
Count Us In, Game 2: Making Patterns

(3) Geometry and Spatial Sense
Geometry helps children systematically represent and describe their world. Children learn to name and recognize the properties of various shapes and figures, to use words that indicate direction, and to use spatial reasoning to analyze and solve problems.

The child:

  1. begins to recognize, describe, and name shapes (e.g., circles, triangles, rectangles—including squares)

  2. begins to use words that indicate where things are in space (e.g., “beside,” “inside,” “behind,” “above,” “below”)

  3. begins to recognize when a shape’s position or orientation has changed

  4. begins to investigate and predict the results of putting together two or more shapes

  5. puts together puzzles of increasing complexity

Interactive Student 
Rats Shapes
TIC-TAC-TOE shapes
Shapes
Sesame Shapes

Interactive Teacher
Colors+Shapes
(2)
Spatial Concepts

(4) Measurement

Measurement is one of the most widely used applications of mathematics. Early learning experiences with measurement should focus on direct comparisons of objects. Children make decisions about size by looking, touching, and comparing objects directly while building language to express the size relationships. 

The child:

  1. covers an area with shapes (e.g., tiles)

  2. fills a shape with solids or liquids (e.g., ice cubes, water)

  3. begins to make size comparisons between objects (e.g., taller than, smaller than)

  4. begins to use tools to imitate measuring

  5. begins to categorize time intervals and uses language associated with time in everyday situations (e.g., “in the morning,” “after snack”)

  6. begins to order two or three objects by size (seriation) (e.g., largest to smallest) (age 4)

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher
(3) Different Sizes

(5) Classification and Data Collection

Children use sorting to organize their world. As children recognize similarities and differences, they begin to recognize patterns that lead them to form generalizations. As they begin to use language to describe similarities and differences, they begin sharing their ideas and their mathematical thinking. Children can be actively involved in collecting, sorting, organizing, and communicating information.

The child:

  1.  matches objects that are alike

  2. describes similarities and differences between objects

  3. sorts objects into groups by an attribute and begins to explain how the grouping was done

  4. participates in creating and using real and pictorial graphs

Interactive Student
Sorting Materials

 Count Us In, Game 9: Sorting

 Count Us In, Game 13: Matching Halves
Sound Match

Interactive Teacher

 


Science-Updated April 2010

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Physical Science Skills:
 Prekindergarten children learn to explore properties of materials, positions, and motion of objects through investigations which allow them to notice the attributes of each of these. These explorations continue as children use attributes to classify and sort objects, make observations and predictions, problem‐solve, compare, and question. Children learn about sources of energy by investigating and discussing light, heat, electricity, and magnetism.

VI.A.1. Child describes, observes, and investigates properties and characteristics of common objects.

The child:
uses senses to explore and sensory language to describe properties of natural and human-made materials (wood, cotton, fur, wool, stone, magnetic, leather, plastic, Styrofoam, paper) to learn their characteristics and capabilities.
examines and describes the texture of materials (salt, flour, and sugar during cooking projects; roller, sponges, and feathers when painting using various tools; surfaces of foil, freezer paper, and sandpaper).
sorts, groups, or classifies objects in meaningful ways based on one or more properties (hard/soft or heavy/light; materials that are made of – wood, plastic, rock, color).
predicts whether materials will sink or float; investigates the hypothesis and draws conclusions based on prior experiences.
describes and compares the effects magnets have on other objects (attract to some things but not to others).

Interactive Student
Rock Magnifier
Interactive Teacher
Build with Bob

VI.A.2. Child investigates and describes position and motion of objects.

 

The child:
observes, measures, describes, and demonstrates the various ways objects can move (straight, zigzag, round and round, fast, slow).
investigates and states conclusions after moving a variety of toy

VI.A.3. Child uses simple measuring devices to learn about objects.

 

The child:
investigates and discusses the mass of a variety of items (rocks, feathers, metal chain, etc.) using a balance or scale; categorizes weighted objects (heavy/light); and length of objects (long/short).
measures volume of water, sand, etc. using non-standard measures (4 cups to fill 1 small bucket).
measures length using non-standard units.
observes and describes temperature of materials, including outdoor air temperature (colder/warmer/hotter).

VI.A.4. Child investigates and describes sources of energy including light, heat, and electricity.

 

The child:
describes sources of heat and light (sun, wind, water as energy sources) and the safety issues associated with these.
identifies toys that need batteries and equipment in the home that needs electricity to function.


Life Science Skills:
Prekindergarten children are naturally curious about the characteristics of organisms. Children understand differences in living and non-living things.

VI.B.1. Child identifies and describes the characteristics of organisms.

 

The child:
describes color, size, and shape of organisms.
describes animals’ needs for food, water, air, and shelter or plants’ needs for water, nutrients, air, and light.
compares differences and similarities of animals (fish live in water, dogs and cats have fur, all birds have feathers).
uses the tools of science (hand lens and measurement tools) to observe and discuss plants and animals.

Interactive Student
Growing Plants
Animal Homes
Interactive Teacher

 

VI.B.2. Child describes life cycles of organisms.

 

 

 

The child:
plants seeds, then observes, discusses, and records plant growth.
observes, records, and discusses the stage of the life cycle of an organism (baby, dog, cat, and chicken).
describes characteristics and differences between living and nonliving.
observes and discusses human growth (growth charts at the beginning of the year and again at the end of year).

Interactive Student
Ourselves
Interactive Teacher
 

VI.B.3.Child recognizes, observes, and discusses the relationship of organisms to their environments.

 

 

 

The child:
discusses how animals and humans depend on plants (birds eat seeds, cows eat grass, humans eat vegetables).
observes, discusses, and records living organism (spiders, insects, worms, snails, birds) in their natural environments to learn about their habits.
observes, discusses, and records seasonal changes in the neighborhood trees and organisms (watches for birds in the spring as they collect nesting materials).
discusses how seasons affect his daily life (clothes he wears or activities he plays).
describes and explains animal behaviors (a bird building a nest).

Interactive Student
Animal Homes
Dinosaur Train

 

Interactive Teacher

Earth and Space Science Skills: Prekindergarten children are enthusiastic learners about earth and space. They are intrigued by their local environment. Discovering their place in the world is exciting and fun for them.

VI.C.1. Child identifies, compares, discusses earth materials, and their properties and uses.

 

 

 

The child:
observes, discusses, and compares earth materials (rocks, soil, and sand) using hand lenses, sieves, water, and balances.
identifies the importance of soil, sunlight, air, and water to plant growth.
discusses and explains ways earth materials are used for building houses, road construction, and decorative purposes (the uses of rocks).

 

Interactive Student
Looking at the Earth
Interactive Teacher
 

VI.C.2. Child identifies, observes, and discusses objects in the sky.

 

 

 

 

The child:
observes and discusses characteristics of clouds and makes representations (finger painting the clouds in the sky).
asks questions and/or makes comments about the sun, stars, and moon.
investigates what happens to things exposed to the sun (children get warmer; colors are created when a prism hangs in a window).

 

 

Interactive Student
Looking at the sky
Interactive Teacher
 

VI.C.3. Child observes and describes what happens during changes in the earth and sky.

 

 

 

 

The child:
observes and describes how different items (rock, metal) respond to the warmth of the sun outside on a sunny day or a cold/cloudy day.
explains what happens after a weather event (erosion after a rain storm; movements of leaves after a wind storm).
observes, records, and predicts daily weather changes (weather charts).
investigates with objects to observe what happens during a windy day (flying a kite).
observes shadows and describes the relationship between the shadow and a light source (sun, flashlight, lamp).
investigates and draws conclusions about shadows.
observes seasonal changes.

Weather Wheel  

V1.C.4 Child demonstrates the importance of caring for our environment and our planet.

 

The child:
discusses “green” practices (water conservation, clean air, recycling, etc.)
engages in conservation or recycling projects (not using as many paper towels, using both sides of the paper).
goes on a “trash hunt” to clean the school yard.

Personal Safety and Health Skills: Prekindergarten children demonstrate an understanding of health and safety issues as it relates to their daily routines and activities. Children learn to make healthy choices in nutrition and understand the importance of well-being through exercise and rest.

VI.D.1. Child practices good habits of personal safety.

 

 

The child:
follows/uses safety procedures while using common tools and materials (glue, scissors, rulers, pencils, hammers, wood, safety goggles).
dramatizes/demonstrates an understanding of fire safety and shelter in place procedures (stop, drop, roll; walking to an exit during fire drills, etc).
describes pet safety and care.

VI.D.2. Child practices good habits of personal health and hygiene.

 

The child:
coughs and sneezes into their elbows (not cover their mouth with their hands).
washes hands after using the toilet and before snack and lunch.

VI.D.3. Child identifies good habits of nutrition and exercise.

 

 

 

The child:
identifies and discusses nutritious healthy snacks.
participates in preparing healthy nutritious snacks.
discusses the fact that some substances are not good for the body.
demonstrates an understanding that foods can be grouped as “go” (good to eat), “slow” (sometimes foods),
and “whoa” foods (least healthy).
demonstrates and discusses the need for exercise and rest to stay healthy.

 

Language Arts

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(1) Listening Comprehension

PreKindergarten-aged children are able to comprehend what they hear in conversations and in stories read aloud with increasing accuracy, though three-year-old children may respond in single words or brief phrases to some questions, especially “why,” “how,” and “when” questions. Children demonstrate understanding through their questions, comments, and actions. PreKindergarten children in English as Second Language (ESL) settings listen purposefully to English-speaking teachers and peers to gather information about their new language.

The child:

  • listens with increasing attention

  • listens for different purposes (e.g., to learn what happened in a story, to receive instructions, to converse with an adult or a peer)

  • understands and follows simple oral directions

  • enjoys listening to and responding to books

  • listens to and engages in several exchanges of conversations with others

  • listens to tapes and records, and shows understanding through gestures, actions, and/or language

  • listens purposefully to English-speaking teachers and peers to gather information and shows some understanding of the new language being spoken by others (ESL)

Interactive Student

Barnaby Bear

Interactive Teacher

(2) Speech Production and Speech Discrimination

Young children must learn to vocalize, pronounce, and discriminate the sounds and words of language. Although most children in PreKindergarten can accurately perceive the difference between similar-sounding words, they continue to acquire new sounds and may mispronounce words quite often in their own speech. The ability to produce certain speech sounds such as /s/ and /r/ improves with age. Just as infants and toddlers develop control over the sounds of their first language, young children in ESL settings gradually learn to pronounce the sounds of the English language.

The child:

  • perceives differences between similar sounding words (e.g., “coat” and “goat,” “three” and “free,” [Spanish] “juego” and “fuego”)

  • produces speech sounds with increasing ease and accuracy

  • experiments with new language sounds

  • experiments with and demonstrates growing understanding of the sounds and intonation of the English language (ESL)

 

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(3) Vocabulary

PreKindergarten children experience rapid growth in their understanding of words and word meanings. Vocabulary knowledge reflects children’s previous experiences and growing knowledge of the world around them and is one of the most important predictors of later reading achievement. As children learn through experiences, they develop concepts, acquire new words, and increasingly refine their understanding of words they already know.

The child:

  • shows a steady increase in listening and speaking vocabulary

  • uses new vocabulary in everyday communication

  • refines and extends understanding of known words

  • attempts to communicate more than current vocabulary will allow, borrowing and extending words to create meaning

  • links new learning experiences and vocabulary to what is already known about a topic

  • increases listening vocabulary and begins to develop a vocabulary of object names and common phrases in English (ESL)

Interactive Student
What Color?

Hungry Crocodiles
Color the Rainbow
What Color is It?

Interactive Teacher

(4) Verbal Expression

Effective communication requires that children use their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and sense of audience to convey meaning. Three- and four-year-old children become increasingly adept at using language to express their needs and interests, to play and pretend, and to share ideas. Children’s use of invented words and the overgeneralization of language rules (for example, saying “foots” instead of “feet” or [Spanish]“yo no cabo” instead of “yo no quepo”) is a normal part of language acquisition. Second language learners in English-only PreKindergarten settings may communicate nonverbally (e.g., through gestures) before they begin to produce words and phrases in English. The ESL accomplishments noted below represent a developmental sequence for second-language acquisition in young children.

The child:

  • uses language for a variety of purposes (e.g., expressing needs and interests)

  • uses sentences of increasing length (three or more words) and grammatical complexity in everyday speech

  • uses language to express common routines and familiar scripts

  • tells a simple personal narrative, focusing on favorite or most memorable parts

  • asks questions and makes comments related to the current topic of discussion

  • begins to engage in conversation and follows conversational rules (e.g., staying on topic and taking turns)

  • begins to retell the sequence of a story

  • engages in various forms of nonverbal communication with those who do not speak his/her home language (ESL)

  • uses single words and simple phrases to communicate meaning in social situations (ESL)

  • attempts to use new vocabulary and grammar in speech (ESL)

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(5) Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is an auditory skill that involves an understanding of the sounds of spoken words. It includes recognizing and producing rhymes, dividing words into syllables, and identifying words that have the same beginning, middle, or ending sounds. Phonological awareness represents a crucial step toward understanding that letters or groups of letters can represent phonemes or sounds (i.e., the alphabetic principle). This understanding is highly predictive of success in beginning reading. Some basic proficiency in English may be prerequisite to the development of phonological awareness in English for second-language learners.

The child:

  • becomes increasingly sensitive to the sounds of spoken words

  • begins to identify rhymes and rhyming sounds in familiar words, participates in rhyming games, and repeats rhyming songs and poems

  • begins to attend to the beginning sounds in familiar words by identifying that the pronunciations of several words all begin the same way (e.g., “dog,” “dark,” and “dusty,” [Spanish] “casa,” “coche,” and “cuna” )

  • begins to break words into syllables or claps along with each syllable in a phrase

  • begins to create and invent words by substituting one sound for another (e.g., bubblegum/gugglebum, [Spanish] calabaza/balacaza)

Interactive Student
Reggie the Rhyming Rhino

Interactive Teacher

(6) Print and Book Awareness

Through their daily experiences with reading and writing, PreKindergarten children learn basic concepts about print and how it works. They learn that print carries meaning and can be used for different purposes. They begin to differentiate writing from other graphic symbols and recognize some of the common features of print (for example, that writing moves from left to right on a page and is divided into words).

The child:

  • understands that reading and writing are ways to obtain information and knowledge, generate and communicate thoughts and ideas, and solve problems

  • understands that print carries a message by recognizing labels, signs, and other print forms in the environment

  • understands that letters are different from numbers

  • understands that illustrations carry meaning but cannot be read

  • understands that a book has a title and an author

  • begins to understand that print runs from left to right and top to bottom

  • begins to understand some basic print conventions (e.g., the concept that letters are grouped to form words and that words are separated by spaces)

  • begins to recognize the association between spoken and written words by following the print as it is read aloud

  • understands that different text forms are used for different functions (e.g., lists for shopping, recipes for cooking, newspapers for learning about current events, letters and messages for interpersonal communication)
     

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(7) Letter Knowledge and Early Word Recognition

Letter knowledge is an essential component of learning to read and write. Knowing how letters function in writing and how these letters connect to the sounds children hear in words is crucial to children’s success in reading. Combined with phonological awareness, letter knowledge is the key to children’s understanding of the alphabetic principle. Children will use this sound/letter connection to begin to identify printed words.

The child:

  • begins to associate the names of letters with their shapes

  • identifies 10 or more printed alphabet letters

  • begins to notice beginning letters in familiar words

  • begins to make some letter/sound matches

  • begins to identify some high-frequency words (age 4)

Interactive Student
Alphabetize
Letter Match
Sound Match
Make a Word
Learn to Read
Listen and Do
Leo Loves to Spell
Kiwi's Balloons

Letter Grab It

Interactive Teacher
Alphabet Action

'Lil Fingers Alphabet
 

(8) Motivation to Read

PreKindergarten children benefit from classroom environments that associate reading with pleasure and enjoyment as well as learning and skill development. These early experiences will come to define their assumptions and expectations about becoming literate and influence their motivation to work toward learning to read and write.

The child:

  • demonstrates an interest in books and reading through body language and facial expressions

  • enjoys listening to and discussing storybooks and information books read aloud

  • frequently requests the re-reading of books

  • attempts to read and write independently

  • shares books and engages in pretend-reading with other children

  • enjoys visiting the library

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(9) Developing Knowledge of Literary Forms

Exposure to storybooks and information books helps PreKindergarten children become familiar with the language of books and story forms. Children develop concepts of story structure and knowledge about informational text structures, which influences how they understand, interpret, and link what they already know to new information.

The child:

  • recognizes favorite books by their cover

  • selects books to read based on personal criteria

  • understands that books and other print resources (e.g., magazines, computer-based texts) are handled in specific ways

  • becomes increasingly familiar with narrative form and its elements by identifying characters and predicting events, plot, and the resolution of a story

  • begins to predict what will happen next in a story

  • imitates the special language in storybooks and story dialogue, and uses it in retellings and dramatic play [(such as “Once upon a time…”)]

  • asks questions and makes comments about the information and events from books

  • connects information and events in books to real-life experiences

  • begins to retell some sequences of events in stories

  • shows appreciation of repetitive language patterns

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(10) Written Expression

PreKindergarten-aged children generate hypotheses about how written language works and begin to explore the uses of writing for themselves. They also begin to ask adults to write signs and letters for them. Through these early writing experiences, young children develop initial understandings about the forms, features, and functions of written language. Over time, children’s writing attempts more closely approximate conventional writing.

The child:

  • attempts to write messages as part of playful activity

  • uses known letters and approximations of letters to represent written language (especially meaningful words like his/her name and phrases such as “I love you” or [Spanish] “ Te quiero”)

  • attempts to connect the sounds in a word with its letter forms

  • understands that writing is used to communicate ideas and information

  • attempts to use a variety of forms of writing (e.g., lists, messages, stories)

  • begins to dictate words, phrases, and sentences to an adult recording on paper (e.g., “letter writing,” “storywriting”)

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

Social Studies

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(1) Individual, Culture, and Community

All children live in some type of group or social organization. PreKindergarten children must learn the skills of communicating, sharing, cooperating, and participating with others. These individual skills are necessary for all groups to function successfully and fairly. The better children are able to understand others, the more they will feel a sense of community and connection with other people and with their world.

The child:

  • shares ideas and takes turns listening and speaking

  • cooperates with others in a joint activity

  • identifies and follows classrooms rules

  • participates in classroom jobs and contributes to the classroom community

  • identifies similarities among people like himself/herself and classmates as well as among himself/herself and people from cultures

  • begins to examine a situation from another person's perspective

Interactive Student

Interactive Teacher

(2) History

PreKindergarten children are aware of time and begin to organize their lives around it. Three- and four-year-old children learn to depend on events and routines that occur in a regular and predictable order. They begin to understand past events and how these events relate to present and future activities, demonstrating evidence of their growing understanding of time, change, and continuity.

The child:

  • identifies common events and routines (e.g., snack time, storytime)

  • begins to categorize time intervals using words (e.g., “today,” “tomorrow,” “next time”)

  • recognizes changes in the environment over time (e.g., growth, seasonal changes)

  • connects past events to current events (e.g., linking yesterday’s activity with what will happen today)

  • begins to understand cause-and-effect relationships (e.g., if one goes outside in the rain, one will get wet).

Interactive Student
A Step Back in Time!

Interactive Teacher

(3) Geography

Geographic thinking for young children begins with the concepts of location and direction. Children use directions to locate their relative position in space and to locate their home and school in their community. They learn to recognize common features in their immediate environment and begin to represent them symbolically through drawings and constructions.

The child:

  • identifies common features in the home and school environment (e.g., the library, the playground)

  • creates simple representations of home, school, or community through drawings or block constructions

  • begins to use words to indicate relative location (e.g., “front,” “back,” “near,” “far”)

  • identifies common features of the local landscape (e.g., houses, buildings, streets)

Interactive Student
Build with Bob

Interactive Teacher

(4) Economics

In PreKindergarten, children learn about the world of work in their community. They explore the roles and relationships of consumers and producers, and become aware that people produce services as well as goods. Children learn that their community benefits from many different people working in many different ways.

The child:

  • understands the basic human needs of all people for food, clothing, and shelter

  • understands the roles, responsibilities, and services provided by community workers

  • becomes aware of what it means to be a consumer

Interactive Student

Clifford
Your Neighborhood

Interactive Teacher

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updated 11/16/2011