Can you imagine getting 26 perfect students that listened, were independent, and were strong academically? Well, don't hold your breath, because this is not a perfect world, and if they came in knowing all of that, your classroom would be a boring place. As I think about the very basic skills I would like all of my students to know, I would say there are 3 basic things.
The first thing I would want my students to have is listening skills. I want them to be "present" in my classroom, because I pack a lot of learning into one school day. I want them to have the drive to learn. If a student does not want to learn, there is only so much that I can do on my end. I want them to do what I ask them to do. It saves so much instructional time when everyone listens the first time.
I would also like for the kids to have strong number and letter recognition. We spend a lot of time with number recognition at the beginning of the year, so we can build a strong number sense. It would be helpful if the kiddos could recognize the numbers 0-9. Letter recognition is an important skill at my school. We use the Spalding Method for Language Arts, which means we start teaching phonograms the first week of school. We don't spend a lot of time on letter names because we start on letter sounds right away.
I'm going to throw a fourth skill in there because I feel it is extremely important. The kids need to be independent. I can't button and/or unbutton your child's pants when he/she needs to use the restroom. I am not going to complete your child's "morning jobs" (homework folder in the back, lunchbox in the hallway, two sharp pencils, etc.) because your child is very capable of handling that themselves. As I tell my parents at the beginning of the year, you need to show your child that you believe in his/her capabilities.
Kindergarten is the most amazing year for your child. I truly believe it's a year of maturation, self-esteem building, and outstanding academic growth. Even halfway through this year, I am amazed at how far my students have come. Help make your kindergarten teacher's job easier by believing in your child, and working on these basic academic skills.
Speaking of academic skills, there is a great bundle on Educents right now that will help build your child's letter and number recognition. It's 10% off this weekend using the code "sale10", so check it out!