Kindergarden is when most children begin to develop understanding of the sounds of language.  Prior to this time they hear phrases as one unit of meaning and may have difficulty identifying individual words and sounds that make up the word.  Learning to rhyme, hearing sounds in words and finding the first and last sounds in words are important in Kindergarten.  By Kindergarten most speech sounds are produced correctly, with the exception of r, s, z, th, sh, ch, and j.  People outside of the child's family can understand the child's speech 90% of the time in conversation.  Sentences are complete and grammatically correct, with the exception of some pronoun and irregular verb and noun errors.  

  • Most speech sounds are produced correctly, with the exception of r, s, z, TH, l, sh, ch, and j.
  • Speak in 3 to 5 word sentences
  • Uses simple, complete sentences with a noun and a verb.
  • Uses prepositions (in, out, on, under)
  • Uses adjectives, articles and possessives
  • Stays on topic 3 to 5 minutes
  • Uses appropriate grammar with the exception of some pronoun and irregular verb and noun errors.

  • Responds to questions 75% of the time
  • Answers who, what, where and when questions
  • Follows two step direction
Speaking/Listening Common Core Standards:
  • Participates in conversation with partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and large groups (follows agreed-upon rules for discussions; continues a conversation through multiple exchanges).
  • Confirms understand of a text read aloud or information presented orally by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • Speaks audibly and express thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly.
Ways to improve chidren's speech and language skills in Kindergarten:
  • Read to your child daily.  The rule of thumb is one familiar book, one favorite book and one new book each day.  This should be a fun time for both parent and child.  Think about the story and ask questions.  Give enough wait time for your child to answer.  This processing time is longer in children than in adults, count to 10 in your head before charging on to the next question or reading on.
  • Talk with your child.  Ask questions about his or her day and give your child time to answer.  You might be surprised how much more information your child gives you if you simply repeat what they say and wait.  Usually the child will say more.  This is best done without other distractions.  Try to turn off the T.V., games, music and/or the computer when talking.  This will enforce with your child the importance of giving someone your attention when talking with them.
  • Play lots of sound games with your child.  Try rhyming games like "I'm thinking of something that rhymes with my and starts with 't'."  You can also say sounds and see if your child can tell you the word.  For example "Can you guess this word?  D----O----G" (saying the SOUNDS not the letters).
  • Work on simple sequences of events.  For example, if you are going to do laundry you might hold up three fingers and say "First we bring the clothes to the washer (point to first finger).  Next we start the washer and put in the soap (point to second finger).  Last we put the clothes in the washer and close the lid (point to third finger)."  Then you can have your child repeat your directions with a little help from you.  For example, "What are we going to do first? (point to first finger)."   Keep reviewing the steps one at a time while completing the task. 

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