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Gwinnett County Public Schools

What to Expect When Your Child is a Kindergartner

Early childhood experts tell us that five-year-olds generally share some common characteristics and abilities. Of course, every child is different, so your new kindergartner may be demonstrating some traits and skills already or may have mastered some and not shown others. That’s perfectly normal.

Kindergarten is a time for lots of learning and your child’s teacher is here to help! You can help your child practice these important skills so he is well prepared for kindergarten.

New kindergartners often...

  • Are eager and curious learners.
  • Are physically active and participate in both structured and unstructured play, alone and with other children.
  • Are interested in stories, books, rhymes, pictures, games, and songs.
  • Enjoy imaginative play but can distinguish between real life and make-believe.
  • Learn by doing, observing, imitating, investigating, examining, and exploring.
  • Respond to praise and consistent rules.
  • Are becoming more independent and want to make their own choices.
  • Have an increasing attention span but need to change activities frequently.
  • Like to talk and may enjoy being the center of attention.
  • Develop friendships with peers and demonstrate empathy and understanding by trying to comfort and help others.
  • Try both familiar and new strategies to solve a problem.
  • Ask questions and seek new information.
  • Can manage feelings and handle social situations more independently.



A child typically comes to school with these skills...

  • Knows that the school day includes many activities, including listening time and work time.
  • Demonstrates appropriate school behavior, including when to use an “inside voice”, when to wait for a turn, and how to share with friends.
  • Sits and actively listens for 10 minutes or more at a time.
  • Identifies basic shapes (2D and 3D shapes).
  • Knows many letters by sight, both uppercase and lowercase.
  • Writes some letters, for instance those in her name, holding a pencil or crayon correctly.
  • Recognizes some letter sounds.
  • Understands that letters form words, words make sentences, and sentences are separated by spaces in print. Knows that printed words read left to right and top to bottom.
  • Follows multi-step directions.
  • Talks in complete sentences in an understandable voice.
  • Sorts objects by attributes such as color, shape, and size.
  • Uses senses to learn about the world around him.
  • Recognizes numbers and counts up to 20 in order.
  • Uses materials to create original artwork to express herself.
  • Can sequence familiar stories or events.


Your child's teacher welcomes you as an active partner in your child's education...


  • Sign up for a ParentVUE account for safe and secure online access to key information about your child’s academic career, 24/7. Go to and click on the Families tab at the top of the website. (Once you register your child for kindergarten online, your ParentVUE account is activated!)

• Sign up for texts from the school and district, including important information about school closings, safety alerts, events, and more. Once your child is registered, you can sign up for a ParentSquare account. For even more convenience, download the ParentSquare app (available for free for iOS and Android devices.)

  • Learn how you can help at home, using resources posted to the district’s Early Learning webpage.
  • Stay informed on school and class happenings. Read newsletters and reports that come home. Look for regular communication from the teacher by email, on teacher course pages, or in your child’s book bag. Check the school website and the district website for updates.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences to discuss your child’s progress.
  • Know the adults who work with your child daily, including teachers, principal, other administrators, office staff, counselor, clinic worker, cafeteria staff, bus driver, and others.