There is no perfect set of assessment tools to prove if a child is ready for kindergarten, but there are tools used to test each child's developmental level. Kindergarten is not mandatory in all states but it does provide children with an introduction to an educational environment. The basic skills looked for in a 4-year-old kindergartner are visual and motor skills, language and cognition, gross motor skills, and language or speech concerns.
Visual and Motor Skills
Teachers will use a variety of assessment tools to test a child's visual and motor skills. A teacher will draw a simple shape on a piece of paper and ask the child to draw the shape just as he sees it next to hers. The teacher will give the student a set of six blocks and keep a set of six blocks for herself. The teacher will build a pyramid and ask the student to build one like hers. Flashcards with different pictures can be shown to students, asking them to name each picture, testing recognition skills.
Language and Cognition
The teacher will test the child's ability to recognize shapes and colors. Objects will be placed in front of the child and he will be asked to describe the object in terms of color and shape. Place a number of the same object in front of the child and have him count out loud each item.
Gross Motor Skills
This assessment will determine if the student can control gross motor skills. Hand the child a pair of scissors and see if he can cut a piece of paper correctly; hand the child a pencil and see if he can hold it correctly. Ask him to draw a circle. Ask the child to stand on one foot, balancing as long as possible; or create a hopscotch board and instruct the child to hop into each square on one foot.
Assessment tools will be used to test the child's speech and language skills. This will indicate whether the child will require speech therapy. Ask the child a series of random questions and listen to the answers. Note whether the child answers the questions in complete sentences and listen carefully to how she pronounces each word. If any words or letters are slurred or mispronounced, note this so a speech therapist can be consulted.
Kelly Masi, born and raised in upstate N.Y., has been writing professionally since 2009. She has been writing for various instructional websites since November 2010 and has also written for the website CafeMom. She received her associate degree in early childhood education from Fulton Montgomery Community College.