top of page

Back to Learning Progressions

Back to Preschool/Transitional Kindergarten

Learning Progression: Kindergarten

Kindergarteners can be extremely interested in mathematics, science, and experimenting. Kindergarten is a time when many children develop more complex reasoning skills, learn to recognize a variety of shapes, and are able to recognize and describe patterns. Kindergarteners will likely be able to compare sets of objects and tell which set contains more. Many children begin to develop more complex counting skills. Some begin to understand that when counting a group of objects, the last number counted is also the total number of objects in the set of objects. Some children enjoy creating collections of objects and sorting these objects by their characteristics.

Parents can foster children’s mathematical enjoyment and success by providing plenty of opportunities to count, talk about shapes, and explore patterns. Kindergarteners benefit when they start to understand that math is an enjoyable part of our everyday lives. Cooking together, a trip to the grocery store, counting change, and sorting laundry are just some of the many ways that math can be explored with children.

Parents can support mathematical development by playing cards, dice, and board games that require counting and score keeping. Tangrams are an engaging way to explore shapes and spatial relationships. Providing your child with sand or water and a group of containers of various sizes, is a simple and fun way to encourage children to explore volume and measurement. Reading math based stories and literature is another way to support mathematical development and vocabulary.

Kindergarteners can enjoy math and have success learning mathematical concepts. It is important that the adults interacting with Kindergarteners provide the message that math is enjoyable and a skill that we can all learn to do very well. Children need to hear that many of the greatest mathematical discoveries have happened because people have put considerable time and effort into finding a solution or way of doing something. Real mathematicians aren't afraid of making mistakes - they see them as learning opportunities. Children should be encouraged to do the same.

Children are age eligible to attend kindergarten at the beginning of the school year (or whenever they move into a district) if they will be five years of age on or before September 1 (EC Section 48000[a]).

The California Mathematics Framework includes a chapter for kindergarten. Find the entire kindergarten chapter of the Mathematics Framework on the CDE website here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/mathfwchapters.asp.

Two Critical Areas of Instruction

In kindergarten, instructional time should focus on two critical areas: (1) representing and comparing whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; and (2) describing shapes and space. Kindergarten students also work toward fluency with addition and subtraction of whole numbers within 5.