Kindergarten Teachers’ Knowledge of Incoming Students’ Readiness in Mathematics

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Squires, Shannon
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This study contributes to the specific area of mathematics readiness in Kindergarten. The purpose of surveying teachers was to determine how individual teachers currently assess their students’ literacy readiness and mathematics readiness and whether there is, indeed, a gap in resources available to support mathematics readiness. Data on early elementary readiness was collected with an online survey. For statistical analysis purposes, information was collected on literacy and mathematics readiness; data was analysed with mathematics readiness as the focus. To secure a large sample, teachers in a variety of teaching positions completed the survey, and Kindergarten teachers (along with participants who indicated that they have previously taught Kindergarten) were isolated for analysis purposes. Results indicated that teachers, and particularly Kindergarten teachers, perceive prior knowledge as the most important indicator for school success; however, no Kindergarten teacher reported the use of any standardized mathematics assessment, and many reported that they do not use informal methods for collecting this information. Results also indicate that Kindergarten teachers have unique challenges in instruction and assessment methods; many Kindergarten teachers prefer working with students in centres or small groups for instruction, and assessment should follow this practice. Implications from the results of this study indicate that Kindergarten teachers would benefit from a creative and specifically tailored Kindergarten mathematics readiness assessment tool. This study provides important insight into the type of mathematics readiness assessment tool that would provide teachers with the necessary information to help them plan more effectively, improving and informing their instructional practices. Based on results from this study, such a mathematics readiness assessment tool should be task-based, versatile enough to be adapted to centres, and manageable for implementation at any point in the school year. Teachers require more support to assess mathematics readiness, and guidance to inform instructional planning. In addition to the specific research are of early elementary mathematics readiness, results from this study may also be of interest to researchers in the areas of mathematics curricula design and implementation, and the areas of Kindergarten school readiness, and early elementary literacy.
Kindergarten mathematics readiness assessment , Kindergarten mathematics , Mathematics readiness , Early Elementary Literacy