Kindergarten Readiness Tips

Class of 2036: It’s Time to Get Ready for Kindergarten!
Posted on 03/13/2023
Kindergarten students smiling in a hallway of an MNPS elementary school.

This fall, Metro Nashville Public Schools will welcome the Class of 2036 into one of our 70 elementary schools for the first time! This is an exciting time for our incoming kindergartners and their families, but we know it can be a little nerve wracking, too. The staff at Metro Schools is here to make the transition as seamless as possible for our newest students. Keep reading for our best Kindergarten Readiness tips, from Tulip Grove Elementary kindergarten teacher, Kristen Britt.

If you haven’t enrolled your child in kindergarten, now’s the time! Our 70 elementary schools welcome students across Nashville into exciting, welcoming classrooms, where students begin their education journey.

Kindergarten Readiness Tips from Kristen Britt, Kindergarten Teacher

  • Read with your child and ask questions about the story and pictures in the book. This small action has big results: this will help encourage conversation and language skills your child will need for kindergarten, while also fostering a love for reading.kindergarten students read with teacher in metro nashville public schools classroom
  • Help your child identify lowercase letters first, beginning with your child’s name.
  • Work with your child to strengthen their fine motor skills, such as holding a crayon/pencil, using scissors to cut, and being able to fasten and unfasten any items of clothing. Fine motor skills involve movement of the smaller muscle groups in your child’s hands, fingers, and wrists that support writing.
  • If your child takes regular naps, the summer is a good time to start transitioning to being awake throughout the day to prepare them for kindergarten.
  • Practice things like identifying basic shapes (circle, square, triangle and rectangle) and colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, black and white), identifying and counting numbers to 10, recognizing some letters and sounds in the alphabet, and being able to write their name.

So, what does an MNPS kindergarten day look like? While some schools can vary, our general kindergarten schedule looks like this:

  • Metro Schools provides a free, nutritious breakfast for every student when they arrive to school, and then have a Morning Meeting with their classroom and classroom teacher.
  • Throughout the day, students interact with their classmates and their teacher as they work through core teaching and learning content areas including English language arts, math, science, social studies and Personal Learning Time.
  • Students also have an hour each day of a related art, which could include music, art or gym; and we can’t forget recess and lunch!

A fun way to start discussing kindergarten with your child is by reading books about kindergarten. A few of Britt’s favorites include:

  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
  • Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson

Britt said she also loves to start the school year by reading “The Kissing Hand” by Audren Penn to her students on the first day of school. kristen britt kindergarten teacher works with student in mnps classroom

“This story supports the connection between school and home,” Britt said. “Many students can relate to the way the character feels in the story.”

Once school begins, Britt’s top recommendation is to encourage families to build a relationship with their child’s teacher.

“Teachers welcome communication with parents through email, phone calls or a communication app,” she said.

We’ll be sharing more kindergarten readiness tips at our K-Ready Fair on April 22 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Lentz Public Health Center. Save the date for an exciting event where your students can practice riding the bus, meet other incoming students and talk to MNPS teams about kindergarten!


Enrolling Your Child in Kindergarten is Easy

Here's How to Enroll Today:
Step One
  • Find your child’s zoned elementary by using the Zone Finder or by calling our Family Information Center at 615-259-INFO.
Step Two

Gather all required documents, which include:

  • Record of birth (birth certificate, passport, visa, I-94)
  • Tennessee Immunization Record
  • Proof of Physical
  • Proof of Davidson County residency
  • Parent/Guardian photo ID

This list can always also be found on the MNPS Register for School page.

Step Three
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Kindergarten,Early Learning