About the Author

Joan Viet

Joan Viet is a kindergarten teacher at Prairie Ridge Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, IA. She has taught PK-1 and served as a literacy coach and professional development coordinator. She has a degree in Early Childhood Elementary from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a MA in Reading and Writing from Plymouth State College.

Head Start Expectations


Photography, Children in School, Sept 1941, Russell Lee, LOC

What are kindergartners expected to know coming out of Head Start?


For a child in preschool, their classroom surroundings encompass the meaning of Social Studies. When a preschooler enters the classroom they will be required to share, communicate, take turns, and identify their role as a member of a community. Essentially, the outcomes for a preschool student are to learn how people relate to one another, their environment and to the world they live in.

In addition, preschool Social Studies outcomes include (but are not limited to):

  • learning how to form friendships and trusting relationships with their peers and teachers
  • learning how to make decisions independently, solve problems, and take turns
  • learning how to identify feelings and express them in an appropriate way
  • develop a sense of belonging to a classroom community
  • develop an understanding of differences between people (we are all individuals, we are all special)
  • develop a sense of personal responsibility (safe choices, healthy choices)

Additionally, if we acknowledge literacy as central to the K-12 history/Social Studies curriculum, you would also want to encourage preschoolers’ love of story through reading and talking about engaging picture books together.