Kindergarten reading level examples can help parents understand how their child is progressing. Every school has different Kindergarten reading standards. While some expect Kindergartners to read sentences with uncommon words, others simply expect Kindergartners to know some sight words and short vowel words (like cat, dog, fit, Ben, ran…etc.). Though there is some variation among schools, it can be helpful to get some perspective on where your Kindergartner is on the learning how to read journey.
I’ve created a rough guideline with some sample Kindergarten reading level examples. The examples can offer some insight on your Kindergartners’ reading skills.
Early Kindergarten Reading Skills
In early Kindergarten, instruction is dedicated to letter sounds. After a child masters letter sounds, they start stringing sounds together to read short vowel words. Early Kindergartners also learn a handful of common sight words like “the” and “said”—words that allow them to actually read books. Typically, they start with low-level short vowel phonics books.
Early Kindergarten Reading Level Examples
In early Kindergarten, kids start learning how to read passages like the following:
The cat ran to the mat.
“Jen has a red hat,” said Matt.
They pet the big T-Rex.
Mid-Kindergarten Reading Skills
By mid-Kindergarten, students know how to read consonant digraphs. There are many consonant digraphs. Some consonant digraphs include “sh,” “ch,” “th”…etc. Consonant digraphs are two letters that make one sound. Kindergartners also learn more sight words. Since their sight word repertoire grows a little bit, they can read books with sentences that are a bit longer.
Mid-Kindergarten Reading Level Examples
They were at the shop. They had some fish and chips.
Beth has many cats. One of the cats is red. The other two cats are black.
There were a lot of people at the zoo. Mom said we could see the bats and big cats.
What Reading Level Should a Kindergartner Be at by the End of the Year?
By the end of the year, Kindergartners learn how to read blends. Unlike consonant digraphs, blends are two letter sounds that make TWO sounds. Blends are just letter sounds said in succession like in “slid” and “chimp.” Blends can be a bit challenging for Kindergartners, but they should at least be in the process of learning them. Kids should also know how to read the first 20-30 most common sight words. Though there is some variation, by the end of Kindergarten, kids should master short vowels and read short vowel words with ease. While some kids start off reading 4-8 words correct per minute, by the end of Kindergarten fluency should progress to at least 20-30 correct words per minute.
Kindergarten Reading Level Examples at the End of the Year
The little chimp swings from branch to branch. Many people at the zoo come to see him.
They like to splash in the water and dig in the sand.
The crab lost his shell. “I will find a new shell,” said the crab. The crab went in a big red, shell. “What a grand shell I have!” said the crab.
End of Kindergarten Reading Skills
Kindergarten reading skills build an important foundation for first grade. It’s easy to assume that Kindergarten doesn’t matter, that Kindergarten is all about socializing kids into the education system. Yet, when economists studied the value of a good Kindergarten teacher they found that Kindergarten is not only important, but has rippling effects that last a lifetime. Those who had a good Kindergarten teacher see a significant lifetime boast in earning potential. If you’re curious about the study, this is a good link to check out:
Strong Kindergarten reading skills allow children to succeed in first grade. In first grade, there is truly a huge, monumental reading push. If a Kindergarten teacher can add $320,000 of value to a classroom’s lifetime earnings, I wonder what the value of a good first grade teacher is. In first grade, there is so much reading material to cover. It’s important to keep a close eye on your student’s progress. Make sure your student is set up for success in first grade.