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Kindergarten Toolkit


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Play-Based Kindergarten

In 2018, the state of New Hampshire amended RSA 193-E:2-a, the Substantive Educational Content of an Adequate Education law. The amendment, HB 1499, added a provision specific to the course content and teaching of kindergarten, which is structured upon a play-based model. The new section of the law states:

“Instruction in support of kindergarten standards shall be engaging and shall foster children’s development and learning in all domains including physical, social, cognitive, and language. Educators shall create a learning environment that facilitates high quality, child-directed experiences based upon early childhood best teaching practices and play-based learning that comprise movement, creative expression, exploration, socialization, and music. Educators shall develop literacy through guided reading and shall provide unstructured time for the discovery of each child’s individual talents, abilities, and needs.”

Read the technical advisory for HB 1499 here.

In late August 2018, Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of New Hampshire, held two workshops with educators at the NH DOE to discuss instructional strategies and tools before the beginning of the new school year starts.

Below are some resources for teachers, curriculum instructors, and administrators.

Dr. Nesbitt's presentation on instructional strategies and tools for play-based kindergarten in .pdf format.

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 1: Reflect on Your Practice and Know the Law (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 2: What is Play-Based Learning? (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 3: Free-Play and Child-Directed Free-Play (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 4: Guided Play and Mutually-Directed Guided Play (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 5: Teacher Guided Play (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop Part 6: Teaching Strategies (YouTube video)

Dr. Nesbitt's workshop, Part 7: Social Involvement and Resources (YouTube video)

Kindergarten Classroom Setup Strategies from ResponsiveClassroom.org (.pdf link).

Kindergarten Readiness and Transitions

Full-Day Kindergarten Toolkit

The following resources are provided to communities as they begin conversations about full-day kindergarten (FDK).

Districts With Full-Day Kindergarten – Data on where full-day kindergarten programs are operating in the state. Due to reporting requirements, there is a years gap in the most current available information.

Why it Matters – A publication about the time children spend engaged in learning has significant impact that can’t be replicated

Everyone Benefits – A brochure insert (tri-fold) that can be tailored to your community including adding your own front cover for your school

Kindergarten CCSS Mathematics – This publication provides documentation to support that the Common Core Standards are written for full day kindergarten programs


New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711