What Your Child Should Learn in First Grade
First grade is an exciting year for students. This school year is likely the first time your little one will feel like a “real student,” as he/she is given more independence and less playtime. First grade is when children must learn to sit a bit longer. It is also the first year most students are expected to do homework.
An easy way to find out what your child is expected to learn in first grade is to review your state’s academic standards. However, some necessary skills are thought to be mastered by the time your child graduates from first grade. To help you gain a better understanding of what your child should learn in first grade, let’s look at some of the basic concepts being taught to first graders around the country.
How to Follow Directions
In first grade, your child will spend more time working independently on assignments. For this reason, it is necessary for children to learn how to listen well and follow directions. In first grade, children will also have more rules to follow and opportunities to take care of themselves.
First grade is when reading concepts are emphasized. As PBS Parents explains, “First grade is traditionally thought of as the level where children learn to read. Not all children become fluent readers by the end of the first grade, but most take their first solid steps toward fluid reading.” Therefore, you should expect your child to be able to read several high-frequency words or sight words, as well as grade-level appropriate books by the end of the school year.
Along with reading, first graders will begin to write and spell phonetically. As they learn to sound out words, they will also learn how to write in complete sentences with capitalization and punctuation. Additionally, they will be able to listen to a story and retell it in sequence (or write it). Students will also begin to write their own stories.
First graders are also mastering basic math concepts in the classroom. They learn to count to 100, add, and subtract two-digit numbers. They will learn to use math to solve word problems. This school year is also when students begin to actively use greater than, less than, and equal to as comparisons. Additionally, first graders learn the basic units of measurement, as well as how to count money.
First graders are also expected to learn essential life skills such as distinguishing between left and right. By the end of the year, your first grader should also be able to read a clock (analog and digital) and understand the different ways we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years).
While many children still love school at this point, the challenges of first grade can be enough to turn children against the joys of school. Therefore, it is essential for parents to continue to help their children succeed both inside and outside the classroom. And, the best way to encourage success is to praise them.