Most first grade kids will start not to like school at this age if they feel that they're not smart or that they're not doing well, so give your child extra doses of support at this stage.
First graders are able to talk more about their feelings, so be sure to listen and help out if your child gets discouraged.
Here are the important learning milestones children will typically go through in first grade, with tips for helping your child stay on track.
Building reading skills and doing reading practice are essential parts of a 1st grader’s learning. Even when students are not specifically learning “reading,” they are constantly reading as they learn other subjects. This practice, as well as specific reading lessons, is crucial to making 1st graders strong readers. In addition, 1st graders develop their reading comprehension skills and talk more about and gain a deeper understanding of what they read.
In order to build reading skills: Give your budding bookworm lots of opportunities to read aloud every day. Have him read a short story aloud while you're cooking or putting dishes away, or give him the important job of reading to his younger sibling. Take turns reading the pages, help him sound out and learn unfamiliar words (use contextual clues like surrounding words or pictures), and keep discussing stories by asking questions ("Why do you think she did that?"). Help him learn prediction by asking, "What do you think will happen next?" and ask him to retell a story in a few sentences to practice summarizing. Always have kids' books or magazines handy if you need to wait somewhere, such as a doctor's office or train station.
Similar to reading, writing occurs throughout the day as students learn a variety of subjects in addition to the specific writing lessons or times in class. For example, students may write about a math problem, explaining how they solved it, or write about a topic they learned in science or social studies. All of this work makes them better writers overall.
Once your child has mastered writing letters and begins to improve her spelling skills, she can take the next step in 1st grade and write longer pieces in a variety of genres. In other words, in 1st grade, your child progresses from knowing how to write words to becoming a “writer.” This is not to say that your 1st grader should be a perfect speller; instead, she can practice her spelling skills as she further develops her writing skills. 1st grade is also the time when students begin to use technology, specifically for their writing and research. Help support this by using technology at home with your child, in an appropriate and supervised manner.
In order to build writing skills: Have your child keep a notebook at home, Kids this age love to write lists and notes to friends, so keep a special notebook on hand for this. It won't be graded, so your child should have fun with it. Encourage her to draw pictures and write without worrying about correcting spelling or grammar. Give fun writing prompts. After you visit the park, ask your child to write about the interesting things she did. Give children prompts connected to reading, too. After you've read a book, have them write about a pet that they would like to have, or ask what they would name a pet pig if they had one,"
1st graders continue to develop their addition and subtraction skills, gaining a deeper understanding of the concepts as they practice and gain mastery of these skills. In many classes, math tools and manipulative such as blocks, tiles, and different shapes are used to help students practice math using concrete, visible objects. This helps students truly understand the concepts underlying the math they learn. In addition, students in 1st grade may begin to write about the math they do, answering questions about how they solve problems and understand things.
In order to build number skills: Help your first grader see how math is a big part of everyday life. When you go grocery shopping, talk about how much money you'll need to buy milk and bread. While waiting in line, practice counting by twos and fives together. Hang up a number chart in your child's bedroom showing numbers one to 100 and find a place mat with numbers on it to practice counting during meals.
Measurement and Geometry
Your first grader spends her time as a scientist, exploring, experimenting and observing. In first grade, students are taught to observe, ask questions, and record their observations and answers. They will measure length using small objects, such as paper clips, as units and they will compare, identify, and describe common shapes.
In order to build measurement and geometry skills: show your child all the numbers on recipes and talk about what they mean as you measure the ingredients. Get a pitcher and a variety of cups and have your child experiment with volume by pouring the same amounts of liquid into different-size cups and different amounts into same-size cups.
Have fun with the scale at home and use it to weigh people and objects. Talk about 3-D shapes of objects, such as a tissue box (cube) or ball (sphere), and discuss the different architectural shapes of buildings outside. Examine big and small plates and ask whether they're the same shape. "Shapes can be a lot of fun," Quinn says. "Seeing these as part of their life, not just something taught in school, definitely makes a difference."
Time and Money
Another skill kids will develop further is telling time; first graders will be able to read a clock face to the nearest half hour. They will understand concepts such as "an hour from now," and they will be able to name the days of the week and months of the year. They will also learn to identify different coins, know the value of each one, and combine different amounts (for example, two nickels equal one dime).
In order to build measurement and geometry skills: Even if you have a digital clock, find an analog one and point out when the big hand is on the six, or on the 12, and what that means. Look at monthly calendars together, and let your child mark important dates and events. Keep talking about what you did "today" and "yesterday," and what you'll do "tomorrow" or "next week." Play games with coins. Take a pile of spare change and ask your child how many ways he can make 10 dollars, 25 dollars, or 75 dollars.
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