The burgeoning cognitive and social skills of a first grader make it a prime time for the development of communication, academic and social abilities. You can encourage your child's development by knowing the range of goals for first grade, including those for language, math, science, social studies and personal growth.
Essential to first grade is the development of early reading and writing skills, from understanding the basic components of print to remembering and responding to stories. Your first grader should also comprehend basic sentence structure and write in legible sentences. In addition, first graders should also master essential speaking and listening strategies, including developing phonemic awareness, or the understanding of the sounds that make up words, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with peers and adults.
Your first grader should exhibit knowledge of numbers from zero to 100 as well as the principles of basic addition and subtraction, according to the Pennsylvania Board of Education Early Childhood Standards. In addition, your first grader should recognize and predict number patterns, such as counting upwards by fives, and be able to identify two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes and how subsets of those shapes come together to form composite shapes, according to the Common Core State Standards Initiative as well as the State of California K-12 Learning Standards. For example, your first grader should be able to create a square when given two equilateral triangles.
According to the State of California K-12 Learning Standards, your first grader should be able to identify the relationships between different measurements and data. This can include comparing temperatures on a thermometer, the weights of different objects or repeated patterns found in nature, such as a flower's petal patterns. Your first grader should also develop an understanding of the difference between living and non-living things, a preliminary knowledge of ecosystems, and technology such as computers.
Social Studies Goals
First grade social studies aims to encourage a child's exploration of his or her role in their community and the world. In addition to a basic understanding of how government and the economy work, your first grader should develop awareness of local, national and world history. For example, Pennsylvania Early Childhood Education Standards suggests a first grader should be able to identify both important world landmarks, such as the Great Pyramids, while also being able to recall the state symbols of their state, such as the state tree. First graders should develop knowledge of basic world geography and its varied cultures.
Health and Social Development Goals
Your first grader should begin to understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, including personal safety and wellness. For example, he should be able to explain how washing hands can prevent the spread of colds or how a fire alarm can save you from danger. First graders should have a developing sense of independence, self-confidence and control over feelings, and be able to follow rules and instructions and engage in constructive conversation and play with peers. Your first grader should exhibit a sense of curiosity to discover new knowledge or problems to solve, approaching these novel experiences with a healthy imagination.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education; Learning Standards for Early Childhood; First Grade
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: Mathematics Grade 1
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: Mathematics Standards, Grade 1, Geometry
- California State Board of Education: Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools; Grade 1
- Kennett Consolidated School District: First Grade Core Learning Goals
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