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First Grade Math
Math will also be an important component of this year: addition, subtraction, time, money, and measurement are all essential concepts that will be introduced and practiced in first grade. By the end of the year, your child should be able to:
- Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120
- Compare and order whole numbers up to 99
- Understand the meaning of the equal sign
- Decide if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false
- Write and solve number sentences with numbers up to 20
- Find the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction problem using three whole numbers. For example, 5 + ? = 9.
- Create addition and subtraction problems with concrete objects, the write related number sentences
- Understand that the digits in a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones
- Compare two two-digit numbers using the symbols for greater than, less than, and equal to (>, <, =)
- Recognize two-dimensional shapes such as rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles
- Identify three-dimensional shapes such as cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, and cylinders
- Understand commonly used fractions, such as ¼, 1/3, ½
- Separate a whole into two, three, or four equal parts
- Identify coins by name and value
- Estimate and measure length using nonstandard units such as paper clips or sides of color tiles
- Order two or more objects from longest to shortest
- Order the area of two or more two-dimensional surfaces from biggest to smallest
- Order two or more containers from that which holds the most to that which holds the least
- Order two or more objects from heaviest to lightest
- Order two or more objects from hottest to coldest
- Order events according to duration
- Read time to the hour and half-hour using analog and digital clocks
- Use data to make graphs
- Draw conclusions and answer questions using information found on various types of graphs
First Grade Reading
Reading is a huge focus of the first grade. Your child will learn to recognize vowels and consonants, and to understand that different letters blend together to create unique sounds. Reading at home becomes even more essential in the first grade, when your child should be given ample opportunities to both hear stories read aloud and practice reading to you. First graders are expected to write simple sentences and understand the use of capitalization and punctuation. As the year progresses, your child will write stories from prompts. In first grade, your child will be learning to:
- Recognize that sentences begin with a capital letter and end with punctuation
- Understand how to read a book and identify its parts
- Identify the narrator in a text
- Rhyme words
- Distinguish between long- and short-vowel sounds
- Read words with common spelling patterns such as –ant or -ike
- Use understanding of base words to identify and read common compound words like snowman or raincoat
- Identify and read contractions like isn’t or can’t
- Recognize different genres such as poetry, fable, fiction, and non-fiction
- Tell whether a story is fiction or non-fiction and explain why
- Read at least 100 high-fluency words
- Sort words into categories such as animals or things that go
- Alphabetize a list of words to the first or second letter
- Retell a story’s beginning, middle, and end
- Describe characters in the story and the reasons for their actions and feelings
- Identify the main idea in a text
- Recognize important facts or details in text
First Grade Activities
Here are some simple activities to try with your first grader:
- Throw out a word and challenge your child to rhyme it. Take turns naming rhyming words until you run out of rhymes. Then have your child think up a new word. Or ask your child to create a silly sentence using three rhyming words. Flash Kids Rhyming Words Flashcards are another fun way to practice this skill.
- Continue to read daily with your child. In addition to questions about the characters and events in the story, ask your child to identify genre. Is the reading a poem, a fairy tale, a fable? Is it fiction or non-fiction? What are the characteristics of each genre?
- After you read a story together, have your child retell the beginning, middle, or end of the story.
- Help your child practice real-world writing. Ask your child to help you write out the weekly grocery list. Have him or her write letters or emails to family members or friends. It’s important that your child sees that writing is a part of everyday life.
- Play hangman together. This simple, old-fashioned game is a great way to review spelling! For extra practice, try Flash Kids Complete Book of Sight Words.
- Practice fractions at home. When dividing up a pizza, a loaf of bread, or a dozen cookies, ask your child to tell you how many parts make up the whole—and then what fraction of the whole will be eaten. For example, if there are three people in your family and each person has one slice of a pizza with 12 slices, what fraction of the pizza will be left? While this may sound like a complicated problem, being able to see and count the slices will help make the concept of fractions come alive for your child.
- Keep a family coin jar. Every month, have your child count up the spare change. Use the money toward a family purchase, such as a trip to the ice cream store.
- Give your child many opportunities to read a clock and use time. For example, when your child wakes up, say, “It’s 7 A.M. We need to be ready to leave for school at 8:30 A.M. How long do we have to get ready?” Problems like these apply what your child is learning in school to real-world situations. For extra practice with time, try Flash Kids Flash Skills Time & Money Grade 1.
- Help your child create graphs that chart everyday information. For example, you can make a bar graph that charts weather for a month. Use four simple categories, like sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy. Or have your child pick four favorite breakfast foods and tally how many times each is enjoyed in a month.
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