1st Grade

Academic Growth Chart

Benchmarks

1st Grade Academic




What You Can Do To Help Your Student

  • Math:

    Math Tips

    Learn Math from Everyday Objects

    Your child can build an understanding of addition, subtraction, and the other math concepts she is learning in 1st grade by playing with everyday objects. Use items that she enjoys playing with, such as Legos, and place them into two groups of unequal number. Place the larger grouping on the left to develop the habit your child will need later for subtracting from left to right. Next, ask your child to add objects to the smaller group from the larger group until she counts the same number in both groups. As with all math activities, don't push it if your child resists, since math development varies greatly from child to child and she may just not be ready for certain concepts.

    Count with Items

    Count using items like blocks, pennies, and candy. Have some items handy for counting by ones and by tens. You can use interlocking blocks that allow students to connect 2 blocks to 3 blocks to represent 2 + 3. Use regular household items like pennies for counting by ones, and dimes for counting by tens.

    Develop Estimation Skills

    When things are stored or poured into varying size containers you have an opportunity to build your child's concept of estimation and quantity. At breakfast, ask her which bowl has more and which has less cereal. Ask her to compare the different amounts of the same liquid in three clear glasses by lining them up from least to most full. To build your child's vocabulary of comparisons, after successful practice use measuring cups with numbers. Ask her what she notices about the number each liquid reaches in the measuring cup when they are lined up in sequence from least to most and then from most to least full.

    Read Math Problems Aloud

    Help your child by reading math problems aloud slowly and carefully, so she can hear the problem and think about what is being asked. If she can read, have her read them.

    Use Real Money

    Children become so accustomed to seeing their parents pay with credit and debit cards that counting actual money can be an unfamiliar practice. Engage your child in the transaction of buying things at the store, allowing her to pay with cash and to count the change. This will help not only with her math skills but will foster an understanding of the concepts of saving and spending.

    Reward Effort for Math

    Speak positively about math and reward effort, rather than grades or ability. Think about how important reading is and how we are told to model this behavior for our children. We need to place math in the same category. Don't discount the importance of math by saying, "I'm not a math person, I was never good at math." Help your child read books that incorporate math, such as Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag or On Beyond a Million, by David Schwartz.

    Use Analog Clocks

    Go pre-digital with time. Reading time on a digital clock is vastly different than on a clock with a face. First grade standards focus on telling time to the hour and half hour, so have some old-fashioned analog clocks around your house as your child is learning to tell time. Consider giving her a wristwatch with a face, rather than a digital display.

    Keep a Calendar at Home

    Keep a calendar displayed in your home. Review the days of the week with your child and encourage her to count down the number of days until an event she is anticipating.

    Play Games with Simple Math

    Play a game in the car using simple addition or subtraction. For example: I'm thinking of a number that equals 7 when it is added to 3. What number is that? Look for opportunities to play simple addition and subtraction games, for example, while she is eating, with the number of items on her plate.

    Play Games with Math Vocabulary

    Play a mind-reader game. Think of a number for your child to guess. After each guess respond with the words "higher" or "lower." At different times use the words "more" or "less" so she learns different arithmetic vocabulary. This game helps her correlate the number words and counting sequence with actual amounts or sizes.

    Play Family Math Games

    Plenty of family games incorporate math. Tic tac toe, Connect Four, and dominoes are just some of the many games that help build math skills.

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    TEASER Your 1st grader will start mastering the fundamentals of literacy and mathematics. These include the building blocks of reading and writing, as well as more complicated addition and subtraction skills than what was covered in kindergarten.
    TITLE 1st Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 1st Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=3A282370-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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  • English Language Arts:

    English Language Arts Tips

    Share Reading with Your Child

    It's one of the most basic pieces of parenting advice and still one of the most important, even when your child is in 1st grade: read to and with her. Now that she is in the early stages of becoming a proficient reader herself, this can become more of a shared activity. For example, take turns reading pages of a book, which gives her a chance to show off her skills and allows you to help her sound out difficult words.

    Keep Reading Material Handy

    Fill your house with a variety of reading materials and make sure that your child sees you and other adults reading regularly, so that she views it as a fun and positive activity.

    Visit the Local Library

    Make visits to your local library part of your regular routine. The library is a fun place, especially if you present it to your 1st grader as a place of discovery, with unlimited books to read and borrow and activities like story time, author readings, and craft time.

    Allow Easy Access to Writing Supplies

    Make sure that your child has easy access to the tools and supplies she will need to practice the writing skills she is learning. Have a range of supplies on hand to make writing fun, such as different-colored pens, crayons, colored paper, and dry-erase boards.

    Encourage Writing Through Lists

    Encourage your child to practice writing by making lists. Make sure that writing is not something that is viewed as a just a school activity or homework. Give her reasons to write, for example by making lists. Encourage her to help with the grocery shopping by writing a list. For holidays or birthdays, ask her to write a list of presents she would like, or have her compile a list of the chores she is responsible for.

    Show How Writing is Practical

    Show her the practical use of writing by helping her compose short reminder notes at home or letters to other family members. When she sees that writing serves a useful purpose she will be more likely to try it and to initiate writing on her own.

    Value Your Child’s Writing

    Encourage your 1st grader to draw a picture and write a story that goes along with it, using any scribbling, characters, or spelling that makes sense to her. Display the result, as you do her artwork, by posting it on the fridge or framing it and putting it on your desk. This helps her see that you value her writing and think it is important.

    Don't Correct All Spelling Mistakes

    Don't go overboard in correcting your child's early efforts at writing. In the same way that, when she was learning to talk, you didn't correct every pronunciation error or grammatical mistake, now that she's learning to write, you don't want to inhibit her by focusing too much on what she's doing wrong. If you correct every error, beginning writers will start to close up, so by allowing them more latitude encourages them to view writing as a fun activity and not work.

    Make a Summer Scrapbook

    At the start of the school year, make a scrapbook of your 1st grader's summer vacation, including photos and items related to activities she took part in. Ask her to tell you about the places the items came from, including why she was there and what she enjoyed about that day. Jot down her stories and memories, capturing her exact words as much as possible.

    Make a Family Tree

    Make a family tree. Have your child take photos of various family members and glue them onto a drawing of a tree, with a label under each photo explaining that relative's relationship to her.

    Always Carry Reading Materials

    Never leave home without reading materials, for both you and your 1st grader. Always having a book or a magazine on hand for moments like a wait at a doctor's office, a long car ride, or just waiting in the car to pick up a sibling helps your child understand that reading is an enjoyable activity that she can do at any time.

    Play Simple Word Games

    Play simple word games with your 1st grader. For example, when you're on the road, have her spot words on signs that begin with a certain letter.

    Turn Rhymes into Plays

    Choose a favorite rhyme or song and turn it into a play. Talk to your child about the story the rhyme or song tells: What is the story about? What words are most important? What are the characters like? If it's appealing to your child, find some dress-up clothes and props. Then, create the performance! Perhaps film this event to show to your family and friends.

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    TEASER Your 1st grader will start mastering the fundamentals of literacy and mathematics. These include the building blocks of reading and writing, as well as more complicated addition and subtraction skills than what was covered in kindergarten.
    TITLE 1st Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 1st Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=3A282370-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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There are many more additional resources that parents can consult when seeking support and guidance. Included here are some links that may be helpful.

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Elementary school is when parents are most likely to attend conferences, and these meetings will lay the foundation for your attitude and form your impression of conferences in the future. 

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Other 1st Grade Growth Charts

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