What to expect from your 1st graders:

In first grade your child will become more independent and learn how to adapt to the school’s routine. First grade is probably the most critical period in your child’s education. It is a pivotal grade in which the foundation for the rest of the primary grades is set.”

Building reading and writing skills

Your child will move from pre-reading skills to building crucial language skills in reading, spelling and writing. This year she/he will continue to build phonemic awareness with more complicated sounds like blends and digraphs. She will be taught a number of strategies for decoding words she doesn’t know or is unable to sound out and start to answer questions about the meaning of what she’s read. At home you can read stories aloud to your child often and ask questions such as “Who is the author of the story?”, “Who are the characters in the story?” “Where does the story take place?” “What happens in the beginning, middle and end of the story?”. At home encourage them to start reading on their own though initially you will have to assist them. Create a library and fill it up with colourful books.
Expect your child to begin formal work on handwriting skills this year in addition to creative writing tasks. Some teachers will focus on inventive spelling, allowing children to write the sounds they hear in words, while also instructing students using weekly spelling words. Your 1st grader will learn how to use punctuation and capitals, but, more importantly, she will start to use writing as a tool for communication.

Mastering math skills

In math your child will learn addition and subtraction facts, and how to tell time.. She will learn to use an analog clock to tell time to the minute, be asked to recognize coins, count money, solve simple word problems, count beyond 100 and understand basic place value. Practice these skills at home by asking your child to spot repeating patterns in her daily life and surroundings, such as designs in her clothing, greeting cards etc. Play makes believe games such as shopping at the supermart (created at home) with fake currency/coins.

Learning EVS

EVS in 1st grade focuses on finding patterns, though in science the patterns explored are in the natural world. Your child will spend time learning about insects and their common characteristics. Expect your child to begin exploring the concept of community beyond her family this year. She’ll/He’ll learn about how neighborhoods make up cities, cities make up states and states make up nations, with a focus on how all of those components work together to create a cohesive unit. Their learning at this stage will include lots of practical experiments and field trips.

Assuming responsibility and routines

If your child attended a half-day kindergarten, first grade will mean attending school for a longer day. They also probably spend more time sitting at a desk. Gradually, the 1st grade teacher will introduce longer sequences of instructions and expect kids to do more for themselves Talk to your child about “big kid” issues like “how to treat other students on the playground , adhering to time and discipline in the school . Since first grade is a major level change from kindergarten, it becomes very important for parents to help their child set the stage for a great day. Set a routine for them which should include enough time for rest and play. “The more structure, the better at this age,” Teach them to be independent and answerable for their behaviour by posing questions such as “Do you think it was the right thing to do” or “What would you do if it were to happen to you”. Do not overprotect them in the name of love and affection.

Even at this age the children are great observers and learn more by way of observation, hence it is advisable for the parents to monitor their interactions and conversations when the children are around.

In first grade your child will begin to reinforce learning through homework. Please help her/him in this by preparing a quiet, organized work area and set aside time for her/him to do homework .

Since this is an eventful stage in your child’s life, make it meaningful by sharing their excitement about new friendships and learning milestones, and keeping in close contact with the teacher.