Chosen the right board– Check!
Chosen the right school – Check!
You are halfway through your checklist before your little one gets ready to enter into Class 1 and a big school. First graders are expected to be able to write and share information in a variety of ways. This includes drawing, writing letters and words, listening to others and speaking aloud.
Your child will be focusing on becoming an independent reader, writer, and communicator in 1st grade, as well as starting her first formal science and social studies learning. In addition to dealing with boundless energy levels and intense emotions, children preparing for 1st grade will face new responsibilities in school. Your child will learn to adjust to a longer school day, take more ownership of her homework, and learn to get around by herself.
To help build these skills for first grade, kindergartners do the following kinds of activities:
- Write and recognize upper- and lowercase letters.
- Match letters to sounds, make rhymes and recognize some words without having to sound them out.
- Learn and use new words to express thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly.
- Ask and answer questions about a story the teacher reads aloud.
- Name the person, place, thing or idea in a picture.
- Follow the rules of conversation.
- Give information about an event, topic or opinion by drawing, talking and writing about it.
- Participate in shared reading and writing activities.
Make letters and words come alive
By the end of kindergarten / pre primary, your child is beginning to make the connection between letters and the sounds they make. To boost this skill, try activities such as a family spelling bee. To play, one parent thinks of some words and then asks each person in the family to spell them either out loud or on paper. Keep the words simple for a 5- or 6-year-old, for instance “cat” or “dog.” You can also do simple crossword puzzles together.
To improve listening and language skills, read your child part of a story but stop before the end. Ask her to tell you how she thinks the story will end. Then finish reading the story. Ask her why she chose the ending she did and how it differed from the real ending.
Reading books that repeat letters and sounds will also help your child make sense of sounds. While you’re reading it, point out the repeated letters and explain that they often make the same sound.
Open her mind to the world of numbers
In 1st grade, your child will learn that numbers are all around her, and that they represent objects that can be added and subtracted. To help set the groundwork for early math, point out numbers wherever you see them. Count stairs, the number of oranges you put in a bag at the grocery store, how many red trucks are in the toy box,etc.
Introduce basic concepts of geography and science
First graders are just beginning to learn about the big wide world around them. Help your child get ready for her foray into science and geography asking lots of “where” and “what” questions and helping her figure out the answers. Show her how to locate your country on a globe. Get a map of your town and ask her where your street and her school are. Then move on to the “what” questions. What makes where we live special? What kinds of plants and animals live here? What is the weather like?
Science is all about asking “why” and “what if.” For instance, gather several objects — a sock, a rock, a sponge, an empty bottle — and fill a sink with water. Ask your child which will float and which will sink and why she thinks so. Then place the objects in the sink one by one and see what happens. To help your child understand how living things are classified, go on a walk and look for insects.
Put history in the present tense
First graders will begin to learn about the past and history. Talk about your family history. Then to broaden the concept, read about historical figures and events that have helped shaped the world. Your first grader probably won’t grasp the concept of “long ago,” but soon she’ll start understanding the notion of historical events.
Here are some simple things you, as parents, can do to make this year easier for your child.
– Read daily with your child for 15 minutes.
– Make sure your child is in bed by 8:00 pm; 5-6 year olds still need 11-12 hours of sleep daily.
– Wake your child up with ample time to prevent rushing before school.
– Ensure your child eats a well-balanced breakfast.
– Pack a healthy, mess-free snack for him/her to eat at recess.
– Send your child in clothes and shoes he/she can independently manage.
– Thoroughly read papers that your child brings home. Sign any if necessary and make sure to return them in a timely manner.
– They should learn how to write full name (first and last)
– They can write their birthday (mm/dd/yyyy), address and phone number
– Tie shoe laces, zip/unzip, button, and snap clothing
– Able to put away their own things (: in school bag, in pencil box, etc.)
– Count from 0-100, and read and write numbers 0-30
– Add and subtract to 10
– Skip count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s