A quick overview of first grade Common Core Standards

Parents of first graders will see a fair number of changes, and new expectations, in classroom work under the new standards. For students to be successful, teachers and parents need to be strong partners and have a clear understanding of the learning goals. (Download our Common Core cheat sheet for parents of first graders.)

Examples of skills first graders should learn under Common Core

1st grade reading skills

1) Distinguishing between long and short vowel sounds, learning the common vowel teams for long vowel sounds (e.g. play, tie, tail), and understanding the silent e.
2) Recognizing the print features of a sentence: always capitalize the first letter of the first word and always end with punctuation — a period for statements, a question mark for questions.
3) Hunting for “evidence” to answer questions, which means finding — and literally pointing to — answers to questions. To answer What was Grandpa making for breakfast at the beginning of the book? your child may remember Grandpa was flipping pancakes, but showing evidence means your child should flip through the pages and find the words — or the picture — to point out the answer.

Want more? Read our complete article, Your first grader’s reading under the Common Core Standards.

1st grade writing skills

1) Practicing and learning three kinds of writing: opinion, informative, and narrative.
2) Understanding that writing is a multistep process that begins with prewriting (reading and gathering ideas), writing a first draft, revising their work, and making final edits.
3) Responding to questions using information they’ve learned – by looking up answers and using facts and observations to back up what they write.

Want more? Read our complete article, Your first grader and writing under the Common Core Standards.

1st grade math skills

1) Adding and subtracting easily up to 20, including solving word problems and addition and subtraction problems up to 100.
2) Understanding ones and 10s and being able to mentally add or subtract by 10.
3) Partitioning circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares and describing the parts as halves, fourths, and quarters.

Buidling skills at home

1) Make play dough! Have children measure ingredients. When it’s ready, cut the dough into shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, and circles.
2) Pick a rhyming book children know well and have them read it aloud. Even if it’s memorized, they’ll use decoding skills. It’ll give early readers a taste of success.
3) Model patience with homework. Especially at first, children (and parents) may feel confused by new homework. When parents set the example, children learn to work hard, persist, and stay positive.

See skills in action

Go to Milestones.GreatKids.org to watch videos of first graders demonstrating strong reading, writing, and math skills under the Common Core Standards.

What’s next?

Wondering what’s in store in second grade? Check out Your second grader and Common Core: a cheat sheet.

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