No two kids are alike, especially when it comes to hitting developmental benchmarks. But it helps to have a rough idea of which academic and social skills your child should acquire at his or her grade level. Learn more about the first-grade classroom in these subject areas: reading, writing, language arts, math, science, technology, social studies, art, music, and physical education. Or check your state’s academic standards to find out what students are required to learn.

By the end of the year, you can expect your first grade child to:

  • Work independently at her desk
  • Listen to longer sets of directions
  • Read directions off the board, although some children may still have difficulty with this
  • Complete homework and bring it back the next day
  • Sit in a chair for a longer period of time
  • Be able to see things from another person’s point of view so you can reason with your child and teach her empathy
  • Relate to and repeat experiences in greater detail and in a logical way after listening
  • Problem-solve disagreements
  • Crave affection from parents and teachers
  • Have some minor difficulties with friendships and working out problems with peers
  • Distinguish left from right
  • Be able to plan ahead
  • Write and spell untaught words phonetically
  • Read and write high-frequency words such as where and every
  • Write complete sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Understand and use correctly conjunctions and prepositions, such as but and beyond
  • Read aloud first-grade books with accuracy and understanding
  • Tell time to the hour and half-hour using analog and digital clocks
  • Quickly answer addition problems with sums up to 20
  • Quickly answer subtraction problems with numbers 0 to 20
  • Complete two-digit addition and subtraction problems without regrouping


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