What makes 1st grade so different?

In first grade, kids learn a few key skills that help them navigate the big, wide world around them.

Prince Padania is a first grade teacher at Oliveira Elementary School.

Here’s what Mr. Padania says first graders learn — and how it helps them grow.

Video transcript

“There are some big social changes that occur in first grade. There’s more of a distance between the students and the teacher throughout the day. For example, students will be out at recess, not quite next to their teacher the whole time. They have to be on their own, problem solving, and figuring things out, how to get along. After recess I’ll see a student or two kind of teary-eyed because someone wasn’t playing fairly at four square or someone wasn’t playing with them at all and they had to find a new friend and work it out. This distance, although upsetting and sometimes stressful for students, is actually beneficial for them. It allows them to build those problem-solving skills. To know what to do when there isn’t an adult around or a teacher around. The students that develop these problem-solving skills find their days running smoother. They can focus on their learning and their academics more, and not so much on the drama of the playground.”

Learn more about your first grader’s learning and development this year, including:

About the author