What Your 1st Grader Should Learn in 1st Grade
skills your 1st grader should know before advancing to the next grade.
Recognizes all the letters of the alphabet in order
Recognizes the features of a sentence. (For example: first words, capitalization, and
ending punctuation.)
Begins to understand simple punctuation marks (period, question mark, etc.)
Distinguishes between and prints capital and lowercase letters
Associates letters and sounds
Distinguishes likenesses and differences of letter sounds in spoken words
Recognizes rhymes and rhyming patterns
Recognizes the spelling and sound of two letters that represent one sound. For example,
th, ch, wh
. (These are also known as digraphs.)
Learns to read regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Understands how an “e” at the end of a word changes a vowel within the word.
Breaks up longer words into syllables in order to read them.
Reads grade-level words that have “irregular” spellings.
Knows the difference between and reads fiction and non-fiction texts with purpose and
an understanding of the plot and important ideas and characters.
Talks about and answers questions about the text s/he reads.
Reads texts aloud at an appropriate speed and with expression.
Compares different characters, events or texts.
Understands the purpose of and uses common features in a book, such as headings,
tables of contents and glossaries.
Begins to read (grade appropriate) poetry and identifies words and phrases that relate to
emotions and the senses.
Shows independent interest in reading-related activities
Listens with interest to stories read aloud
Retells a simple story
Recognizes the association between spoken and written words
Makes predictions about a story or passage based on the title and/or pictures
Identifies words and constructs meaning from picture clues in text
Identifies basic sight words
Begins to understand basic characteristics of fables, stories and legends
Identifies story elements of setting, plot, character and conflict (where, when, what, who
and why)
Uses personal perspective in responding to stories, such as relating to characters or
Locates the title, author name, illustrator name and table of contents
Sorts common words into categories (e.g., food, colors, shapes)
Writing .
Writes with structure including an introductory sentence, supporting or accurate details
and some sense of closure
Reads and writes own name
Tells a story using pictures
Uses letters or shapes to depict words or ideas
Writes familiar words
Copies or writes words to convey messages
Participates in group dictated stories
Builds simple words and sentences
Demonstrates left-to-right progression, and top-to-bottom progression
Handles writing tools correctly
Adds and subtracts numbers 1-20, solves word problems by using objects, drawings and
traditional equations with the plus and minus signs.
Adds 3 numbers that add to a number up to 20.
Solves addition and subtraction problems by adding up or subtracting smaller numbers,
for example 10+4 = 10+2+2 and 15-6= 15-2-2-2.
Learns the relationship between addition and subtraction, for example 2+3=5 and 5-3=2.
Counts out and groups objects in order to solve single digit addition and subtraction
Counts and writes the numbers 1 to 120, starting from any number less than 120.
Understands and creates numbers using 10 as a base, for example, 12 = 1 ten and 2
Compares two 2 digit numbers using the <, >, and = signs.
Adds up to100 using objects and the concept of 10’s.
Subtracts or adds 10 to a 2 digit number in his/her mind, without counting, and subtracts
by 10 from numbers 1-90, using concrete objects or tools.
Orders three objects by length.
Begins to tell and write time using both digital and analog clocks.
Understands data, specifically, the total number of data points, how many are in each
category and how many more or less there are in a category.
Understands the definition of and difference between shapes and creates shapes using
this knowledge.
Creates 2 and 3 dimensional shapes.
Breaks up circles and rectangles into two and four equal parts, and understands that the
parts are halves, fourths, and quarters, and that smaller parts make up larger ones.
Explores and experiments with the world around him/her and with objects provided by
the teacher.
Makes observations and records what s/he sees and learns using graphs, pictures and
Uses her 5 senses to observe and learn about objects.
Forms conclusions based on comparisons, sense observations and exploration
Knows that the Sun supplies heat and light energy to the Earth
Recognizes basic patterns in weather
Recognizes how people impact the Earth, including concepts of conservation, recycling
and reducing pollution
Understands that all living things have basic needs
Distinguishes between living and non-living things
Recognizes how living things change as they grow and mature
Compares and describes the structural characteristics of plants and animals
Distinguishes between types of environments and their inhabitants (hot, cold, wet, dry,
Oceans and sea life: Waves, currents, coral reefs, sea animals, and sea plants.
The human body: The systems that make up the body — circulatory, muscular, skeletal,
nervous, and digestive — and how to take care of the body.
Matter: Materials come in solid, liquid, and gas forms, and matter can change states.
Measurement: Temperature and how it is measured.
Introduction to electricity and magnetism: Electric currents and circuits. Learns how
batteries work and the push and pull of magnets.
Sound: Vibrating objects produce sound, and sound travels.
Social Studies
Learns and talks about his/her own family, different types of families in the present and
in history, and his/her community.
Uses and studies maps to locate his/her own community as well as others.
Begins to explore the role of technology and media.
Gains an understanding of the importance of rules, citizenship and democracy his/her
Understands the concept of history as real stories of other times, events, places and
Understands broad categories of time (past, present, and future)
Knows different methods of communication from long ago to present day (oral,
pictographs, etc.)
Understands the concept of historical contributions by historical figures
Has a basic awareness of other cultures and cultural traditions
Knows significant individuals in United States history
Knows people and events honored in commemorative holidays
Recognizes American symbols (the eagle, Liberty Bell, the flag, etc.)
Recognizes that people use maps, globes and other models to identify and locate places
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