Checklist for Parents of First Graders
These skills usually develop during first grade.
• My child knows all the letters of the alphabet.
• My child knows the difference between letters and words, and knows there are
spaces between words in print.
• My child knows that written words represent speech and can show how words are
represented by letters arranged in a specific order.
• My child knows some punctuation marks and where sentences and paragraphs
begin and end.
• My child is beginning to understand and explain why people read.
• My child can put together (blend) and break apart the sounds of most one-syllable
words and can count the number of syllables in a word.
• My child can sound out words he doesn’t know, and recognize some irregularly
spelled words, such as have, said, you, and are.
• My child reads first grade books aloud, and can tell when she cannot understand
what she/he is reading.
• My child reads and understands simple written instructions.
• My child uses what he/she already knows to enrich what he/she is reading.
• My child predicts what will happen next in a story.
• My child asks questions (how, why, what if?) about books she/he has learned
from a book.
• My child uses invented spelling in his/her writing and also understands that there
is correct ways to spell words.
• My child uses simple punctuation marks and capital letters.
• My child writes for different purposes – stories, explanations, lists, letters – and
reads and revises her/his writing.
• My child uses language with more control, speaks in complete sentences, and uses
more formal language at school than at home and with friends.
• My child is beginning to see that some words mean the same thing (synonyms)
and some mean the opposite (antonyms).
• My child is learning that words play different roles in sentences – that nouns
name things and verbs show action, for example.
This checklist is adapted from a Child Becomes a Reader-Birth through Preschool.