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Checklist for Parents of First Graders

by Jennifer Baker

August 29, 2011


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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.