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    Grade 1 Curriculum: 5 Things to Teach to Kids in the First Grade

    It was like yesterday when you were walking your child to kindergarten. And now, they are ready to start the first grade. It’s such an emotional moment for a parent when their child achieves a milestone like first grade. But, it is also overwhelming and daunting for parents because they have no clue what is taught to kids in 1st grade?

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    First grade is a big transition for a child—from a playful and fun environment of prekindergarten, they are moving towards a more academically challenging environment. It can be a big shock for both parents and students.

    Therefore, if your child is starting 1st grade this year, you should learn all about what is taught to kids in the first grade so you and your child can come prepared on the first day of school. This guide is a small step to help you understand what 1st grade will bring your way.

    So, What Is Exactly Taught to Kids in the 1st Grade?

    You will find some variations in the first-grade curriculum around the states. However, basic subjects taught to kids in the first grade are mostly the same everywhere. Usually, students learn math, reading, writing, science, and social studies in the 1st grade.

    You might find some minor changes in the first-grade curriculum in different district schools. However, here are fundamental topics that are taught to kids in the first grade:

    Reading in the 1st Grade

    First grade students in a classroom

    Your kids have already learned different sounds and read small words during kindergarten. The reading level will increase in the first grade, and your children will learn more complicated words and sounds. They will also be asked to read paragraphs and answer questions based on them. 

    First graders are expected to read fluently and understand the information they read. Some of the other topics that the first-grade reading curriculum includes are:

    • A comprehensive reading of the entire first-grade material.
    • Re-telling stories provided in the academic books.
    • Creating characteristics based on the stories.
    • Learning the meanings of similar words and how to use them in a sentence.
    • Distinguish between narrative and nonfiction texts.

    Writing in the 1st Grade

    Schoolgirl does homework at school desk

    The writing level in first grade will increase a couple of levels. As your child’s motor skills have already developed in the kindergarten, teachers will focus more on creative and inventive writing. 

    Teachers can ask their students to use their imagination and write something unique. They can also motivate students to understand the sound of words and write them. Besides this, handwriting improvement is one of the main agendas in the first-grade curriculum. Other things that first-grade writing lessons include:

    • When to use lower and upper cases while writing.
    • Correct usage of ending punctuation like full stop and question marks.
    • The right way to use frequency words in writing.
    • Make writing more detailed and comprehensive. 
    • Usage of descriptive words.
    • Learn to write narratives with two or more sequenced events.
    • Correctly spell the familiar words. 
    • Learn to edit their writing. 

    Math in the 1st Grade

    Back to school education concept with girl kids elementary students carrying backpacks going running to class on school first day and walking up building stair happily

    Your children already know how to count, recognize numbers and organize them into different groups. So, all the previous math concepts will be revised in the first-grade math curriculum. After that, teachers will introduce more problem-solving and common addition or subtraction problems to your child. 

    In the first grade, teachers are more focused on setting the foundation for advanced math learning. Thus, they will teach your child:

    • Addition and subtraction for small or single numbers.
    • Counting money. 
    • Learn to see time on an analog clock. 
    • Identify different shapes. 
    • Recognize coins and currency notes. 
    • Solve simple word math problems. 
    • Learn to read, write and count numbers more than 100.
    • Understand base values. 
    • Count numbers based on their tens or one’s place.
    • Compare two or more objects based on length, weight, and volume.
    • Find more than and less than a given number with the usage of the symbols =, <, or >.

    Science in the 1st Grade

    Child going back to school Start of new school year after summer vacation

    Your child will learn more about life science and natural science in first-grade science. The teacher will introduce basic science concepts in the 1st grade using pictures and intuitive experiments, such as:

    • The life cycle of a butterfly. 
    • Learn about animals and insects and their characteristics. 
    • Understand the earth like weather, climate, rain formation, etc. 
    • Basics of physical science and different properties of gas, liquid and solid. 
    • Introduction to common measurement tools like thermometers.
    • Weather patterns.
    • Environmental science. 

    Social Studies in the 1st Grade 

    Beautiful children teacher and parent together in a classroom at the school

    Social studies is one of the important subjects taught in the first grade. This subject helps students develop social skills and understand how communities worldwide work. Some of the basic social science concepts taught in the 1st grade are:

    • How many states are in the country?
    • How do neighbourhood and local communities help to form a city?
    • The concept of a community. 
    • Information about public and private institutions like libraries, public healthcare facilities, etc. 
    • The way various community components work together as a cohesive unit.

    Tips for 1st Graders’ Parents 

    mother preparing her son for first day at school

    If you are stressed about your little one starting first grade, you should first relax. If you start to panic, your children will automatically start to feel pressure. Besides this, here are some simple tips that first graders’ parents should follow:

    • Visit the school and classroom to understand what type of environment your child will get in the first grade.
    • You can interact with your child’s new first-grade teacher to know what they will be teaching your child in the grade.
    • Connect with other first graders’ parents to know their children’s problems during the first grade.
    • You can talk to your child openly and prepare them for a new class, friends, and teachers.
    • Go online and find information related to the 1st-grade curriculum in your district.
    • Before sending your child to a new grade, you can start teaching some concepts at home like addition, subtraction, life sciences and more. This way, your child will feel prepared when the teacher teaches the subjects in the class.

    Just Relax!

    Parents, sending off your child to 1st grade can be overwhelming and challenging for you. But, it would help if you did not lose your calm. We know it’s easier to say than do. 

    However, you will not feel much stressed when you are informed and aware of what is taught to kids in the first grade. This guide has touched on all the essential first-grade curriculum points. So, you now have some idea of what to expect in the first grade. Therefore, relax and start preparing for the new milestone of your child.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What are the basic elements of the first-grade curriculum?

    The first-grade curriculum should include elements that can help students become independent readers and improve their phonics, phonemic awareness, and comprehension. It should also include grammar and basic life lessons to develop a child’s overall speaking and listening skills.

    Is the first-grade curriculum the same all around the state?

    The foundation of the first-grade curriculum is the same everywhere. However, you might find some variations in the lesson planning or teaching methods. Therefore, you should consult your child’s school and teacher to know more about what they will teach in the first grade.

    Jill Baker
    Jill Baker has been teaching for 10 years and she loves sharing everything she has learned to help other teachers.

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