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Prerequisites for 1st Grade in Kindergarten

by Karen Hollowell

When your child enters first grade, there are certain skills that teachers will expect him to know. By the end of his kindergarten year, he will have mastered some of these. He will have a general knowledge of others, which his first grade teacher will expound on during the year. Math and reading are the two main subjects of focus because a strong foundation in these is necessary for your child to be a successful student.

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

When your child enters first grade, she should already know and recognize all letters of the alphabet. She should also be able to produce the sound for each letter. Much time is spent in kindergarten working on these skills. Some children finish kindergarten being able to blend sounds together to make words. Even if your child cannot do this independently, she should be able to isolate and identify the beginning, middle and ending sounds in words.

Literacy

Your child should have developed a strong knowledge of the concepts of print. This refers to book features like the front and back cover, author, illustrator and title page. Your child should be able to locate and identify them and should also know that words are read from left to right. She should also have a basic knowledge of a story's setting, the characters and plot. Understanding concepts of print when entering first grade will help your child have an easier time when the teacher introduces more complex books.

Math

There are several math skills that your child needs to be able to perform proficiently when first grade begins. These include counting to 100 by ones, fives and tens, identifying the four basic shapes, reading a simple graph, sorting objects and comparing objects according to size and length. The first grade teacher will also expect that your child can understand the basic concepts of addition and subtraction.

Writing

Your child's handwriting should be strongly developed by the beginning of first grade. He should be writing his first and last name as well as others' names. He will be able to write a complete sentence with proper capitalization and punctuation. He should be able to write numbers at least to 20 and all upper and lowercase letters.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.

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