Skills Needed to Advance to First Grade

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While school educational requirements and teachers vary most will agree the following skills are a good foundation for starting first grade. Check with your child’s first grade teacher or the school the year before to find out if they have a checklist of requirements or educational criteria level for first grade.

Your first grader should be able to do the following:
Recognize and identify colors
Count to 100
Read basic words
Recite the alphabet correctly
Recognize upper and lower case letters
Understand and identify the value of money (coins)
Tell time at least by the hour
Write the numbers to 100
Write the letters of the alphabet
No longer need daily naps
Write his or her name
Identify basic shapes
Follow two directions in one sentence Example: Set the cup on the counter and bring me the spoon.
Understand opposites
Understand the calendar and identify the days of the week
Count by twos
Know the vowels and their sounds
Understand simple addition and subtraction
Indentify rhyming words

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If your child is deficient in any of the needed skills the sooner you can begin working with him or her than the better off your child will be. No student likes to start off behind the other children. Encouragement and praise with emphasis on the skills your child has mastered will help build confidence for developing the skills your child is having difficulty with.

There are many teaching aids available including games for children of this age. If your child is not capable of mastering most of these skills before first grade, meet with his or her teacher. If your child has vision, hearing, or a learning challenge identifying that as early as possible will allow you to make the needed accommodations to get him or her on track.

by David McLeod

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Owner and Elementary School Teacher

David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.

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