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First Grade

Wow, your child did it!! They are ready to embark on a new journey… that of being a First Grader. While this is very exciting to a child, for some parents this is a bit scary. I have compiled a list of things to practice over the summer to ensure your child enters first grade as ready as he/she was that last day of kindergarten. Check it out!

  • Read every day for at least 10 minutes.
Picture walk the story.
Describe what is going on in each picture.
After reading the story, talk about the story.
Who are the characters? Where does the story take place? Was there a problem in the story (something the characters just couldn't’t fix)? What was that problem? How did the characters finally fix the problem (solution)?
Ask yourself… Did I do a good picture walk? Did I know what was happening in the story before I began reading.
  • Check out the Reading Strategies for how to help your child when he/she gets “stuck” on a word. 
  • Read poems together.
Have your child lie down and close his/her eyes. Read the poem through really focusing on the vivid vocabulary.
Remind your child to make a mental image (a picture in your mind, like a movie… full of color and sound).
Reread the poem several times.
After you are done reading, have your child use crayons to draw his/her mental image.
Have your child explain what is happening in the picture. Ask him/her which part of the poem created this mental image. For example, if the poem said something about being trapped in darkness and the poem is about a butterfly, you would expect a picture of a chrysalis.
Creating mental images is a wonderful way to work on reading comprehension. It is one avenue that can bring the written words to life for a child.
  • Practice your sight words. I placed a first grade sight word list in each conference folder at the end of the year.
  • Visit the local library or Barnes and Noble. Go to story time. As basic as it seems, children really enjoy having stories read to them. The more they hear the language of reading the better. Hearing stories read aloud helps young children to mimic good reading. 
  • Continue practicing the phonograms (especially the double letter ones). Go to Computer Corner… Language Arts + to find a link to the phonogram page. Your child will be able to click on the phonogram card and hear the phonogram sound said for him/her
  • Write at least 3 times a week.
  • Pre-write first. You may make a web, draw a 1 part plan, draw a 3 part plan, work on the 5 Ws, etc. 
  • Use your pre-writing to help you write your journal. Write at least 5 related sentences about the pre-writing you just did. 
  • Remember the conventions: spell sight words correctly, capitalize the beginning of a sentence and important names, put a punctuation mark at the end of each sentence (.?!), and space after every word. 
  • Publish at least 3 pieces over the summer. A published piece should… be spelled correctly, written in your best QUALITY handwriting, and have an illustration on each page. The illustration should be… drawn in pencil, traced in marker, and colored with crayon. 
  • You may also write some journal entries using Word on the computer. 
  • Practice writing your first and last name with correct capitals.  
  • Practice problem solving at least 3 times a week.  
Sample Problems…

* I am at the beach. I see 3 little girls and 1 dog playing tag. How many legs did I see?

* You are making a sandcastle. You have 21 shells to place on the castle. Your little brother gives you 10 shells to place on the castle. How many shells do you have to place on he castle now?

* Your family goes to Sea World for a vacation. You see 4 seals. The trainer gives each seal 2 fish. How many fish did the trainer have?

* You have $15 to spend at Sea World. You buy an ice cream that cost $3. How much money do still have to spend?
* You have some money to spend at the store. You buy a beach ball for $5. Now, you have $35. How much money did you have to start with?

* You have 24 shells. You share the shells your 2 sisters. How many shells do each of you get? (If your child has trouble, make sure they realize that there are 3 people. This gets tricky!)

* I have 15 firecrackers to pop. I throw 10 on the ground. POP! POP! How many firecrackers do I still have to pop?
  • Go to the Math page for more summer math ideas.  
Self Help…
  • Continue practicing to tie your shoes.
  • Try to do what mom or dad says the first time asked.
  • Put away your own things.
  • Help mom or dad around the house… set the table, fold the clothes, walk the dog, etc.