Reading Goals for First Graders

The reading goals for each grade level guide the teacher’s efforts as they work with your child. If you know what those goals are, you can supplement the in-class instruction with home activities to reinforce and build up these skills. With that idea in mind, here are the reading goals for a first grader.

Alphabet goals.

  • Knows all the letters of the alphabet.
  • Writes many uppercase and lowercase letters on his own.
  • Sounds out letters.
  • Uses what he knows to sound out and write down words.

Word Recognition goals.

  • Knows the difference between words and letters.
  • Knows there are spaces between words.
  • Knows written words represent speech.
  • Knows and uses some punctuation marks and capitalization.
  • Knows where a sentence and a paragraph begin and end.
  • Can break a word into syllables and count the number of syllables in a word.
  • Can sound out words he does not know.
  • Recognizes some irregularly spelled words like have, you, are, and said.
  • Is curious about new words and uses them in both writing and speech.
  • Recognizes words play different roles in sentences i.e. nouns name things, adjectives describe things.
  • Knows that some words mean the same thing (synonyms) while others mean the opposite (antonyms).

Book-related goals.

  • Can read first grade books aloud.
  • Knows when he does not understand what he is reading.
  • Predicts what will happen next in a story.
  • Asks questions about what he is reading and can tell you what he has learned from what he read.
  • Reads and understands simple instructions.
  • Relates what he already knows to his reading.

Remember learning works best if you go from a known and understood step on the ladder to the next rung of the ladder. For instance, if you find your child can not easily recite the alphabet, play games with magnetized letters on your refrigerator and sing the alphabet song together as you cook dinner. When out and about, name a letter and have your child search for it on the road signs and advertisements. Any of these activities will reinforce memory of the alphabet thereby giving solid preparation for schoolwork.

When your child has mastered all of the goals mentioned here, advance to the reading goals for Second Graders.

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