Grade One Expectations for Learning



Reading is the priority in first grade. The student will be immersed in a print-rich environment to develop oral language skills, phonetic skills, vocabulary, comprehension, and an awareness of print materials as sources of information and enjoyment. The student will use listening and speaking skills to participate in classroom discussions. The student will use a variety of strategies to read new words and will read familiar selections with fluency and expression. The student will continue to develop an understanding of character, setting, main idea, and story sequence in a variety of texts. The student will increase vocabulary and comprehension strategies by reading across the curriculum, with emphasis on materials that reflect the Standards of Learning in mathematics, science, and history and social science. The student will also demonstrate comprehension of fiction and nonfiction texts through classroom discussion and will begin to communicate ideas in writing.



Oral Language


1.1       The student will continue to demonstrate growth in the use of oral language.

a) Listen and respond to a variety of electronic media and other age-appropriate materials.

b) Tell and retell stories and events in logical order.

c) Participate in a variety of oral language activities, including choral speaking and reciting short poems, rhymes, songs, and stories with repeated patterns.

d) Participate in creative dramatics.

e) Express ideas orally in complete sentences.

1.2       The student will expand understanding and use of word meanings.

a) Increase listening and speaking vocabularies.

b) Begin to ask for clarification and explanation of words and ideas.

c) Use common singular and plural nouns.

d) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

1.3       The student will adapt or change oral language to fit the situation.

a) Initiate conversation with peers and adults.

b) Follow rules for conversation using appropriate voice level in small-group settings.

c) Ask and respond to questions.

d) Follow simple two-step oral directions.

e) Give simple two-step oral directions.

1.4       The student will orally identify, produce, and manipulate various units of speech sounds within words.

a) Create rhyming words.

b) Count phonemes (sounds) in one-syllable words.

c) Blend sounds to make one-syllable words.

d) Segment one-syllable words into individual speech sounds (phonemes).

e) Add or delete phonemes (sounds) to make new words.





1.5       The student will apply knowledge of how print is organized and read.

a) Read from left to right and from top to bottom.

b) Match spoken words with print.

c) Identify letters, words, sentences, and ending punctuation.

d) Read his/her own writing.

1.6       The student will apply phonetic principles to read and spell.

a) Use beginning and ending consonants to decode and spell single-syllable words.

b) Use two-letter consonant blends to decode and spell single-syllable words.

c) Use beginning consonant digraphs to decode and spell single-syllable words.

d) Use short vowel sounds to decode and spell single-syllable words.

e) Blend beginning, middle, and ending sounds to recognize and read words.

f) Use word patterns to decode unfamiliar words.

g) Read and spell simple two-syllable compound words.

h) Read and spell commonly used sight words.

1.7       The student will use semantic clues and syntax to expand vocabulary when reading.

a) Use words, phrases, and sentences.

b) Use titles and pictures.

c) Use information in the story to read words.

d) Use knowledge of sentence structure.

e) Use knowledge of story structure.

f) Reread and self-correct.

1.8       The student will expand vocabulary.

a) Discuss meanings of words in context.

b) Develop vocabulary by listening to and reading a variety of texts.

c) Ask for the meaning of unknown words and make connections to familiar words.

d) Use text clues such as words or pictures to discern meanings of unknown words.

e) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

1.9       The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of fictional texts.

a) Preview the selection.

b) Set a purpose for reading.

c) Relate previous experiences to what is read.

d) Make and confirm predictions.

e) Ask and answer who, what, when, where, why, and how questions about what is read.

f) Identify characters, setting, and important events.

g) Retell stories and events, using beginning, middle, and end.

h) Identify the main idea or theme.

i) Read and reread familiar stories, poems, and passages with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.

1.10     The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of nonfiction texts.

a) Preview the selection.

b) Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.

c) Set a purpose for reading.

d) Identify text features such as pictures, headings, charts, and captions.

e) Make and confirm predictions.

f) Ask and answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about what is read.

g) Identify the main idea.

h) Read and reread familiar passages with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.


1.11     The student will use simple reference materials.

a) Use knowledge of alphabetical order by first letter.

b) Use a picture dictionary to find meanings of unfamiliar words.





1.12     The student will print legibly.

a) Form letters accurately.

b) Space words within sentences.

c) Use the alphabetic code to write unknown words phonetically.

1.13     The student will write to communicate ideas for a variety of purposes.

a) Generate ideas.

b) Focus on one topic.

c) Revise by adding descriptive words when writing about people, places, things, and events.

d) Use complete sentences in final copies.

e) Begin each sentence with a capital letter and use ending punctuation in final copies.

f) Use correct spelling for commonly used sight words and phonetically regular words in final copies.

g) Share writing with others.

1.14     The student will use available technology for reading and writing.



Understanding the Language Arts Standards


Oral Language


At the first-grade level, students will continue to engage in a variety of oral language activities to develop their understanding of language and to enhance their ability to communicate effectively. They will continue to build vocabulary as they participate in listening and speaking activities in the classroom. They will also begin to use their oral language skills to gain and explain information. In addition, students will continue to develop the higher-level phonemic awareness skills of segmentation, deletion, and substitution.




At the first-grade level, students will continue to be immersed in a print-rich environment. Having developed a concept of word and letter-sound correspondence, students will now concentrate on learning and integrating basic phonetic principles, decoding words in isolation, using meaning clues, and employing language and sentence structure to read and substantially increase their sight-word vocabulary. By the end of the first grade, they should have a reading vocabulary of 300 to 500 commonly used sight words and be able to decode single-syllable words.


These concepts and skills will be learned through systematic explicit direct instruction, individual and small-group activities, and time spent exploring and reading books and other print material. Through reading decodable books, students will build fluency and automaticity in using their knowledge of phonetic principles and print to read. Reading and listening to both fiction and nonfiction texts will give students opportunities to respond to readings in group discussions and through writing and drawing. Through reading and rereading, the students will build fluency and vocabulary and will become independent readers. Students will learn to use their knowledge of alphabetical order by first letter to find the meanings of unfamiliar words in picture and simple word dictionaries.





At the first-grade level, reading and writing will develop together. Students will be given daily opportunities to write and read their writing. As their knowledge of letter-sound correspondence and their sight-word vocabulary increases, they will be able to use these skills to put their ideas and thoughts on paper. Students need to be encouraged to write for real purposes by writing such things as letters, notes, signs, stories, and labels. At this level, students will concentrate on writing a complete simple sentence, using basic conventions. With teacher guidance and support, they will also begin to revise and edit selected pieces of their writing for a specific audience.

Tips for Parents:

Parental involvement in schooling can lead to academic benefits for students. Parents are encouraged to:

·      set an example by reading daily;

·      read aloud to or with your child;

·      read works of both fiction and nonfiction;

·      discuss what your child has been reading;

·      visit the library in order to learn about outstanding literature;

·      share and define new vocabulary words;

·      read and discuss newspaper/magazine articles and historical/current events;

·      have your child keep a writing journal;

·      review and discuss your child’s writing, making suggestions for revision; and

limit television viewing.