Parent Information for First Grade



Give your child lots of opportunities to read aloud. Inspire your young reader to practice every day! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

■ Don’t leave home without it. Bring along a book or magazine any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s office. Always try to fit in reading!

■ Once is not enough. Encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.

■ Dig deeper into the story. Ask your child questions about the story you've just read. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?”

■ Take control of the television. It’s difficult for reading to compete with TV and video games. Encourage reading as a free-time activity.

■ Be patient. When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind your child to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.

■ Pick books that are at the right level. Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.

■ Play word games. Have your child sound out the word as you change it from mat to fat to sat; from sat to sag to sap; and from sap to sip.

■ I read to you, you read to me. Take turns reading aloud at bedtime. Kids enjoy this special time with their parents.

■ Gently correct your young reader. When your child makes a mistake, gently point out the letters he or she overlooked or read incorrectly. Many beginning readers will guess wildly at a word based on its first letter.

■ Talk, talk, talk! Talk with your child every day about school and things going on around the house. Sprinkle some interesting words into the conversation, and build on words you’ve talked about in the past.

■ Write, write, write! Ask your child to help you write out the grocery list, a thank you note to Grandma, or to keep a journal of special things that happen at home. When writing, encourage your child to use the letter and sound patterns he or she is learning at school.

Visit for more information on how you can launch a child into a bright future through reading. for parents of First Graders Reading Rockets is a project of public television station WETA, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Math Tips


Parent tips to support 1st grade math learning and have fun at home

Parents can help develop math skills no matter what their child’s age by exploring the math in the world around them. First graders are developing a more complex understanding of number. They know that 6 can be 5 and 1, 3 and 3, etc. They know that all sets of 6, no matter what objects, are equivalent. And the last number counted is the number of the set. These big ideas underpin more efficient counting strategies such as counting on from the larger number. They are also developing the idea that “nothing” is represented by 0, and that any number in the system can be written with the digits 0-9.

Give your child plenty of opportunities to count and measure

  • Read a recipe and have your child measure the amounts for the ingredients. Use different measures such as teaspoons, cups, and pints.
  • Using a calendar, count by 7’s and then 1’s to find the number of days until an upcoming event.
  • Plan a meal you’d like to cook together, then make a shopping list for items that fit your budget.
  • If you bring some vegetables home from the store, have your child count them, counting on from the number of vegetables you already have.
  • Find creative ways to measure: how many paper clips long is this sheet of paper? How many hands high is the dog?
  • Read How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller, about a creative apprentice who comes up with a more accurate way of measuring size.

Find ways to practice number operations

  • Pick a number between 1 and 20 (or between any 2 numbers up to 100). Have your child guess the number, then you tell if your number was greater than or less than his guess. Have your child keep revising his guess until he guesses your number. Then trade roles.
  • Count 8 pennies, then hide 4. Ask “How many are hidden?” Does she know there are 4?
  • Go berry picking. Explore the berry patch with your child. Which color berries are ripe and good to pick? Have your child pick ten berries, then eat one. How many does he have left?

Find ways to collect and organize information

  • Read weather charts, movie schedules, and other common numerical information you find in the news.
  • When you’re doing the laundry, have your child match all the pairs of socks. How many socks are there? How many pairs?
  • Compare and organize tools, dishes, or other objects based on size, color, or weight.

Some family games that use math skills:

  • Dice, cards, and board games can help your child learn addition combinations.
  • Dominoes helps practice counting by 5’s.
  • The card game “War” helps kids recognize which number is greater and which is less.
  • Yahtzee
  • Mancala
  • Checkers and Chinese Checkers
  • Any game that includes counting board steps, such as Chutes and Ladders



"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb