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Grades

    Re: What should an incoming first grader know/be able to do?
    check your local school website

    Standards are highly variable across the country. If you go on the
    county/township school website they should have standards posted.
    Check out the standards for 4th quarter or end of kindergarten.

    On 4/04/09, Thanks jo, that was VERY helpful! NFM wrote:
    > On 4/04/09, jo/ma (long) wrote:
    >> First, I just want to thank you for asking about this. It
    >> sounds like you are absolutely on the right track for
    >> preparing your kids for public school first grade. Every
    >> year I get 2 or 3 kids from play-based kindergartens and we
    >> do struggle for months trying to catch them up to their
    >> peers. They do usually catch up by June. Our kindergartens
    >> tend to do academics in the morning and play centers in the
    >> afternoons with 2 outside recesses daily and are not NAEYC
    >> accredited. Here’s some of the skills the private school
    >> kids are often lacking.
    >>
    >> Classroom Skills:
    >>
    >>>Be able to sit at a table and on the rug for at least 15-20
    >> min at a time and focus on the adult or activity the whole
    >> time in a large group of 25. It is very hard for the kids to
    >> get used to sharing the teacher’s attention with 24 others.
    >>
    >>>Realize you can’t just get up and walk around, leave the
    >> room, get a snack, or go to a play area any time you want
    >> to. There are set times for different activities.
    >>
    >>>Take care of your belongings, handle your own bathroom and
    >> clothing (except tying shoes) and pack/unpack your backpack.
    >>
    >>>There’s a big adjustment for all the kids coming up to first
    >> (public ones too) with non-stop academics, tiny recesses, and
    >> little time to socialize with each other.
    >>
    >> Reading/Writing:
    >>
    >>>We hope the kids are reading at DRA-3 (Guided Read level C)
    >> but it’s not a requirement.
    >>
    >>>Identify upper- and lower-case letters and put the letters
    >> in ABC order.
    >>
    >>>Identify all consonant and short vowel sounds. Recognize
    >> and produce rhyming words.
    >>
    >>>Segment the sounds in simple words (you say “feet” and the
    >> child says the /f/-/ç/-/t/ ).
    >>
    >>>Blend sounds to read most simple CVC words with regular
    >> short vowels (fox, dog, run, etc).
    >>
    >>>Read approx. 20 beginning sight words.
    >>
    >>>Draw pictures and use letters and phonetically spelled words
    >> to write a 1 sentence story. (Your kids are way ahead!)
    >>
    >>>Print first name (capital followed by lowercase letters),
    >> all upper- and lower-case letters, and some simple words.
    >>
    >> Math:
    >>
    >>>Rote count to 30. Skip count by 5s and 10s to 50.
    >>>Match quantities up to 10 with numerals and number words.
    >>
    >>>Compare sets of objects (more than, fewer than, equal to,
    >> one more than, etc).
    >>
    >>>Identify, describe and compare 2-dimensional and 3-
    >> dimensional shapes (sides, corners, etc).
    >>
    >>>Understand positional concepts (beside, inside, next to,
    >> close to, above, below, apart, etc.), measurement vocabulary
    >> (longer, taller, shorter, same length; heavier, lighter;
    >> holds more, holds less, etc.) and fractions (whole and half).
    >>
    >>>Identify U.S. coins by name and tell time to the hour.
    >>
    >>>Solve simple addition and subtraction problems using
    >> concrete objects.
    >>
    >> These kids also come with great strengths that I wish the
    >> public school kids had. Their oral language skills and
    >> social skills are far better. They have more experience with
    >> songs, fingerplays, poems, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and
    >> good literature. They tend to do a wonderful job of
    >> predicting, retelling a story, remembering important facts,
    >> and making story connections. They come with good experience
    >> in sorting/classifying objects and patterning. Most of all,
    >> they seem to get along with one another better, being able to
    >> negotiate and compromise when disagreements arise on the
    >> playground.
    >>
    >> In my district, there are no hard and fast rules about who
    >> gets promoted to first grade, other than age. Kids must be 6
    >> yrs old by Sept 1st, even if they have gone to private K.
    >> Retaining in K is done on a case-by-case basis and is usually
    >> for social immaturity. Parents can decline if they choose.
    >> We also get kids who have never been to kindergarten (not
    >> homeschooled either) and they frequently repeat first grade.
    >>
    >> Hope this helps.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> On 4/04/09, Private School K Teacher PLEASE HELP wrote:
    >>> Are your students required to read at a certain reading
    >>> level, know a specific number of sight words, count and
    >>> write to a certain number, etc? What makes a child
    >>> ready? What are red flags to you that a child is NOT yet
    >>> ready to begin first grade? Also, I sometimes get
    >>> children who miss the public school kindergarten cut-off
    >>> by a few days (i.e. a September 9th birthday). Would
    >>> those children be allowed to enter first grade in your
    >>> school district if I promote them to first grade, but you
    >>> find that they don't read at the same level as you'd
    >>> require from children who are promoted from your
    >>> kindergarten?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> I teach private kindergarten at a day care center (infants
    >>> to kindergarten) in PA. The twelve children in my class
    >>> will attend public first grade at four different school
    >>> districts. Our center is NAEYC accredited and a Keystone
    >>> Stars 4 star center. Basically, this means that my
    >>> program is supposed to be play based and very heavy on
    >>> child choice, so unlike in public schools, my classroom
    >>> has blocks and a dramatic play center, and my kids are
    >>> free to use them. I'm practical though, and I know my
    >>> kids can't just play all day, because they need to be
    >>> achieving at a level at least close to that of kids who
    >>> are in public school K where they don't play, and barely
    >>> have recess.
    >>>
    >>> I have a language arts/reading curriculum which I augment
    >>> with many more sight words than it includes (only about 10
    >>> are taught through the provided curriculum), a math
    >>> curriculum, as well as science and social studies, and I
    >>> do a modified Kidwriting for writing.
    >>>
    >>> I read the kindergarten board, and I feel good about where
    >>> my kids are in math, and pretty good about where they are
    >>> in writing (most write 1-3 sentences to describe their
    >>> pictures, spelling and using sight words correctly most of
    >>> the time, using spaces and capitalization and punctuation
    >>> with improving consistency). My main concern is in
    >>> reading. The stories from the curriculum are terrible, so
    >>> I augment with sight word readers, sets of leveled readers
    >>> I purchased online, etc. I am not provided a means to
    >>> determine a specific reading level.

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