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First grade is a crucial year for building reading skills. In 1st grade students begin to define themselves as what kind of readers they are. More specifically, research has shown that the most effective and successful 1st grade classrooms are those which are very positive places, encouraging reading and writing and conveying the message “You can be a reader,” to the students. While this is being done in the classroom, it can certainly be done at home too.

In the 1st grade there is also a change in the classroom structure from that of preschool and kindergarten. The 1st grade classroom is usually organized more like a traditional elementary school classroom, with tables and desks at which students spend more of their time.

However, in most classrooms there is still a meeting area for lessons and class discussions as well as areas or centers dedicated to different subjects of learning.

For instance, there may be an area with all of the math tools and supplies as well as a class library dedicated to reading. Technology also becomes a more important part of the 1st grade classroom as students learn about and use it more.

In kindergarten, students learned basic concepts  and skills in all six topic areas. They learned how to  plan nutritious meals and snacks and the importance of physical activity for good health. They learned that  living things grow and gained knowledge of their own body parts and the five senses . Concepts and skills for staying safe at home and school and while riding in a vehicle or on a bicycle were introduced. Kindergarten  students also learned how to identify trusted adults, the people students can go to for medical, vision, and dental  care and for help with mental and emotional health concerns. By the end of kindergarten, students demonstrated ways to prevent the spread of disease, such as washing hands, and practices that are good for the environment,  such as turning off lights and picking up trash. They can read simple sentences. Now, they will build on all they learned.

Make sure to read: In The Know: What Your Kindergarten Child Should Know

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