First grade is where all the serious learning begins. The core skills and concepts acquired throughout this year at school will be built upon for the rest of the child’s education. Despite the young age, this is the perfect year to find their feet with reading, writing, and key mathematics skills alongside all the other important subject matter too. They have spent the last few years learning how to be a person, building social skills, and understanding the basic format of schooling, and now it is time to let that grow organically in a controlled environment. Here are all the top reasons why the first grade is regarded as a milestone year for young learners.
Beginning to Master Language
Children will have already established basic skills with language and may even be experimenting with writing letters, recognizing fundamental words, and gathering concepts around how to manipulate language. First grade is when it all takes off. These vital assets are explored in new, advanced ways during this year in three key areas: reading, spelling, and writing.
Reading is arguably the most important skill anyone can ever learn. When a child begins to find their rhythm with reading, they gain an immediate recognition of their wider world and are able to engage with it in a different sense than before. Words are everywhere, they shape everything and they will play such a huge role throughout their education that mastering this skill is empowering on so many levels. Children will undoubtedly have been read countless stories by the age of six, but now it is their turn to bring the worlds they’ve come to love to life with their own voices. There is nothing more magical than that.
Much like reading, spelling is also a fundamental skill. It enhances communication and allows for an increased ability to make people understand your viewpoints and learning how to spell words makes actually reading them a lot easier too. The first grade may not take spelling too seriously, but there will be a clear focus in this area nevertheless.
The ability to read and spell leads to an organic increase in the capacity to write. Being able to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and produce a written statement is not only empowering in so many senses but also marks a milestone moment for any child. This is one of the most problematic areas for teachers of first grade students, so they need to approach this subject in various formats. Browse these 1st grade writing worksheets for inspiration on how to keep lessons entertaining while retaining value too.
Valuable Math Concepts
Mastering language is a vital skill found during the first proper year in school, but maths is the next one of equal importance. The first grade will show children how to add, subtract, and do preliminary advanced arithmetic sequences like division and multiplication. These four areas will be built upon during the rest of their time at school, and mastering the basics is the focus this year. Math is a part of daily life and will be used throughout their adulthood as well. This is where the seeds are sown.
Sparking Inquisitiveness Through Science
Science may seem like a magical lesson in first grade, and it is. Fun experiments, scientific theory, and beyond all spark joy that is irreplaceable in any other format. Science lessons are the foundation for acquiring a range of enticing skill sets such as logical thinking, hypothetical reasoning, collaboration, problem solving, trusting intuition, challenging assumptions, and finding independence. Science will not be a daily feature, but when the lesson does come around, the children will undoubtedly be excited to see what awaits them.
Learning About the Wider World
Early education is often centered around themes or topics per semester. This provides an opportunity to corroborate theories and facts in a wider context. Learning about the wider world means lots of different things.
- Geography will show them that there is more out there than just where they live, and may even inspire a love of traveling. It also introduces transferable knowledge about maps and navigation, and all of the Earth’s most wonderful features.
- Aside from this, there are cultural lessons to be found. Opening the eyes of children to show contrasting ways of life around the world is something that should never be overlooked.
- History features here too, as much as it is important to learn about where we are now it is also essential to know where we have been and which events shaped our modern world.
- Religious Education is a standard part of the curriculum and while schools never push religious agendas, there is value to be seen in exploring different concepts.
Further Creative Expression
Art and music are invaluable for children. They allow a platform to find creative expression, something that will remain meaningful forever. Students will have pre-established concepts and it’s okay to challenge those in order to widen the horizon and show just how many opportunities exist for finding that creative niche so many hold on to. Creation in this format enables communication, emotional understanding, colors shapes, and sound knowledge and shows the way to something bigger than just the four walls they sit in.
Lastly, the first grade is the time when all those shaky social skills will really come to fruition. Things like learning how to make friends and maintain companionship will be a lifelong journey, but this is the perfect age to explore how to share, play and carry out successful teamwork. Children will also learn a heightened realization about their routine and daily structure, which will prepare them for the years to come and help them adapt to the wilder and freer toddler years too. All of this culminates in helping them find their place in the world as they grow.
The first grade is a milestone year, and this fact is hard to argue with. The lessons learned here will be built on for the remaining time in an educational setting, but also in personal life as well. It’s a big job, but one that is absolutely worth it.