Kindergarten vs. First Grade

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With the new Common Core State Standards Initiative firmly in place, it is wise to take a look at what your kindergartner or first grader will be expected to know by the end of their school year. There are some significant differences in the Mathematics and English Language Arts anchor standards between kindergarten and first grade. Most notably is the expectation of independence and reasoning skills in first graders.

Math Standards for Kindergarten

  • Kindergarten math standards include the ability to identify shapes. Students at this level must also be able to describe measurable attributes such as length, width and height. They should understand place value through 19 and recognize that addition is "putting together," while subtraction is "taking away."

Math Standards for First Grade

  • In first grade, students are expected to be able to reason with numbers. Students at this level should be able to measure lengths, tell time, and represent and interpret the date. Place value concepts and counting are extended in first grade. Students should be able to use place value concepts to add and subtract. First graders are also expected to represent and solve addition and subtraction problems up to 20.

Language Arts Standards for Kindergarten

  • In kindergarten, students should be able to ask and answer questions about a story, retell a story and describe the plot with assistance from their teacher. They should be able to recognize and identify different types of text, such as poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Students in kindergarten should be able to ask and answer questions about unknown words without teacher prompting. With support, students should use illustrations and details to describe characters, settings and events within a story. Kindergarteners are expected to engage in group reading activities for the purpose of understanding.

Language Arts Standards for First Grade

  • In first grade, students must be able to ask and answer questions about a story, retell a story and describe the plot without teacher prompting. Students will also be able to explain the differences between types of texts and identify the speaker within a story. First graders must use illustrations and details to describe the characters, setting and events in a story without teacher support. They must also be able to compare and contrast characters and events within a text. First graders are allowed support in one key area; they are expected to read prose and poetry appropriate for first grade with teacher support.

References

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