What kinds of books are first graders expected to read?
My daughter is in first grade and I thought she was doing very well with her reading at home. We received a call from her teacher at the end of the 2nd quarter telling us that although she had progressed from the beginning of the year, she still is far below what our school expects her to be at this point in the year. when i went in to see what kinds of books they "should" be reading, i was shocked. The books were about hibernation and mountains (these kinds of words) in short chapter books. I was panicing and thinking my daughter has a problem, bu the more I think of it, I wonder of our school is expecting too much from a typical 6 year old. What kinds of books are your first graders expected to read? Thanks ahead for your help
WOW, Tammy, that sounds pretty advanced for a grade one class! I wish I could help you, as I only remember what my kids read a long time ago in grade one and it was simple, but not too simple. The kids had to be challenged to learn, naturally. I know it was certainly more advanced than "The Polky Puppy" level.
You can get a sense of what is typical across the country on the First Grade area of the site: http://www.education.com/grade/first/
There are articles on what typically happens in first grade in each of the subject areas, as well as Learning to Reads from a first grade teacher named Esme Codell. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
The important thing is to read as much as possible with your child and to keep it fun-- make sure she is reading material that she is interested in, so that reading does not become a chore for her. Also, even if she is reading independently, you can still read to her as well (this is a great way to sneak in some of that tougher vocabulary.) Try not to get discouraged-- kids learn to read at different rates. My brother, for example, was in the lowest reading group in first grade, and ended up being a huge reader who went on to Harvard-- so you never know. Believe in your child!
You might want to check out our cheat sheet to first grade: http://www.education.com/grade/first/
It says what's typical in reading for first grade across the country (in addition to what's typical in the other subject areas.) Plus, it has book picks from a first grade teacher named Esme Codell.
Children learn at different rates. My brother, for example, was in the lowest reading group in first grade and turned out to be a huge reader who later went on to Harvard. Have confidence in your child. Also, just because they are reading independently doesn't mean you should stop reading to them. Reading chapter books aloud to your child is a way to sneak in that more difficult vocabulary. It's not a replacement for independent reading-- they work hand in hand.
I have observed thousands of first grade students and have seen children who couldn't read any words, besides their first name, when they left grade one, to children who could read chapter books at upper grade levels. In education, we define "first grade" reading as knowing how to read pre-primer, primer, and first grade words. The words you mention, e.g. hibernation and mountains, are above the defined levels that would officially be termed grade one words. If you could take a look at a grade one word recognition test or list that a staff member at your school might have (perhaps a reading resource teacher) that would be helpful to you. Perhaps you could have a reading specialist assess your daughter's reading level and then you would feel more comfortable that she was progressing satisfactorily in grade one.
Every school has different standards and expectations. It is so difficult for everyone to be the same across the board. In general, first graders should be still working on beginning phonics, short vowels and beginning sight words. Books that pertain to that level would be beginning readers such as Cat and the Hat or Bob Books. At the beginning of second grade if they have mastered all their short vowels and are ready to tackle long vowels then beginning chapter books like Magic Tree House and A to Z Mysteries are at the right level. If your child is struggling trying to keep up with the rest of the class then I would address this immediately with the teacher. This can create some major self-esteem issues. Check with your state standards - see if the school is in alignment with those.
I am a student myself in high school. I trouble reading as well. The real question that you should be asking is "What can I do if my first-grader is falling behind in reading." Who cares what other first-graders are reading.As long as your child is on grade level that is all that matters. Now what helped me is my mom got easy books that she knew i could read to help me boost my confidence.Then she wrote out flash cards with a little bit harder words and had me study them with her. At the end of the week she would write out new flash cards and I would learn new words.The seconds thing you could do is check her test grades that she got.Everytime that she gets an acceptable grade give her a little reward like a little extra dessert, something fun like that and tell her about the deal with the "If you get good grades you will get a little extra..." But, to answer your very first question I would say she should start reading Junie B. Jones or Magic Tree House books.Although those might be hard. Try to see if she can read Berenstien Bears books by herself easily.
As a first grade teacher, I am not a reading specialist, but I will say that by mid-year your child should be working those types of words out, but do not panic because personally I feel that we push these little ones to points of stress and then do not understand why they don't want to read later on in higher grades when the reading becomes fluent and so important to their academic and creative thought processes. If your first grader is reading and learning to sound their words out, then let her progress at her own maturity rate in reading. Encourage her to keep reading the things she wants to read about, and do her best to try those new words in the reading at school. Encouraging to ask questions when she gets stumped on a word or words is okay.
My six year old daughter, who is in first grade, is reading chapter books. Her favorites are the series by Daisy Meadows (fairy books), Junie B. Jones, and the Magic Treehouse. She loves to read, we have a large library of books at home, and have always emphasized early literacy.
Hibernation and mountains are probably in your daughter's first grade books because of the Common Core Curriculum (adopted with our daughters' Kindergarten year and continued this year in first grade) shift in emphasis to include nonfiction in addition to literature. With only 30 minutes per day in the classroom to focus on science or social studies, as a parent, I am thrilled that nonfiction is being emphasized in the instruction of reading. It means that our daughters will be better prepared in social studies and science as a result and I applaud this new change.
I am also struggling with this issue. I was told my son isn't reading at the level he needs to be at. I asked what books that they test on so I can work with him. She couldn't provide me with the info and quite frankly couldn't provide me with any real information on to actually help my son, the only suggestion she has to offer is to hold my son back. Well I guess I am mad because that always seems to be the solution, not to help the student or the parent for that matter. Just add another year to the kid and collect more state funding. I remember when I went to school, they took it slow, had lower expectations and I turned out quite well. I didn't learn to read until 3rd grade and I have no problems. This is just stressing me and my son out. I have over 300 books at his "level" he reads them fine at home, maybe he doesn't read them fast but he reads and he comprehends it, I just don't see the problem. Frustrated MOM!
Sherri, I have also learned that my son's teacher is saying he is having a hard time reading and would probably be best to hold him back and also suggested testing him for a probable disability. This is frustrating both my son...he is totally loosing confidence in himself and that hurts me as a mother. I also read to him and he reads every night and I feel he's reading is at what it should be because he just learned to read this year. They expect him to read at a third grade level and I understand their is kids capable of doing it but also some that need more help. Now am conflicted on whether is best I keep him back. HELP
It maybe that you live in a very good school district. Regardless of what other 1st graders are doing the expectations of your child will continue to be demanding as she moves through your current school district. Embrace the reading and have the teacher provide a reading list for you. My school district also pushes reading and I am excited about it. I know that my school encourages my Kindergartener to read non fiction
Tammy, Unfortunately right now with the Common core standards, the amount that we are expecting from our students is high. I am completing my internship process, and am working in a first grade classroom. The things that common core are focused on is rigor and expecting the students to really be "college ready" at a younger age. You can actually access the Common core standards through your school board website and view exactly what "we" teachers are expected to teach. Students in first grade should be at least at a DRA level 6 to be considered "on grade level". We expect for them to be at a DRA 16 at the end of their first grade year. Its tough on these kids because the expectations are really high. All I can say is don't panic. Keep doing what you are doing: reading with her, practicing sight words, and encouragement. Find books that she enjoys reading, and make nonfiction reading fun. ANother technique I found was a good strategy was having kids watch TV but set it to have a caption setting. They are at least seeing and hearing the words even while watching. Raz-kids is a great online reading program that schools use that really helps kids increase their reading stamina and growth. I hope this helps a little. Just know, you are not alone.
Sherri2013 - You are not alone! We are having the same problem. We can't get any answers from his teacher. And to boot he brings home 4th grade books. When we ask why he was allowed to sign out a 4th grade book when he supposedly can't read at a 1st grade level, we are told that he wanted that book........what?
No lists are provided. We have asked for a book list of what he should be able to read since fall. Still haven't received that. Calls to the principals office for help have never been returned. Conveniently no one is ever available.
They are threatening to fail him also. He uses words in his vocabulary like appreciate, defeated, victory... He loves to read at home, that's the weird thing. He owns books. HE LOVES THE LIBRARY!
1st grade shouldn't be this emotionally draining. I am DREADING the next 11 years. I am beginning to see why all of my friends are homeschooling.... Weird that none of their kids are failing first grade.