The school year is coming to an end and as a parent of a first grader your thoughts are probably turning towards second grade.  Is your child ready for second grade reading? On today’s post I am going to give you a list of first grade benchmarks that was included in a report prepared by a National Academy of Sciences panel titled Preventing Reading difficulties in Young Children, Catherine E. Snow.  

Your Child…

Has reached the reading benchmarks for First Grade if he or she:

  1. Makes a transition from emergent to “real” reading.
  2. Reads aloud with accuracy and comprehension any text that is appropriately designed for the first half of grade 1.
  3. Accurately decodes orthographically regular one-syllable words and nonsense words (e.g., sit, zot), using print-sound mappings to sound out unknown words.
  4. Uses letter-sound correspondence knowledge to sound out unknown words when reading text.
  5. Recognizes common, irregularly spelled words by sight (have, said, where, two).
  6. Has a reading vocabulary of 300 to 500 words, sight words, and easily sounded-out words.
  7. Monitors own reading and self-corrects when an incorrectly identified word does not fit with cues provided by the letters in the word or the context surrounding the word.
  8. Reads and comprehends both fiction and nonfiction that are appropriately designed for grade level.
  9. Shows evidence of expanding language repertory, including increasing appropriate use of standard, more formal language registers.
  10. Creates own written texts for others to read.
  11. Notices when difficulties are encountered in understanding text.
  12. Reads and understands simple written instructions.
  13. Predicts and justifies what will happen next in stories.
  14. Discusses prior knowledge of topics in expository texts.
  15. Discusses how, why, and what-if questions in sharing nonfiction texts.
  16. Describes new information gained from texts in own words.
  17. Distinguishes whether simple sentences are incomplete or fail to make sense.
  18. Answers simple written comprehension questions based on material read.
  19. Can count the number of syllables in a word.
  20. Can blend or segment the phonemes of most one-syllable words.
  21. Spells correctly three-and four-letter short-vowel words.
  22. Composes fairly readable first drafts using appropriate parts of the writing process (some attention to planning, drafting, rereading for meaning and some self-correction).
  23. Uses invented spelling/phonics-based knowledge to spell independently, when necessary.
  24. Shows spelling consciousness or sensitivity to conventional spelling.
  25. Uses basic punctuation and capitalization.
  26. Produces a variety of types of compositions (e.g., stories, descriptions, journal entries) showing appropriate relationships between printed text, illustrations, and other graphics.
  27. Engages in a variety of literary activities voluntarily (e.g., choosing books and stories to read, writing a note to a friend).

Has your child NOT reached these reading benchmarks for First Grade?

If you are worried that your child has not reach the reading benchmarks for First Grade, keep in mind that about 80% of kids learn to read and write with very little instruction.  The other 20% do not learn that way. They need things to be broken down and need to be taught explicitly and will need intervention. With the right instruction, your child can get on track.  

I highly recommend using an Orton-Gillingham based reading program.  Orton-Gillingham is a remediation program meant to get kids on track in reading.  It is structured, sequential, cumulative and multi-sensory.  Kids have no reading gaps with Orton-Gillingham.  

Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com
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