1st Graders

Cracking the Code of Words
The number of words your first grader can read and spell increases dramatically during this year. Children can achieve this through lots of practice, at school and at home. Through talking with adults, listening to books read aloud, and discussing everyday experiences, they continue to develop the language skills that help them learn to read and write. Most importantly, your first grader starts to crack the code of written language, as he sounds out words, learns to identify them, and understands their meaning.

First graders develop the tools for reading the printed word. They learn to recognize many common words by sight, and they develop strategies for decoding, or figuring out, words as they read. By the end of the year, most first graders are able to read easy books all by themselves. Writing daily helps your first grader learn to read by reinforcing the relationships between sounds and letters. At the same time, through talking and listening, she continues to develop new vocabulary and knowledge about the world that will help her understand what she reads.

First graders spend a large part of their day at school reading and writing. However, parents still have a huge effect on a child's literacy development. When you talk to your first grader about new words, listen to her read books aloud, and communicate with her teacher on a regular basis, you take simple but important steps in supporting her reading and writing. Learn more ways you can encourage and inspire your first grader as she learns to read and write.

For more information, please visit PBS.