Previously I gave some insight into the first grade classroom. I discussed listening, speech, books and print and writing. All of these are very important to the development of a child’s reading skills.
Students in the first grade should be able to quickly name the letters and sounds of the alphabet. They should be using these skills when carrying out their writing and spelling. The teacher should instruct the students on appropriate times to use uppercase and lowercase letters.
Segmentation, blending, phoneme addition and deletion, and phoneme substitution should all be carried out in the first grade classroom. The teacher should plan short, fun activities for the children that include these concepts. The teacher should also give feedback for the students.
While students are already aware of many phoneme concepts when it comes to the letters of the alphabet, phonics should not be ignored. Students need to be instructed on blending sounds and working with more complicated words. They should be working with concepts such as compound words.
In addition to spelling and writing, vocabulary is also very important. Students should be learning new words and various meanings to the same word. They should learn about different types of words such as verbs, nouns, synonyms, and antonyms. The teacher should use these words in his or her discussion and also encourage the students to use the new words that they have learned. The students should begin to develop the knowledge for the need of different levels of vocabulary. For example they should be able to detect when to use more formal language and when informal language can be used. Students should be instructed on using formal language when writing.
Many teachers begin to focus on comprehension at the first grade level. The students are better readers and should begin gaining an understanding of what they are reading. They can practice retelling, summarizing, and book discussion. The teacher should help the students learn to organize the information that they read.