I have been placing a major emphasis on reading in last several articles. Reading is a very important aspect of education, especially in the primary years. My last reading articles focused on reading and the kindergarten classroom. I will now turn my attention to the first grade level of reading.
At the first grade level students are ready to take part in more intense reading instruction. At this level students and teachers will work with listening and speaking skills, books and print, alphabet, phonics, spelling, writing, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Students in the first grade need many opportunities to speak and listen throughout the day. The children should be speaking for various reasons. They should be able to give opinions, relay information, and talk for entertainment purposes with teachers and friends. It is the teacher’s duty to ensure that the students understand which form of language is appropriate for each type of conversation.
It is also important during this year that the teacher continues to expose the students to all different types of books and print. The children should be excited about learning to read and explore books. They should be reading simple text and pretend reading other text. While reading the teacher should be pointing out concepts such as end marks, quotation marks, paragraphs, etc.
Writing and spelling are also very important aspects to reading. First grade students need to be provided with the opportunity to write. While many words will still be phonemically spelled, the students should begin to spell frequently used and seen words correctly. The teacher should help the students map and edit their work through modeling. The teacher should also be helping the student by providing word banks and discussing the spellings of words. Students must be instructed on words that do not follow phonemic spelling patterns.