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First Grade Milestones Check List 

Print off this check list for first graders and get started!

Language Growth
  • 1st Graders use complex sentences (“he wants to come in because…”)
  • They use quantitative words (many, few, some, most, least)
  • 1st Graders change word order appropriately to ask questions
  • They answer why questions with explanations
  • 1st Graders ask meaning of new or unfamiliar words
  • They use time words (yesterday, last night, tomorrow)
  • 1st Graders complete simple analogies (summer is hot, winter is ____)
  • They describe similarities/differences in objects (coat and shoe, potato and rock, tree and flower)
  • 1st Graders name objects which belong to certain classes (toys, foods, animals…)
  • They tell activities associated with seasons of the year
  • 1st Graders predict what will happen next in stories
  • They answer questions about a story
  • 1st Graders retell a story in the correct sequence
  • They can tell an original story lasting 1-2 minutes
  • 1st Graders can repeat familiar jokes
  • They know word families
  • 1st Graders play verbal reasoning game (I’m thinking of something…)
  • They can explain rules of simple board or card games to others
  • 1st Graders are good listeners and take in information 
 Knowledge Growth
  • 1st Graders state month and date of their birthday
  • They identify penny, nickel, dime, and dollar/they know the values
  • 1st Graders know days of the week and months of the year
  • They answer which is longer, a minute or an hour? A day or a week?
  • 1st Graders place objects across from, next to, beside, behind, in front of, to the side, left and right of self on request
  • They arrange 4-5 objects in sequence by length, width, or height
  • 1st Graders can measure
  • They identify half and whole objects
  • 1st Graders add and subtract 1 to 10
  • They match numerals with same quantity of objects 1 to 10
  • 1st Graders name ordinal positions of objects (first, second, third)
  • They read and write numbers up to 100
  • 1st Graders know the basics of telling time
  • They understand place value of numbers
  • 1st Graders identify sets containing more/less
  • They use real objects to add and subtract
  • 1st Graders write sentences, paragraphs, and simple stories
  • They write with capitals and correct punctuation
  • 1st Graders know many word families and high frequency words
  • They read at a wisdom level 8 by the end of 1st grade
  • 1st Graders write and illustrate their own books (fiction and nonfiction)
  • They are working on spelling patterns
  • 1st Graders like to keep reading, writing, math, science, and daily journals
  • They know how to read graphs
  • 1st Graders use maps, globes, and simple timelines
  • They predict, discover, read and write about their environment
  • 1st Graders love to do experiments, observe, and categorize
  • They love to discuss and listen to longer readings
Social Growth
  • 1st Graders ask permission to play with another child’s toy
  • They respond to verbal reasoning
  • 1st Graders contribute own ideas to discussions
  • They cooperate with 2-5 people in simple projects
  • 1st Graders pass and serve up own food
  • They place shoes on correct feet
  • 1st Graders adjust water temperature in sink and bath tub; prepare own bath
  • They make their own bed
  • 1st Graders pick up their own toys
  • They buckle their own seat belt in car
  • 1st Graders are aware of their surroundings
  • They walk to familiar locations within a block of home independently
  • 1st Graders participate in board or card games
  • They select their own friends
  • 1st Graders comfort people when in distress
  • They show appropriate behavior in public places
  • 1st Graders explain relationship of family members (uncle bob is dad’s brother)
  • They practice good health habits (washing hands, blowing nose with a Kleenex, chewing with your mouth closed…)
  • 1st Graders answer the telephone, make telephone calls, and talk on the telephone
  • They remain silent at appropriate times (when someone is talking, in a movie…)
  • 1st Graders understand acceptable/unacceptable behavior
  • They show pride and confidence in own accomplishments
  • 1st Graders are interested in fairness
  • They respond to verbal reasoning
  • 1st Graders regularly complete one task independently without adult supervision

Physical Growth

  • They love to skip with alternating feet
  • 1st Graders swing on swings, initiating and sustaining motion
  • They perform backward somersault
  • 1st Graders can carry objects weighing 10-16 pounds
  • They move from one overhead bar to another by swinging arms
  • 1st Graders catch, throw, and hit a ball with a bat
  • They ride a bicycle
  • 1st Graders jump rope independently
  • They maintain balance while moving on skates
  • 1st Graders coordinate several motor skills in one activity (jumping jacks, relay races, circle games)
  • They can open a variety of individual-serving sized drink containers (school milk, juice containers)
  • 1st Graders pour juice/milk with little or no spilling
  • They cut foods with a knife and spread butter with knife
  • 1st Graders fold simple clothing and puts it away in drawer
  • They can join hands with partners on both sides and step forward/backward on request
  • 1st Graders run 50 yards without discomfort
Fine Motor Growth
  • 1st Graders show appropriate number of fingers when asked for the numbers 0-10
  • They create things with clay (animals, baskets)
  • 1st Graders use pencil sharpeners, staplers, erasers and paper clips
  • They cut out and paste or glue simple shapes
  • 1st Graders can fold diagonally and horizontally with ease
  • They can hit a nail with a real hammer into soft wood
  • 1st Graders can write letters proficiently and draw with more detail

Creative Growth

  • 1st Graders love to pretend
  • They like to collect things (leaves, rocks, bark)
  • 1st Graders paint, draw, and dance to their own beat
  • They like to play silly games
  • 1st Graders love to sing and move to music
  • They like to illustrate their own books
  • 1st Graders like to write their own books
  • They like to create original art work with various materials
  • 1st Graders like to visit museums
  • They enjoy plays and good movies
  • 1st Graders like to act out their own plays or books
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Flowering 1st Graders
Print off the Milestones for your 1st grader!


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