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1st Grade Readiness Checklist

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{It is recommended that you print this for your records.}

This checklist is designed to help you prepare your child for school. Before you begin,


You are your child's first and most important teacher.

Every day your child is learning as you talk, play, and work together.

Readiness is a combination of age, individual growth, and experiences.

Your child will develop at his/her own rate; however, your involvement strongly promotes


Your child will learn by doing.

Play is an essential part of learning.

Your child learns best when he/she is involved in activities that are interesting and


Part 1: Personal and Social Development—Life Skills

Does your child:

show confidence in self and demonstrate a sense of self-worth? follow rules and

routines at home, in preschool, or in kindergarten? use materials purposefully and respectfully?

comfortably adapt to changes? show eagerness and curiosity as a

learner? sustain attention to a single task over a period of time? work, play, and

share with others? interact easily with familiar adults? participate in group activities?

respect others, their feelings, and their rights? use words to resolve conflicts?

seek adult help when needed?

Here are some tips for parents for helping children become socially and emotionally

ready for school:

Be a role model at all times, especially when you are in a tough situation. Point out to

your child how you are choosing to stay calm and use words to deal with a problem,

rather than getting angry and throwing a tantrum.

Praise your child for positive behaviors, point out small successes. ("It's great how

nicely you and Michael are sharing that toy.")

Give your child the opportunity to make choices; when your child is having a difficult

moment, offer up two suggestions with consequences ("You can either keep screaming

and choose to give up tonight's bedtime story, or you can stop screaming and

earn an extra ten minutes of storytime"), and abide by these consequences.

Organize play dates for regular, brief amounts of time (no more than thirty minutes).

When other adults are present, ask your child a question or two that you know they

can answer and enjoy discussing (their favorite toy or the family pet).

Part 2: Language Arts—Reading and Writing Skills

Does your child:

show independent interest in reading-related activities? listen with interest to stories

read aloud? retell a simple story? recognize the association between spoken and

written words? make predictions about a story or passage based on the title and/or

pictures? identify words and construct meaning from pictures clues in the text? begin

to understand simple punctuation marks (period, question mark, etc.)? recognize

all the letters of the alphabet in order? distinguish between and print upper and lower

case letters? read and write his/her own name? associate letters and sounds? distinguish

likenesses and differences of letter sounds in spoken words? identify basic

sight words? begin to understand basic characteristics of fables, stories, and legends?

identify story elements of setting, plot, character, and conflict (where, when, what,

who, and why)? recognize rhymes and rhyming patterns? tell a story using pictures?

use letters or shapes to depict words or ideas? write familiar words? demonstrate

left to right progression, and top to bottom progression? handle writing tools


Here are some tips for parents for helping children develop language abilities:

Read to your child every day, even if it is just for twenty minutes before bed.

Let your child see you reading every day; make a big show about turning off the television

and picking up a book.

1st Grade Readiness Checklist {Retrieved from Polk County Schoo District Florida.}

Fill your house with words, create name cards for different objects around the

house (refrigerator, door, lamp), and point out the word as you say the name of the

object as you go about your day.

Give your child a wide variety of opportunities to write out or trace his/her name

(cookie dough, soap crayons, flour on a baking sheet, green beans).

Every time you make a list (groceries or errands) allow your child to hold the list

and help you check the items once you've found them or accomplished the task.

Part 3: Language Arts

Does your child:

understand and follow simple directions? listen to others for short periods of time

without interrupting? recognize rhyme and rhyming patterns? recite nursery

rhymes, finger plays, and songs? participate in discussions and conversations? ask

questions? speak clearly to convey messages and requests? distinguish between

asking and telling? distinguish between formal (yes, sir, thank you) and informal language

(yeah, thanks)? use complete sentences? retell a simple story with basic

elements of beginning, middle, and end? Here are some tips for parents for helping

children develop language abilities:

After spending time with your child, ask him/her to recount what you did together.

Read a simple story to your child, ask him/her to repeat it back to you.

Tape record your child telling a story from a picture book; listen to the tape while

following along with the book.

Praise your child for speaking clearly, especially when other people are around.

Model good behaviors, try to speak clearly and deliberately when you talk directly to

your child.

Part 4: Number Concepts & Operations

Does your child:

associate verbal names, written names, and standard numerals with whole numbers

less than 100? name numerals 0 through 31? write numerals 0 through 20?

use counting skills to add to 10? understand the effects of addition and subtraction?

understand the concept of numbers and quantity? identify pairs? show a familiarity

with common instruments for measuring time and temperature? estimate and

measure real quantities using non-standard units (blocks or paperclips)? show an

understanding of the calendar and time? know the days of the week and months of

the year? know the value of a penny, nickel, and dime? understand and use comparative

words (long and short, heavy and light, etc.)? identify, label, and create a

variety of shapes? classify and compare objects and symbols? recognize, duplicate,

and extend patterns of tangible objects or numbers? use drawings, numbers, or tallies

to track amounts or quantities? show interest in solving mathematical problems?

solve problems by guessing and checking using manipulatives (tangible objects that

can be counted or sorted)?

Here are some tips for parents for helping children feel confident in dealing

with numbers and number tasks:

Create a coin jar where you toss spare change and give your child the regular chore

of sorting and counting these coins (with your help) on a regular basis.

Keep a master family calendar and have your child mark off days, count the days

until up coming events, and keep track of birthdays.

Encourage your child to help sort the cans and boxes in your pantry by size or


Include your child in simple cooking activities and model using measuring cups or

spoons; describe what you are doing as you use these measuring tools.

Play counting games when you are in the car or out for walk; pick a "magic number"

and challenge your child to spot that many dogs, then the magic number of big

trees, or red cars, etc.

Part 5: Social Studies

Does your child:

understand concept of history as real stories of other times, events, places, and

people? understand broad categories of time (past, present, and future)? know

different methods of communication from long ago to present day (oral, pictographs,

etc.)? understand the concept of historical contributions by historical figures?

have a basic awareness of other cultures and cultural traditions? know significant individuals

in United States history? know people and events honored in commemorative

holidays? recognize American symbols (the eagle, Liberty Bell, the flag, etc.)

recognize that people use maps, globes, and other models to identify and locate


Here are some tips for parents for helping children prepare for a diverse world:

Talk to your child about your family's cultural background.

Look through family photographs and discuss how the daily life of today is different

from what your grandparents experienced.

Introduce your child to food, clothing, and stories about other cultures.

Seek out opportunities to visit historical places.

Point out the faces of people on American coins, stamps, and on paper money; explain

why these people are remembered so fondly.

Part 6: Science & Technology

Does your child:

form conclusions based on comparisons, sense observations, and exploration?

know that the sun supplies heat and light energy to the earth? recognize basic patterns

in weather? recognize how people impact the earth, including concepts of conservation,

recycling, and reducing pollution? understand that all living things have

basic needs? distinguish between living and non-living things? recognize how living

things change as they grow and mature? compare and describe the structural characteristics

of plants and animals? distinguish between types of environments and their

inhabitants (hot, cold, wet, dry, etc.)? Here are some tips for parents for supporting

children's interest in the natural world and how things work:

Create opportunities for your child to observe changes in nature and in matter (grow

plants, take notes as an ice cube melts, microwave a solid piece of chocolate).

Set a regular schedule and procedure for separating recyclables.

Visit environments that are different from where you live (farms, zoos, botanical


If you have pets, include your child in the daily chores necessary to take care of these

pets (feeding, bathing, visits to the vet).