How Is My First Grader Doing in School?

  • Make up a rhyming message-of-the-day and post it on the refrigerator. Try to give hints about your first grader's day. You might write, "I have a hunch. You will love your _____" (lunch) or "Good luck today on your math. When you get home give Spot a _____" (bath).

    At first you may need to read the message aloud and allow your child to fill in the missing word. Eventually she will be able to read and answer the notes on her own.

    • You can't imagine how influential it is for your child to see you choose reading over other activities. While you are reading, laugh out loud, share an interesting story or fact, and tell your child, "I can't do that right now. I'm at a really exciting part of my book."
    • Expand your child's interests. If your child has a particular interest such as model cars, dinosaurs, soccer, rocks, or historical dolls, help her pursue those interests. Read information in books, in magazines, and on the Internet. Write letters to experts or stars. Suggest that your first grader keep a scrapbook of all the facts, interesting articles, and letters she's collected.
    • Read a chapter book to your child and help him form mental images. Ask, "How do you picture the main character? What do you think this place looks like? How did you imagine the character doing that?" And then the most important follow-up question: "Why do you think so?"
    • Have your child act out a favorite scene from the book. (Beware: first graders love to plan. Instead of acting out a scene, your child may choose to do a full-scale production. If so, set a future time for the performance.)
    • First graders love maps. If appropriate, suggest your child draw an illustrated map of the route the main character took in the story.

      drawing of map

    Copyright © 1998 by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

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