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Just generally, what is taught with respect to Reading and Math in First Grade? I was thinking yesterday how much ds's reading has progressed in such a short amount of time this year in kindergarten - mostly due to leveled readers that the teacher sends home to read indepedently, I think, but also due to what is taught in class -- and how he would likely continue to advance at a rapid pace during the summer (if he continues to read independently). But then it dawned on me - what would he be learning in first grade if he goes in reading at, say, a second or third grade (or whatever) level? Also is interested in adding large numbers and multiplication and is able to do a lot of math in his head -- Would he be learning anything new there? He professes that the work done in K is "easy," but this doesn't really seem to bother him b/c he likes the social interaction and play time so much, as well as classes such as computer and art. If there is less social time/play time in First Grade and he isn't learning anything new, I wonder if he will be unchallenged (which could lead to boredom or acting out) for large portions of the day. When I point out how he has learned how to read many words that he didn't read before this year, he says, "Yeah, but then I read them and know them, and then it's easy" i.e., learning has ended w/ regard to those words... I guess the best-case scenario is that there will be others at his level in the class and that accommodations will be made for them (no gifted program until later grades, if he turns out to be gifted).
 

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Much will depend on the school district you are it. I don't think you'll have too much trouble with the reading in 1st grade should he enter at 2nd and 3rd grade levels. It's expected that a random class of students will include kids up to a year advanced. I know when my DD was in kindie, she was the only kid reading ANYTHING! When she moved to 1st, there were a few able to read longer picture books and early chapter books. By 2nd grade, several were comfortably reading 4th/5th grade level chapter books. My DS entered 1st grade at the 2nd/3rd grade level in English and many were more advanced that he was. I wouldn't worry too much about the reading.<br><br>
Math might be more of an issue. but again, depends on the curriculum. Our district is pretty advanced in math. Mulitplication principles started in 1st grade along with some early algebraic play. There could be enough for your son to find interesting. If not, you could consider a subject acceleration. Both my kids had "in-class subject acceleration" meaning they were in a group of kids in class who worked on the higher curriculum. It worked well until my oldest could get into middle school and easier to accelerate further.
 

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I guess I'm wondering also how reading is actually "taught" in first grade -does it involve reading independently or out loud in groups, or are they still working on phonics & sounds (which he would already know), or a combination, etc.? To, it seems like it would be easier to differentiate with math rather than with reading, unless you're giving a child a book to read on his own during class time.
 

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My oldest (who's not a giftie) is in 1st grade and reading roughly on level-- he mostly reads Magic Tree House chapter books and comic books. There are several kids in his class who read at a 2nd-4th grade level. They don't do reading as a class, they are divided into groups by level. My son's group has about 10 kids in it but the top and bottom groups only have 2 each. Their writing varies a ton as well-- some kids can write very neat, well-spelled, many page stories and others can only write a couple messy lines. They don't do phonics at all as far as I have seen. For spelling they are also divided into groups.<br>
My 4 yr. old is entering kindergarten this fall reading at a late 4th grade level (well, he is now, who knows where he'll be in August) and I'm wondering how they will accommodate him in kindergarten, but I wouldn't worry much about 1st grade. All the kids should know phonics and be able to read so the teacher doesn't need to stand in front of the class and teach them sounds anymore.<br><br>
I will say that there has been no differentiation in math at all and that's been my biggest issue this year. My son is pretty good at math, we homeschooled for K and he was using 2nd grade workbooks, and his teacher even said at the beginning of the year that he could do everything already, but they all do the same math no matter what.
 

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Well, DD's 1st grade class was largely individual reading or small groups. They had language arts rotations. Each rotation was either a grammar worksheet, a writing exercise, a spelling game using new vocabulary, a chance to read with the teacher, ect. I don't remember much in the way of phonics outside maybe some spelling exercises differentiating between "ee" words and "ea" words. DD found the worksheets easy but they weren't labor intensive and often they helped give her the terminology for things she had just instinctively picked up. They had spelling lists though these were individualized based on where the kids were on the "no excuse" list. DD was her own reading group and she certainly enjoyed the one-on-one time. Outside their reading groups, they chose their own material and would write a few sentances on each book they read. Differentiating for DD was easy... she just read bigger books and wrote more indepth essays.<br><br>
DS goes to a Spanish Immersion school so it's not really comparable.<br><br>
We found math more difficult to differentiate for in the early grades. With reading, do much can be done individually. With math, even a highly gifted child who needs hardly any repetion may need some actual instruction and that is difficult to be consistant with when you have 20 other kids to work with. Subject acceleration (where the child physically goes to the higher grade for instruction daily) can be beneficial but you often hit a wall when your child is at the highest grade offered and there is no place else to go. For us, outside kindergarten, being a strong reader posed little complication in our schools.
 

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What's taught or what is the minimum for them to learn? For us, what was taught was beyond what was required to learn. As ds put it "The kids in the higher reading group learned in first grade the stuff the other kids are learning in 2nd grade." In other words, by the middle of 1st grade, they were doing 2nd grade stuff.<br><br>
Our school does a good job with flexible grouping for reading and math, so that kids working at comparable levels get the bulk of their instructional time with kids at a similar level. Not all schools do that. If yours doesn't, it's more of a concern.<br><br>
Look at your district's website. I'll bet that they have curricular goals for the grades. For example, ours has things like will read 40-60 words per minute, will be sound out and blend sounds in single syllable words, will be able to retell the main points of a story, will be able to develop an idea with an identifiable beginning, middle and end when writing, will be able to spell correctly three-and four-letter short vowel words, be able to use basic writing conventions, etc.<br><br>
Math includes: Count and group objects in tens and ones, identify the number of tens and ones in whole numbers between 10 and 100, determine the value of collections of pennies, nickels, and dimes, develop and use efficient strategies for adding and subtracting whole numbers relate addition and subtraction as inverse operations.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15411606"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Much will depend on the school district you are it. I don't think you'll have too much trouble with the reading in 1st grade should he enter at 2nd and 3rd grade levels. It's expected that a random class of students will include kids up to a year advanced. I know when my DD was in kindie, she was the only kid reading ANYTHING! When she moved to 1st, there were a few able to read longer picture books and early chapter books. By 2nd grade, several were comfortably reading 4th/5th grade level chapter books. My DS entered 1st grade at the 2nd/3rd grade level in English and many were more advanced that he was. I wouldn't worry too much about the reading.<br><br>
Math might be more of an issue. but again, depends on the curriculum. Our district is pretty advanced in math. Mulitplication principles started in 1st grade along with some early algebraic play. There could be enough for your son to find interesting. If not, you could consider a subject acceleration. Both my kids had "in-class subject acceleration" meaning they were in a group of kids in class who worked on the higher curriculum. It worked well until my oldest could get into middle school and easier to accelerate further.</div>
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Sounds just like our public school..The pace is much more advanced than when I was a student. This kind of 'advanced' curriculum seems to go hand in hand with less emphasis on giftedness. I'm sure most smart kids are challenged well enough in this environment. My son says many kids, probably the ones of average IQ, just get terrible grades in a more advanced school. So while it seems to placate the parents of the bright kids, the more average kids might be getting the short end of the stick and don't seem to be uplifted by the challenge (even though studies show they do). One poor little girl who can't spell very well cries every time she has to write <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses. It sounds like First Grade involves a lot of grouping by ability, at least for reading. I didn't notice any of that in K, so maybe it will occur in First.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We found math more difficult to differentiate for in the early grades. With reading, so much can be done individually. With math, even a highly gifted child who needs hardly any repetion may need some actual instruction and that is difficult to be consistant with when you have 20other kids to work with.</div>
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Good point. I remember that one teacher's solution when I was in middle school was to let advanced math students work at their own pace by reading the text book and working the problems on their own -- sitting apart from the class and just kind of isolated. Personally, I did not like it. Though I must have been good at math, I did not particularly like math, and I especially did not like learning it by reading a very dry Math text book with little dialogue or explanation (just look at sample problems, then do problems, then repeat). For this method to work well, a better Math text book with some interesting instructional materials in it would have been necessary, IMO.
 

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One of our local school districts publishes very detailed curriculum guides for grades K-8 on their website.<br><br>
Curriculum guides for O'Fallon School District: <a href="http://ofallon.il.schoolwebpages.com/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=2594&go=&&" target="_blank">http://ofallon.il.schoolwebpages.com...lid=2594&go=&&</a>
 
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