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First Grader Reading Milestones

  • Your first grader is learning to “crack the code” of the written word.
  • First graders learn phonics, the sounds of all letters and letter combinations. They apply phonics knowledge to figuring out or “decoding” words that they do not know by sight.

  • First graders know many words by sight.
  • At the end of first grade, children typically know at least 150 “sight words,” or common words, such as “the” and “no,” that they recognize with ease.

  • First graders can read simple books smoothly, but generally read word-by-word.
  • By the end of the year, the typical first grader can read simple books such as Eat Your Peas, Louise! or Little Bear accurately, by identifying all the words correctly. Most first graders read word-by-word instead of in phrases, and they read fairly slowly, especially if they are reading a book for the first time.

  • First graders can detect their reading mistakes.
  • The typical first grader knows when he or she has made a reading error when the story suddenly does not make sense. While your first grader cannot correct all the errors he or she makes in reading, they are beginning to learn some strategies to “fix” his or her mistakes.

Reference: First Grader Reading


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