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First grade readiness checklist


Social skills

Shows confidence in self and demonstrates a sense of self-worth
Follows rules and routines at home and in kindergarten
Uses materials purposefully and respectfully
Comfortably adapts to changes
Shows eagerness and curiosity as a learner
Sustains attention to a single task over a period of time
Works, plays and shares with others
Interacts easily with familiar adults
Participates in group activities
Respects the feelings and rights of others
Uses words to resolve conflicts
Seeks adult help when needed

Reading & comprehension

Shows independent interest in reading-related activities
Listens with interest to stories read aloud
Retells a simple story
Recognizes the association between spoken and written words
Recognizes all the letters of the alphabet in order
Distinguishes between and prints capital and lowercase letters
Associates letters and sounds
Distinguishes likenesses and differences of letter sounds in spoken words
Recognizes rhymes and rhyming patterns
Makes predictions about a story or passage based on the title and/or pictures
Identifies words and constructs meaning from picture clues in text
Identifies basic sight words
Distinguishes fact from fiction
Begins to understand basic characteristics of fables, stories and legends
Identifies story elements of setting, plot, character and conflict (where, when, what, who and why)
Uses personal perspective in responding to stories, such as relating to characters or situations
Begins to understand simple punctuation marks (period, question mark, etc.)
Locates the title, author name, illustrator name and table of contents
Sorts common words into categories (e.g., food, colors, shapes)


Reads and writes own name
Tells a story using pictures
Uses letters or shapes to depict words or ideas
Writes familiar words
Copies or writes words to convey messages
Participates in group dictated stories
Builds simple words and sentences
Demonstrates left-to-right progression, and top-to-bottom progression
Handles writing tools correctly

Language & listening skills

Understands and follows simple directions
Listens to others for short periods of time without interrupting
Recites nursery rhymes, finger plays and songs
Participates in discussions and conversations
Asks questions
Speaks clearly to convey messages and requests
Distinguishes between asking and telling
Distinguishes between formal and informal language (with peers, at home vs. at school)
Uses complete sentences
Composes oral stories
Retells a simple story with basic elements of beginning, middle and end

Numbers, operations & problem solving skills

Names numerals 0 through 30
Writes numerals 0 through 20
Uses counting skills to add to 10
Classifies and compares objects
Recognizes, duplicates and extends patterns and relationships of objects, symbols and shapes
Collects data and makes records using lists or graphical representations
Shows interest in solving mathematical problems
Solves problems by guessing and checking using manipulatives or fingers

Geometry & measurement

Becomes familiar with common instruments for measuring time and temperature (e.g., rulers, thermometers)
Estimates and measures real quantities using non-standard units (blocks or paperclips)
Understands and uses comparative words (long and short, heavy and light, etc.)
Identifies, labels and creates a variety of shapes

Math in action: Telling time, counting money

Shows an understanding of the calendar and time
Knows the days of the week and months of the year
Knows the value of a penny, nickel, dime and quarter

Social studies

Understands the concept of history as real stories of other times, events, places and people
Understands broad categories of time (past, present and future)
Knows different methods of communication from long ago to present day (oral, pictographs, etc.)
Understands the concept of historical contributions by historical figures
Has a basic awareness of other cultures and cultural traditions
Knows significant individuals in United States history
Knows people and events honored in commemorative holidays
Recognizes American symbols (the eagle, Liberty Bell, the flag, etc.)
Recognizes that people use maps, globes and other models to identify and locate places


Forms conclusions based on comparisons, sense observations and exploration
Knows that the Sun supplies heat and light energy to the Earth
Recognizes basic patterns in weather
Recognizes how people impact the Earth, including concepts of conservation, recycling and reducing pollution
Understands that all living things have basic needs
Distinguishes between living and non-living things
Recognizes how living things change as they grow and mature
Compares and describes the structural characteristics of plants and animals
Distinguishes between types of environments and their inhabitants (hot, cold, wet, dry, etc.)