What your K’er, 1st grader, 2nd grader needs to know.

Standards without the Jargon:  ELA – English Language Arts

Comparing Kindergarten to First Grade and Second Grade – Reading Comprehension and Writing

1. Growth with Story Details. Can your K’er ask and answer who and what questions? As your K’er moves into first grade, you can add where and when to the mix. When you get to second grade, the big difference is asking/answering questions with how. 

2. Growth with the Main Idea. Your kindergartner should be able to retell stories. In first grade, the big addition is identifying the main idea of the story. Second grade, your child must be able to retell a story from different genres (folktales, fables), identfying the central message AND add supporting details.

3. Growth with Story Structure. As a K’er, your child should be able to recognize characters, settings and events in a story. In first grade, your child should now be able to describe these same characters, settings and events. In second grade, your child should now be able to describe how these characters, settings and events CHANGE throughout the story.

4. Growth with Point of View. In kindergarten, we start off with being able to identify the author and illustrator of a book and what each does (writes, draws). In first grade, the child is able to identify who is telling the story at various points in the text.  In second grade, the child should be able to understand that different characters speak from different points of view.

5. Growth with Knowledge. In kindergarten, the child should be able to use illustrations or objects to relate to a story. As we move into first grade, the child should use illustrations, objects or TEXT, to identify details, characters, setting or events from a story.  In second grade, the child must do what the first grader can do, but using only illustrations and text (no more objects).

6. Growth with Comparisons. In kindergarten, the child should be able to identify two books that have similar characters and themes. In first grade, we can now MATCH similarities and differences between characters or events from two versions of a story.  In second grade, the child should be able to DESCRIBE these similarities and differences.

The above growths are applicable to literature (fiction) or informational text (non-fiction).

7. Growth with Opinion Writing. In kindergarten, the child should be able to communicate a preference (hey I like this book!). The child can communicate this preference by drawing, speaking and writing.  In first grade, the child can generate their own written text stating that basic opinion.  In second grade the child can state this opinion with written text AND provide a reason (incorporating because, etc.)

8. Growth with Informational Writing. In kindergarten, the child should be able to pick a writing topic, possibly using an object to spur the idea and give some information concerning that topic.  This can be done with drawing, dictating and writing.  In first grade,  the child should be able to WRITE text about a topic of interest, some facts about that topic and provide a sense of closure.  In second grade,  this all becomes more.  The child should be able to write a narrative where they recount an event or sequence of events with description, using words such as next, then, etc. and provide a sense of closure.

These are not all the standards I found when researching, just the ones I found especially pertinent to my own teaching.  You can find more at your state department of education webpage.

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