Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Once a child completes first grade, he or she should show proficiency in the following benchmarks.

Listening Skills

  • Recalls facts taught or discussed in class
  • Understands what’s being taught in class
  • Follows basic steps in order, such as “Grab a piece of paper, find your pencil, and write your name.”

Talking Skills

  • Answers more difficult yes/no questions like “Did the girl take her puppy into the house?”
  • Asks and answers “who, what, where, when and why” questions
  • Says all speech sounds and letters clearly
  • Tells and retails a story in correct order
  • Stays on topic and takes turns when talking with other people
  • Uses complete sentences to talk about ideas
  • Uses most parts of speech and grammar properly
  • Gives logical, orderly directions

Reading Skills

  • Finds all sounds in short words
  • Identifies letters, words and sentences
  • Blends separate sounds to form words (such as bl or sh)
  • Makes up and can identify rhyming words
  • Matches spoken words to written words
  • Recognizes about 100 common or sight words
  • Easily reads first-grade-level stories
  • Understands what he or she reads

Writing Skills

  • Prints letters clearly
  • Spells commonly used words correctly
  • Begins each sentence with a capital letter
  • Ends situations with a period, question mark or exclamation point
  • Writes short pieces like a simply story or journal entry

If your child has not established the skills listed, you may want to make an appointment for a speech-language evaluation.