A perfectly normal reaction of loving parents is to be concerned about their child’s academic performance and personal abilities. Especially in these times, when certain requirements and criteria are imposed on students beginning in first grade. A child who comes to his or her first-ever line to begin 1st grade should already possess a certain set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Does this list include reading skills and how many words a first grader should read per minute, this is what this article will discuss.
Requirements for a child when entering first grade
Let’s start by looking at the legal framework. In accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation “On Education”, it is prohibited to admit first-graders to institutions of general education with state and municipal status on a competitive basis. For this reason, whatever they say in the administration of these institutions, there is no official list of questions, the answers to which a potential student should know, in principle.
Despite the conventionality of existing requirements, they still have a place in the life of any modern school. Those institutions that are required to educate children of extraordinary ability are more likely to test and interview potential candidates in great detail.
Many schools, including regular schools, provide information for parents on their information sites on desirable criteria for a child’s readiness to study in grade 1. These criteria can give parents an idea of what level of knowledge of their child will be oriented to the teachers of this educational institution. When the choice of school will be made it will not be superfluous to ask a list of questions which the psychologist usually asks the child. And also to clarify whether the school conducts testing.
To a standard set of general skills and abilities, that are most likely to be tested with a first grader in the institution include:
The ability to count from 1 to 20 and backwards in the same range;
Knowledge of basic colors, right and left, seasons and days, simple geometric figures – circle, rectangle, square, etc.p.
Knowledge from the field of nature – animals, birds, insects. Plants – trees, bushes, flowers and grass. Basic differences and features that characterize them.
As you can see from this tentative list ability to read for a child going to the first grade is not even on the wish list of the future student’s skill level, but is definitely welcome. We can say more, even in the Federal State Educational Standard of Russia FGS SR there is no certain number of words per minute and pages per day, which a student should read.Assessment lies in the area of reading quality and depends on the following indicators:
Whether the student reads in syllables or is able to reproduce words in their entirety;
pauses, proper accents, and overall expressive reading;
the ability to logically connect read words into sentences;
Number of reading errors, ability to clearly pronounce all sounds and letters in the text;
a conscious approach to reading, expressed in the ability to understand what is being read, to analyze and evaluate the material presented in the text.
Average reading standards for most schools
As said before a single norm accepted as a state standard for the number of words a minute a child should be able to read no. However, this statement is quite subjective, since the vast majority of educational institutions that provide secondary education are guided in their activities by the traditional “School of the XXI century” program.Based on its provisions, by the end of first grade a student should be able to read 30 words per minute, and this is not a limit! There are programs that require more than 40 words per minute, but if some parents think it is too much, well, then know this: The standard in Soviet education was 47 words per minute. However, the training itself in elementary school in the USSR was quite different from today’s program. Time will show whether it is good or not, but for now the average reading speed indicators for first graders in schools of the Russian Federation look like this:
From preschool to the end of the 2nd quarter – not less than 20 words/minute.
End of 3rd quarter – 35 words/minute or more.
By the end of the first grade, the reading speed should be at least 40 words/minute.
It is the end of the first half of the year that is marked in almost all first-grade curricula by the first official test in the core subjects of learning, and of course reading is among them. However, diversity among school programs creates a wide “corridor” for evaluation. Requirements for students in the first grade, depending on the program, range from 15 to 25 words/minute. This should not relax loving parents, though. Even the lower limit of 15 words is extremely difficult to achieve without prior preschool training in today’s learning environment. It is better, though, to take care of your child’s learning before he or she goes to school.
What requirements the texts provided for reading must meet
To evaluate a first grader objectively when it comes to reading speed, reading comprehension, and analytical thinking,texts must meet a number of requirements:
The initial stage of learning, corresponds to the age of 6-7 years. The first patterns for reading should be two-syllable simple words in which the vowels are repeated – ma-sha, ba-nan, zha-ba, etc.p.
Subsequent complication in meaning based on a gradual increase in multisyllabic words.
From the third quarter, the texts begin to contain words with hissing sounds and words where the sounds have a varied combination of.
By the end of the school year, students should be able to move from syllabic reading to whole word reading. Poetry is added to the program.
7 tips to help first graders learn to read quickly and understand what they’re reading.
In order for a child to master the skill and love reading he must form stable neural connections in the brain. This process involves energy expenditure by the body, and he doesn’t like that. So until a child “reads” for 300 hours, the process of reading is likely to be unpleasant for him. An adult should create a notebook and record the time spent by the child in reading, watching the number of minutes and hours devoted to this activity grow.
From an early age interactive reading should be practiced. In 2013. in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science was first published a study confirming that this kind of reading not only gives the child the opportunity to love the process, but also greatly contributes to the growth of his intellectual abilities. The essence of the technique, according to one of the authors of this paper, published as “How to Make a Child Smarter,” John Protsko, a scientist at New York University, is for an adult to not just read to a child, but through questions help him establish a dialogue with the book.
Use the time in the car when your child is with you. In today’s metropolis it sometimes takes several hours. It is necessary to listen to audio books, preferably recorded with a voice of one actor, it allows you to focus more effectively on the meaning of what you read.
From about the second quarter you can start using syllabics. Although the combination of letters in words is great, it is by no means limitless. These worksheets can help, with the right practice, to read words with one eye.
Use children’s magazines that have crossword puzzles. Children are usually entertained by the activity of figuring them out, and there are many “find the five differences in these pictures” style activities and many other attention-getting activities. Children often enjoy it, and their reading skills improve without them noticing.
Practice reading at different paces with your first grader, in addition to the reading skill, this provides extra practice in expressive reading.
Be careful with your choice of literature. The child must be given the opportunity to choose for himself. Books and magazines, brightly illustrated and with simple texts, are a great way to make a child want to read in the beginning. Topics can be any, as long as they interest the child.
The article is based on: the school program “School of the XXI Century”, and materials from the work of teachers and educational practices of staff of the state institution “Solnyshko” Children’s home.