The University of Iowa

Grade 1 Students

Grade 1 Students

Compose complete simple sentences

  • Use a variety of types (i.e., declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamatory)  (L.1.1)
  • Use correctly spelled single-syllable, regular words and other high frequency words (L.1.2)1
  • Use phonetic spellings for longer, irregular, or unfamiliar words (L.1.2)2
  • Use correct order and verb tense (L.1.1)3

Combine several simple sentences to produce short written products (e.g., stories, poems, messages, opinions) in a logical sequence 

  • Link an opinion to a reason (W.1.1)
  • Write a story containing two or more events (W.1.3)
  • Write an informational text containing a topic and details (W.1.2)

Correct basic errors in the capitalization and end punctuation of composed sentences (L.1.2)

English learner and bilingual footnotes

1 At the very beginning stages, ELs will rely heavily on phonetics when writing English words of all types (even frequently used short words). They will be using the sounds of their native language to represent the words in English.

2 At first, ELs may use phonetic spellings that correspond to the phonetics of their native language. For example, Spanish-speaking students may confuse “b” with “v” or misspell vowel sounds that they perceive differently because of the influence of Spanish.

3 ELs can become familiar with English syntax, phrasing, and vocabulary by frequently re-reading exemplar written texts.

Grade 1 Students

Connect prior knowledge to information in the text (NA)

  • Use prior knowledge of a topic to clarify understanding

Monitor comprehension while reading (RL.1.7; RI.1.7)

  • Reread when the text does not make sense

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text (RL.1.1; RI.1.1)

  • Answer “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how” questions after listening to or reading one or more paragraphs
  • Ask questions about details in a text

Recognize and use the organizational patterns/text structures to connect ideas across the text (RL.1.2; RI.1.2)

  • Retell a story or chronological text in the correct sequence
  • Retell or summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning1

Identify elements of literary and informational texts (RL.1.3; RI.1.3)

  • Describe the main character(s) and the reason(s) for each character’s actions, behavior, or feelings
  • Describe the main events, problem, and resolution of a literary text
  • Evaluate details to determine what is most important

Make inferences while reading text (NA)

  • Create mental images to deepen understanding
  • Draw conclusions about information or stories read
  • Use specific textual evidence to support an appropriate response

English learner and bilingual footnotes

Teachers should evaluate the accuracy of the content in the EL students’ retell or summarization rather than the grammatical or spelling accuracy of the language used.

Grade 1 Students

Connect oral vocabulary to words in print (RI.1.4; L.1.4)

  • Read with understanding grade-appropriate oral vocabulary words that appear in print
  • Use newly-learned vocabulary when talking about text

Determine the relationships among words (L.1.5)

  • Identify and use synonyms

Use context to determine word meanings (L.1.4)

  • Make inferences about the meaning of a word based on its use in a sentence with adult assistance

Apply common affixes and roots to determine word meaning (L.1.4)

  • Identify and explain how adding the affixes “-s,” “-ed,” and “–ing” change the meaning of a root or base word

Use resources to determine the meaning and pronunciation of an unfamiliar word (NA)

  • Use a picture dictionary or digital resource to find words1

English learner and bilingual footnotes

ELs’ use of dictionaries should be carefully and explicitly taught and monitored. Successful dictionary use requires a great deal of linguistic knowledge about grammatical categories, multiple meanings, related words, and appropriate uses.

Grade 1 Students

Read decodable and irregular common words quickly and accurately (RF.1.4)1

  • Read regular single-syllable words fluently
  • Recognize at least 100 research-based, high frequency words by sight

Monitor for word reading accuracy (RF.1.4)

  • Reread and self-correct errors to improve understanding

Read authentic text accurately and with appropriate rate and expression (RF.1.4)

  • Read accurately (no more than 1 error in 20 words)
  • Read fluently (1 word/second)
  • Attend to end punctuation for phrasing
  • Use appropriate inflection to read declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences

English learner and bilingual footnotes

At the earliest stages, teachers may need to limit the number of new words ELs encounter in texts to help them develop automaticity in word-recognition skills.

Grade 1 Students

Decode and encode words using letter-sound knowledge and syllable types (RF.1.3; L.1.2)

  • Read and spell regular one-syllable words with closed syllables, open syllables, VCe syllables, vowel teams (including diphthongs), and r-controlled syllables
  • Recognize when the consonants “c” (/s/ and /k/), "g" (/g/ and /j/), “s” (/s/ and /z/), and “x” (/k/s/ and /z/) make their different sounds
  • Read and spell different representations of common vowel sounds (e.g., long a: a, a-e, ai, ay)
  • Read and spell words with initial and final consonant blends, digraphs, and trigraphs

Apply morphological knowledge (NA)1

  • Read and spell words with the inflectional endings “-ed,” “-s,” and “–es”

Develop sight word knowledge (RF.1.3; L.1.2)

  • Read and spell grade-appropriate, high-frequency irregular words (e.g., "then," "walk") 

English learner and bilingual footnotes

1 It is common for ELs not to pay attention to morphology, particularly the endings of words. Instead, ELs may concentrate on meaning only (i.e., the root or base of words). Therefore, teachers need to draw students’ attention to the form of the morphemes in English and how they convey verb tenses and plurals.

Grade 1 Students

Identify the features of sentences and paragraphs (e.g., capitalization, punctuation, spaces) (RF.1.1)

  • Recognize that sentences start with a capital letter and end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.
  • Track a sentence that is split between two pages.
  • Recognize how paragraphs are separated (e.g., indented first line, blank line in between)
Grade 1 Students

Blend, segment, and count sounds in words (RF.1.2)

  • Blend and segment words of up to 5 phonemes that include consonant clusters

Identify and manipulate sounds and syllables in spoken words (RF.1.2)

  • Recognize and produce alliterations
  • Distinguish between long and short vowel sounds in one-syllable words
  • Add, change, or remove individual phonemes in words, regardless of position (initial, medial, final)
Grade 1 Students

​​​​​​Use informal, casual, formal, and academic language in the appropriate context (L.1.6; SL.1.1)

  • Speak using the conventions of language
  • Share information and ideas in discussion by following agreed-upon rules such as taking turns and listening to others
  • Use questions and clarifying statements to repair a communication breakdown
  • Draw conclusions orally while reading with an adult (e.g., “Why do you think that happened?”)
  • Expand grade-appropriate vocabulary used in oral expression

Produce, expand, and rearrange complete sentences (L.1.1)

  • Use pronouns as the object (me/her/him/us/them)1
  • Use the possessive case of pronouns2
  • Use prepositions3
  • Use adverbs that convey time
  • Produce simple sentences with subject-verb agreement4
  • Produce simple sentences with pronoun-antecedent agreement

English learner and bilingual footnotes

1 Pronouns in Spanish do not always change based on use (e.g., “Give it to him” vs. “He eats”), so ELs are likely to make more errors than non-ELs.
2 In Spanish, the possessive for he/she/it/they are the same. Spanish-speakers may say, “She spoke with his father,” instead of, “She spoke with her father.”
Developing knowledge of prepositions in a second language can take a long time
ELs may overgeneralize irregular past tense verbs.