Find out what your child will learn in the next grade and how you can support their learning at home! August 11 2015, 0 Comments

Soon your child will be starting a new school year and entering the next grade. Along with meeting new friends and teachers, your child will be exposed to new, challenging reading, writing, and math content. You, the parent, play a huge role in your child’s academic success. One way you can support your child is by knowing what they are learning in school and reinforcing that knowledge at home. Not only does this help your child do well in the classroom, it also helps you communicate better with your child’s teacher.

While this content varies from school to school and state to state, it gives a general idea of what topics are covered in each grade, along with strategies to help your child learn each topic. Another great resource to consult is your state’s educational standards.


What kids learn about reading and writing

In kindergarten, kids learn that each letter of the alphabet makes a specific sound and letters come together to form words. They learn to pay attention to letters and words all around them: in books, on posters in the classroom, in their notebooks. Your child’s teacher will read many poems and stories aloud and your child will write their own stories. Although these stories may look like scribbled lines, they should be celebrated as the first step on the child’s writing journey.

What kids learn about math

In kindergarten, much of the curriculum is devoted to numbers and counting. Kids use blocks, counters, and other physical objects to practice counting as they grasp how the number system works. They practice counting aloud to 100 and matching numbers to sets of objects. Kids also learn to identify basic shapes, such as square, triangle, circle, and square. 


What kids learn about reading and writing

In first grade, kids begin to recognize more sight words such as away and where. They learn how to recognize common part of words, such as –an, to read new words they come across, such as man, pan, and tan. They become more independent readers who can read picture books and simple chapter books on their own. Teachers expose children to a variety of types of stories, such as articles in children’s magazines, nonfiction books, folktales, and fables. They learn to write in complete sentences that begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark. Teachers help first grade children sound out words and turn the sounds into letters as they write. 

What kids learn about math

A good part of the first grade math curriculum deals with time, money, addition, subtraction, and 2-digit place value. Kids learn how to read the clock to the nearest hour and half hour and count out sums of money. They are taught the structure of 2-digit numbers, learning that 24 is made up of 2 tens and 4 ones. First graders become proficient with addition and subtraction facts up to 20. They also practice counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Teachers continue to use physical objects, such as base-10 blocks and unifix cubes, to help children learn these more abstract concepts.


What kids learn about reading and writing

In second grade, kids learn more complex new vocabulary words, helping to improve their reading comprehension. They’ll learn how to sound out larger words with many syllables, which will be the kinds of words they’ll encounter in chapter books. They’ll read with greater fluency, meaning the ability to read with accuracy, speed, and correct expression. Their spelling and handwriting improve and they learn to spell harder sight words, such as because and always. Second graders write more elaborate stories with many sentences that tell a point of view, coherent narrative, or a detailed description of a character or event. 

What kids learn about math

In second grade, kids work with larger numbers, learning place value concepts into the hundreds and how to add and subtract 2-digit numbers. They become more proficient at telling time and measuring objects using standard units, such as inches and centimeters. Second graders learn how to describe shapes using words such as sides and angles as they have practice putting together and taking part 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes.


What kids learn about reading and writing

In third grade, kids learn more explicit strategies for understanding the text, such as predicting what might happen next, describing how the character is changing, and naming the sequence of events in the story. They are taught how to find important aspects of the story; such as mood, theme, and setting; in a variety of texts. These texts include poems, dramas, and fiction stories. They learn how to find the main idea and supporting details in a non-fiction text. Teachers introduce lessons on writing informational pieces, opinion topics, and narratives with a clear structure.

What kids learn about math

In third grade, a bulk of the curriculum is devoted to learning about multiplication, division, fractions, and geometry. Teachers use arrays and area models to help students understand how to multiply and divide, and children begin to memorize the number facts as they have more practice computing. They learn that fractions are unique numbers between 0 and 1 on the number line, composed of numerators and denominators. They practice shading in fractional parts and comparing fractions using fraction sticks.


What kids learn about reading and writing

In fourth grade, kids learn to make inferences as they read and support their ideas with concrete evidence from the text. They define tricky new vocabulary words based on context clues in the story. They learn how to compare and contrast point of view, themes, and topics from a variety of different texts. Their writing becomes more complex as they learn to express their ideas in multiple paragraphs that are sequenced and well organized around a central theme. Teachers teach them how to use transition words to link their ideas, such as in addition, because, and although.

What kids learn about math

In fourth grade, kids practice place value, addition, and subtraction with large numbers up to 1,000,000. They learn long division and multiplication with multi-digit numbers. Fourth graders develop their fraction knowledge by adding and subtraction fractions and finding equivalent fractions. Teachers include instruction around symmetry in their lessons on geometry.


What kids learn about reading and writing

While reading fictional texts in the fifth grade, kids are taught more complex comprehension strategies, such as describing character change and understanding similes and metaphors. They learn how to summarize differences and similarities across many accounts of the same non-fiction event. Their ability to integrate knowledge from various non-fiction sources improves. Fifth graders write with a stronger purpose and more distinct voice. Their writing appears more organized around a central topic with a clearly stated opinion and well-crafted supporting ideas.

What kids learn about math

In fifth grade, kids continue to practice adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators and begin to multiply and divide fractions. Their understanding of place value extends to decimals, and they learn how to convert between decimals, fractions, and percents. The fifth grade curriculum includes calculating volume, area, and perimeter.


For younger children:

Read to your child often! If they have a favorite book, read it to them again and again. As you read, ask questions: What is happening on this page? Why did this happen? What do you think will happen next? Point out the letters at the beginning of certain words and the sound they make: Bug starts with a b, which sounds like /b/. What rhymes with bug? Bring them to the library at least once a week to borrow new books. Point out words and letters all around them- on the street sign, in the circular at the grocery store, on the cereal package. Give your child a notebook to write in at home. Have them decorate the notebook to make it special and encourage them to write down stories, lists of words, facts they learn, etc.

Count objects in their daily life, such as the number of cookies on a plate or the number of books in their bookshelf. Help them learn addition and subtraction by asking, If I take away one book, how many will be left? Sort objects in the house by size, color, shape, or any other attributes. Good items to sort include buttons, coins, Legos, etc. Help your child see that math is all around them. Improve their awareness of time by naming the time: It’s 8:00 right now and we’re going to leave in 5 minutes. We’re going to leave at 8:05. Develop an awareness of what time feels like: It took us 30 minutes to walk to the library. Point out shapes in the house and describe what those shapes look like. Practice measurement by estimating how long objects are: This room is about 10 feet long. The table is about 1 yard long. Talk about the price of items at the grocery store and about how much the bill will be. Practice skip counting by counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s as you walk down the street or up the stairs. Turn skip counting into a fun song or chant.

For older children:

Make reading time a family routine. Schedule a time when everyone in the family takes out a book and reads independently, or have your child read aloud to you. Point out tricky new vocabulary words in the story and ask your child what they mean. Keep a board or list of new words somewhere visible and encourage your child to use the new words in sentences. As they’re reading, stop on every page and ask questions: Why is the character doing that? How do you think the character feels here? Is that the same as the beginning of the story? Take frequent trips to the library and have your child check out books he or she enjoys. Give your child a notebook or diary to write in. Have them practice writing letters to a pen pal, cousin, or friend. Play games such as Scrabble or Boggle to practice spelling and vocabulary.

Talk about the size and shape of various containers, such as a quart of milk or a pint of ice cream. On a walk or car ride, practice reciting the times tables. Card games and dominoes are great ways to practice number skills. Have your child estimate the amount of change you’ll receive when you’re out shopping. Practice fractions by talking about the fraction of the cake they’re eating, what fraction of flour went into the recipe at dinnertime, or whether 1/3 or 3/4 is more on the measuring cup. Talk about elapsed time by asking your child to figure out how long soccer practice or dance practice lasted.

Think about questions you can ask throughout the day to help your child learn. And above all, make learning fun at home! 

What are some ways you help your child learn at home? Share below!

10 Ways to Help your Child Learn


 Luminous Learning math worksheets with number lines and graph paper for special education students