Teaching Literacy in First Grade

Teaching Literacy in First Grade

Teaching Literacy in First Grade

Teaching Literacy in First Grade


First grade is a year of important new experiences for students and teachers alike. Some students will arrive knowing how to read, others will know a few letters of the alphabet, and most will be somewhere in between. Including dozens of reproducibles, this book guides first-grade teachers in the many decisions they face about how to orchestrate effective, appropriate, and engaging instruction. A special strength of the book is the authors' deep understanding of the oral language base of literacy learning--both reading and writing--and their expertise in differentiating instruction for English language learners.


We wrote this book for you—the first-grade teacher—to share some ideas that we believe will ensure successful literacy learning for all of your students. While doing so, we reminisced about our first years of teaching and about the excitement we feel each year as we see new school supplies being shelved in stores and children suggesting to patient adults that they must have them all. The excitement of a new beginning happens not just once a year for teachers, but every day as they enter their classrooms and greet their students.

As a first-grade teacher you'll love teaching primary-age children; love their thirst to learn, their excitement when they feel successful, and their love of school in general. Experience and a commitment to staying on the cutting edge in our profession will change the way you teach and what you teach.

This book is a compilation of what we've learned about teaching first grade from hands-on teaching and research in the classroom. It's based on our own experiences and the experiences of colleagues whom we have taught, mentored, and worked with side by side. It's the result of good days and bad days, effective lesson planning, and lessons that have failed. It comes from working to understand and implement research and, most important, from watching our children exemplify what really works.

For all of us, it's been many years since our first year of teaching, but our thoughts about teaching first grade have not changed. We have taught and/or worked with teachers in every grade at the elementary level, but there is still something magical about walking into a first-grade classroom, especially early in the year. It is both an honor and an incredible responsibility to be a first-grade teacher.

It is our hope that the ideas, lessons, strategies, assessments, and examples we've included in Teaching Literacy in First Grade will support you in your journey as a teacher of first graders and set you on your way toward a career filled with the same joys and successes we have had and continue to have as teachers.

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