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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

1st Grade, 2nd Grade End-of-Year Academic Checklist

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If you're the parent of a child completing 1st or 2nd grade, how do you know if your child has mastered the skills necessary for moving up to the next grade? The following academic checklist can help. While it isn't a comprehensive listing of all that is covered in 1st and 2nd grades, it highlights 12 major academic standards that your child should meet by the end of these grades. (For an academic checklist for preschoolers and kindergartners, see Preschool, Kindergarten End-of-the-Year Academic Checklist).



1st Grade Academics: By the end of 1st grade your child should:

  • Be able to read grade-level text accurately and fluently
  • Understand what she has just read
  • Know the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Apply known skills to sounding out new and unfamiliar words
  • Be able to use a dictionary or other reference aids
  • Be able to write simple stories that have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Count to 100 forward and backward
  • Skip count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s forward and backward
  • Complete simple two-digit addition and subtraction (no borrowing)
  • Understand and solve simple word problems
  • Tell and write time to the hour and half-hour, on both analogical and digital clocks
  • Be able to divide objects into two or four equal parts

2nd Grade Academics: By the end of 2nd grade your child should:

  • Read on-level texts with purpose and understanding
  • Read a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, informational texts, history, social studies and science. 
  • Ask and answer the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions to show understanding of key details.
  • Be able to show evidence from the text to support ideas
  • Write an opinion story, supplying reasons that support the opinion
  • Use temporal words when writing (first, next, then, last, etc.)
  • Determine the meaning of unknown words based on the content of the story
  • Understand three digit numbers (For example, knowing that 367 means 3 hundreds, 6 tens, and 7 ones)
  • Count within 1,000; skip count by 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s
  • Tell and write time within 5-minute intervals on both digital and analog clocks
  • Solve word problems involving dollars bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies
  • Represent and interpret data, such as bar graphs and picture graphs


These skills are usually sequential, and allow students to build new skills on ones already mastered. The skills found above are from the Common Core Standards that have been adapted by 48 of our 50 states.





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