Reading First graders learn new words and strategies to help them figure out unknown words. They also begin to have a better understanding of what they read. Ways to Help at Home  Practice reading wherever you go. Ask your child to point out words he/she recognizes, and to sound out unknown words that he/she sees on signs and on packages in the grocery store.  While reading a story, ask your child questions such as,“What do you think will happen next?” “How do you think that character felt?”  Regularly go to the library and have your child choose fiction and nonfiction books. Read to your child every day, and have your child read to you. Writing First graders’ writing and spelling skills grow throughout the year, making it possible for them to write longer and longer sentences. They also learn how to use capitalization and punctuation. Ways to Help at Home  Together write a thank you note for a gift, a letter to a favorite relative, or a get well message to a sick friend. Talk about how to use the correct capitaliza- tion and punctuation.  Have your child draw a picture of a family outing or birthday party and write a sentence or two about it.  Take a break from paper. Have a whiteboard or chalkboard your child can use to practice writing. Learning in the First Grade