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The CCSS & First Grade

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.

First Grade Math

First graders will build on the work they did in kindergarten while gaining important new skills. One of the most important outcomes for the year is to improve speed and accuracy adding with a sum of 20 or less and subtracting from a number of 20 or less. Another important goal is adding with a sum of 100 or less, which will rely on understanding what the digits mean in a number such as 63 (ie six tens and three ones). Working with multi-digit addition will set the stage for what students can expect next year in second grade.

First Grade Math Skills:

  • Extend the counting sequence
  • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
  • Adding and subtracting within 20 or less
  • Quickly and accurately adding and subtracting with a sum or number of 10 or less
  • Understanding what the digits mean in two-digit numbers (place value)
  • Using understanding of place value to add and subtract
  • Measuring lengths of objects by using a shorter object
  • Making composite shapes by joining shapes together and dividing them (ie circles & rectangles into halves or fourths)
  • Tell and write time

First Grade Math Practices:

  • Make sense of problems and perceive in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in reasoning

First Grade English/Language Arts 

First graders will become more independent readers and writers. Your student will continue to learn and practice rules for 

recognizing the sounds that make up words and will be able to sound out more complex words. Students will learn to think about what they read and talk about the main idea of simple stories. As they write and speak, first graders will learn to use language appropriately; this includes using complete sentences and spelling words with increasing accuracy.

First Grade English/Language Arts Skills:

  • Using phonics and word analysis skills to figure out unfamiliar words
  • Describing characters, settings and events in a story, using key details
  • Getting facts and information from many writings
  • Writing about a topic, supplying some facts and providing sense of an opening and closing
  • Participating in shared research and writing projects
  • Taking part in conversations about topics and texts being studied by responding to comments
  • Describing people, places, things and events with relevant details, clearly expressing ideas and feelings with complete sentences
  • Producing and expanding complete simple and compound statements, questions, commands and exclamations
  • Learning to think about finer distinctions in the meaning of near-synonyms (eg marching, strutting, etc.)
  • With guidance/support from adults, use digital tools to product/publish writing, including in collaboration with peers Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text 
  • With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for first graders


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As first graders, students will take one or two tests. Specific information about the tests can be found below:

Exam Grade Exam Info

Access 2.0
(one hour
to administer starting
15-16 school year)

(English Language Learner students only)

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

(20-30 minutes
to administer)

• Useful for helping to identify students in need of 
additional help and as a source of formative data

District Calendar

    • TueApr24 Lake Bluff Linkage 5:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr24 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay08 School Board Town Hall 5:45 PM to 6:45 PMSHS Library
    • TueMay08 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay22 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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