Understanding and Using Basic Concepts

Learning basic concepts are very important in helping your child understand and follow through on directions given in the classroom setting.  By learning these words, your child will also become more descriptive in his or her verbal expression.  Some basic concepts that kindergarten and first graders will have to know include: front/back, between, beside, behind, above, and below.  These are fun to work on because they can be learned easily in a natural setting.  Here are some ways you can build in these concepts in a natural setting:

While writing: You can talk about what letters go above or below the lines.

While reading: You can talk about words that are in the center, or in the middle of the book.

You can also use body parts to reinforce concepts:  What is in the middle of your face?  What is above your mouth?  What is below your nose?  What is between your eyes?

While walking or playing:  Walk in front of me.  Stand beside me.

Some other basic concepts for first graders include:  first/last, wide/narrow, longer/shorter, part/whole, closer/farther, thin/thick, similarities/differences

Preschool and Kindergarten Vocabulary Checklist

This checklist can be used by parents to see where their child needs to grow in terms of vocabulary.  By going through this checklist, you may find out that your child is not identifying or expressing many animals or body parts.   This will help you to identify words that you can teach your child.  Click on this link:  Kindergarten_Vocab_List

Building receptive vocabulary (e.g., understanding of vocabulary words):  Asking “where is ___?” questions; Instructing your child to show you certain items.  For example, you can say: “show me ___” or “point to ____.”

Building expressive vocabulary (e.g., verbal expression of words): Asking simple, “what’s this?” questions or labeling items together while playing; Attach the nouns with verbs while you are playing.  For example, you can say: “Kick ball” or “roll ball.”  This will hep your child build more vocabulary.