Tag Archives: First Grade

first grade reading list — where we are now

This is the reading list I created last year, to serve as our “first grade” reading list and I am ashamed to say I have not read nearly enough of them to the boys.  To be fair to myself, many of these books reappear on “second grade reading lists also.  This year (kindy and 2nd grade officially) I will continue to pull from this list and try to make myself more disciplined about seeking these books at the library weekly.

Books Marked are one we HAVE read.


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Big Brother’s reading mid-year

Big Brother is really progressing him his reading skills, both in decoding language in written form and in comprehending what he is reading.  I feel really good about where he is at the mid-point of his first grade year.

He has completed Exploring The Code Books 1, 1 ½ and 2.  We are currently working on 2 ½.  I had not planned to use this one, even other we had it, since the ½ books are opportunities to practice or remaster the skills introduced in the full number books and I felt he was ready to move on to book 3.  However, when I ordered book 3 I sent it my folks address, so since we had 2 ½ on hand, we are working on it till Book 3 arrives.

In the past week Big Brother has read sentences like:

  • Len sped past the big bus
  • Dad spills a glass of pop on Ship
  • Nell stuffs the doll in the bag
  • Bev puts on a skit in class
  • The kid flags the van to stop
  • The stag is a still as can be
  • Will you step on the flag
  • Can you stuff your clogs in a bag
  • Is the stem of a bud stiff
  • Mim slips the plug in the slot
  • Glen slams the lid on the box
  • Can you smell the hot dog and bun

And read words like:

  • Trek
  • Tram
  • Brim
  • Swam
  • Dress
  • Twin
  • Trots
  • Spots

As well as many other.  I am feeling good about where he is, he really is not branching out in to books, no matter how easy, yet, but I feel that is more his choice and maybe his uncertainty and not skill related.

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First Day of School 2012

Little Brother started, at his request, Kindergarten.  He is not officially “kindy age” till NEXT fall so if this year doesn’t work out, we can start over then.  However, he has been dogging along all last year as may actually be ready (save fine motor which is behind at best).Big Brother returns to First Grade.  He actully is about a quarter of the way in, having finished all my Kindy Goals for him in 3/4 of last year.  He will be getting some new stuff (such as new Science) but a lot of his work is continued from June.

Both boys got new “I can read” superhero books to start the new year.

I love this photo.

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First Grade progress

We are really doing well with first grade.  As I posted before for reasons unknown to me; Big Brother is really excited to do any work deemed “First Grade”.  We have had less dawdling, and less pulling of teeth; it is not ‘picture perfect’; but he is a young, and a boy and frankly the perfect pictures are rare no matter what child(ren) you are working with.  We did have one day last week when we powered though everything (6 subjects) in 100 minutes.

So far we have added:

  • Story of the Would;   only on the first week and we started this first week then stopped, and are re-doing it.  I wanted to plan out better and get more resources, extra reading books and so on lined up.  This year in history is very important (see below) and he really likes it already.  In addition to the history readings, we are working our way though the activity guide and also several related read-a-loud as well as following along in our Bibles as well.
  • First Language Lessons;  only doing 2x a week right now.  He is flying though it and retaining it well.  My plan is to do it three times a week.
  • Spelling Power; on our second week.  I am not sure of my feelings right now.  We’ll power though it.

We are continuing in:

  • Mind Benders. http://www.criticalthinking.com/getProductDetails.do?code=c&id=01330  he doesn’t seem to be picking the logical squares up as fast as others, he is also stalled by me still needing to read them to him.
  • Spectrum Math http://www.amazon.com/Math-Grade-Spectrum-Thomas-Richards/dp/0769636918/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334086517&sr=1-1.  We have stalled out; the book is to a point that is beyond him right now.  So it has been tabled till he gets there.  We are focusing on memorization of math facts right now.
  • Math Minutes.  http://www.amazon.com/First-Grade-Math-Minutes-Hundred-Better/dp/1574718126/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1334086409&sr=8-7  We do them twice a week.  I time them and we record the time.  After we make it all the way through; we will start over
  • Exploring the Code.  Currently part of the way though book 1 ½.  I have chosen, at least for now, to do the ½ books because he needs more practice writing, and the ½ books give him that.  If we were to stick with the whole number books only we’d already be at a level where the writing would be too stressful for him to learn the lesson.  He could do the lessons, but he could not do the writing; that would be useless frustrate him so much he’d miss the lesson even though he should be able to handle them.  As it is, the amount of writing makes the lessons that should be relatively easy for him, pulling teeth because he doesn’t want to write / doesn’t write well.  so I am useinf the half book, at this point, as much to slow progress as to offer extra practice.

We are finishing up

  •  Dragon logic (2nd to 3rd grade books anyway) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593631227/ref=oh_o01_s00_i02_details.  Big is really picking up the concepts well.  We just finished like 20 some pages of analogies and are starting ALL statements; he has not struggles at all.  He asks for this book.
  • Several Dollar Store workbooks; like a cars math one, and a Disney reading one (one that showed how little my boys know about many Disney movies – at least the ones that are NOT from my childhood!).

I just bought:

  • Biblioplan Year One.   “BiblioPlan’s curriculum is Christ-centered, literature-based, easy to follow and inexpensive.”  It pigeon-tails with Story of the World; offering more extra reading, and syncing Bible History with the SOTW chapters.  I am really excited.  This year in history is very important.  This year STOW is covering Ancient times, which are also – to us – Biblical Times.  So I feel it very important to take this year slow (going into next summer if necessary) and really cover each topic / time frame from both the secular and the Biblical point-of-view.   I only bought the teachers guide.  I wanted the synergized schedule of the Bible and SOTW and all the additional reading.  History is going to be a big subject for us this year.

I have on order:

  •  The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History.  A photo encyclopedia to give us visual images to “see” the history we are studying.
  • Truth Quest.  We will be covering “old” UShistory (Viking till I am not sure) as our Social Studies.  We feel it is important to look at the USyearly; but we also feel it is important to remember we are alone on this globe.  I had NO world history or cultures till high school and not much then.  My kids are going to study the US and our place in time, history and the world at-large from the start.

Things I still need to get / add (but I am going to give it some time to find a new normal with the new stuff we have and make some progress in finishing the things we need to finish up):

  •  Our new math program.  Right now we are working on memorizing our addition math facts; by ‘timed pages’ (that we do not yet time) and flash cards.  I won’t add Mammoth Math till September when we pick up after summer and the move.  Till then it is MATH FACTS!!!
  •  SonLight Science Level A:  Biology, Botany, and Physics.  they rate it as Kindy to 2nd level so it will be a soild fit for First Grade.  I really need an open and go science, science is not by best.  Daddy does a lot of science with them, but I feel we need something a bit more directed and orderly.

First Grade is just shaping up nicely; and we are both having a lot of fun.

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First Grade shopping

We are really doing well with first grade.  For some unknown reason Big Brother is really excited to do any work deemed “first grade” in a way he has never taken to Kindergarten.  I have no idea why.  There are still attention struggles, he IS after all a six year old boy, but in general he seems more interested in school.

We are moving in to First Grade slowly; one subject at a time.  We are also finishing up kindy work that we have not gotten done, and most of the work simply melds into the new grade anyway (such as Exploring the Code; we finished Book 1 and have started book 1 and ½ ; next will be Book 2, we’ll simply continue book to book as we finish them).

We have started grammar.  Big Brother is flying though First Language Lessons.  We are already up to lesson 22.  We are covering nouns; and proper vs. common nouns and he doesn’t even seem to need the explanation.  We are currently memorizing his address (place), and finishing learning to spell his full name (person).  He is doing much better at replying, and discussing, with full sentences too.  We are also discussing and trying out the concept of narration, and I’ll start to demand more of that in a more pure form, from him after summer break.  Currently he is practicing narrating well known stories (the Three Little Pigs) and describing and telling stories based on pictures of famous art.  As of now the grammar is not really challenging and he is [picking it up with only “one time” of going over it.

I just ordered our new spelling program too.  I had hoped it would arrive in time to start spelling this week.  It, did, finally arrive today and it looks like we’ll be starting on lesson 6 (1 to 5 are simply letter sounds).  In a few weeks of starting spelling, I had planned to order our new math program.  Right now we are working on memorizing our addition math facts; by ‘timed pages’ (that we do not yet time) and flash cards.  I just ordered a CD for the car  so we can start listening in the car (since about 75% of our trips are 30 minutes or more one way, listening in the car is an excellent tool for us).  We’ve been working on math facts for a while, but I am just now getting serious with it.  I am now really pushing it and expecting him to commit them to memory.  Memory is one of his greatest strengths.  I want to get moving on the math facts before we start the new program.  I suspect we’ll review them as we get started in our new math, but I want to start getting them down now.  We’ll continue with MEP for First Grade, only doing one or two lessons a week, not four or five.  (I am, excited to see, they now are making answer keys, some of the mental math is challenging in a year or two I may be needing the help).

I have ordered a new planner.  A little treat for momma for the new grade.   I am really happy it has room for 9 subjects, that way I’ll have room to plan Little Brother as well as my First Grade Big Brother.  Little is asking, begging, for school each day.  It will be good for me to plan more for him.  I am also excited that the planner is all 7 days, not just 5.  We do a lot of work on weekends; especially if Daddy is gone we’ll have a mostly normal school day.  I use my planner not only to plan but as a record book and it will be nice to have a place to record accurately what we do.  The bottom of the pages is a place to keep an ongoing tally of hours per subject, since that doesn’t apply to us I may end up covering the bottom with white address labels to make myself more note space.  It will take a time of living with my new planner before I am totally sure how I plan to use it.

I have also ordered 2 student visual planners.  I am really excited.  One for each boy.  I plan to prep the night before and be able to hand them to the boys in the morning.  Opening them they’ll find all the “tasks” to be covered for the day.  As we complete them; the boys can remove them and put them in a DONE box; or move them to the other side of the planner, I am still working on that.  I need to handle them to be sure how I want to work the system.  That way they can both see from the start what has to be done for the day; and what is left at any given time.  I am toying with do I want to have a set order (that is we do the things from the top to the bottom as I have them in the planner) or do I want the activities and subjects to be choices (letting the boys choose the order we do things in, while understanding we have to do all of them).  Not sure where I stand on that either yet.

I got a catalog from christianbooks.com about their home school sale and found The Story of the World in it!  Very excited since that is the history program I chose for our First grade History.  Buying though the sale I’ll save just under 20 bucks on the three books we need (story book, activity guide and test booklet).   I am really excited about this.  So after a couple of week of spelling being added (starting next week) I will be able to start History!!!  Math will have to wait till 2 or 3 weeks after that, which is fine as that gives us more time on math facts.

So we are gearing up nicely and slipping into First Grade without too much of a bump (so far).


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very first draft of First Grade scope and sequence for our family

A first draft of the scope and sequence we’ll bhe following as a family for First Grade.







First grade

Standards and criteria


  • Match oral words to printed words.
  • Identify the title and author of a reading selection.
  • Identify letters, words, and sentences.
  • Distinguish initial, medial, and final sounds in single-syllable words.
  • Distinguish long- and short-vowel sounds in orally stated single-syllable words (e.g., bit/bite).
  • Create and state a series of rhyming words, including consonant blends.
  • Add, delete, or change target sounds to change words (e.g., change cow to how; pan to an).
  • Blend two to four phonemes into recognizable words (e.g., /c/a/t/ = cat; /f/l/a/t/ = flat).
  • Segment single syllable words into their components (e.g., /c/a/t/ = cat; /s/p/l/a/t/ =splat; /r/i/ch/ = rich).
  • Generate the sounds from all the letters and letter patterns, including consonant blends and long- and short-vowel patterns (i.e., phonograms), and blend those sounds into recognizable words.
  • Read common, irregular sight words with 80% accuracy for grade level and blow lists (e.g., the, have, said, come, give, of).
  • Use knowledge of vowel digraphs and r-controlled letter-sound associations to read words.
  • Read compound words and contractions.
  • Read and identify inflectional forms (e.g., -s, -ed, -ing) and root words (e.g., look, looked, looking).
  • Read common word families (e.g., -ite, -ate).
  • Read aloud with fluency in a manner that sounds like natural speech.
  • Respond to punctuation in reading: period, exclamation point, question mark, capitalization, punctuation: periods, question marks, exclamation points, commas, contractions, and possessives.
  • Be able to write 3 strong sentences with a capital letter and punctuation at the end of a sentence (period, question mark, exclamation point)
  • Know ABC order to the first letter
  • Use context clues to construct meaning (ex., illustrations, knowledge of the story and topic)
  • Use knowledge of word endings (including s, ing, ed, er, est, ful) to determine word meanings
  • knows the main idea or theme and supporting details of a story or information piece
  • Be able to identify similarities and differences between two texts (ex., in topics, characters and problems)
  • Be able to read for information used in performing tasks (ex., directions, graphs, charts, signs, captions)
  • Communicate message of the author; communicate in a natural manner
  • Recognize basic parts of speech.


  • Demonstrate an ability to read for comprehension,  and drawing conclusion
  • Respond to punctuation: period, exclamation point, question mark, Capitalization, punctuation: periods, question marks, exclamation points, commas, contractions, and possessives.
  • Predict text, make inferences, draw conclusions; predict outcomes
  • Vocabulary meaning from context
  • Read a variety of genres; family stories, informational articles, fanciful animal stories, poetry, Bible accounts, realistic fiction
  • Be able to use alphabetical order in simple reference material to obtain information (ex., table of contents, fiction and nonfiction books, picture dictionaries, audiovisual software).
  • Distinguish reality from fantasy
  • Read for specific information; read for author’s message
  • Understand and show ability to use in some capacity the library system (how to find a book, who to ask for help)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the parts of a book (title, author, copyright, etc)
  • Identify text that uses sequence or other logical order.
  • Respond to who, what, when, where, and how questions.
  • Follow one-step written instructions.
  • Use context to resolve ambiguities about word and sentence meanings.
  • Relate prior knowledge to textual information.
  • Narrate the central ideas of simple expository or fiction passages.
  • Write and speak in complete, coherent sentences.
  • Identify and use correctly singular possessive pronouns (e.g., my/mine, his/her, hers, your/s) in writing and speaking.
  • Use a period, exclamation point, or question mark at the end of sentences.
  • Use knowledge of the basic rules of punctuation and capitalization when writing.
  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence, proper nouns, and the pronoun I.


  • Tell time to the hour.
  • Identify and show ability to use calendar (days, weeks, months, year)
  • Identify and show ability to money (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)
  • Problem Solving
  • Compares and orders whole numbers to 100 or more (<, =, >) and compares two or more sets
  • represents whole and fractional numbers using concrete materials and drawings (one-half, one-fourth, and three-fourths)
  • knows that the total of equivalent fractional parts makes a whole (ex., two halves equal one whole)
  • represents equivalent forms of the same number, up to 20 or more, through the use of concrete materials (including coins), diagrams and number expressions (ex., 16 can be represented as 8+8, 10+6, 4+4+4+4, 20-4, 17-1)
  • counts orally to 100 or more by 2s, 5s, 10s, with and without a hundred chart
  • uses concrete materials, pictures and symbols to show the grouping and place value of numbers to 100 or more
  • knows the place value of a digit and the significance of zero as a place holder
  • demonstrates knowledge of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference) using manipulatives, drawings, symbols and story problems
  • adds and subtracts 2-digit numbers without regrouping (sums to 100) using models, concrete objects and drawings
  • Count up and back by 1’s starting with any number up to and including 20
  • knows easier addition/subtraction facts by memory
  • demonstrates an understanding of measurement by selecting the correct units of measurement (ex., weight, length, time, temperature and capacity)
  • measures length, weight or capacity of an object using standard and nonstandard units (ex., pounds, grams or wooden blocks)
  • estimates, measures and compares dimensions of an object
  • estimates and measures the passage of time using before or after, yesterday, today or tomorrow; day or night; morning, afternoon or evening; hour or half-hour
  • knows and compares money values including the quarter, penny, nickel, dime and dollar
  • knows appropriate standard tools for measuring linear dimensions, weight, capacity, temperature and time
  • knows and sorts 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional figures according to their attributes (ex., vertices, edges, curves and faces)
  • understands lines of symmetry and uses concrete materials to construct the reflection of a given shape
  • demonstrates slides and turns using concrete materials
  • locates and explains known and unknown numbers on a number line from 0 – 100 or more
  • predicts and extends existing patters that are concrete or pictorial
  • solves addition and subtraction sentences where an unknown number is represented by a geometric shape (ex., 2 + o = 9)
  • uses concrete objects to solve number sentences with equalities and inequalities (using the symbols >, =, <)
  • uses mathematical language to read and interpret data on a simple concrete graph, pictorial graph or chart
  • uses concrete materials, pictures or graphs to display and identify range and mode
  • knows if a given event is more likely, equally likely, or less likely to occur (ex., six blue marbles and two green marbles in a bag)
  • collects data for a survey with two or more categories or choices, creates a class chart or pictograph and analyzes results
  • Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
  • Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value.
  • Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).


  • Students describe the rights and individual responsibilities of citizenship.
  • Understand the rule-making process in a direct democracy (everyone votes on the rules) and in a representative democracy (an elected group of people make the rules).
  • Understand the elements of fair play and good sportsmanship, respect for the rights and opinions of others, and respect for rules by which we live, including the meaning of the “Golden Rule.”
  • Students compare and contrast the absolute and relative locations of places and people and describe the physical and/or human characteristics of places.
  • Locate on maps and globes their local community, their state, theUnited States, the seven continents, and the five oceans.
  • Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation.


  • Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across time
  • Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Understand the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them.
  • Identify American symbols, landmarks, and essential documents, such as the flag, bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and know the people and events associated with them.


  • Materials come in different forms (states), including solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Students know the properties of substances can change when the substances are mixed, cooled, or heated.
  • Students know both plants and animals need water, animals need food, and plants need light.
  • Students know animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants or even other animals for shelter and nesting.
  • Students know roots are associated with the intake of water and soil nutrients and green leaves are associated with making food from sunlight.
  • Understand that weather can be observed, measured, and described.
  • Students know how to use simple tools (e.g., thermometer, wind vane) to measure weather conditions.
  • Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.

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Reviewing Kindergarten goals

As I get ready to move Big Brother into more and more First Grade Work; I have taken some time to review our kindergarten goals to be sure he is as ready as I feel he is for First.  He has mastered almost everything we set out as ‘to be learned in Kindy’.  There are a few things lacking, but I realized as I went though the list the things he “can’t do” are things I have not introduced or exposed him too.

So after reviewing this, our goals for the year, I feel even more sure he is ready to move on to First Grade curriculum.   I’ll intentionally hit on the final few items from this list, and start on First Grade.

 Items he has not had exposure to in RED

Items in BLUE he has some skill in, but not Mastery of 

Social Studies
  • Meanings of holidays, traditions, and customs
    * Individual’s role in family, home, school, and community
    * Relationship of the individual to the group
    * Safety rules and symbols
    * Basic human needs
    * Location / Diagram of home and other common location
  • Recognize events that reoccur (at specific times of the day or week).
  • Knowledge ofUSA– location on globe, national bird, distinct from other countries
  • Knowledge of where child lives (country, state, city)
  • 4 directions
  • Name of 7 Continents


  • Observation of everyday, familiar things
    * Common animals and plants
    * Interrelationships of animals and plants
    * Classification of living things
    * Like and unlike plants
    * Weather and seasons
    * Temperature
  • Use a balance scale to compare the weight of two objects and identify which is heavier.
  • Simple measurement
  • Sort, order and classify — Sort and classify objects by attributes including size, shape, color, texture, orientation, position and use, and explain the reason for each sort.
  • Describe and make comparisons of qualitative and quantitative changes of a given pattern using terms such as warmer, softer, more, one more, less, one less, bigger, smaller, longer and shorter.
  • Identify and extend visual, auditory and physical patterns to make predictions.
  • Describe location, direction, and position of objects or parts of objects, using terms such as under/over, inside/outside, next to/near, top/bottom, in front of, first and last.
  • Pose questions about objects and events in the environment that can be used to guide the collection of data.
  • Collect data, record and the results using real graphs and picture graphs.
  • Arrange information in a systematic way using counting, sorting, lists and graphic organizers.
  • Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
  • Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.
Speech / Communication
  • Following and giving directions
  • Use the most frequently occurring prepositions correctly (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
  • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion)
  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
  • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
  • Relating events and experiences using complete sentences


Language Arts / Phonics /Reading
  • Social listening
  • Constructing visual images while listening
  • Paraphrasing and summarizing
  • Recognize and name end punctuation.
  • Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page
  • Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • Recite familiar stories, poems, nursery rhymes, and lines of a play
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
  • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
  • Phonics


Health and Safety
  • Personal hygiene
    * Good eating habits
    * Good grooming
    * Care of teeth
    * Physical fitness
  • Major body parts
  • Name 5 senses and identify organ of use
Mathematics / reasoning
  • Simple counting to 100
  • Count to 100 by 2, 5 And 10.
  • Write numbers from 0 to 20.
  • Understand One-to-one relationship
  • Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
  • Sequence of events
  • Recognize, reproduce, extend and create repeating patterns.
  • Measurement:
    * Concepts of more, less than, same.
    * Correspondence of quantities
    * Ordinal-cardinal relationship
  • Identify the ordinal position of objects: first, second, third, fourth, fifth and last.
  • Meaning of addition and subtraction
  • Act out and solve addition and subtraction story problems that reflect real-world experiences and contextual problems using sets of up to 10 objects and describe the strategy or reasoning used to solve a problem.
  • Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10.
  • Write the number sentences that correspond to story problems using addition, subtraction and equals symbols (+, -, =) correctly
  • Fluently add and subtract within 5.
  • Number line (Introduction and use for simple math)
  • Identify and describe familiar shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles and circles) and solids (cubes, spheres, cylinders, cones and prisms) in the environment.
  • Basic chart and graph concepts
  • Locate yesterday, today, and tomorrow on a calendar to sequence events and use terms such as before and after to compare events.
  • Complete simple shape and jigsaw puzzles
  • Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes
  • Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes. writ writing





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