First Grade Pacing Guide- Free! (Editable, Common Core Aligned)

Guess what?  I’ve finally completed a FREE, editable, Common Core aligned Pacing Guide for First Grade, and I’m posting it here for you today!  If you’ve ever wanted a way to help make your weekly lesson plans go just a little bit easier and make sure that you didn’t miss any of the major standards, then a pacing guide is just what you need!  I hope that it is helpful to you!  I’m also including an editable version for you, so that you can make your own changes and make it your own.

First Grade Pacing Guide from HeidiSongs - FREE

This pacing guide also contains links to any HeidiSongs products I have that help to teach the skills listed.  So if you use it online, you can click on any of the underlined words and it will take you to my site for information on teaching those skills through music and movement.  However, the pacing guide can certainly be used with any curriculum and any products!

First Grade Pacing Guide

Last year when I was assigned to teach a first/second grade combination (split) class, I spent a LONG time searching for a first grade pacing guide that would tell me which SKILLS to teach, and in what order.  There are a few first grade pacing guides out there, but I never found exactly what I was looking for.  I wound up asking my AWESOME team leader for one, and she actually made a really great one that covered much of the school year.  I wound up modifying it and using it often.  I am sooooo grateful to her for her help with that!  Thank you, Kelsey!

This first grade pacing guide is a further modification of that pacing guide, and also similar to the Kindergarten Pacing Guide that I made and gave away here on my blog several years ago. There are 38 weeks, and it is not dated; it is just marked “Week One, Week Two,” etc.  If you download it, you will find that each week includes:

 A weekly phonics word family to introduce, with a word list. (The words are all covered in my CVC Book, Vol. 2, and my Sounds Fun Workbooks, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.)  Click on each link and get the free sample download to see a word list.
 10 new weekly sight words to focus on, for a total of 300 for the year (Click here to download the list.)
 A weekly reading comprehension strategy, until you hit week 22 (then you review)
 A weekly language arts skill (sometimes more than one.)  ( I went through the CCSS and put in all of the major ones that I thought really needed concentrated focus in first grade, in addition to phonics, sight words, and writing.)
 A weekly writing topic.  These start with expository writing, then move to opinion, then narrative, with a few “how to” assignments and some letters to write thrown in there as well.
 A weekly science topic.
 A weekly social studies topic.
 A weekly math skill (I mostly just listed the math unit of study, (not the deconstructed standards,) because I use the district provided math text and then supplement as necessary.)

Check it out below!



How to Use a Pacing Guide
Using a pacing guide is easy!  Just keep it on a clipboard or pinned to a bulletin board near your desk.  Each week when you are ready to do your lesson plans, make sure that you introduce the new topics on the guide.  If you don’t have time to introduce one, circle it in red or highlight it, or do SOMETHING to remind yourself that you’ll need to circle around and do that one later.

But remember, a guide is just a guide.  You can change it around and do whatever you need to do to make it through the year.  These are just suggestions, not laws written in stone.  The pacing guide is meant to help take the anxiety out of planning and prepping, to help you KNOW that you will cover all of the major standards (at least in my opinion!) and not inadvertently forget one.  By the way, if you find that I’ve forgotten something important, don’t hesitate to let me know!  I may want to add it to my copy.  Plus, you can edit your own copy and put it in there! 🙂

You may be wondering if I sell products to cover every single topic.  Not at all!  If there is a link (the skill is highlighted and underlined,) then you can click on that link and find the materials I sell for that skill.  But I do not have products to teach single skill on the chart!

Just a note:  I am providing you with the editable version of this pacing guide for your personal use, not for you to post it on your own blog, website, or TPT store, etc.  Please respect my copyright and do not repost.  Thank you!

Now the next question is, am I working on a second grade pacing guide?  YES!  I’m hoping to have it finished soon- maybe even by next week.  Keep watching!  We are all in this together, and I’m doing my best to share whatever I can!

Again, here is the PDF of my First Grade Pacing Guide, and here is the editable DOC of my First Grade Pacing Guide. Enjoy! 🙂


P.S. Our newly animated sight word DVDs are out NOW!! 🙂

Animated Sight Word DVDs



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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.
  1. Thanks so much for this. I am teaching a K/1 class, so I’m looking at both your grade one and kindergarten pacing guide. Do you have an editable version of the K one too? Also, I know this is a lot to ask, but it never hurts to try… I’m having trouble opening the editable one because my school is on a Linux system. Is there any chance you could email it to me so I could open it as a Google Doc instead? I think the formatting might work out better that way. And finally, do you actually accomplish everything (generally) that you set out to do on these guides? At my school, we work on only ONE letter a week, for example. Doing 4 feels huge to me (for K). With thanks, Monika

    • Hi, Monika!
      At the present time, I do not have an editable version, but I am having an assistant work on converting the K one to an editable version this week. However, I am out of town this week, so assuming she gets it done, I’ll have it posted by Friday. If not, then later, hopefully! I will try to send you the first grade editable version via email, though.
      Do I accomplish everything on the pacing guide? Of course, there are always things that fall by the wayside. But for the most part, I do! In my school district, the kindergartners are expected to read the -at family words and 15 sight words by the end of the first trimester. Sadly, if we don’t introduce all of the letters of the alphabet right away, then NONE of the children will meet this goal. So we have to keep pushing them along.
      Now that being said, once I introduce all of the letters, there are certainly children that do not learn them all right away and need plenty of review and practice. So by all means, I give it to them! The other children that do not need to review do not have to do it; I begin teaching them to read in small groups. The children that need to learn the letters get instruction in that in their small groups. It works out!

  2. Was wondering if you have a pacing guide for preschool or know of a very good one? Preschool is always a hard area. Some years I have all four year olds and some years I have a mix of three and four year olds.

  3. Heidi,

    Thank you for making available your K-1st grade pacing guides. I was wondering if you ever had the chance to make the Kindergarten and 2nd grade editable guides (I have the non-editable K guide). I’m a relatively new teacher in the special education field. I’m working in the Bay Area (California) and I recently learned that I would have 4 grades in my classroom next year, all autistic boys and am a bit overwhelmed with planning for that many grades. Your guides are neat, and although comprehensive not dense (which is a good thing!). I especially liked you 1st grade pacing guide as a quick go-to for what to plan during any given week. Thanks! Derrick

    • Hi, Derrick!
      I do have an editable second grade pacing guide, although it doesn’t have math on it yet because I just followed our new math series and that was that! I was reluctant to publish it before I tried it out because I didn’t know how accurate it would be. However I can email you a copy if you like! I found it to be too much for my kids; I couldn’t cover everything on it in the time that I had. But it’s not a bad place to start!
      As for an editable Kinder guide, I’ll have to check on that and see what I’ve got because it’s been many years since I developed it. I wasn’t using any Microsoft products at the time; I built the original in Quark. So that’s why it’s not editable. I’ll email you at the address you left for this comment.

      • Heidi –

        I, too, teach a 1st/2nd grade class and am tweaking my pacing for next year. I used your 1st grade pacing guide as a jumping off point for what I’m doing and I would love to see your 2nd grade pacing guide. Could you e-mail me a copy of what you have? You have already saved me so much time and stress!! Thank you so much!!


  4. This is awesome! I am going into my second year of teaching, and this is just what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing!

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