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First Grade Math Expectations

During first grade, children will be expected to read and write numerals to 100, to count objects to 100 or more, to compare and order whole numbers to 100 or more using a variety of methods including using the symbols ‹, =, and ›, and the vocabulary of less than, equal to, and more than. They will learn ordinal numbers from 1st to 10th or higher.

Simple addition and subtraction to 10 is vital. First graders need to have all their combinations to 10 in long-term memory. For example, they need to know all the combinations that equal 10, such as 10+0, 9+1, 8+2, 7+3, 6+4, 5+5, 4+6, 3+7, 2+8, 1+9, 0+10. They need to be able to do the same for all the combinations that equal 9, 8, etc.

Some of the games on the first grade CD are a valuable tool in reaching this goal. Try “Turn Over Five,” “Total of 6,” “Pyramid,” etc.

They will continue on to two-digit addition and subtraction without regrouping (what we used to call borrowing and carrying). Again, there are various games on the CD to help make this more interesting with your child being much more willing to practice.

First graders will learn about money and coin values. There are some fantastic money games on the CD. They will study simple fractions, learning that equivalent parts make a whole. The Fraction Kits games on the CD are great for helping young children truly understand what fractions are.

As a teacher, I have found that the most important thing parents can do to support their children’s mathematical growth at this age is to: count things!

Encourage your First Grader (and younger children) to count all kinds of collections! This will provide your child with rich opportunities to practice oral counting, develop more efficient counting strategies, group objects in strategic ways, record numbers, and represent their thinking.

Research shows that counting is one of the best ways to help children build number sense. Children need lots of experiences with counting to learn which number comes next, how this number sequence is related to the objects they are counting, and how to keep track of which ones have been counted and which still need to be counted.

Experience with counting provides a solid foundation for future experiences with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Count collections by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10’s. Did the answer come out the same no matter how you counted it? This may seem like a no-brainer to adults, but to a child it is a concept that needs to be learned. Finally, begin to count everything by 10s – it is our base ten system, after all.

There are many games on the First Grade Math Games CD that encourage counting.

The following are the California First Grade Mathematics Standards. They indicate what your child should know and be able to do by the time he/she leaves First Grade. I have included them because they are specific, rigorous, and reflect the First Grade mathematics standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). If you would like to know what your state’s mathematics standards include, your child’s teacher or school will be glad to give you a copy.

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