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Kindergarten Math Expectations

Here is a list of objectives or goals children should achieve during kindergarten:

• Count by rote at least to 20, but preferably beyond.
• Understand the concepts of equality, more, and less
• Count backwards from 10 to 0.
• Recognize numbers
• Able to write numbers
• Recognize basic shapes
• Understand up, down, under, near, on the side, etc. (basic directions)
• Have a very basic idea of addition and subtraction
• Exposure to two-digit numbers.

They will also get started with money, time, and measuring, though it’s not absolutely necessary to master any of that. If you are a parent, keep it playful, and just have measuring cups, scales, clocks, and coins around, and answer questions.

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 Kindergartener (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 Kindergarten Math Games CD that encourage counting.

The following are the state of California’s Kindergarten Mathematics Standards. They indicate what your child should know and be able to do by the time he/she leaves Kindergarten. I have included them because they are rigorous and reflect the Kindergarten 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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