I truly believe that ever Child should go at his/her own pace. When the are ready they will learn things naturally. With that in mind my family is always set out with math goals to just see where they are and what we need to focus in.
Math is very different in first grade compared to kindergarten. The first year of school is used to help introduce new concepts, such as number identification, counting, and basic addition and subtraction skills. In first grade, your child will need to be able to delve deeper into math. Your first grader will be expected to add and subtract larger numbers, as well as identify missing numbers, multiplication facts, and more. If your child is about to start first grade, here are a few skills you can work on to help make first grade a success.
Addition & Subtraction
Your first grader will learn how to add and subtract larger numbers this school year. In kindergarten, your child learned the basics of addition when asked to add-to or put-together. The same went for subtraction, with your child learning how to take-from and take-apart. Now, your child will be asked to do the same thing, but with larger numbers. First graders are expected to add numbers within 100 (23+42=?), and to subtract multiples of 10 within 100 ( 60-40=?). In order to be able to do this, your child needs a strong understanding of numbers 1-100, as well as knowledge on how addition and subtraction works. If your child struggled with adding and subtracting in kindergarten, you’ll really want to work on these skills so that your child is ready for first grade math.
In addition to knowing how to add and subtract numbers within 100, your first grader will also need to know how to figure out missing numbers. This means that your child will need to complete math problems such as __-3=6. In order to be able to calculate a problem like this, your child needs to understand that addition and subtraction are opposites. Since the larger number is missing in the previous subtraction problem, your child will need to understand that addition can be used to figure out the answer (__-3=6 is the same as 6+3=__, so that means the missing number must be 9).
Your first grader will begin to understand the basics of multiplication by learning multiplication facts. These math facts will need to be learned almost like sight words so that the answer can be recognized on sight. Start with the 1s or 2s multiplication facts, and start quizzing your first grader. After mastering the 1s and 2s, have your first grader move on to 3s and 4s. Knowing these multiplication facts and understanding that multiplication is repeated groups will help your child get ready for even more difficult math concepts.
Your first grader will begin to learn about measurements and sizes this school year. This includes being able to compare two objects and explain the length of each object with whole numbers. For example, when comparing a block with a pencil, your child should be able to use a ruler or scaled measurement stick to determine that the block is 3 units long while the pencil is 6 units long. Comparing the length of different objects will help your child be able to order objects by their length (shortest to longest or longest to shortest).
Although complicated fraction work won’t begin for a few years, your first grader will begin to build a foundation on what fractions actually are. Your first grader will be expected to divide a circle or rectangle into two or four equal parts. After dividing the shape into equal parts, your first grader will need to describe the parts as halves, quarters, or fourths. This gives your child a basic understanding that fractions are a part of the whole, meaning they are less than one.
Your child will learn many new math skills this school year, but all of these skills will be important to your first grader’s future education. Everything learned in the primary grades will serve as the foundation your child will build on for the next decade of schooling. My mom use to say building blocks are made in 1st grade. It is important that those following years the 1st grade math lessons made a strong foundation to keep on building.