Congratulations! Your child has officially graduated from kindergarten and is ready to start first grade. Although your child might be excited about this change, there are many things that are different in first grade. Your child will be expected to have more responsibility and will be expected to know more about math. Continue reading to discover some essential math skills your first grader needs to know this year.
Addition & Subtraction
Most likely, your child learned basic addition and subtraction skills in kindergarten. Your child was probably taught to use pictures or drawings to help combine two groups or to take away from a group. Starting in first grade, your child will now be expected to work addition and subtraction equations (7+8=?). These equations will be more difficult because your child will be working with larger numbers and will need to add up to three numbers (7+8+2=?). Do your best to help your first grader get ready for these more difficult math skills
You might think that children don’t learn place value for a few years yet, but your first grader will be taught the basics to serve as a foundation in math. Your first grader will be expected to identify the ones and tens place, as well as how much that place is worth. For example, your child might be given the task of identifying the place and value of the 5 in the number 58. Using this example, your child will be expected to identify the five as being in the tens place and the value as 50 (5 tens). This basic foundation in place value will be an important building block as larger and larger numbers are introduced in later grades.
If your child doesn’t already know how to tell time on a clock, you might want to start working on that. In first grade, your child will be expected to tell and write time in hours and half hours. Start working on this skill by teaching your first grader that the little hand tells the hour. Use a small clock to practice identifying the hour. Once your child seems to have mastered this skill, you can move on to explaining how the big hand works. Telling time using the big hand will be a little harder for your child to master because they will need to skip count by 5s.
Understand Data & Graphs
This year, your first grader will be introduced to basic data and graphing skills. Your child will be shown simple graphs and expected to answer questions with the data shown. For example, a bar graph might be used to show how much of the class likes carrots and how much of the class likes celery. Using the graph, your child should be able to say that more students like carrots than celery.
First grade is an important grade for many math skills. Your child will be expected to learn the basics on place value, addition, and subtraction, time and data. A strong foundation in these basics will help your child be successful in math.