Kids have fun learning many first-grade math activities based on the math concepts learned in kindergarten. They already have a better understanding of some key concepts as they can expand their math abilities. It teaches the students some core fundamentals in a fun and effective way. It arms the students with the right tools and confidence to build a strong foundation for understanding higher grade concepts in years to come.
How Much Should a First Grader Child Know?
Once the child masters the numbers and counting from their kindergarten stage, it is now time to learn the basic concepts of first-grade maths problems. Here, the child improves upon basic concepts, including arithmetic, number values, measurements, and various shapes and compositions. You can make the learning more interactive as the child try to learn these concepts. They will enjoy and proceed with each learning session with fun and enthusiasm.
They would familiarise themselves with certain key concepts and then advances to higher grade topics and math strategies. Some of the first grade common core math standards include the following:
- Counting numbers, identifying and writing numbers.
- Performing addition and subtraction with one-digit numbers.
- Understanding the concept of quantity.
- To be able to place values (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.)
- Familiarise different patterns and shapes
The main idea behind the math curriculum for first grade is to make sure that they gradually learn the concepts by motivating them through a fun and engaging session. Besides, ensuring mastery over the math skills, the child should improve significantly in understanding its basic applications in real life.
Topics Covered Under First Grade Math Curriculum
Generally, a child should be able to understand and master the skillsets specified in the curriculum at the end of grade one. The child is expected to perform the tasks at hand and apply some of the concepts in day to day life.
Here are the basic math concepts a child is expected to master after the first grade:-
Counting and Numbers
- The child should be able to count, write, and identify numbers up to tens place in a two-digit number.
- Also, the child should understand the concept of fractions using pictures and objects.
Classification and Estimation
- The child should be able to classify two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects based on their attributes. For instance, the child should recognize objects based on their color, position, shape, size, corners, etc. The child should be able to explain which of these attributes are being used to classify the objects.
- The child should have an understanding of the basic addition and subtraction of numbers. Following which, the child should be able to solve similar questions and compare the answer to arrive at the estimation. For instance, how many quarters are required to buy a candy worth $1?
- The child should be able to estimate the number of objects and classify them accordingly. For instance, how many squares are there on a sheet of paper? How many candies are there in a box, etc.?
Geometric Shapes and Graph Analysis
- The child should be able to identify and describe various shapes and their compositions. These include circles, triangles, squares, spheres, rectangles, prisms, pyramids, cones, and cubes.
- The child would then progress towards identifying, describing, and organizing numbers and their patterns accordingly. For instance, prime numbers (1, 3, 5, 7…) and even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8….).
- The next stage is set for the child to be able to plot these numbers on a graphical representation or organizing them in a chart, table, and graphs.
Measurement and Comparison
- The child should be able to compare and measure objects using standard and non-standard units.
- Comparing and measuring the length, weight, and volumes of objects make the child being able to demonstrate an understanding of these concepts.
- Comparing the volumes of liquids in different shapes and sizes of containers can be useful.
- Understanding the concepts of ‘greater than’, ‘lesser than’, or ‘equal to’ by comparing numbers using the standard symbols (>, <, =) is essential at such stage.
- The child should be able to identify ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ a random particular number.
- Then the child should be able to arrange the number in an ascending or descending order.
Addition and Subtraction
- The child should learn to add and subtract numbers to and from 0 to 20.
- The child should be able to add two or more one-digit numbers.
- Solving problems that include addition and subtraction of numbers will help master the concepts.
- In addition to that, demonstrating an understanding of the symbols associated with mathematics while performing a simple math problem with a known answer will help further. For instance, 5 _ = 7?
- Creating multiple stories or first grade math word problems that depict simple mathematical problems can also be helpful.
Time and Money
- The child should learn the basic count combination and how much a number is equivalent to the other. For instance, counting and combining quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies, and a dollar to form a fractional number.
- Understanding and able to tell time on both analogue and digital clocks or watches will be a good start.
- The child should then be able to relate time with respect to certain events that took place earlier, or after, and which one of them took a longer or shorter duration.
- Allowing the children to read and identify months, days, and days of the week in the calendar will also be beneficial.
What to Do if Your Child Already Knows Most of the Curriculum Material
In exceptional cases, some kids may be gifted and could perform several tasks at hand, including mathematical problems before the end of first grade. Such kids may be able to add or subtract single-digits from the back of their minds. Few of them may also be able to add or subtract double-digit numbers with ease. In addition to this, very few may be able to do this task before enrolling in grade one classes.
Parents can identify their kids based on such abilities and can easily enrich them at home. With proper training and activities, parents can engage them to make the learning process simpler and fun at home. These kids can even perform significantly at such a tender age with their parents’ support and guidance. They can perform a few tasks to check if their kids are constantly getting frustrated or are complaining due to a lack of challenges.
Parents may also opt for a grade skip in case the child is truly gifted. In such a case, the parents and the school need to shift their focus on developing the child’s emotional intelligence and physical abilities. This will ensure a holistic approach to the child’s overall development. Some schools may resist grade skipping, and the best option would be to supplement other learning at home by their parents.