What first grade math skills are children expected to learn? Here is an overview of what kids need to know.
First graders are still developing their counting skills. By the end of first grade, they should be counting to 100 by ones. They should also be skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s (important for later multiplication), and be able to count backwards starting on any number up to 100 (a skill that will be used in subtraction).
Number sense is all about getting a "feel" for numbers, which is especially important in these foundational stages of learning first grade math. Here are some examples of what kids will be expected to learn:
They will also begin to understand place value, the idea that numbers can represent "tens" or "ones" depending on where they are in the number, so that 3 can stand for "thirty" in 32, or for "three" in 23. Many kids need math help in this area.
First graders will also start to solve simple addition and subtraction problems in their head, do addition and subtraction word problems, add columns of numbers, and begin working with place value concepts and regrouping (also known as "carrying" or "borrowing").
Six year olds are still developing a sense of time, and some will still be working on the days of the week. They will learn to tell time to the hour and half hour, and will get a better sense of how long a minute is.
First graders will learn to count coins and use money to buy objects under a dollar. They will measure objects informally with things like string or paper clips, and learn to use a ruler and measuring cups.
What, you didn't know they do fractions already in first grade math? Yes indeedy. Many of us needed math help when we were learning fractions, and your kids probably will, too. First graders should be able to identify the fractions one-half, one-third, one-fourth, and one-fifth, either in pieces of a whole, or parts of a group. Some kids will grasp the concept so well that they can identify fractions like two-thirds, and may understand that one-half is bigger than one-third.
They are able to identify equal parts, and can divide objects up evenly (fairly) between up to 10 people.
In first grade geometry, children will be asked to identify and draw circles, squares, rectangles and triangles. They count sides and corners, and can put shapes together or break them apart to make new shapes. They also learn to recognize and name 3D figures like cube, sphere, prism, pyramid, and cylinder. Because geometry carries with it so much new vocabulary, it is good to become familiar with the terms and use them often throughout the year to give kids time to learn them naturally.
Find out more about the area of first grade math your child is working on by visiting one of the math pages below.