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Building Math Skills -- Grades K - 1

Distribute an article that gives timely advice to parents on how to foster math skill building in their child.
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Building Math Skills

Kindergarten to Grade 1
Tips for Parents

  • Cut out cardboard squares, triangles, and circles (five of each, atleast two to three inches in size). Make a game of putting the shapes that arethe same together. This is an exercise in classification. Does your childrecognize the difference in the shapes? Does he or she know what the shapes arecalled? If not, ask again at a later time.

  • Put your cardboard shapes into a pattern: for example, line up a circle,square, triangle, circle, square, and triangle. Ask your child to put the otherpieces together in the same pattern. This is another classification activity.

  • Put out five buttons and ask your child, "How many buttons are there?"Take two away and ask, "How many are there now?" You could add to thisas a way of determining how your child's understanding of numbers is developing.

  • Another way of seeing how well your child understands numbers is to playboard games that call for markers to be moved forward and backward so manyspaces -- for example, "Now you can move four spaces forward."

  • Ask your child to help you measure something in the house -- a rectangulartable, a room, a bookshelf. The process will demonstrate your child's beginningmeasurement skills.

  • With counters (buttons, game pieces, or the like) at hand, ask what twoplus two equals, what two minus two equals, what two minus one equals, whetherfive is greater than four or less than four.

  • Telling time is an important skill. Occasionally ask your child, "Canyou see what time it is?" (Do not expect a precise reading unless from adigital clock.)

  • While cooking or baking, ask your child to put in some of what the recipecalls for: three tablespoons of sugar, two cups of flour, and the like. This isa good way to see your child put math to use.

  • There are many opportunities for counting during everyday activities. Whilecooking you could ask, "Can you count out six potatoes?" Or ask, "Canyou put ten cookies on the plate for dessert?"

  • Read the house numbers as you go around the block.

Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your Kindergartner -- 1st Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.