Category Archives: Math

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

In Kindergarten we eventually will learn to tell time on the hour but for the moment teachers are working on your child’s sense of time.  Does your child understand about the passing of time?  Is your child able to correctly distinguish between yesterday and tomorrow?  In my Kindergarten classroom we wrote in journals every Monday about what we did on the weekend.  Sounds easy, right?  Not so for a 5 year old.  Anything that happened more than a few hours ago is a long time ago in the eyes of a 5 year old.  In the fall, Kindergartners are not able to recall events that took place yesterday and often confuse them with events that took place months ago.  In most Kindergarten classrooms, children work on the calendar every day and talk about TODAY, TOMORROW and YESTERDAY.  We drill these words and talk about what we will do today at school, about what we did at school yesterday (or if it is a Monday, we talk about the weekend), and at the end of the school day we talk about what we will do tomorrow at school.  With continual use of these time words, Kindergartners do begin to understand time and words that are used to describe time. Please begin to incorporate these words into your family’s vocabulary so that your child hears them not only at school but at home as well.

For now, teachers focus on building your child’s sense of time.  Working with the calendar is a daily activity, and you can expect your child to learn the days of the week fairly quickly through songs and rhymes. Words like yesterday, today, and tomorrow will also be discussed.

In First Grade, learning calendar language is part of our daily math lesson.  Most children understand the passing of time, and understand what the future means…but not all children get it.  Why not?  It is not important to them and they are not developmentally ready to understand abstract passing of time.  Children do need to understand the reason we have calendars and parents, we ask that you use this language in your daily conversations with your child:

Today (name the day of the week) is…..

Tomorrow (name the day of the week) will be…..

Yesterday (name the day of the week) was….

We expect children to know the full date of today:  for example:

Today is Friday, October 26, 2012

What are the days of the week?

If your child is looking at a calendar of this month and you ask him/her to point to the last day of the month and tell what day of the week it falls on, can he/she?

It is important for your child to hear you talk using calendar language such as: today, next Tuesday, last Monday, etc and continue to support your child as he/she learns about calendars and calendar language.






Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Parents

Counting One by One

When most parents think of the readiness skills needed for Kindergarten, they immediately think of reading readiness skills.  Well that is only the half of it.  Let’s not forget about math skills.  Many children arrive in Kindergarten and are very proud of their counting skills.  Children love to be able to say “I can count to 100!”  Now most cannot do this, but they think they can.  The beginning of Kindergarten usually teaches and reinforces counting and recognizing numbers.  Kindergarten teachers want parents to know that just because your child can count by memory; it does not mean he/she can count accurately when actually counting items.  We call this one to one counting and it needs to be practiced each and every day.  Just grab a handful of cereal, coins, small toys and let the counting begin. Ask your child to count the items for you and watch carefully to be sure that each item is only counted one time and not repeated in the counting process.  Your child must touch one object for each number that is counted aloud.   Most 5 year old children get stuck when they get to 14 or 15. Counting and coordinating with the hand movement is tricky but improves with practice.  When your child gets stuck, give him/her the correct number and then ask them to count again. This process takes lots of practice but in order to be able to count accurately children must have the opportunities to practice.

Reposted from 2009

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Math

Playing Cards

Playing cards can be a great deal of fun for young children.  Many reasoning, mathematical and social interaction skills can be developed and reinforced by playing cards.  Simply buy a deck of playing cards (the kind adults use to play cards) and teach your child a few simple games.

  1. He/she can sort the cards, by color, by shape or by number
  2. He/she can play fish.  The object of the game is to collect matches of cards and collect more cards than the other player.  Deal out 7 cards to each person and then hold the cards in your hands.  The players take turns asking each other for a card that might match a card in his/her hand.  If the opposite player has a match for the card the child who asked for it, takes the card and now has a match.  When this happens he/she may ask for another card.  When a child asks and the opponent does not have a match, the opponent says “go fish.”  (which means take a card from the pile of cards that have not been used yet) If the card taken from the ‘go fish’ pile is a match, the person continues to draw another card, but if the card is not a match, the opponent now takes a turn asking.  The process then repeats itself.  When a player runs out of cards he/she may take 3 more from the ‘go fish’ pile.  When the pile is completely gone the game continues until all matches in the hands are matched.  The person with the most matches wins.
  3. War, or Challenge, whichever you prefer to call it.  Deal out the entire deck evenly between 2 players.  Each person keeps their stack of cards face down in a pile and then together both players flip over one card, the person with the highest card showing wins both cards.  If the cards match, then the players count out 2 cards facing down and turn over the 3rd card.  The person with the highest cards gets all of the cards on the table.  This game usually goes on and on and on and ends when one person just tires out.
  4. Playing cards is a good time for your child to practice social etiquette skills and learn to take turns and to be a good player and a good sport about winning or losing.
  5. Get out that deck of cards and see what fun you and your child can have tonite.
  6. Find more card games here:

Re-Posted from August 2009


Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Parents, Play, Social Skills

Child Development Tracker

Here is a wonderful site from PBS that will help you to track the skills your child should possess for his/her age. Take a look at how your child should be functioning in the following areas according to his age:

  1. Approach to Learning
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Language
  4. Literacy
  5. Math
  6. Physical Health
  7. Social and Emotional Growth

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Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Behavior, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Maturity, Parents, Play, Reading, Responsibility

Parents are Child’s Primary Teachers

Your child will encounter many teachers in his/her lifetime. Not only will there be teachers in the classroom, but there will be just as many outside of the classroom.  He/she will have teachers in sports, after school activities, music lessons, girl/boy scouts etc.  Your child will have to listen and learn from many adults but the most important teacher for your child is YOU! Yes, you! Your child’s learning is ongoing and he/she will be learning many new activities throughout his/her day, but he/she will depend upon you to help keep the learning going when he/she gets home. How to do this? During dinnertime conversation, or at bedtime:

  • Ask your child to tell you about his/her day
  • Ask your child to tell you about one new thing that he/she learned that day
  • Find ways to extend what your child is learning about school
  • If he/she is learning about a new artist in Art class, visit a local art museum
  • Play board games that reinforce math skills that are being taught
  • When your child is learning about animals, visit a local zoo or animal habitat where your child can see and learn first hand
  • When your child is learning about an important person in history, find out where local museums, or local neighborhoods are celebrating the life of that person…and then go there
  • Take your child to the local library to check out books to explore the topic
  • Look online for games, activities, lessons, videos that will reinforce what is being taught in the classroom

Remember parents, your child and your child’s teachers will be expecting your help in your child’s learning process. Please don’t let them down!

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Filed under First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Library, Math, Parents, Reading, Science, Social Skills, Writing

Math Games

Children can never have enough math practice. They should be practicing math skills over and over and over until they are like second nature.  Here is a site that has almost 80 different math games that your child can play online.  Check it out, you be certain to find a game that is just right for continued math practice for your child.

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Filed under Computer Skills, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Online Sites

80 Skills That Ease Kids’ Transition Into Kindergarten

80 Skills that will help your child make a smooth transition into Kindergarten.  80 seems like such a large number until you look at this list and realize that your child is already successful in many of these skills, and isn’t even yet in Kindergarten. Parents continue to worry about preparing their children academically to start school, when just as much consideration should be given to how emotionally prepared children are for the start of Kindergarten.  4500 nationwide Kindergarten teachers were surveyed about the skills that would be needed to transition easily into Kindergarten and a list was made from that survey. All 80 skills can be found on this website.  Is your child REALLY ready to make the transition into Kindergarten?

Re-posted from August 2009

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Filed under Alphabet, Behavior, Language Arts, Math, Maturity, Parents, Social Skills

APPS For First Graders

I continue to search for recommended APPS for both Reading and Math for First Graders and Kindergartners.  These are the latest APPS that I have found for you.

Math Magic

This APP is well reviewed and is simple and easy to use.   Child only has to tap the screen to give the correct answer.  For ages 3-8

MathSmart First Grade

Designed to help kids learn first grade math.

Top Ten First Grade APPS for iPhone:

These are the 10 APPS

  • Successfully Learning Mathematics, grade 1
  • I Spy Phonics
  • Jungle Time
  • Iwrite Words
  • Math Bumpies
  • Montesessori Crosswords
  • I Know Phonics
  • Word Bingo by ABCya
  • Math Bingo by ABCya
  • Teachme 1st Grade (Highly Recommended)


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Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Computer Skills, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Online Sites, Parents, Reading

The iPhone Mom

While doing some research to find suitable APPS for young children, I came across this blog written by a mom for moms.  The iPhone Mom searches, and reviews and then makes recommendations on age appropriate APPS for your child.  Take a look.

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Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Computer Skills, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Parents, Reading

Math and Reading Sites for Online Practice

Many parents are beginning to realize that school will be ending very soon. Although their children are counting the minutes until summer vacation begins and they won’t have to come to school, many parents are realizing the importance of keeping up with the skills that have been learned in school all throughout the summer months.  Ask any teacher and you will hear about how your child’s learned skills can be, and often are, lost during the summer.  This does not have to be!  Your child should be practicing/reviewing math and language arts (reading and writing) every day! Yes, every day.  Of course not all day long – summer is summer after all, but at least 30 minutes a day should be set aside for ‘school’ work.  I encourage my parents to make it part of the daily family schedule so that their child is expecting it and knows that he/she is going to be doing it.  The best review is spent one on one with your child so that your child sees that you value what he/she is doing and the importance of doing the review work.  In addition to the work that you will be doing with your child, I have put together a list of free online sites offering math and reading games where your child can ‘review’ at his/her own pace.  Check them out, you might find a few perfect ones that will be just right for your child entering Kindergarten, First grade or Second grade.
First Grade math sites:
2nd grade:

math and reading

Create your own worksheets and flashcards

all kinds of math

more math

lots and lots of games with links to other online sites with math games

lots of number practice

lots of facts to practice, not just numbers

math games


lots of different games, not just math

math, brain teasers, jokes

links to 50 or more websites for kids

more math games


Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Computer Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Reading