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It’s spring when the realization dawns: in a few more months your child will officially be a first-grader! It may seem like there's still plenty of time left to brush up on all the math skills that will prepare your kindergartener for success next year, but the reality is that there’s still a lot to cover, and time will fly.
In the last few months of kindergarten, your child will be challenged to take what she’s learned in math this year and apply it in new and more abstract ways. The list of shapes she knows will expand, the ways she uses addition and subtraction will change, and she’ll not only be finding solutions to mathematic problems, she'll also be choosing the approach she’ll take.
Want to know what's in store for your child in math from now, until the end of the school year? Every school is different, but here are the top six topics teachers typically cover from Spring through kindergarten graduation:
1. Counting, Recognizing and Writing Higher Numbers: As the year comes to a close, your kindergartener will perfect his counting and number recognition skills. Different schools have different standards as to how high each student should be able to count by graduation, but usually it’s at least 30. Some schools set a goal of 100. Math and writing go hand-in-hand: your child needs to not only be able to work with numbers, but be able to represent them. By now, the numbers that he used to write backwards should be turned around, and your child should feel confident recognizing numbers, even when they are out of order.
2. Geometric Solids: Also referred to as three-dimensional shapes, these brainteasers have complicated names, such as sphere and rectangular prism. If your child can get the terminology down before summer arrives, first grade geometry is sure to shape up nicely for him.
3. Addition and Subtraction: Instead of just finding the answer to an addition or subtraction problem, your kindergartener will be challenged to create addition and subtraction problems based on oral prompts (such as short stories), pictures, and manipulatives. For example, the teacher may show a picture of six apples, and then cross out two of them. Students would then be invited to write a subtraction sentence based on the scenario. (6-2=4).
4. Strategies for Problem Solving: As in the apple example above, students will begin to have to make decisions about how to solve a problem. They’ll have to choose an operation, choose the correct addends, and find the sum or difference. Students are making a gradual development from concrete mathematic thinking, to much more abstract thinking. Your mathematician has come a long way since the beginning of the year!
5. Size and Capacity Comparisons: Capacity is covered briefly in the spring of kindergarten, and size is taught and reviewed all year. Now kindergarteners will be making comparisons using appropriate descriptive words. Your child will be able to answer questions like, “Which holds more water, a spoon or a bowl?”
6. Symmetry: Once fractions are finished, symmetry is a breeze. All those cutout snowflakes and Jack-O-Lantern projects that your child may have done this year will be the groundwork for understanding symmetry.
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