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# Home Activities for Learning Mathematics: Grades 1 & 2

U.S. Department of Education
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

Your home is a great place for you to begin to explore and "talk" mathematics with your child. Incorporating math activities and language into familiar daily routines will show your child how math works in his everyday life and provide him with a safe environment in which to take risks by trying new things.

### Fill It Up Grades 1-2

 As you use measuring cups, call attention to the different levels and use their names: "one-fourth," "one-half" and so on. This will begin to familiarize children with the language they will use when they begin to work with fractions.

Filling empty containers provides opportunities to explore geometric concepts such as "more or less" and volume, and to apply measurement skills.

What You Need

• Measuring cup
• Four large glasses of equal size and shape
• Water

What to Do

• On a table, put the glasses in a row and fill them with water as follows: one-third cup, one-half cup, three-fourths cup, 1 cup. Ask your child questions that encourage her to compare, estimate and think about measurement. Ask, for example, "Which glass has more water? Which has less?"
• Pour more water into one of the glasses to make it equal to the amount of water in another glass. Move the glasses around so that the glasses that have the same amount of water are not next to each other. Ask your child to find the glasses that have the same amount of water.
• Help your child to do math in her head. Ask questions such as, "If I have four cups of water and I need seven, how many more do I need to pour?"

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 A good way to show children how statistics are used in the "real world" is to call their attention to statistical charts in newspapers and magazines and talk with them about what the charts show and why this information is important.

Introducing children to statistics and data analysis can begin by having them collect information, analyze it and describe or present their findings in an organized way.

What You Need

• Stopwatch, watch or clock
• Newspaper
• Blank paper
• Graph paper
• Ruler
• Small round object to trace to make a pie chart

What to Do

• Show your child how to keep track of the time he spends on two activities, such as watching television and doing homework. Help him to make a chart with two columns, one labeled "Television" and one labeled "Homework." Down the left side of the chart, write the days of the week. Tell him that you want him to write the number of minutes he spends doing each activity on each day. At the end of the week, sit down with him and talk about what the table shows.
• Help your child to make a chart to use as he watches television. Give him a stop watch (or an easy-to-read clock or watch) and tell him to record how much time of each television show is used for commercials and how much time is used for the actual show. Have him keep the record for one night of viewing. On the graph paper, help him to make a bar graph that shows the different amounts of time devoted to the show and to commercials. Or, show him how to make a pie chart.
• Together with your child, keep track of how he spends time in one 24-hour period: time spent sleeping, eating, playing, reading and going to school. Help him to measure a strip of paper 24 inches long, with each inch representing one hour. Using a different color for each activity, have him color the number of hours he spends in each activity. You and other family members can make similar charts; then your child can compare the charts and see how everyone in the family spends time.

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