What Your Second Grader Should Know: Math

It so happens that our nation is last among 1st world countries in math and science. Apparently we do quite well until about 4th grade and then we start to loose the edge by repeating the same stuff. While math is definitely incremental (meaning that it builds upon previous lessons), a word to the wise: take short times to review basic concepts daily. You don’t have to do it via rote memorization–play games, do a little here and a little there and before you know it you’ll have an expert mathematician.

* Counting, reading, writing to 1,000

Cool Teaching Idea: You can of course, practice reading and writing the numbers all the way up to 1,000. But why not add a little fun to it? Consider taking a year to collect 1,000 of something. Yes, I’m serious. It doesn’t have to be a big something, just something. Every time you add to your collection have your child label it with the number and the word for the number. We have done this twice so far: the first time we collected 1,000 photographs (due to my daughter’s budding interest in photography. The second time, we sent a Flat Traveler 1,000 miles. A well written letter to friends and family explaining your purpose and your goal will land you with 1,000 of something before you know it!

* Counting by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, and 10’s

Teaching Tip: I learned to count by 2’s and 5’s by playing jump rope. Our math teacher would take us outside and every time we jumped. . .we had to count. Unfortunately, my daughter hates to jump rope so we play catch instead. In any case, the rhythm while practicing makes for effortless memorization.

* Ordinal numbers to 10

* Zero as a place holder

* Using sets and number facts

Teaching Tip: This is where you teach your child the idea that 2+3 and 3+2 equal the same thing. The more you work on number facts, the better your child will grasp this concept. Also, using manipulative helps drive the idea home.

* Addition and subtraction facts to 20

* Basic multiplication and division facts

* Multiplication and division facts as inverse operations

* Multiplication properties of 0 and 1

Cool websites: Here http://cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/web/2000/heal/siteslist.htm is a fairly comprehensive list of websites on the internet that have math games to practice all these new facts.

* Place value through 100’s

* Fractions in daily life

* Decimal numeration system

* Basic concept of ratio

* Geometry puzzles and activities

* Estimation

* Common customary and metric measures of time, weight, length, volume, shape, temperature

* Telling time and using the calendar

Teaching Idea: The best way to teach these concepts and really have them stick is to put kids “in charge” of their own schedule. Give them a calendar to keep track of classes on, and consider giving them a schedule to keep. For example, our oldest daughter has a list to accomplish before 9am.

* Handling money (coins)

Teaching Idea: Again, the best way to practice handling money is to handle money! Let your kids pay and then help them count the change to make sure it was correct.

* Problem solving

* Charts and graphs

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