Math Milestones in Grades K-2

Math milestones in grades K-2
Math milestones in Grades K-2

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones in grades K-2 that most kids hit ROUGHLY in those grades. Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Kindergartners (Age 5 years)

  • Begin to understand basic time concepts, like morning or days of the week
  • Add by counting the fingers on one hand—1, 2, 3, 4, 5—and starting with 6 on the second hand
  • Identify the larger of two numbers and recognize numerals up to 20
  • Understand the meaning of words like unlikely or possible
  • Copy or draw symmetrical shapes
  • Start using very basic maps to find a “hidden treasure”
  • Follow multi-step directions that use words like first and next

First and Second Graders

  • Know the difference between two- and three-dimensional shapes and name the basic ones (cubes, cones, cylinders)
  • Count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens
  • Do basic addition and subtraction up to 20
  • Read and create a simple bar graph
  • Predict what comes next in a pattern and create own patterns
  • Recognize and know the value of coins
  • Write and recognize the numerals 0 to 100, and the words for numbers from one to twenty

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Math Milestones for Preschoolers

Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.
Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Whether it is shapes, counting or finding patterns, little ones are constantly building on what they already know and hitting some major math milestones.  

Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones most kids hit around ROUGHLY the same age.   Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Babies (0-12 months)

  • Start to understand relative size (baby is small, parents are big)
  • Begin to understand words that describe quantities (more, bigger, enough)
  • Begin to predict the sequence of events (like setting the table means dinner is coming soon)
  • Start to understand basic cause and effect (tickling makes you laugh)
  • Begin to classify things in simple ways (play with toys, eat food)

Toddlers (Ages 1-2 years)

  • Match basic shapes (triangle to triangle, circle to circle)
  • Explore measurement by filling and emptying containers
  • Begin reciting numbers, but may skip some of them
  • Understand that numbers mean “how many” (using fingers to show how many years old they are) 
  • Start seeing patterns in daily routines and in things like floor tiles
  • Understand words that compare or measure things (under, behind, faster)

Preschoolers (Ages 3-4 years)

  • Start predicting cause and effect (what will happen to the ground when it rains)
  • Uses spatial awareness to put puzzles together.
  • Recognized shapes in the real world
  • Start sorting things by shape, color, size, or purpose.
  • Compare and contrast using classifications like size, gender, height
  • Count to at least 20 and accurately point to and count items in a group.
  • Understand that numerals stand for number names (3 stands for three)

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

June Trivia Questions for Kids & Adults

Trivia questions can be fun for kids and adults.  In March we looked at questions in the General Knowledge category. and in April we looked at the category of movies. June Trivia focuses on U.S. Trivia. Check them out and have some fun!

June Trivia questions can help your memory.

Warm Up (Easy) Questions

  1. Which US State is nicknamed The Golden State?
  2. What US State can you find San Francisco
  3. If Alaska is the biggest state in America what is the second biggest?
  4. In which state is Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the USA?
  5. What was called Windy City by a New York newspaper editor?
  6. Which ocean is off the California coast?
  7. Which ocean is off the New York coast?
  8. What is the four-letter name of the valley that stands north of San Francisco and is an important grape growing area of the USA?

Warm Up (Easy) Answers

  1. California
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Nevada
  5. Chicago
  6. Pacific
  7. Atlantic
  8. Napa

Challenge Questions

  1. Which mountains stretch from West Virginia to Georgia?
  2. If you landed at Lindberg airport where are you?
  3. Which US city looks southwards into Canada?
  4. IF it is 3 a.m. in Nevada, what time is it in Montana?
  5. Angel Falls in Venezuela is the highest waterfall but where is the second highest waterfall in the world?
  6. Located on three islands, what is the only American national park located south of the equator?
  7. Which is the only one of the original 48 states to have a fjord – a narrow sea inlet bordered by steep cliffs?
  8. In which US State is Panama City?
  9. What is the capital of Alabama?
  10. What is the only place below sea level in the US that is not in the California desert?
  11. The Colorado River flows through which mountain range? 
  12. In which US city is the Sears tower?
  13. Which American state beginning with the letter A was the first US STSTE to recognize Christmas as an official holiday?

Challenge Answers

  1. Blue Ridge
  2. San Diego
  3. Detroit
  4. 4 a.m.
  5. Yosemite
  6. National Park of Samoa
  7. Maine
  8. Florida
  9. Montgomery
  10. New Orleans
  11. The Rockies
  12. Chicago
  13. Alabama

If you enjoyed these trivia questions, be sure to check out next month’s questions and answers on WORLD GEOGRAPHY

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Jokes for Kids & Adults

Jokes Make Us Smile
Let’s all Laugh

If ever there was a time that we all need to smile, it certainly is now. When kids learn about jokes they often tell some really “corny” ones and sometimes you just have to laugh because THEY THINK they are REALLY FUNNY!    A smile or a laugh could do us all some good!

Top Jokes This Month

  • What do you call a snowman in July? ANSWER: A puddle.
  • What race is never run? ANSWER: A swimming race.
  • What is the best day to go to the beach? ANSWER: SUNday.
  • Why does a seagull fly over the sea? ANSWER: Because if it flew over the bay, it would be a baygull.
  • Where do sheep go on vacation? ANSWER: The Baaa-hamas. 
  • What part of the fish weighs the most? ANSWER: The scales. 
  • What happens if you throw a red sun hat in the water? ANSWER: It gets wet 
  • What does a mermaid use to call her friends? ANSWER: A shell phone
  • What’s gray, has four legs and a trunk? ANSWER: A mouse on vacation
  • How can you tell that the ocean is friendly? ANSWER: It waves!

Go on.  Admit it. 

At least one of these gave you a laugh, a giggle or at least an eye roll.  

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Handedness: Left or Right? Can you Tell?

If you’re curious about which hand your young child prefers, be sure to watch closely and take notes. Identifying hand preference can be difficult. A parent will have to use good observation skills and patience.

Good observations and skills will help you determine your child's handedness.
Good observations and skills will help you determine your child’s handedness.

The discussion of left vs. right handedness has been a conversation in by household since my oldest child was a toddler.  With 2 right handed parents, my oldest son is a lefty.  This perplexed our family until we learned from my parents that until I entered school, I was a lefty.  In those days, it was quite common to “unlearn” left handedness in school to be considered “normal”. Today, educators are more aware that it’s genetics and the brain that leads to a child’s dominant hand. Changing a child’s dominant hand is no longer an accepted practice and left handedness is, indeed, normal.  

The left/right hand conversation continues in our house today but has moved to understanding the handedness of my grandchildren.  With a left-handed son and daughter in law it would be my guess that at least one of their 3 children would be left handed.  However, so far, we have 2 righty’s and 1 not yet determined.  My daughter and son in law, both right handed, have confused us by having 3 left handed children.  My youngest son and daughter in law, both right handed have 1 right handed daughter and 1 not yet determined. So, with all these unexplained handedness questions in our family, I’m on a search for answers.

What is Hand Dominance or Handedness?

Simply, hand dominance or handedness is the hand that is most used in performing tasks.  This hand is the most nimble and rapid in performance. When young children start to consistently favor one hand over the other, they are showing that they are a “righty” or “lefty”.

Interesting Facts About Lefties and Righties

  • Hand preference is usually hereditary.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to be left-handed.
  • No matter what your child’s preference is experts advise against pressuring your child to choose one hand over the other or rushing the process.
  • Roughly 90 percent of us are right-handed.
  • You won’t be able to completely identify if your child is right or left-handed until the beginning of elementary school.

11 Things to Observe When Discovering Handedness

The list below contains some generally considered reliable indicators of hand preference.

  • Observe which foot is used to regain balance when a child loses balance.  
  • See which ear your child uses for speaking and listening on a phone.  
  • Which eye does he use when he looks through a hole in a piece of paper or looks through a telescope or kaleidoscope?
  • Ask your child to cross their legs and watch which leg they place on top.
  • When reaching for an item placed directly in front of him, what hand does he reach with?
  • If your child stirs things counter-clockwise, he/she is most likely left handed.
  • Which hand does he hold a toothbrush, silverware, comb?
  • Opening a door, a left-handed person will generally open it towards the right and a right-handed person towards the left.
  • Watch how your child twists a lid off a jar.  A left handed will try to twist to the left A right handed will try to open it to the right.
  • What hand does your child tend to use when blowing his or her nose?
  • Watch closely what foot and hand your child uses when participating in sports activities.

5 Activities to Reinforce Left and Right

So how do we learn our left and right? Although the exact process is not totally understood, the concept can be taught and reinforced both in preschool and at home.   

  • Sing songs such as the Hokey Pokey to both teach and reinforce left/right.
  • Left, Right, Center (LRC) game – Start with 3 tokens and 3 dice that have a L, R, or C on each one.  After rolling the 3 dice, you pass one of your tokens to each of the directions rolled.  The C is for the middle.  Dots mean you keep your tokens.     
  • Be sure to stand next to the child (not opposite) when demonstrating left/right to avoid confusion.  
  • Use the terms left and right in everyday activities –Show me your left foot, raise your right hand etc.
  • Dressing – When helping your child to dress always begin with their dominant side “step in with your right foot, slide your right arm through the sleeve”.

Quick Trick: Have children place their hands palm down in front of them with the thumbs touching. The left hand looks like the letter L.  Explain that this will remind them which hand is the Left.

If you’re curious about which hand your young child prefers, be sure to watch closely and take notes. Identifying hand preference can be difficult.  A parent will have to use good observation skills and patience.  

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?