Tips for Parents - Grade 1

  • Count objects such as jellybeans in a bowl, pennies in a jar, cheerios in a baggie, etc.
  • Estimate and then count a given number of objects.
  • Find numbers in newspapers, magazines, or on items around the house.
  • Practice counting forwards and backwards starting at any given number within 120 while doing various activities-driving in the car, jumping rope, waiting in line at a store, etc.
  • Divide a deck of cards evenly between players. Each player flips over a card, the player with the highest card wins the cards. Continue until one player has all cards in the deck.
  • Put different items into groups and talk about which group has more or less items using the terms greater than and less than.
  • Roll dice and create numbers. Say what is 10 more or 10 less than that number.
  • Play "20 Questions" and try to guess a mystery number within 120. (Example: Does your number have 3 digits? Is your number greater than 56?)
  • Count a number of objects and put them in a cup or bag. Then place more objects beside the cup or bag and continue counting. (Example: With 10 pennies in a cup, start counting on 11 and continue.)
  • Play board games that involve counting such as Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Encourage and remind your child to remember that the space he/she is currently on does not get counted twice. Discuss why that would not be helpful in winning the game.

  • Roll 2 or 3 dice with single digit numbers and add them together. (Example 4 + 2 or 4 + 2 + 1)
  • Roll 2 dice to create a 2-digit number and record it. Roll 1 die and add it to the 2-digit number you created. (Example: 47 + 6)
  • Add all the digits of your house number together.
  • Make a train with Legos or colored blocks. Write a number sentence for the different colors in the train.
  • Add the price of two items at a store.
  • Compare gas prices to find the lowest amount.
  • Start with 20 counters (beans, pennies, etc.) and roll two dice to make a 2-digit number. Subtract counters until you get to 0.
  • Give your student an addition or subtraction number sentence and ask them to make up a story problem to go with the number sentence.

  • Go on a shape hunt outside, ask your student to name the shapes of doors, windows, bicycle wheels, etc. Ask how your child knows that the door is rectangle and not a square or triangle.
  • Ask your student to identify the shapes of various road signs while traveling in the car.
  • Talk with your student about the various shapes of items packaged in the grocery store.
  • Build with blocks. Discuss what shapes were used to create the structure.
  • While playing board games, discuss why a die can only have 6 numbers on it.
  • Create your own puzzle by taking a sheet of paper and drawing lines from one side to the other and cutting out the pieces. Discuss the smaller shapes you made within the whole piece of paper.
  • Use a given number of popsicle sticks and try to make as many different closed shapes as you can.

  • Measure the length of various items around the house using different objects (crayons, pennies, etc.).
  • Use different objects (pennies, beads, etc.) to measure your family members' hands or feet.
  • Keep track of your child's growth each month by measuring his/her height using standard and non-standard units of measurement.
  • Use an analog clock to show the time to the hour and half-hour.
  • Show your child the time on an analog clock and have them write what the time would look like on a digital clock.
  • Talk with your child about specific times that activities occur - eating breakfast, going to school, dinner time, bed time, etc.
  • Talk about graphs in newspapers and magazines.
  • Take a family survey and make a graph based on the data. (Example: What is your favorite summer vacation?)
  • Use toothpicks or popsicle sticks to show tally marks.
  • Create a bar graph based on the amount of time your child reads, plays outside, or watches television.
  • Create a pictograph to show the number of hours of sleep or exercise your family gets each day.
  • Compare the heights of members in your family using language such as "taller than" and "shorter than."

  • Use a manipulative (macaroni, beads, buttons) to show each math fact.
  • Choose a fact and try to find a domino that represents that fact. (Example: 4 + 2 would be represented by a domino with 4 dots in one box and 2 dots in the other)
  • Play Memory by using 2 of the same set of cards and putting them face down. Keep the matches you find.
  • Play Compare by splitting 1 set of fact cards into two piles. Each player flips a card over, and the player with the greater sum/difference keeps both cards.
  • Have an adult show you a flash card. Give the sum/difference as quickly as you can.*
  • Have an adult say a math fact and leave out one of the numbers. Fill in the missing number. (Example: 2 + ? = 4)
  • Choose a fact card and draw a picture to show the fact.
  • Write a word problem to go with a fact. Solve your problem. (Example: 3 + 2, "There were 3 brown dogs and 2 white dogs. How many dogs were there?")
  • Spread out 1 set of fact cards, face up, on a table. Say a sum/difference and have your child find the fact card that goes with it.*
  • Tape fact cards on different doors in your house. Have your child give the sum/difference for the fact card before being able to open the door.*
  • Put 1 set of cards face down. Each player takes turns flipping 2 cards. When you find an addition and subtraction fact within the same fact family, you keep the pair.
  • Have an adult read aloud an addition fact. You say a subtraction fact found in the same fact family.
*Sum: the answer to an addition problem (Example: in 2 + 3 = 5, 5 is the sum)
*Difference: the answer to a subtraction problem (Example: in 8 – 3 = 5, 5 is the difference)
Fact Family: **a collection of related addition and subtraction facts made from the same numbers (Example: For 7, 8, and 15, the addition/subtraction fact family consists of 7 + 8 = 15, 8 + 7 = 15, 15 - 8 = 7, 15 - 7 = 8)