Tips for Parents - Grade 1


  1. Talking about arithmetic as it comes up in daily life. “There are eight of us eating dinner and three plates are already on the table; how many more plates do we need?”
  2. If you pay the cashier with cash, make change. Estimate the total.
  3. Play the card game “War” but use two cards instead — so your 5 + 3 = 8 beats my 2 + 5 = 7. Even better than just doing the addition in this case is reasoning that 5+3 wins because both have 5’s but the three is greater than the 2.
  4. Coin games help children to learn the value of coins. They also teach counting, addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Coupons can help teach children money management, as well as subtraction and percentages.
    What you need: Coins, grocery store coupons, and a pencil
What to do:
    1. Coin clues. Ask your child to gather some change in his or her hand without showing what it is. Start with amounts of 25 cents or less (for first-graders, you can start with pennies and nickels). Ask your child to tell you how much money and how many coins there are. Guess which coins are being held. For example, "I have 17 cents and 5 coins. What coins do I have?" (3 nickels and 2 pennies).
      Money's Worth
      Money's Worth
    2. Clip and save. Cut out grocery store coupons and tell how much money is saved with coins. For example, if you save 20 cents on detergent, say 2 dimes. Ask your child what could be purchased using the savings from the coupon. A pack of gum? A pencil? How much money could be saved with 3, 4, or 5 coupons? How could that money be counted out in coins and bills? What could be purchased with those savings? A pack of notebook paper? A magazine? How much money could be saved with coupons for a week's worth of groceries? How would that money be counted out? What could be purchased with those savings? A book? A movie ticket? What percentage of the original price is the coupon worth?
    3. Count the ways. How many ways can you make 10 cents, 25 cents, 30 cents, 40 cents, or 50 cents? You can help your child add the coins in various ways to get different answers.
    4. Try playing the coin games with coins from another country.


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