In most kindergarten classes, math is woven throughout the day’s activities. This is especially effective because math becomes more meaningful when it is experienced in real-life contexts. Most importantly, your kindergartner will go beyond simply counting the numbers to understanding what numbers represent and actively using them to represent quantities. Daily kindergarten math activities include learning numbers, practicing counting, addition and subtraction, and learning concepts of time, measurement, and categorization. In addition, playing with puzzles, building toys, blocks, and games helps kindergarteners practice and build math skills in an enjoyable and engaging way, making their learning more meaningful and effective.
In order to build math skills, your kindergartner:
- Understands that numbers represent quantity and uses them to do so.
- Counts and writes numbers from 1-20 (and potentially higher).
- Counts out and compare quantities, usually up to 20.
- Counts out and groups objects in order to solve single-digit addition and subtraction problems.
- Begins to recognize and understand the meaning of the plus and minus signs.
- Uses drawings, objects, actions and sounds to represent and practice addition and subtraction.
- Practices beginning measurement and graphing skills, often through the creation of class-wide graphs, such as graphing favorite snacks or how kids get to school.
- Learns about and begin to count to 100, specifically through tallying the days of school and a celebration on the 100th day of school (many but not all kindergarten classes do something like this).
- Creates patterns.
- Cook with Patterns: Patterns can be used in lots of cooking. Make patterns with cereal necklaces, decorate cookies, make layered sandwiches with bread or crackers, or make simple patterns using your child’s favorite colored candies.
- Tell Math Stories: Use objects or even yourselves to practice addition and subtraction. If you have a bowl of 5 apples, ask your child to help figure out how many you will have left if you take away 3.
- Build Things: Use blocks, Legos, or any other building toys to construct houses, towers, vehicles etc. As your child builds, ask him to count pieces, create patterns, and talk about the shapes.
- Take a Poll: Ask family members a question and create a graph of the answers using numbers and pictures.
- Find the Sizes in Nature: Go outside and collect things in nature such as leaves, stones, and pinecones. After you’ve collected things, count how many things you found and then talk about their sizes, which are larger, smaller, the largest, and the smallest. You can even add objects that are the same (for example, all of the leaves).