As children continue their studies into term 3, Spark Math wants to make sure children are ready! After the June holidays, students may struggle when returning back to school. Some of them may experience learning loss, which refers to students’ loss of some of their educational concepts due to lack of practice during a long vacation. In this new blog series, Spark Math goes over some of the most important math concepts children should know as school and revision picks up. Here are the “Math Children Should Know Before Primary 1.”
Primary 1 and Math
Primary 1 is the beginning of more formal learning and less learning through play. For students who are entering school starting in Primary 1, the social and educational change might be shocking. Having knowledge of what’s expected before school starts will help new students keep from falling behind, especially in a subject that builds upon itself like math. Here are some of the concepts parents might want to review or introduce before starting Primary 1.
1. Addition and Subtraction
In kindergarten, students can learn how to count, verbally, all the way up to 100. While counting out loud to 100 can happen in kindergarten, it’s not expected for them to be able to write and identify numbers visually past 30. This is the number range kids will be using when they start working on addition and subtraction math problems on tests and worksheets.
Entering into Primary 1, students should understand that addition and subtraction means putting two groups of numbers together or separating them. Children should be able to do simple addition and subtraction problems with numbers between 1 and 10, with the use of manipulatives. Manipulatives are physical items kids use to help understand math problems. From building blocks to their own fingers, having a physical understanding of adding up items or taking them away, helps children grasp these concepts.
Ways to use numbers, addition, and subtraction:
- Count whenever possible to as high as possible
Examples: Count to 100 when playing hide and seek. Count amounts of fruit in a bunch of bananas or grapes.
- Use simple addition and subtraction throughout the day. Adding and subtracting different groups of objects around the house.
Examples: Add apples and oranges to get the total number of fruits. Separate toys up into smaller groups based on type. (10 toys total, 5 cars, and 5 dolls)
- Use counting to introduce money to your child.
Examples: Use coins to represent numbers up to 100. Subtract from a budget you give children for shopping.
2. Shapes and Patterns
Children should have a more expansive understanding of geometry, specifically shapes when enteringPrimary 1. Basic 2-dimensional shapes (squares, circles, triangles, etc.) should be joined with their 3-dimensional counterparts (cubes, spheres, pyramids, etc.). Students also should understand more complex shapes like stars or rhombus. Students with a diverse knowledge of shapes and their properties will have an easier time in higher level geometry.
With more variety in what shapes children know, they are able to create new and different patterns. Patterns are a sequence of repeating shapes, colours, objects, or numbers. Understanding, and more importantly being able to predict how patterns continue, is a key skill in problem solving. In math, many concepts can be broken down into patterns. Counting by 2s (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.) is a pattern children can understand and is also an introduction to multiplication. Patterns are everywhere and understanding them helps children understand the world.
Ways to use shapes and patterns:
- Find the connection between 2-d and 3-d in real life.
Examples: Try and find the 3-dimensional version of a 2-dimensional image (Picture of a ball and a ball in real life). Use construction paper to cut out simple shapes and build a 3-dimensional version with some tape and glue (Use 6 squares to build a cube)
- Look for more complex shapes in the world
Examples: Point out street signs and what shape they are. Use different shaped blocks or cutouts to create new original shapes.
- Use patterns in new ways
Examples: Create jewellery with different colours and shaped beads. Play Uno or Crazy 8’s to use patterns based on colours and numbers.
In Primary 1, kids start learning about measurement, but before they learn how to measure, they should have a good understanding of measuring tools. Letting children explore measuring tools themselves gives them the chance to identify the tools and understand how they work. A clock measures time, a thermometer measures temperature, and a ruler measures size. These items measure some of the most important parts of each day.
Time, temperature, and size are used to make some of the biggest decisions of each day. They help determine when to wake up, what to wear, if someone is getting sick, and even how far you can jump. Understanding these concepts helps children express their understanding of the world around them to others in a universal way. Making these measuring tools part of life at an early stage makes the concepts second nature.
Ways to use measurement:
- Make time an important part of the day.
Examples: Set alarms for waking up in the morning. Give kids a five-minute warning when playtime is over, or meals are about to start. Show the importance of getting to school or appointments on time.
- Use temperature to plan out different parts of the day.
Examples: Check the temperature before planning an outfit for the next day. Show kids how you use a thermometer while cooking or even making popsicles.
- Make measuring size a part of growing up.
Examples: Measure how tall the family is every few months. Show how shoes and clothes are measured.
Be ready for the new school year with Spark Math
At Spark Math, we know how critical Primary 1 is for building a strong foundation for math. Our Primary 1 programmes are the perfect jumping-off points for students to master grade level content or challenge themselves to jump ahead of their peers. Our MOE-aligned curriculum ensures everything we cover will be relevant to your child’s classroom education and then some! In our Primary 1 programmes, students move through basic addition and subtraction to double-digit work as well as other skills like telling time and counting money. Get ahead and stay there with Spark Math.
As we go deeper into term 3, it is beneficial to consolidate and revise what your child has learnt for the past year. Spark Math is an education programme perfect for helping children use the skill they learnt all year in effective and engaging ways. Available for students from kindergarten to Primary 5, Spark Math’s online programme features online classes, gamified lessons, and real-time feedback from experienced teachers. Try it for yourself by signing up to try a free demo class today!
Want to find out what your child should know for their grade level? Check out our Spark Math blog for great news and activities the whole family can enjoy. Check out our Pinterest Page for more fun activities!
Check out the rest of our Math Children Should Know series below!