First Grade


Welcome to 1st Grade Math! 

In Kindergarten, students worked with important concepts and skills to develop
confidence with numbers to 20.   In Grade 1, students review and build on the
concepts and use new models to represent numbers and numerals.

Students identify quantities of 1 to 10, recognize quantities by sight, write
numerals 0 to 9, and match representations of the numbers 1 to 10.










At home:

• Count small sets of objects, e.g. toys, blocks, or cookies.
• Show ten fingers in different combinations. Ask, “How many fingers are up?” Then
ask, “How many more to make ten?” (Hint: “We can count fingers that are down”.)


Recognizing quantities by sight, or subitizing, is an important skill because it is the first
step toward decomposing (i.e. pulling numbers apart) and composing, (putting them
back together) mentally.  These skills are foundational to strong computation strategies.












At home:

• Set out random numbers of pennies and ask “How many are there? How do you
know?” Listen for strategies other than, “I counted.” (E.g. “I see 2 and 2 and that is 4”.)
• Talk about diff erent ways to see the patterns of dots on dominoes. E.g. for 5 dots, say:
“I see 4 around the corners and 1 in the middle”.


Numbers 1 to 20

• To review teen numbers, students loop a group of ten and write the number of tens
and ones; use a ten-frame to show a group of ten; and use a numeral expander to

record one ten and some ones.

• The ten-frame helps students recognize quantities using the base of 10. Because
the frame is always 10, students can visually recognize 10 without counting. Teen
numbers can be expressed as “10 (the frame filled) and some more”.



At home:

A ten-frame is used to
recognize the parts of 10 and
teen numbers. This shows
16 as “10 and 6 more.”


• Students compare teen numbers using the language more than and less than.
A pan balance is a visual model showing what is “equal” and what is “more”
or “less”.









At home:

• Use pennies to build teen numbers shown with one group of ten and some ones.
• Compare two teen quantities and ask which is more and which is less?

(e.g. “Is 15 cents more or less than 18 cents?  How do you know?”)

• While students may be able to write numbers (e.g. 10, 17, or 23), they may not
be able to recognize that every two-digit number shows “groups of tens” and
ones left over”.
• Numbers between ten and 20 are difficult because we write them the reverse
of how we say them (e.g. we write 1 then 4 and say “fourteen”). But for 20 through
to 99, we say the numbers in the same way they are written (e.g. we write 2
then 1, and say “twenty-one”).