Kindergarten Math

We believe students make sense of mathematics when they learn in an environment that focuses on new concepts and builds on mathematics they have previously explored. Math class is about developing a problem solving mindset. Learning mathematics is understanding, making connections, applying knowledge, and communicating ideas.

  • Students learn best when the important mathematical ideas are embedded in engaging problems that they can explore, discuss, and reflect upon.
  • Students progress in both math content (skills & knowledge) and math practices (habits & communication) at different rates.
  • Students build flexible thinking by considering a variety of strategies as they move towards efficiency.
  • Depth is much more important than speed or quantity.
  • Everyone can learn math to the highest levels.
  • Asking questions and making mistakes are valuable tools in brain growth and learning.
  • Math education is important to all people, not because they will see the same problems in the real world, but because they will have developed a problem solving mindset.

Kindergarten Math is all about…discovering how numbers make sense of our world.

All year long students count objects, compare amounts, and connect number names to quantities. They spend lots of time learning to count forward and backward from any number within 100. They build with concrete models of number, such as finger patterns, 10 frames, and number paths. Midway through the year, they discover how to use written numbers and the +, -, and = signs to make sense simple adding and subtracting scenarios within 10.

Benchmark Understandings at Kindergarten

The essential building blocks for solid understanding of mathematical concepts

  • Know the number names and the count sequence (oral, read, write)
  • Count to tell the number of objects
  • Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from
  • Explore numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value


  • Compare numbers.
  • Describe and compare measurable attributes.
  • Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category
  • Identify and describe shapes.
  • Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.


  • Look for everyday opportunities to have your student do mathematics.
  • Point out where you are using mathematics in your everyday life.
  • Play math games with your student especially ones that include dice, dominoes, and numeral cards.
  • Encourage your child to stick with it whenever a problem seems difficult and accept different strategies. This will help your student see that everyone can learn math.
  • Praise your student when he or she makes an effort and share in the excitement when he or she solves a problem or understands something for the first time.
  • Utilize everyday objects such as egg cartons or lists to foster beginning organization.


  • What do you already know in this problem? What are you trying to find out?
  • What strategy are you thinking about using to solve the problem?
  • Would drawing a picture help? Make a table? Use objects or your fingers?
  • Does your answer make sense? Does it seem reasonable?


Investigations At-Home Resources
Videos about important math content at Kindergarten
Caregiver Math Night Video-Everyone is Capable of Brilliance Slides!
YouCubed (Mathematical Mindsets) - Caregiver Resources

How some of these BIG IDEAS grow across the grades:

Kindergarten Mathematics

  • Know the number names and the count sequence (oral, read, write)
  • Count to tell the number of objects
  • Explore numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value

Grade 1 Mathematics

  • Extend the Counting Sequence
  • Understand and apply place value to add and subtract within 100

Grade 2 Mathematics

Understand place value and powers of 10 to add and subtract within 1000

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