Grade 1 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.

Grade 1 Math is all about…Making sense of addition & subtraction strategies.

Students explore ways to add and subtract numbers within twenty using models, equations, and related facts they know. Students develop their understanding of place value concepts with larger numbers using tens and ones.

Benchmark Understandings at Grade 1

The essential building blocks for solid understanding of mathematical concepts

  • Fluently add and subtract within 20 by applying properties of operations and the inverse relationship
  • Understand and apply place value to add and subtract within 100
  • Extend the Counting Sequence to 120


  • Measure lengths using everyday objects (Paperclips).
  • Tell and record time.
  • Represent and interpret data.
  • Name shapes and their attributes.
  • Automaticity of addition facts to 10 (4+6=10)


  • Look for everyday opportunities to have your student do mathematics.
  • Count forward and backward (start at numbers other than 1)
  • Skip count by tens (start at numbers other than 10)
  • Names and values of coins
  • Dice and Card games
  • Use the language of time (O'Clock, half past)
  • Telling time to the half-hour
  • Read literature about math
  • Point out when and where you are using mathematics in your everyday life/career.
  • Play math games with your student.
  • Encourage your student to stick with it whenever a problem seems difficult. This will teach perseverance.
  • Praise your student when they make an effort and share in the excitement when they understand something for the first time.


  • 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?
  • Does your answer make sense? Does it seem reasonable?


Additive Reasoning: From Concept to Fluency

Kindergarten Mathematics

  • 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

Grade 1 Mathematics

  • Fluently add and subtract within 20 by applying properties of operations and the inverse relationship
  • Understand and apply place value to add and subtract within 100

Grade 2 Mathematics

  • Fluently add and subtract within 100 by applying place value and properties of operations
  • Understand place value and powers of 10 to add and subtract within 1000
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