When we hear the famous “Common Core” words that everyone is talking about, we tend to panic!  It will be really important for parents to become familiar with these standards.   We’ll be writing extensively here about what they mean and how they will affect your child’s education.

I will be taking you on a tour grade by grade.  My goal will not only be to show you the Common Core State Standards, but also to explain each one.  Of course feel free to ask anything that comes to your mind.  This might feel like a lot, but you don’t need to read it all together.  It can become your reference for the future.

(actual standard in bold; parent friendly and activity in italics)

1st Grade Common Core State Standards – Math:

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

1.OA.1- Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Your child should be able to figure out an unknown number in an addition or subtraction word problem in order to solve the equation.  For example, have your child use a stamper with ink and a piece of white paper.  Make up a few word problems such as, “Kim has 8 stamps.  Jim has 2 more stamps than Kim.  Altogether, they have 18 stamps.  How many stamps does Jim have?” Your child should start off by stamping out 8 stamps and writing Kim underneath that group.  Then, he/she should add a + sign because he/she should realize this is an addition problem by seeing the key word “altogether”.  He/she should realize that they do not know yet how many stamps Jim has so he/she can leave that blank and write = 18.  There are two ways your child can solve for this problem.  He/she can use the inverse of addition and subtract 18 – 8 = 10 or he/she can pull out the information that Jim has 2 more stamps than Kim, and Kim has 8 stamps, so 8 + 2 = 10!  Show your child both ways to solve the problem so they can choose what strategy works best for him/her!  The stamping will make this activity fun for your child and literally imprint the skill in his/her brain!

1.OA.2- Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Your child should be able to add three numbers together whose value adds up to 20 or less.  For example, use blocks of some sort of counters for this activity.  Have a dry erase board and a dry erase marker on hand so your child can write down the problem and solve for the sum of the numbers.  Show your child a problem such as 8 + 5 + 6.  Separate the blocks into three different groups; one group of 8 blocks, one group of 5 blocks, and one group of 6 blocks. Have your child write this problem on the white board.  Next, have your child put the group of 8 blocks and the group of 5 blocks together and count them.  They should come up with a sum of 13.  Next, have your child add the last group of 6 by counting up when they add each block, “14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19!” Do this for many more problems until your child shows efficiency with the task.  If and when your child is ready to move away from the blocks, show him/her 3 number problems by drawing out the blocks next to the problem and counting up from there!

1.OA.3- Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract. Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)

Your child should be able to understand the commutative property of addition that states that the numbers being added in an addition problem can be added in any order and still give you the same sum (8 + 3 = 11 and 3 + 8 = 11).  Also, your child should be able to understand the associative property of addition that states that numbers can be regrouped in an equation and still give you the same sum.  So, (2 + 6) + 4 = 12 and 2 + (6 + 4) = 12.  For example, use blocks or some type of counters again with your child.  Show him/her how you can change the position of numbers in an addition sentence and still end up with the same sum.  Show them 8 + 3 = 11 and 3 + 8 = 11 or 5 + 4 = 9 and 4 + 5 = 9, etc.  Your child should catch on to this strategy much more easily than the associative property.  For the associative property, show your child multiple problems such as 2 + 6 + 4 = 12 and 6 + 4 + 2 = 12 or 5 + 3 + 7 = 15 or 3 + 7 + 5 = 15 (remember to add one group of blocks at a time and to count up with 3 digit number sentences!)  Then, have your child come up with problems for you to solve!  This will take extra thought on his/her part so you will quickly be able to tell whether your child understands the concept or not.

1.OA.4- Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. For example, subtract 10 – 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8. Add and subtract within 20.

Your child should be able to realize that subtraction is an inverse of addition thus 10 – 8 can also be represented as 8 + ? = 10.  For example, use pennies or some sort of counter to show your child that 9 -3 is also the same as 3 + ? = 9.  Say, “Let’s count up using our pennies from 3 until we get 9! 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9! How many pennies do we have in front of us? Let’s count! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6! So, 3 + 6 = 9 therefore 9 – 3 = 6!”  You can also make this more challenging by using larger numbers such as 18 – 7 = ? or 7 + ? = 18.  Say, “Let’s count up using our pennies from 7 until we get to 18! 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18! How many pennies do we have in front of us? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11!”  Keep repeating this activity until your child shows that he/she can do it on his/her own.

1.OA.5- Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2) within 20.

Your child should be able to add by counting up from a certain number to get the sum of a number sentence.  So, 2 +3 would sound like this: 3, 4, 5!  For example, your child should be able to use his/her fingers for this activity, however, if you need to use counters or draw out tally marks, that’s fine too.  Say, “I wonder what 6 + 4 is? Let’s count up 4 from 6 using our fingers! 7, 8, 9, 10 (your child should have 4 fingers up.) Wow, so 6 + 4 = 10! Let’s try 13 + 6 by counting up 6 from 13! 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 (your child should have 6 fingers up.) Wow, so 13 + 6 = 19!” Keep going with this activity and have your child come up with some problems to solve as well; just make sure the sum doesn’t exceed 20!

1.OA.6- Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).

Your child should be able to take a part a number sentence by breaking down larger numbers into smaller numbers and finding groups of 10 to add first.  So, 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14 or 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 -1 = 10 – 1 = 9!  For example, definitely use some type of counter like blocks and focus on addition problems first, then subtraction problems, and then use both.  Start by using simple problems such as 5 + 6. Break down the group of 6 blocks to show 5 + 5 + 1.  Next, add 10 + 1 = 11. You can build up the difficulty level of the problem to be something like 6 + 9. Show a group of 6 blocks and break the group of 9 blocks down to a group of 4 and a group of 5.  Then add 6 + 4 = 10 + 5 = 15!  Do many of these problems since breaking down a number into 2 numbers is not an easy skill for your child.  Then, move on to subtraction such as 16 – 9. Break down the 9 to be two groups of 6 and 3, and then subtract 16 – 6 = 10 – 3 = 7.  Continue doing this activity until your child gets the hang of it.

1.OA.7- Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

Your child should be able to recognize that an equal sign signals a sum or a difference to an addition or subtraction number sentence.  For example, have your child mold an equal sign out of clay by rolling out 2 parallel lines.  Then, using clay balls, show different addition and subtraction problems and have your child solve for the sum or difference having the sum or difference be less than 20. A few problems to get you started would be: 8 -4 = 4, 6 + 5 = 11, 16-6 = 10, etc.  Have your child write his/her answers on paper or mold them out of clay balls!

1.OA.8- Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.

Your child should be able to figure out unknown numbers in addition or subtraction number sentences. For example, use pennies or some kind of counter to set up addition and subtraction number sentences.  So, show 8 pennies + _____ pennies = 11 pennies.  Your child can count out 8 pennies from the sum of 11 and realize that 3 pennies need to fill in the blank. You can also show 5 pennies = ____ pennies – 3 pennies.  For this problem, your child will need to recognize that they need to add the 5 pennies and the 3 pennies to get 8 pennies; the missing number in this subtraction number sentence.  Also, 6 pennies + 6 pennies = ____ pennies.  This should be the easiest type of problem for your child to solve.  They just need to combine the two piles and count the pennies which will give them 12 total pennies.  Keep doing problems like this until your child gets the hand of it!

Number & Operations in Base Ten

1.NBT.1- Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

Your child should be able to count and fill in missing numbers, in an ordered number sequence, from 1-120.  For example, you can make up a few bingo cards with 20 numbers on it (such as starting at 85, 86, 87, ___, 89 in the first row and 90, 91, 92, ____, 94 in the second row, etc.) and 5 numbers missing (in a row across, a row down, or a row diagonally).  He/she will need to fill in the missing numbers in order to get bingo!  Great to laminate and fill in the numbers with dry erase markers at a restaurant or any place with a “wait” time!

1.NBT.2A- Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases: 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”

Your child should be able to recognize that there are groups of 10 in two digit numbers and some ones left over. He/she should know that the number in the tens place represents the number of groups of tens in that number.  For example, you will need a box of straws and 9 rubber bands.  Show your child 43 straws and count them out together.  Then say, “I know that there are 4 groups of 10 in the number 43 because there is a 4 in my tens place.” Count out 40 straws and rubber band them together in groups of ten so that you end up with 4 bundles.  Say, “When I rubber band my 4 groups of 10 straws together, I’m left with 3 straws.  There is a 3 in my ones place so 40 + 3 must equal 43!  There are 43 straws all together in this batch!” Next, have your child practice given a bunch of straws between the numbers 11-99!

 1.NBT.2B- Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases: The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

Your child should be able to recognize that there is one group of 10 in the numbers 11-19 and some ones.  For example, you will need a box of straws and a rubber band.  Show your child 13 straws and count them out together.  Then say, “I know that there is one group of 10 in the number 13 because there is a 1 in my tens place.” Count out 10 straws and rubber band them together.  Say, “When I rubber band my group of 10 straws together, I’m left with 3 straws.  There is a 3 in my ones place so 10 + 3 must equal 13!  There are 13 straws all together in this batch!” Next, have your child practice given a bunch of straws between the numbers 11-19!

 1.NBT.2C- Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases: The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).

Your child should be able to recognize that there are different groups of 10 in the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90.  For example, you will need a box of straws and a rubber band.  Show your child 30 straws and count them out together.  Then say, “I know that there are 3 groups of 10 in the number 30 because there is a 3 in my tens place.” Count out 30 straws and rubber band them together in 3 groups of 10.  Say, “When I rubber band my 3 groups of 10 straws together, I’m left with 0 straws!”  Have your child continue this activity with the remaining numbers.

 1.NBT.3- Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

Your child should be able to recognize which numbers come “greater than” and “less than” when shown 2 numbers ranging from 10-99.  For example, have a deck of cards out with the jokers, kings and queens removed.  Keep the aces to represent the number 1 (you might want to right the number “1” in the middle of the ace so your child doesn’t get confused.) Next, split the deck of cards so that you have the 4 different suits in 4 different piles. Have two of the piles next to each other to represent different 2 digit numbers.  Flip over the first card on each deck.  Let’s pretend you flipped over a 25 and a 73.  Ask your child, “What number is smaller, 25 or 73?” Your child should say, “25 because there is a 2 in the tens place in 25 and a 7 in the tens place in 73.  Since 2 is less than 7, 25 is smaller than 75!” Then, flip over the next 2 cards in the deck.  Let’s pretend you flipped over an 81 and a 63.  Ask your child, “What number is bigger, 81 or 63?”  Your child should say, “81 because there is an 8 in the tens place in 81 and a 6 in the tens place in 63 and 8 is bigger than 6!” Keep playing this game until your child grasps the concept.  You can even keep score to make it more fun!

1.NBT.4- Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.

Your child should be able to add one and two digit numbers together up to 100.  For example, blocks, pennies, straws, or other counters will be helpful at first; however, building your child up to drawing circles (number depends on the number in the tens place) with groups of 10 polka dots in them. When you have filled all of your circles with groups of 10, all you will have left over is the number in your ones place.  So, if you give your child the problem 29 + 33, your child will draw out 2 circles (since there is a 2 in the tens place) and fill those 2 circles with 10 polka dots.  Next, he/she will draw 9 polka dots, in a row, next to the second circle.  Underneath this drawing, your child will draw 3 circles (since there is a 3 in the tens place in the number 33) and fill those 3 circles with 10 polka dots.  He/she will draw 3 polka dots, in a row, next to the third circle.  Now it is time to add! Have your child add his/her groups of ten first. 2 groups of 10 + 3 groups of 10 = 5 groups of 10 = 50! Next, add the polka dots outside of the circle. 9 + 3 = 12 which means we can pull another group of 10 out of that number!  Have your child draw another circle around 10 of those polka dots (leaving 2 polka dots outside of the circle.) 50 + 10 = 60 and 60 + 2 = 62 so 29 + 33 = 62!  This strategy will help your child not only in addition, but also when he/she is ready to start multiplying and dividing so learning this strategy early on while help your child further down the road as well!

1.NBT.5- Given a two-digit number, mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number, without having to count; explain the reasoning used.

Your child should be able to mentally add 10 to any number by increasing the digit in the tens place by one.  For example, your child should be able to do this by saying it out loud to you (great game for the car!) Tell your child that you will start by adding groups of 10 to any number.  Start by shouting out random numbers 11-89 such as 76 (your child should respond with 86) or 52 (your child should respond with 62.)  Next, tell your child that you will be subtracting numbers between 11-99.  Start by shouting out any number such as 68 (your child should respond with 58) or 94 (your child should respond with 84).  Keep playing this game until your child gets all of the numbers correct 10 times in a row!

1.NBT.6- Subtract multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 from multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (positive or zero differences), using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.

Your child should be able to subtract groups of 10 from numbers ranging in between 10-90.  For example, your child should recognize that the only number that is going to change in these problems are the numbers in the tens place.  You can use counters such as pennies and start off with 30- 10.  Give your child a pile of 30 pennies and they should count out 10 pennies.  He/she should count the remaining pennies to come up with 20 pennies left over so 30-10 = 20!  Or, you can show your child the circle and dot strategy by having your child draw out 3 circles with 10 polka dots in each.  If he/she is only taking away a group of 10, he/she only has to take away a group of 10, have him/her draw a big “x” through one of the circles.  Have he/she count the remaining circles by 10’s (10, 20!) so he/she has 20 polka dots left over meaning 30 – 10 = 20!

Measurement & Data

1.MD.1- Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.

Your child should be able to order 3 objects from tallest to shortest or longest to smallest or vice versa.  For example, you can pull objects from your kitchen cabinets to demonstrate this standard.  Take out a rolling pin, a fork and a spatula.  Have your child order these objects from longest to smallest (he/she should end up with the rolling pin first, spatula second, and fork third.)  Also, take out a water glass, a coffee cup, and a pitcher that might hold lemonade.  Have your child order these objects for shortest to tallest (he/she should end up with the coffee cup first, water glass second, and pitcher third.) You can keep doing this activity using various fruits, vegetables, snacks, pots, cups, etc.

1.MD.2- Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.

Your child should be able to measure an object using another object as a measuring instrument (ruler, stick, M&M’s, etc.)  For example, take your child on a scavenger hung around your house! Have a “game board” made up prior to walking around that has clues on it such as “Find 1 stuffed animals in your room and measure it with a ruler.” (Your child doesn’t need to tell you the measurement in inches unless you want to advance him/her to this skill. All he/she needs to know is, “My stuffed animal is 2 rulers long.”) Have other clues on game board too, such as, “Go to the kitchen and measure a cabinet.” “Go to the living room and measure the television” etc.  Have a least of at least 10 items for your child to find and measure! For an extra challenge, have him/her measure each object with a ruler in inches!  He/she will need your help with this task.

1.MD.3- Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.

Your child should be able to tell and write time in hours and half- hours using analog and digital clocks.  For example, have a digital clock available for your child.  Together, make an analog using construction paper, markers, and a pin to make the arms of the clock move.  Have a notebook and a pencil located next to the digital clock as well.  Every hour that you are home with your child, have them tell time on the digital clock and record this time in his/her notebook.  Next, have him/her show you what this time would look like on the analog clock!  Not only will your child have fun making the analog clock, they will have fun moving the hands on the analog clock!

1.MD.4- Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Your child should be able to organize, record and understand data by answering questions about the total, how many in each category, and how many more and how many less in each category.  For example, give your child a notebook and have him/her record the temperature outside for 2 weeks.  Then, using a large piece of paper, have your child construct a pictograph, a tally chart, or a bar graph using his/her data.  Once he/she has finished putting his/her data in the graph, ask him/her questions such as, “How many days did the temperature reach 50 degrees?  How many more days reached 45 degrees than 40 degrees?” etc.

Geometry

1.G.1- Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size) ; build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

Your child should be able to recognize triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, hexagons, trapezoids, etc. and their traits (such as a triangle is a closed shape with 3 sides and 3 corners.)  For example, make up a scavenger hunt sheet with pictures of a square, circle, triangle, and rectangle on top.  Next, take your child outside for a walk to spot these shapes in the environment around them.  For example, on your walk you may encounter a yield sign (an upside-down triangle) and say, “That shape looks like a triangle to me but something seems a little different.”  Your child should then say, “Because it’s upside-down!” As you walk down the road you might point out that your neighbors door is a rectangle and is located at the top of their front steps.  Soon, your child will be spotting shapes on his/her own, and when they do, document each object, shape and location on the scavenger hunt sheet you made prior to your walk! Happy shape hunting!

1.G.2- Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

Your child should be able to put together shapes (two-dimensional or three-dimensional) by combining shapes such as a rectangle and a triangle to create new shapes.  For example, you can make available card board cut outs of two-dimensional shapes and objects that resemble cubes (small boxes), rectangular prisms (tissue box), cones (ice cream cones), cylinders (canned goods) so your child can play and make new shapes.  Ask your child what shapes he/she used to make his/her new shape!

1.G.3- Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.

Your child should be able to halves, quarters/fourths of shapes such as circles and/or rectangles.  For example, create circle and rectangle “pizza” card board cut outs with your child that he/she can use yarn to divide into halves and quarters.  He/she will probably want to play with these pizza’s often!

I hope this helped! Once I’m done with all the grades, I’ll be sharing many activities to reinforce each of these standards.  Stay tunned!

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