# Kindergarten Math skills

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I been focused on getting dd6 to learn to read that I have been neglecting math lately. She is going to kindergarten and doesn't seem to struggle but I think I really need to work with her more. Right now she understands the concept of simple addition but she needs manipulative to add or she gets the wrong number. She can add 1 without needing manipulative but she can't do something like 5 + 4 unless she draws it out or it has objects shown for her. I know that can be normal but what are some strategies I can work on so she can do this mentally? I want her to be able to know it but I also want her to understand why.

I have been working on skip counting with her and she knows her tens and sometimes her 5s but she still needs to use a chart for 2s and sometimes she messes up when she count to 100 without looking at a number chart. She recognizes the numbers on a chart and can do it with a chart. She understands the concept of place value.

I feel really bad because I should have been working with her more on her math skills and I am worried she is going to start struggling. She should probably know more at 6. I'm working with her brother who is 4.5 on similar skills right now and he is doing fine with it.

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If her other skills are on pare to start 1st in the fall, she sounds like she's a bit behind but not too much for what she should complete by the end of the year. I would pick up a simple addition / subtraction workbook. We use Singapore Early Bird Math B (don't get A, it's too simple and meant for pre-k). Anyway keep working with manipulatives for math and do a worksheet or two a day you school. If you just do the math over summer she should be fine.

In our k program, we cover:

-Writing / recognizing 1-9 clearly

-Counting to 100 /making a 100 chart & jar

-place value

-counting by 2's, 5's, & 10's

-calander -days of week, month, and filling in date, stating the date as daily math routine (when we school)

-Simple fraction concepts- 1/2, 1/4, whole

-Time-simple concept, tell hour and 1/2 hour

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We started with +1, then +2, then doubles, doubles +1...Math U See has a great sequence in Alpha.

I taught my boys odd/even which helped with adding 2s. After a student learns their doubles thinking through something like 4+5 is thought of as 4+4+1 or 1 less than 5+5. Finish up the basic addition/subtraction facts by thinking in terms of 10. Example 9+5, make 9 into 10 or 10+4=14. Base 10 blocks really help a student see why making 10 is a great idea. Zero is a hero in our house.

Favorite math sayings in our house "Hero Zero" and "get to 9 change kind."

FYI I put skip counting the back burner for a bit, my kids had route memory but no practical application. We are now relearning skip counting but I have them think about addition while they are doing it.

We are using xtramath to improve fluency, it's working well!

Good luck.

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I have two different thoughts on this, and they might be counter-culture. So feel free to completely blow them off! :)

The first is that I don't think you should worry about her being behind. My experience (and I know this is still common in other countries) was to have my first math (counting, addition, etc.) not presented to me until 1st grade at age 6-7 (and by the end of first grade, I was adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, so I was not "behind".) I even ended up going to grad school for math. :D

I also think that it's great that she "gets" what addition is about, and so can add using manipulatives. If she's really getting it, I would suggest you come up with whatever motivation you can to get her to memorize her basic math facts (single digit addition, multiplication table, etc.). I don't think this needs to be immediate, but I feel like it's one of the most important steps to having a solid math foundation, and the primary reason students have math trouble in later years. I don't recommend memorizing if they don't really understand the concepts yet, but at some point we all rely primarily on memorizing for basic math facts and I think it's important to solidify that as early as possible.

As a caveat: I haven't taught my own kids math yet, since none of them are even 4 yet. So I speak from my own experience as a child, as well as from my experience teaching math, and working with math teachers for the last 10 years, but not yet from "the trenches". :)

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I really don't think a Kindergartner needs to do math mentally. Manipulatives are not a crutch, they're awesome. My advice? do not try to take math manipulatives away from a child too early. I feel that with practice and repetition a child will begin to internalize math facts. Even my 4th grader uses manipulatives at times. Don't try to make a child's mind do more than their hands. especially young children need to learn by doing and movement. IMO trying to get a Kinder to do math mentally without number lines or charts or c-rods etc will just cause more stress in the long term.

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Oh I didn't see the addition without manipulatives. My dd uses manipulatives to add and subtract or her fingers. I think that is totally fine for kids in k, 1st and probably even second. I think of that as the practical, hands on part of math. If that is the case, she's probably about right for nearing the last quarter of k.

Another suggestion I could share is concept books on math and math type games.

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I know I keep posting this link but maybe it will help with some ideas. It is written by the Math Mammoth author to give suggestions about K math and how to prepare for MM level 1. But even if you have no plans to use MM, I'd see if any of her suggestions or links to free resources might help a bit. I agree with those saying manipulatives/games at this age being a good thing. And in the 1st grade level of MM, the child starts off using either an abacus, manipulative, number line, or drawing/using pictures in the lessons and it gradually builds away from that. So it doesn't sound at all like she, at her age, is doing anything out of the ordinary to me.

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Manipulatives are not all equal. Manipulatives that require a child to "count" 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 when adding 5+4 are potentially setting children up for a lifetime of bad habits. Where Cuisenaire Rods allow a child to fing the value of 5+4 without counting. Big difference.

Bill

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Manipulatives are not all equal. Manipulatives that require a child to "count" 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 when adding 5+4 are potentially setting children up for a lifetime of bad habits. Where Cuisenaire Rods allow a child to fing the value of 5+4 without counting. Big difference.

Bill

I agree with you in theory. And I do consider c-rods the gold standard in manipulatives. But I personally love to do hands on math with a lot of different things. I guess I'm a bit of a math manipulative junkie.

I do agree with what you are saying however. When using a number line, or unifix cubes, or little wooden chips, or poker chips, or teddy bears, or beans, or buttons, or an abacus, or....you get the idea....I like to encourage a child to count on rather than start at the beginning. Once they can count sequentially that is. So a number line for example 3+2 wouldn't be 1 2 3 4 5. We would start at 3 and count on 2 more.

C-rods are wonderful for seeing the number bonds in parts. A 3 and a 2 makes this 5. But I do the same kind of activity with ABC blocks. (yes ABC blocks!!!) We have 3 here and 2 here and see that there are 5. Then we'll rearrange the groups into 1 and 4 or nothing (0) and 5 and so on with other addition facts to see that there are the same regardless of how we rearrange our groupings.

Anyway. I don't stick with one type of manipulative exclusively. I don't think that's what you're saying. But I prefer to use various different materials.

Montessori math materials are my new favorite obsession. I've always had the hand made number rods and spindle box for the little ones around. But my kiddos have been helping me bead some of these. And a friend quilted me one of these http://www.montessor...heckerboard-mat

I'm super excited about using it!!!

The more hands on the better I always feel.

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We are using RightStart Math Level A and I love the manipulatives that they use. They focus on things that kids can easily develop a mental image of and that foster an understanding of mathematical concepts. I love that I can show a row of 5 blue beads and 3 yellow beads to my K4'er on the abacus, and she immediately recognizes that it's 8. :-)

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Saxon has an emphasis on remembering strategies for different kind of problems. 4 + 5: 4 & 5 are next to each other on the number line, so we double the smaller number and add 1. Or the adding 9 facts strategy is to add 10 to the number, then count down 1. We use a variety of manipulatives when learning new facts, but the practice worksheets are done mentally. When he gets stuck, we look at the problem together to figure out what kind it is, then go over the strategy.

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Thanks. She was counting to add but I do encourage counting on rather than counting everything. I had Cuisanaire rods but didn't know what to do with them but finally watched some of the Education Unboxed videos today and did that with her and ds. She does Saxon at school but I want to use something else to do a little math work each day. Both kids really liked working with the rods. They said it was their favorite part of the day. I worked with her today again and she can now count to 100 and skip count by 5s without the chart so just her 2s are left and she almost has that down.

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Thanks. She was counting to add but I do encourage counting on rather than counting everything. I had Cuisanaire rods but didn't know what to do with them but finally watched some of the Education Unboxed videos today and did that with her and ds. She does Saxon at school but I want to use something else to do a little math work each day. Both kids really liked working with the rods. They said it was their favorite part of the day. I worked with her today again and she can now count to 100 and skip count by 5s without the chart so just her 2s are left and she almost has that down.

And those skills will cycle back around. It isn't a one time deal. She may skip count in K, but she'll encounter it again and again. In more complex forms and situations.

Miquon is a great program to do a little each day and work with the rods.

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