1ST GRADE MATH LESSONS
By Max Millard | Adjust Background: Darker / Lighter |
[Back] |

- Count, read and write whole numbers up to 100
- Learn the symbols for equals (=), less than (<), greater than (>)
- Learn the different ways you can add up numbers to a certain sum
- Count and group objects in ones and tens
- Identify and know the value of coins and show different combinations of coins that equal the same value
- Know the addition and subtraction facts up to 20
- Use the inverse relationship and subtraction to solve problems
- Identify "one more than," "one less than," "ten more than," and "ten less than" for a given number
- Count by twos, fives and tens to 100
- Show the meaning of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference)
- Solve addition and subtraction problems with one- and two-digit numbers
- Find the sum of three one-digit numbers
- Learn to estimate before solving a number problem
- Tell time to the nearest half-hour
- Identify common geometric objects

1. Count, read and write whole numbers up to 100.

a. Make big flash cards of the numbers, put them in random order, hold them out to the class, and see who can say the number first.

b. Call out numbers in random order and ask the class to write them.

c. Use 100 pennies and practice counting them. Put them in stacks to make this easier.

d. Use plastic coins to show how many nickels, dimes and quarters make 100 pennies.

Project: Draw a 10x10 grid on a piece of light-colored construction paper or cardboard and glue 100 objects to it, such as 100 pennies, 100 pieces of macaroni or 100 M&Ms. See if the children can find 100 of any small items at home for their project.

[Top] |

2. Learn the symbols for equals (=), less than (<), greater than (>).

a. Practice different ways of describing the three symbols, so that the children understand the concepts and don't just memorize them.

= is same < is smaller, littler > is more, bigger

b. Use plastic coins for pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Put a different coin in each hand and practice learning which coins lesser and greater.

Project: Make posters for the three symbols, then have every child make a different poster of a number between 1 and 100. They can color and decorate the poster. The children then take turns standing side by side and holding up their posters, while the teacher holds up one of the symbols between the two posters, and the class can guess whether the math statement is correct or not. Or the teacher can call out "greater" or "lesser" and the children can respond by saying which number is bigger or smaller.

[Top] |

3. Learn the different ways you can add up numbers to a certain sum. For example, 1 + 6 = 7, 2 + 5 = 7, 4 + 3 = 7.

a. Use dice so that everyone knows automatically how many dots are on each face, without needing to count them.

b. Practice throwing the dice and adding up the numbers. Teach the children to start with the bigger number, then use their fingers to add the smaller one. For example, if the dice are 5 and 2, count: "5, 6, 7."

c. Practice throwing dice and subtracting the smaller die from the bigger one.

Project: Make Giant Dice games, in which the children fill in numbers for game cards, use pennies for tokens, and divide into groups of 4 to play the game.

[Top] |

4. Count and group objects in ones and tens (e.g., three groups of 10 plus four ones equals 34).

a. Make stacks of 10 pennies, then move them around to show how you can add and subtract tens.

b. Use single pennies along with the stacks to depict such numbers as 53, 67, 99.

c. Show how you can take one or two pennies from a stack to make 9 and 8, then use these smaller stacks for addition and subtraction.

[Top] |

5. Identify and know the value of coins and show different combinations of coins that equal the same value.

a. Practice the different names for coins: penny, cent, nickel, 5 cents, dime, 10 cents, quarter, 25 cents.

b. Put different coin combinations in both hands, then open the hands and have the children guess which combinations are equal. If they're not equal, the children should say which combination is greater or lesser.

c. Set up three dishes of coins, one with just pennies, one with nickels and one with dimes. Practice using just one type of coin to add up to a certain sum.

[Top] |

6. Know the addition and subtraction facts up to 20.

a. Use math practice sheets with the numbers in random order.

b. Use color-by-number pictures in which each color is represented by an addition problem.

c. Practice the shortcut for adding 9 (adding 10 and subtracting 1).

d. Use pictures of objects to practice addition. It's more fun to count 10 frogs plus five frogs than to count numbers alone.

[Top] |

7. Use the inverse relationship and subtraction to solve problems.

a. Make up problems in which an equation can be used for both addition and subtraction. You might show five lemons and demonstrate that two plus three equals five, and five minus three equals two.

b. The teacher can use some props to demonstrate an equation silently, then ask the class to put it into words.

c. Use posters of the addition facts up to 20, and show them to the class so that they can say the equations forward and backward. For example, if the equation is 2 + 7 = 9, they can recite, "Two plus seven equals nine" and "nine minus seven equals two."

Project: Every child makes a poster of a different addition fact and practices reciting their poster forward and backward. Then the children take turns holding up their posters and leading the class in chanting the equations both ways.

[Top] |

8. Identify "one more than," "one less than," "ten more than," and "ten less than" for a given number.

a. Hold up the fingers of both hands and practice adding and subtracting one finger.

b. Show pictures of objects and practicing adding one object and taking one away.

c. For adding ten, show how to add a 1 in front of the number.

d. For subtracting ten from numbers between 10 and 19, practice covering up the initial 1 and reciting the result.

e. Show two pictures of objects or numbers side by side. Practice identifying which of the two pictures represents a number that is one more or one less than the other picture.

[Top] |

9. Count by twos, fives and tens to 100.

a. Let the children chant the numbers together.

b. Go forward and backward.

c. Distribute dot-to-dot pictures that count by twos and fives.

[Top] |

10. Show the meaning of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference).

a. The teacher can pose different problems and ask the children if they can solve it with addition or subtraction. For example, "John had five ice cream bars and he ate three. How many did he have left?" "Carmen had two pet hamsters and her friend gave her two more hamsters. How many did she have then?"

b. Practice using objects to solve these problems.

Project: The children can draw pictures of everyday household objects on heavy cardboard, then glue Velcro on the back. Then they can show in front of the class how to add and subtract with these pictures.

[Top] |

11. Solve addition and subtraction problems with one- and two-digit numbers (e.g., 5 + 58 = __).

a. Practice counting up from the larger number using the fingers.

b. Practice addition problems that are similar. For example, the class can recite, "28 plus three equals ... ," "38 plus three equals ... ," "48 plus three equals ... " The class can fill in the missing number.

c. Do the same with subtraction. For example, "50 minus two equals ... ," "40 minus two equals ... "

d. Simplify the problems by showing that they are almost the same as adding or subtracting numbers less than 20. If the problem is "67 minus nine," ask: "What's 17 minus 9?" If the children don't know, ask, "How do you subtract 9?" The answer is: "Subtract 10 and add 1." So 17 minus 9 equals 17-10=7 plus 1 equals 8. Then ask, "If 17 minus nine equals 8, then 67 minus nine equals 58." When the children see the parallels, they will be able to think through the problems.

[Top] |

12. Find the sum of three one-digit numbers.

a. Start with the easiest ones, such as 1 + 1 + 1 and 2 + 2 + 2. Then work gradually up to the harder ones.

b. Practice adding two of the numbers first, then adding them to the third number.

c. Get in the habit of adding the two largest ones together first. Addition the third numbers will then be easier.

[Top] |

13. Learn to estimate before solving a number problem.

a. Show stacks of pennies for which everyone knows the total, and compare them to piles of pennies for which only the teacher knows the total. Let the children practice comparing the amounts stacks with the piles to estimate which corresponds with which.

b. Write some numbers on a blackboard from 20 to 100, and practice estimating the sum when they are added or subtracted. Learn to round off each number to the nearest 10. Then compare the estimate to the actual number.

[Top] |

14. Tell time to the nearest half-hour.

a. Hand out pages filled with blank circles. Let the children practice writing in the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 and drawing the minute and hours hands.

b. Use a real clock and move the hands around, then ask the class what time it says. See who can get the answer first.

c. Ask the children to explain how they can tell what time it is by the position of the clock hands. They should learn where the minute hand should be for the hour and the half hour.

[Top] |

15. Identify common geometric objects.

a. Show large paper samples of the different shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, oval, etc. Practice saying the names.

b. Hand out sheets in which all the main shapes are shown. Let the children cut them out and practice folding them in the middle to see what is meant by a mirror image.

c. Quiz the children on how to identify a shape. For example, a circle is round, a square has four sides that are the same size.

d. Ask the children to look around the room and try to see any objects that represent the different shapes. For example, the door and desk are usually rectangles.

[Top] |