In the first trimester of the school year, second grade students will work on the following skills:

• Reviewing the first grade topics of time, graphs and money
• Understanding the meaning of addition and subtraction
• Using strategies to add and subtract smaller numbers (facts less than 20)
• Working with equal groups (think 4 groups of 3 objects)
• Place value up to 100 (ones, tens, one hundred)

You can help your child at home by having them practice these skills.  Knowing their basic addition and subtraction facts, especially the combinations to make 5 and 10, will make more complex math in the year and beyond much easier. Having children experience various situations where they would add or subtract is important for life.  Here are some example questions you might ask when working with your child:

• There are 6 dogs at the park.  5 new dogs join. How many dogs now?
• There are 12 dogs.  4 dogs do not have spots.  How many have spots?

Think of situations that involve adding as combining or joining.  In subtraction students explore comparing two item sets, not just “taking away”.  An example of this could be, “Brother/sister has 10 crayons, and I have 4. How many more crayons does brother/sister have?”  In this situation students can line up the objects and compare to see who has more.

Here are some other resources:

• Make a set of flashcards for addition or subtraction.

Up Next: More work on adding and subtracting mentally and adding and subtracting with ones and tens.