Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
The National Common Core Standards are sequential skills from kindergarten through high school. They are comprehensive, purposeful instruction to promote student achievement in both English/language arts and mathematics. They have been adopted by 45 out of 50 states.
As a parent, you can do a great deal to prepare your child to meet these standards, and I’m here to help you do it! All summer, I will be sharing ideas, simple games, and easy activities to help your young child master important Common Core skills.
Here are 2 mathematics skills that can be easily practiced before your child enters kindergarten:
1. Orally counting to 100, by ones and tens: Time spent in the car provides a perfect opportunity for your child to practice orally counting to 100 by ones. Start slow, have her count 1-10, then 1-20, then 1-30, etc. until she can do it by herself. At this point, she is not matching objects; she’s just counting numbers in a sequence. Practice often, so the numbers flow naturally.
Once she has mastered oral counting, make the counting meaningful and fun by counting “things.” Count objects such as shells collected on the beach, stones found in the backyard, Cheerios in the bowl, pumps on a swing, or choose a recipe to make with your kids and have them count ingredients, rolls of cookie dough, etc. Then advance to skip counting by 10s. Ten, 20, 30…help your child count to 100 like this until he can easily recite the pattern on his own. At home, have your child gather Legos, blocks, crayons, puzzle pieces, etc. and put them in groups of 10. Then count by 10s to find the total.
2. Have your child count forward (orally) beginning from a random number, instead of starting at one. Do this within the 1-100 sequence. For example, start at 22 and have him count forward to 53. Or, start at 66 and count forward to 99.
Easily counting numbers, particularly in sets of 10, will greatly benefit your kindergarten child. These skills form the basis for addition, subtraction and solving math word problems.