2 minutes reading time (350 words)

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.

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