## Kindergarten Math for Parents

**Overview**

The main focus in Kindergarten is very basic number sense. Of course they’ll work on counting as part of this. One aspect that will be new for some classrooms is counting starting from numbers other than one. This helps with addition and subtraction later. Kindergartners will compare groups of things to decide which is bigger. They will combine groups together or take some away from a group. Eventually they’ll use written numbers to describe what’s going on.

One of the most important skills in math that students begin in Kindergarten is putting things together and taking them apart in various ways. They’ll think about different ways that a number can be made from two other numbers as they begin to think about addition and subtraction and the geometry Kindergartners learn reinforces this idea of putting together and taking apart, too. For example, students may be asked to make two triangles from a square or to put together shapes to form a new one.

All of this investigation is carefully directed to develop skills important for later grades.

**General Parent Tips for Supporting Kindergarten Mathematics**

- If you count with them, work on starting from any given number, not just 1.
- Play games that encourage breaking apart numbers in different ways.
- For teen numbers, you may even count in the unit-form way that emphasizes the ten. (e.g. 8, 9, ten, ten-one, ten-two, ten three, …) as well as with standard names.

From Bevans and Sinha, University of Oregon Department of Mathematics, October 2014