Math Games for First Grade Students

In first grade, your child will be presented with a tremendous amount of new mathematical information. It is important for him or her to master each new concept along the way. The interactive games below are directed to the main areas of first grade.

How to Encourage Math Mastery

It is important for your first grade student to understand basic measurements, geometric shape characteristics, whole number relationships, place value and numbers operations through 20. However, it is also important that your child develops an interest for learning math. While there are many different ways to help your child with these concept areas, these games will make learning fun for you both! You can alter the following game to fit your child's interests and ability level.

Scoop Some Numbers

This fun game will help your child master performing addition and subtraction of numbers to 20. To get started you only need a self-made chart, a plastic spoon and dry macaroni noodles. Create your chart by labeling three columns: 'One Less', 'Number of Noodles Scooped' and 'One More'.

Place the noodles in a container and have your child scoop a spoonful. Your child should count the noodles and record this number in the appropriate column. Challenge your child to complete that row on the chart by filling in one more and one less. For instance, if your child scooped six noodles, he would write 'five' in the 'One Less' column and 'seven' in the 'One More' column. Feel free to let him or her use the noodles as manipulatives if that helps. Of course, macaroni can be substituted for another dry good and the labels on the chart can be adjusted for more of a challenge.

Fair Shares

Play a game of Fair Shares to develop your child's understanding of whole number relationships. Ask your child to help divide a meal into equal parts for each family member. For example, prepare sandwiches for the family and cut them into fourths. Have your child divide the portions so that each person has an equal amount.

Once your child has accurately divided the food, have him or her demonstrate the operations on paper using pictures, numerals and number words. For instance, a pizza with 12 slices divided among four people can be represented like this: 12 ÷ 4 = 3.

What's the Volume?

Volume is one of the most difficult concepts for young students to grasp; help your child comprehend this concept using an interactive game. Collect a variety of containers and have your child put them in order from smallest to largest. As he or she arranges the containers, discuss the depth and shape of the container with your child.

Once he or she is satisfied with the arrangement, begin filling the container using a measuring cup and water. Keep a record of how many cups of water it takes to fill each container. Award your child points for each container that was placed in line correctly. This game can be made more challening by incorporating containers that have different shapes. It may also be a great idea to set a goal of number of points for your child to obtain during the game.

Let's Make a Pattern

Your child must learn to recognize and identify various shapes and their number of sides. Ask your child to locate a variety of household items that are basic shapes, such as circles, squares and rectangles. Have him or her sort the items based on characteristics you provide. Next, ask your child to create a pattern using the shapes. You can vary the patterns they create by asking for repeating or growing patterns. To adjust this game, feel free to include additional shapes.

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