First Grade Math Activities & Curriculum Standards

First Grade Math Activities & Curriculum Standards
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First grade math curriculum should rely on many learning tools, lessons with interactive activities, printable worksheets, reinforcement exercises, assessments and math strands.

The major math strands for a first grade curriculum are number sense and operations, algebraic thinking, geometrical figures and objects, measurement of length, weight, capacity, time, and temperature, and data analysis and probability. While these five math strands might surprise you, they cover the basics of what a first grader should learn in math.

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First Grade Math – What are the Standards and Curriculum?

Time4Learning teaches a comprehensive first grade math curriculum using fun activities to build a solid math foundation in the following five major math strands:

Number Sense and Operations

In first grade math, students will be expected to:

  • Read and write numerals to 100 and to count objects to 100 or more
  • Compare and order whole numbers to 100 or more using a variety of methods including usage of the symbols <, =, and >, and the vocabulary of less than, equal to, and more than
  • Learn ordinal numbers from 1st to 10th or higher

Counting is an important skill for a first grade math student. The children will learn to:

  • Count orally to 100 by 2s, 5s, and 10s with or without a hundred chart
  • Count forward or backward by 1s beginning with any number less than 100
  • Using a hundred chart they will learn to count forward by 10s starting at any number less than 10

First grade math students will be learning about place value including:

  • The place value of any digit in a whole number less than 100
  • Place value patterns and how zero is a placeholder for expressing place value

During this year, first grade math students will learn addition and subtraction. The children will demonstrate that they know addition means putting together, subtraction means taking away, and the following:

  • Solve basic addition facts using concrete objects and thinking strategies such as ‘count on’, ‘count back’, ‘doubles’, ‘doubles plus one’, and ‘make ten’
  • Learn about the commutative and associative properties of addition and learn fact families up to 18
  • Using concrete materials such as coins, diagrams, and number expressions to show equivalent forms of the same number
  • Addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers without regrouping, up to 100, using models and algorithms
  • Solve simple number problems by selecting the proper operation and to describe their thinking when solving number problems
  • Write number sentences associated with addition and subtraction and learn to use a calculator to solve problems
  • Learn about estimation, using it to compare quantities and find reasonable answers to math problems
  • Taught about simple fractions, learning that equivalent fraction parts make a whole

Algebraic Thinking

Children in first grade math will predict, extend, and create patterns. They will:

  • Transfer patterns from one medium to another, describe pattern rules, identify and generate patterns in lists of related pairs based on real-life situations
  • Explore number patterns on a hundred chart and with a calculator
  • Solve addition and subtraction sentences where an unknown number is represented by a geometric shape
  • Use objects to solve number sentences with equalities and inequalities using <, =, and >,
  • Solve real-world problems where there is one unknown factor

Geometry and Spatial Sense

Continuing their study of two- and three-dimensional figures which they started in kindergarten math, first grade math students will:

  • Sort figures and objects according to their attributes such as vertices and edges
  • Understand lines of symmetry and demonstrate slides, turns and reflections
  • Combine shapes to form others shapes and find geometric shapes in real-life situations
  • Use a number line from 0 to 100 or more


During first grade math, children will show a basic understanding of measuring lengths, weights, and capacity by selecting appropriate units to use for measurement. Student will:

  • Use standard and non-standard units to measure, compare, and order objects according to their lengths and weights
  • Study time, temperature, and money and show concept understanding by use of digital and analog clocks, calendars, and thermometers
  • Learn and compare money values including the quarter (25 cents), half-dollar (50 cents), and dollar (100 cents)

*Math Standards are defined by each state. Time4Learning bases its use of standards on the national bodies that recommend curriculum and standards and the interpretations of it by a sampling of states notably Florida, Texas, and California.

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Data Analysis and Probability

First grade math students will be asked to survey a small group to answer simple questions involving two categories or choices. They will also:

  • Use math language to read and interpret data based on a simple chart
  • Display data and identify range and mode
  • Discuss reasonable predictions
  • Use a calculator to compare data and explore computer graphing software
  • Construct questions for a survey and analyze the results as part of a class discussion
  • Discuss results of games and activities dependent on chance

First Grade Math Curriculum and Standards Summary

First grade math lessons and activities that cover just one or two of these five strands are narrow and lead to a weak understanding of math.

But with Time4Learning’s comprehensive math program, children are placed in the sequence based on their current skills. Math becomes fun! Parents can participate and watch how new concepts are introduced progressively and mastered through practice. Help your child excel in math and start learning today. Want to know more? Try the demos of math lessons.

Additional Resources Related to First Grade Math

If you’re interested in the first grade math, you might also be interested in other first grade subjects:

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