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Common Core Math Goals for Kindergarten

December 12, 2013


The Common Core math goals for Kindergarten students are intended to be straightforward and easily implemented in the classroom. Here are some examples of the tasks your child should be able to master by the end of his or her Kindergarten year.

  • Count objects accurately
  • Compare written numbers and groups of objects to see which is greater or less than
  • Draw diagrams of word problems
  • Act out word problems
  • Add and subtract sums less than 10
  • Identify and name shapes

Support your Kindergartener in learning Common Core math concepts throughout the year with some simple reinforcing activities you can do at home together.

Sort Laundry

Yes, you get to combine a household chore with a math activity here – a double bonus. Take all the clean, unsorted socks from a load of laundry and spread them out. Ask your child to help you match them – and to explain how and why he made the match.  Once all the socks are matched, count up how many pairs you made.

You can also set your kindergartner to sorting the laundry before it goes into the washing machine. Have him make a pile of all white items, or all the shirts, then count how many items are in the pile together.

Once in a while, make a mistake while counting or sorting and let your child correct you. This teaches him that adults make mistakes, too, and gives him and extra encouraging thrill when he knows and shares the right answer.

Recite Nursery Rhymes

This is another double-duty activity. Counting rhymes help teach number concepts to kids, and rhyming verse helps build vocabulary and literacy skills. Try “Five Little Speckled Frogs,” “One Two Buckle My Shoe,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and the always-popular “Monkeys on the Bed.” You can also listen to recorded versions of nursery rhymes and counting songs together.

Notice Math In Real Life

Common Core standards emphasize real-life math scenarios, so it pays to pay attention to real-world opportunities to notice numbers, count, add and subtract. How many windows does your house or apartment have? How many doors? How many pieces is that sandwich cut into? What are the shapes of those sandwich pieces – triangles, squares, rectangles? If you eat one, how many are left? Count stop signs in your neighborhood – and the sides on a stop sign, too. Name the shape. Point out patterns, too, on curtains and bedspreads, along the sidewalk, even in a parking lot. The possibilities are endless.

Build A Math Library

Since Common Core emphasizes cross-disciplinary reading and math skills, it makes sense to add some books about number concepts to your kids’ home collection, or to check out books on math topics from the library. Scholastic has a suggested reading list of math-related books for Kindergartners.

Play Dominoes

Teach your child to play dominoes with you. The rules of classic dominoes are easy enough for a kindergartner to follow: for a two-player game, each player draws seven tiles from a face-down pile. Choose who goes first; that player lays the first tile upon the table. Players then take turns building ladders of tiles by matching the tile faces to each other. Encourage your child to name the numbers or count the dots as you play, and don’t worry too much about the finer points of the rules or keeping track of the score.

Children can also play solo dominoes, making patterns by matching the tiles to each other.

If you can’t find or afford a new set of dominoes, you can check out thrift stores and garage sales for a set – or you can make your own. Printable domino sets can be found online, or you can construct your own out of craft supplies for a fun rainy-day project.