## Practice Makes Perfect

An important skill for your child to master in first grade is to know their addition math facts 0-10 fluently. This week we started a fun way to practice this skill. When time permits, we will be taking a math racer one minute and thirty second timed test. We started with numbers +1. If your child gets them all correct in one minute and thirty seconds, they will move on to +2 and then + 3 etc. If they did not finish they will retake it until they do. At the end, when they finish all races they will earn a prize from our reward bucket. Tests will be sent home so you can track their progress. Unfinished facts will be circled. Please have your child finish the race at home and practice.

Happy Racing!

## Homework Help

Your child is learning math in an innovative program that interweaves abstract mathematical concepts with the everyday experiences of children. This helps children to understand math better.

In this program, your child will learn math and have fun by:

• Working with objects and making drawings of math situations;
• Working with other children and sharing problem solving strategies with them;
• Writing and solving problems and connecting math to daily life;
• Helping classmates learn

Your child will have homework almost every day and needs a homework helper. The helper may be anyone- you, an older brother or sister, neighbor, or a friend. Make a specific time for homework and provide your child with a quiet place to work.

Encourage your child to talk about what is happening in math class. If your child is having problems with math, please talk to me to see how you might help.

Thank you. You are vital to your child's learning.

## Unit 1 Lesson 2

Your child is learning to see numbers as a group of five and extra ones. Making mental pictures by grouping units in this way will later help your child add and subtract quickly. Children benefit greatly from learning to "see" numbers without counting every unit.

Children start exploring these 5-groups by looking at dots arranged in a row of 5 plus some extra ones.

The teacher gives the children a number and asks them to say it as a five plus extra ones. Children say the numbers in order at first. Later they can see the quantities even when the numbers are shown randomly.

On some homework pages, you will find instructions that ask children to see the numbers quickly. Many of the visual aids in your child's classroom include 5-groups. Children tend to absorb these visual patterns without realizing it.

## Unit 1 Lesson 3

Your child is learning to find the smaller numbers that are “hiding” inside a larger number. He or she will be participating in activities that will help him or her master addition, subtraction, and equation building.

To make concepts clear, this program uses some special vocabulary and materials that we would like to share. Below are two important terms that your child is learning:

Partners: Partners are two numbers that can be put together to make a larger number. For example- 2 and 5 are partners that go together to make the number 7.

Break apart: Children can “break apart” a larger number to form two smaller numbers your child is using objects and drawings to explore ways of “breaking apart” numbers of ten or less.

Children can discover the break-aparts of a number with circle drawings. They first draw the “break-apart stick” and then color the circles to show the different partners. Sometimes they also write the partners on a special partner train.

## Unit One Test

Our Unit One math test will be taken over everything we have learned so far this year including:

* Seeing numbers as 5-groups

* Seeing numbers as 5-groups and ones

* Partners of the numbers 1-10

* Using math mountains, equation trains, and circle drawings

* Using patterns to add and subtract within 10

* Counting 1-10 and counting on

## Unit 2 Lesson 1

Your child has started a new unit on addition, subtraction, and equation. These concepts are introduced with stories that capture children’s interest and help them to see adding and subtracting as real-life processes. At the beginning of this unit children show a story problem by drawing a picture of the objects.

In a short time, children will show objects quickly with circles rather than pictures. This is a major conceptual advance because it requires the use of symbols. Children are asked to show the partners (___ + ___) as well as give the total. From here, children are just a small step away from writing standard equations, such as 4+2=6 and 6-4=2.

To keep them focused on the actual problem, children are often asked to give a “complete answer” in class. This means that they should name the objects as well as give the number. Right now, complete answers are not required for homework. Even so, it would be helpful for you to ask your child to say the complete answer when working with you at home. Example: “You said the answer is 6. Is it 6 dinosaurs? No? Then 6 what? Oh! 6 Balloons!”