Understand how to help your child with math skill development and learn common math terms and strategies that teachers use. Foundational early math concepts in one simple tip sheet.
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Basic Concepts
Understanding primary concepts used by teachers helps parents understand the development of math skills and provides insight into how children build their own conceptual understanding about math. Gone are the days of rote memorization and vertically adding and subtracting numbers.
There are some key things to remember when teaching your child math, including common math terms that are core and foundational to math learning. Although the modern math ‘Landscape of Learning’ for children is complex and nonlinear, learning these terms, ones you may hear your child’s teacher reference and that showcase just how nonsequential math learning can be, can aid in identifying where to specifically support your child.
Key Math Terms and Strategies
Terms and Strategies  Concept Definition  Why it’s Mathematically Important to Know this Term  Learning Tools 
Automaticity / Fluency 



Base 10 



Cardinality 



Compensation (or Giving Strategy) 



Conservation 



Count Efficiently 



Decomposition 



Doubles Facts 



Estimation 



Friendly Numbers (or Landmark or Benchmark Numbers) 



Helper Facts 



Magnitude 



Mental Math 



Number Sense 



1:1 Correspondence 



Place Value 



Sorting 



Subitize 



Tens Facts (or Tens Buddies) 



Tens Plus Facts 


Do
Helpful Math Tools
 Manipulatives – Physical tools that help a child to count, sort, estimate and engage in learning about the magnitude of numbers in a handson way.
 10frame and 20frame – Helps establish an understanding of Tens Facts (Tens Buddies).
 Tally marks – Visual representation of 5 and 10 structure.
 Rekenrek – The color of the beads changes after 5 beads so that a child can subitize and relate quantities to the benchmarks of 5 and 10. Gives a visual picture of an amount using the 5 and 10 structure.
 Number line – Helps to count up and count down by units/ones, and to decompose numbers (the numbers in a number).
 Base 10 model – Provides a visual representation of magnitude of how ten units/ones make 10, 10 tens make 100, 10 hundreds make a thousand and so on. Helps with understanding place value.
 Hundreds board – A visual, big picture way of teaching 1:1 correspondence, sequencing, place value and number patterns.
 Place value chart – Easily shows the value of each digit in a number.
 Clock – Great for teaching how to tell time as it is to teach fractions.
 Measurement – Use centimeter cubes, inch tiles, rulers.
Resources We Like
More detail on math strategies and ways you can help your child at home and games to play.