**Great Grade 1’s! First Grade milestones**

**Part 2: Mathematics and numeracy**

It deserves repeating: The importance of the Foundation Phase cannot be overemphasised.

In previous blog posts, we have considered Grade R milestones. In part one for Grade 1 we covered the milestones that first graders master with regards to their speaking and literacy: writing and reading. In Part 2 and 3 we will consider the development of their numeracy. We will look at how their skills in mastering concepts of maths will develop in their first year of “big school.”

The CAPS curriculum divides the learning of mathematics into four sections. Each of these sections are developed in Grade One. We will consider the first two sections in this article. The third and fourth sections will be looked at in the next article.

**Section 1: Numbers, Operations and Relationships**

**Comprehending numbers**

By the end of Grade 1 pupils will be able to read, identify and recognise numbers from 1 to 100. They will learn to write the digits 1 up to 20. They will grasp what the symbols for each of these numbers means.

For the numbers 1 – 10 the first grader will also be able to write the names for these symbols. They will know and be able to read them. So for “1” they will know to write it as “one”, all the way up to “ten” for “10”.

**Counting in whole numbers and counting tangible, material objects **

A grade one pupil will be able to count at least 50 objects. This counting will be reliable. They are also able to estimate up to that amount. The first grader is encouraged to count by grouping objects together.

A grade 1 will be able to count up to 100. They will be able to do this starting at any number between 1 and 100. They will also learn to count backwards from any number up to 100.

They will learn to count forwards in multiples of numbers between zero and one hundred. The multiples they will master are counting in 2s, 5s, and 10s. They will be able to count forwards from any multiples of these numbers.

**Ordering whole numbers: Comparing and describing numbers up to 20**

Grade ones will be able to make a comparison between different collections of objects. They will be able to say which collection is the least, the most or whether they are both the same as each other. First graders will also be able to order these collections. The ordering could be from least to most or from most to least.

Grade 1s will be taught how to identify which numbers are greater or smaller than other numbers. They can also tell when a number is equal to or less than or greater than another number. Numbers can also be readily put in order, either from greatest to smallest or vice versa.

Ordinal numbers tell an item’s position on a list. So ordinals are first, second, third and so forth. Grade 1s will be able to use ordinals to identify position, place or order on a line. This is from first to tenth place. They can also comprehend and apply the concepts of first to last.

Grade ones will begin to understand that “17” is 10 plus 7. Their idea of there being one “10” and seven “ones” will be formed in this year of schooling.

**First Grade math problem solving**

Grade 1s will be able to do word sums that use addition and subtraction for math problems that have answers up to 20. First grade also teaches students to explain how they solved the word sums. They will be able to describe their own solutions.

There are a few techniques that first graders will be able to apply and explain. They could use counters or other tangible objects to work out the problem. They would be able to draw a picture to make sense of and solve a sum. Their use of tangible objects could be supported by using number lines. They begin to make use of their understanding of how numbers are made up in their solutions. So, for example, knowing that 17 is 10 + 7 can be used to solve problems. Grade 1’s are also able to double or halve in their problem solving.

Already in grade one, the basis for multiplication is laid by repeatedly adding the same number. They also learn to group numbers, and use sharing of numbers to solve sums. The foundation for division is laid with the grouping and sharing. Grade 1s can already do sums that leave a remainder.

**Working with Money**

Part of the way children in grade 1 learn maths is to do money problems. They will be able to convert from rand to cents. They will be able to work out change. They will also be able to identify all of this country’s notes and coins.

Seeing how rands are made up of cents helps to lay the groundwork for working with decimals. Working with money also shows children the real-world application of these concepts.

**Section 2: Algebra, Patterns and Functions**

Algebra’s foundations are laid in the foundation phase. It begins with recognising patterns. By learning to describe the rules in a pattern, basic algebraic concepts are being formed.

First graders begin to interact with patterns on a deeper level than they did in Grade R. In grade 1 they begin to do three things with patterns. They can copy, and extend patterns they see. Using words, they are able to do describe these sequences. The patterns are referred to by using physical objects and drawings. The drawings can be objects, shapes and lines.

Children in Grade 1 can also make patterns of their own. They can both draw their own sequences and use physical objects to do this. Students will also be able to spot the patterns that are around us. They will be able to recognise sequences in nature as well as those in modern life. They can see patterns in the classroom and in the playground.

When it comes to number patterns, first graders will be able to verbally explain and describe patterns involving numbers up to 100. They will also be able to extend and duplicate these sequences. They will learn to make their own number patters. If asked to explain them, they will be able to do so.

**In Part 3…**

We will be considering the milestones for the components of geometry and data handling in Part 3. These will encompass details about how Grade 1s learn about space and shape. We will also break down how first graders also develop their data handling capabilities.

**Japari and mathematics**

A crucial function of the Foundation Phase is preparing the young students to do well throughout their schooling career. This extends to their tertiary education careers. Maths is a vital component of any education in the 21^{st} century.

Japari has a proven track record of excellent results in teaching maths to learners. We can even assist those pupils diagnosed with clinical difficulties when it comes to mathematics.

We are passionate about seeing children succeed. We love to see children grasping their full potential and worth. Japari is a wonderful school environment in which children can thrive.

**Bibliography/Further reading:**

https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/cardinal-ordinal-chart.html

https://www.verywellfamily.com/typical-first-grade-math-curriculum-1448777

https://nect.org.za/materials/maths/term-1/lesson-plans/gr-1-term-1-2019-maths-lesson-plan.pdf

https://za.ixl.com/standards/maths/grade-1

https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/documents/ParentTips-LitNum/Grade1-ParentsGuide.html