How Is My Second Grader Doing In School?

Excerpted from "How Is My Second Grader Doing in School?" by Jennifer Richard Jacoson and Dottie Raymer

From "Math Exercises"

  • Ask number riddles, such as these:
    • What number comes after 1000?
    • What numbers are greater than 14 but less than 20?
    • What's the largest number you can make with the digits 2, 4, and 6?
  • Draw a dot-to-dot pattern on the back of your place mat at a restaurant. Number the dots with a series of numbers that will challenge your child: 20 to 50 or 375 to 400 or 1,000 to 1,040, for example. Have your child complete the picture. Then challenge her to create a similar dot-to-dot puzzle for you.
  • Play Dots. Have your child make lots and lots of dots on a piece of paper. Then take turns circling groups of ten. The last person to circle a group of ten is the winner. After all the groups of ten have been circled, have your child count the groups of ten and the ones left over and tell you the total number of dots. Write the number on the paper so that she can see its written form.
  • Do you have a restless second grader hanging about the kitchen while you're trying to prepare dinner? Send him on an estimation hunt. Say, "Hmmm. I wonder how many closets there are in this house." Write down both of your estimates and then send him off to count. Vary your suggestions according to how much time you need.
  • When you are in the car or waiting in line, give your child three numbers, such as 7, 6, and 13. Have him give you the four related facts that use the numbers given. Then switch roles. When it's your turn to give the facts, try making a mistake now and then, such as 7 - 13 = 6. He'll love it.
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