## Second Grade Math for Parents

**Overview**

Second graders will continue their work understanding the way our number system works using place values of ones, tens, hundreds, etc. They’ll recognize that the 3 in the number 357 represents 3 hundreds rather than “just being a three” and that 12 tens is the same as 1 hundred and 2 tens. Later this will make it clear that adding two hundred to 357 is just a matter of adding 2 to the 3 in the hundreds place.

Kids will work on skip counting by various numbers including tens and hundreds both to increase skill for addition and subtraction using these place values but also as a foundation for multiplication. While second graders will continue to use many different strategies for adding and subtracting, they use their understanding of place value (3 in the number 357 represents 3 hundreds) to move toward methods that will always work quickly and accurately.

Geometric concepts they’re studying at the same time reinforce the number sense they’re working on, provide real world contexts, and give a good foundation for understanding more advanced concepts. For instance, you’ll notice that students work with measuring lengths. They might add two different lengths together or compare the lengths of two objects (which would require subtraction). Using bar graphs, clocks, or money they might practice these same skills. In second grade they also do things like partition rectangles into squares and other equal shapes in preparation for understanding both multiplication and fractions.

**General parent tips for supporting 2nd grade math**

- Practice in everyday situations. For example, ask your child to compare the price of two different items and decide how much you would save. Count by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, etc. to figure out how many there are of something rather than counting one at a time.

- You may find that there are methods of writing basic arithmetic that are unfamiliar to you. Often, these are just ways of recording more of the thinking that goes into the math. Try to understand the process yourself, checking in with the teacher if need be. If you do want to share the way you learned make sure you can also explain the thinking around it as well as how it relates to the ways things are being done in class.

- Have your child explain how she found an answer using words or pictures, sometimes even if the process is easy for her.

From Bevans and Sinha, University of Oregon Department of Mathematics, October 2014