# What should I teach first in math?

When teaching first grade math, it is important to cover several key concepts to build a strong foundation. Here are eight important first grade math concepts to teach:

1. Counting and Writing Numbers from 1 to 100: Start by teaching students to count from 1 to 10 and gradually increase the range to 100. Practice writing numbers on paper or using manipulatives like number cards or blocks. Encourage students to recognize and name numbers as they count.

2. Counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s: Once students are comfortable with counting, introduce skip counting. Begin with counting by 1s, and then move on to counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. For example, have students count aloud: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… or 2, 4, 6, 8, 10… This helps develop number sense and prepares students for multiplication and division later on.

3. Counting Backward: Teach students to count backward from a given number. Start with counting backward from 10, and then expand to larger numbers. This helps students understand number sequencing and subtraction. For example, counting backward from 10: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…

4. Counting Onward from Any Number: Once students can count backward, introduce counting onward from any number. For example, counting onward from 15: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19… This concept helps students develop a sense of number magnitude and prepares them for addition and number patterns.

5. Counting Backward from Any Number: Similarly, teach students to count backward from any number. For example, counting backward from 20: 20, 19, 18, 17, 16… This skill lays the foundation for subtraction and understanding number relationships.

6. Addition and Subtraction: Introduce basic addition and subtraction concepts using concrete objects, visuals, or manipulatives. Start with simple sums and differences and gradually increase the difficulty. Encourage students to understand the concept of adding to and taking away from a given quantity.

7. 2D and 3D Shapes: Teach students to identify and name basic 2D shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. Introduce 3D shapes like cubes, spheres, and cylinders as well. Provide hands-on activities where students can explore and manipulate these shapes.

8. Measurement and Time: Introduce measurement concepts like length, weight, and capacity using non-standard units initially. For example, have students compare the length of objects using paperclips or the weight of objects using blocks. Also, introduce basic concepts of time, such as days of the week, months, and telling time to the hour.

In teaching these concepts, it is essential to create a supportive and engaging learning environment. Use a variety of teaching strategies, such as hands-on activities, visuals, games, and real-life examples, to make math meaningful and enjoyable for students. Regular practice and reinforcement of these concepts through activities and worksheets will help students develop a strong mathematical foundation.