2nd grade skills checklist: math

Success in second grade requires a child to be a much more independent learner than she was in first grade. Is your child ready?

Learning Stages

Second grade readiness checklists


Numbers, operations & problem solving

  • Counts by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s
  • Identifies, orders and writes numerals from 0 to 100
  • Knows addition and subtraction facts to 50
  • Adds and subtracts two-digit numbers to 99 without regrouping
  • Shows beginning understanding of place value
  • Makes reasonable estimates of quantities
  • Identifies whole, half, thirds and fourths
  • Names and uses ordinal numbers, such as first, second, third, etc.
  • Plots and identifies positive whole numbers on a number line

Geometry & measurement

  • Identifies and draws basic shapes
  • Explores and solves simple spatial and measuring problems using manipulatives (hands-on objects that can be counted or sorted) and drawings
  • Recognizes and uses standard measuring tools, such as rulers, scales and thermometers
  • Understands basic concepts of spatial relationships, symmetry and reflections

Math in action: Telling time, counting money, real-world math

  • Recognizes and adds money to $1.00
  • Tells time to the hour and half-hour
  • Uses drawings and words to describe mathematical thinking
  • Collects and records data using tallies, lists, charts and graphs
  • Reads a graph or chart and derives conclusions
  • Classifies, sorts and compares physical objects by a variety of classification schemes and patterns (likeness, difference, sound, color, texture, size, weight, temperature, length of time, etc.)
  • Makes, copies and extends patterns with actions, objects and words

Tips for parents to help children feel confident in dealing with numbers and number tasks:

  • Create a coin jar where you toss spare change and give your child the regular chore of sorting and counting these coins (with your help) on a regular basis.
  • Keep a master family calendar and have your child mark off days, count the days until up coming events, and keep track of birthdays.
  • Encourage your child to help sort the cans and boxes in your pantry by size or weight.
  • Include your child in simple cooking activities and model using measuring cups or spoons; describe what you are doing as you use these measuring tools.
  • Play counting games when you are in the car or out for walk; pick a "magic number" and challenge your child to spot that many dogs, then the magic number of big trees, or red cars, etc. 


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