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Ministry of Education
The Literacy and
Numeracy Secretariat
900 Bay Street
Mowat Block, 10th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 1L2
Telephone: 416-325-9955
Facsimile: 416-325-8565
Dear Parents:
Developing strong skills in literacy and numeracy is critical to a child's success
in early learning and beyond. That is why the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat
is committed to helping all children achieve a positive outcome from publicly
funded education in the elementary years.
The Secretariat recognizes that parents play an important role in their children's
learning. As a result, we have developed two new parent resources for schools
across Ontario: Helping Your Child with Reading and Writing and Helping Your
Child Do Mathematics.
These guides have been developed so that parents, guardians, caregivers
and other family members can help our youngest learners further develop
their reading, writing and math abilities. They include tips as well as practical
activities that can be used at home and in your local community.
Later this year, the Secretariat will be making these guides available in 12 addi-
tional languages to schools and on the ministry's website. I encourage you to
visit www.edu.gov.on.ca and www.ontario.ca/eduparents to access the many
resources available online to help your child learn.
On behalf of the Secretariat, I would like to thank you for the work you do
every day to help your child succeed.
Sincerely,
Avis E. Glaze
Chief Student Achievement Officer and CEO
The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat

CONTENTS
A Word About This Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Why Is It Important for My Child to
Learn Mathematics? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
How Will My Child Learn Mathematics? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
What Tips Can I Use to Help My Child? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
What Mathematics Activities Can I Do With My Child? . . . . . . . . . . 8
Number Sense and Numeration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Kindergarten to Grade 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Grade 4 to Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Kindergarten to Grade 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Grade 4 to Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Geometry and Spatial Sense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Kindergarten to Grade 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Grade 4 to Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Patterning and Algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Kindergarten to Grade 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Grade 4 to Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Data Management and Probability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Kindergarten to Grade 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Grade 4 to Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Where Can I Get Help? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Your Child's Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Others in the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Government Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Some Internet Resources for Young People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
This publication is available on the Ministry of Education's
website, at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca.

A Word About This Guide
You are an important partner in your child's education. This guide
is intended to help you work with your child to improve his or her
achievement in mathematics. It contains activities that you, as a
parent,* can do with your child to explore mathematics at home
and within your local community. It will be most useful for parents
of children in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6.
You don't need to do every activity suggested in this guide! Choose
the ones that you think your child will find interesting and that you
and your child will find helpful. Also, choose ones that you and your
child can easily do at home.
The activities in this guide have been organized under the five
"strands", or areas of study, in the Ontario mathematics curriculum.
Within these five areas, there are activities for children in
Kindergarten through Grade 3 and activities for children in Grade 4
through Grade 6. Many of these activities can be made simpler or
more challenging to meet the needs and interests of your child.
* In this guide, the word "parent" is meant to include guardians, caregivers, and other
family members who can help children learn mathematics.

5If you are the parent of a child who has special needs,you are
encouraged to adapt the activities described in this guide to suit the
4
particular needs of your child.
In addition to this guide, many resources are available to assist you
in helping your child learn mathematics. You may wish to consult
your child's teacher. You may also want to find out more about the
Ontario mathematics curriculum and the province-wide tests con-
ducted by the Education Quality and Accountability Office. See
page 24 of this guide for more information about these resources.
If you and your child are more comfortable in a language other than
English, please use it.Your child will understand concepts better in the
language that he or she knows best.The important thing is to be enthu-
siastic about mathematics and to help your child learn mathematics.
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5

5 Helping Your Child Do Mathematics
4
A Guide for Parents
Why Is It Important for
My Child to Learn Mathematics?
2 Mathematics knowledge and skills contribute to a child's success - both at
school and in everyday life. Understanding mathematics also builds confi-
dence and opens doors to a range of jobs and careers.
In our everyday lives, understanding mathematics enables us to:
solve problems and make sound decisions;
explain how we solved a problem and why we made a particular decision;
use technology (for example, calculators and computers) to help solve
problems;
understand patterns and trends in the world around us in order to make
predictions (for example, keep track of how much milk is consumed to
know how much milk to buy each week, notice the times when traffic is
heavy to decide on the best time to travel);
manage time and money, and handle everyday situations that involve num-
bers (for example, calculate how much time we need to get to work, how
much food we need to make meals, and how much money we need to buy
the food).
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2 Understanding and knowing how to do mathematics makes our
day-to-day lives easier. Understanding and using mathematics
to make decisions and to take action builds confidence and joy!
3

How Will My Child Learn Mathematics?
5
How Will My Child Learn Mathematics?
Children learn mathematics best through activities that encourage them to:
investigate;
think about what they are investigating;
gather information, organize it, and act on it;
use information that they have gathered from a variety of sources to solve
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problems;
explain how they reached their solutions.
Children learn more easily when they can connect mathematics concepts and
procedures with their own experience. By using common household objects
(such as measuring cups, bathroom scales, a deck of cards) and observing every-
day events (such as weather trends over the course of a week), they can "see"the
ideas that are being taught.
An important part of learning mathematics is learning how to understand and
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solve problems. Children are encouraged to use systematic trial and error and a
variety of other strategies to develop their reasoning and to learn how to go
about problem solving.They learn that there are many ways to solve problems
and there is often more than one solution to any given problem.They also learn
to communicate clearly as they explain their solutions. It does not matter what
language they use when they are talking about mathematics.
7
At school, children learn the concepts and skills identified for each grade in the
Ontario mathematics curriculum in five major areas, or strands, of mathematics.
The names of the five strands are: Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement,
Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, and Data Management and
Probability.You will see these strand names on your child's report card.The activi-
9
ties in this guide are connected with the different strands of the curriculum.
4
This guide contains suggestions for everyday mathematics
activities that you and your child can have fun doing together.
The activities include suggestions for questions that you might
ask to help your child build mathematical understanding and
problem-solving skills.
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5

5
2 Helping Your Child Do Mathematics
6
A Guide for Parents
What Tips Can I Use to Help My Child?
Be positive about mathematics.
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3
5 Be positive,and talk about the ways you use mathematics every day.Sharing
negative experiences (by saying, for example,"I was never good at math") will
not encourage your child to engage in mathematics and be confident about
taking risks as he or she solves problems. Instead, try statements like this:
"Okay, we can solve this if we work it out together. What are you thinking?"
Let your child know that you think mathematics is important.
Point out the ways in which different family members use mathematics in
their jobs and at home.
Let your child know that everyone can learn mathematics.
Praise your child when he or she makes an effort and understands some-
thing for the first time, and share in the excitement when you and your
9
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4 child solve a problem together.
Encourage your child to be persistent when a problem seems difficult.
Make mathematics part of your child's day.
Point out to your child the many ways in which mathematics is used
throughout his or her day.
Encourage your child to tell or show you how he or she uses mathematics.
Include your child in everyday activities that involve mathematics - making
0
2 purchases,measuring ingredients,counting out plates and utensils for din-
ner, measuring and calculating the area of a room.
Play games and do puzzles with your child that involve mathematics. Such
activities may focus on direction or time, logic, reasoning, sorting, classifying,
and/or estimating.
Work with your child to solve mathematics problems such as the ones in
this guide. Problem solving helps your child develop mathematical thinking
5
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2 and reasoning.In addition to mathematics tools,such as a ruler and a calculator,
use household objects, such as toothpicks, a measuring cup,
and containers of various shapes and sizes, when doing
mathematics with your child.

What Tips Can I Use to Help My Child?
7
Encourage your child to give explanations.
When you and your child are trying to solve a problem, have your child
share his or her thinking aloud and talk about the strategies that he or she
used to reach a solution. If some of your child's ideas are puzzling, ask your
child to explain further. As children talk about their ideas and how they
reach solutions, they are learning to reason mathematically.
Suggest that your child act out a problem or draw a diagram to solve it.
Have your child show how he or she reached a conclusion by drawing pic-
5
1
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tures and moving objects as well as by using words.
Treat errors and misconceptions as opportunities to develop reasoning skills
and new ideas. Identify which part of your child's reasoning is convincing
and which part is less convincing. For example,"I like the way you organized
the information. Can we look at the chart again to see if the numbers are
accurate?"Also, prompt your child to think of another way to solve the problem.
6
The "activities" section of this guide offers suggestions for put-
ting these tips into action, and for helping to build your child's
mathematics skills.
79
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5

Helping Your Child Do Mathematics
8
A Guide for Parents
What Mathematics Activities
Can I Do With My Child?
Number Sense and Numeration
Numbers are used in describing quantities, in counting, and in carrying out
numerical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Understanding numbers and how they relate to each other, and knowing how
to combine them to solve problems, help develop understanding in all areas
3 of mathematics.Kindergarten to Grade 3---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How many toys are on the shelves? Opportunities for counting are all around
2
3 us.Have your child estimate quantities and then count them aloud to check.
Watch your child count toys, kitchen utensils, and items of clothing as they
come out of the dryer. Help your child count by pointing to and moving the
objects as he or she says each number aloud.
Listen to your child count forwards and backwards from different starting
523 places.Use household items to practise adding,subtracting,multiplying,and dividing.
How many number words are in this song or story? Sing counting songs and
read counting books with your child. Counting games, rhymes, and songs exist
in every culture. Popular counting rhymes in English include "One, Two, Buckle
My Shoe" and "Ten Little Monkeys". Counting books capture children's imagina-
tions by using pictures of interesting things to count and to add or by telling
a story that involves numbers and counting. You can find counting books in
English and many other languages in some bookstores, public libraries, and
community centres.
What are 10 different ways in which numbers, numerals, or digits are used
inside and outside the home? Take your child on a "number-numeral-digit
hunt" in your home or neighbourhood. Discover the many ways in which
numbers, numerals, or digits are used.
Discover together whether numbers, numerals, or digits are used on the
television set, the microwave, and the telephone.
Spot numbers, numerals, or digits in books and newspapers.
Look for numbers, numerals, or digits on signs in your neighbourhood.