Students learn mathematics best when they have opportunities to “do math”. Students must work on challenging problems, share their thinking with others, and use their thinking to build and deepen understanding. This process will provide our students with the skills needed to go to college or enter the workforce better prepared.

Learning Standards

The New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards are established guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math from grades K-12. Learn more about the Standards for Mathematics. To learn more about the New York City Core Curricula see the grades below:

Resources for Families

Here are some activities to try at home:


Following steps, using fractions and ratios, and measuring quantities are just a few of the skills we use to make even basic recipes. And when you cook together you get to create delicious food with your child!


As you shop, encourage your children to look at sizes, weights, capacity, and liquid measurements. Ask your child to:

  • find the largest container of milk and explain why it holds more than the other containers
  • compare the size and cost of two or more items to determine the best value
  • count the number of items in your cart
  • estimate the cost of the items
  • figure out how much money to expect back in change

Everyday Life

Have conversations that relate to everyday life and incorporate math questions. When traveling, use the question, "When will we get there?”as an opportunity to do some math:

  • count the number of exits and/or stops before you get to your destination
  • talk about miles to your destination
  • ask how fast you are driving so that your child can answer

In daily life you can always pose “wonder” questions, such as:

  • How tall is that tree?
  • How many seats are in this room?
  • How many people are in front of us on this line?

Consider these questions together, and ask your child to tell you what they thought about to get to their answers.

Numbers and Shapes

Numbers and shapes are all around us! Look for numbers and shapes in the environment (addresses, sports statistics, weather forecasts, license plates, prices, signs) and talk about what they mean and how they are used.

How Long Does it Take?

Explore time by asking your child to estimate and then measure how long it takes to complete different activities. Which of your child’s estimates were close to the actual time? Which were farthest away? Ask them to name an activity that they think will take less than five minutes, then try it and see how close their guess was. Don’t forget to notice the time you start and end each activity so that you can see how long it lasted; this will help children understand the passage of time.

Puzzles and Origami

Puzzles help develop spatial skills. Being able to notice shapes and patterns in puzzles will allow your child to easily pick up geometry concepts taught in school.

Origami (the Japanese art of paper folding) strengthens awareness of shape and symmetry, and also requires children to follow directions in sequential order.

Play Games

Board games like Monopoly, Clue, Chutes and Ladders, and many others provide practice in math skills, computation, and logical reasoning. Card games like Twenty-One and Hearts will give your child opportunities to practice basic computations.

Educator Resources

Teachers and other educators can find curriculum and instructional materials on We Teach NYC.