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First Grade Math Standards in California

Math is a constant part of a first grader’s life, even beyond the classroom. Figuring out how many chicken nuggets to trade at lunch for a cupcake, counting out equal teams at recess for kickball, calculating how many cookies are left in the cookie jar before a parent notices — math is everywhere for a first grader. In math classrooms in California, they'll hone those everyday skills to prepare for more advanced calculations.

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Prodigy’s first grade curriculum coverage in California

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"When students finish their partner and independent work in math, they play prodigy. I assign each student assignments and standards based on what we are learning, what they are struggling with, and what needs to be reviewed for an upcoming test."

Paige V.


Hawthorne School District, California

Here’s how Prodigy aligns to the California grade 1 curriculum.

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Aligns content with widely accepted skills and standards

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Allows flexibility for students to work at their own pace within the same curriculum

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Presents students with relevant math questions that match the skills within their school’s curriculum

Four first grade math subject areas

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On day one of first grade, students may not be able to count past their fingers and toes. But when summer comes around, they’ve mastered a whole new world of math skills. Here are the first grade math standards in California.

1. Operations & algebraic thinking

1st grade curriculum

Operations and algebraic thinking in grade 1 helps California students turn abstract concepts like addition and subtraction into instincts. With tools and concepts like drawings, sounds, situations and word problems, students build the foundation and skills of addition and subtraction.

Adults and older students often do this kind of math problem without blinking — from adding up how many meals to prepare for the week to subtracting minutes on a clock to make sure you’re not late to a meeting. The goal of operations and algebraic thinking is to simplify and practice these everyday calculations until they become instinctive. A child’s imagination comes to life when they play. When you connect a high level of engagement to 1st grade algebra fundamentals, there’s no limit to a child’s math potential.

Operations and algebraic thinking grade 1 skills

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2. Numbers and operations

1st grade curriculum

“Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven, eight, nine!” This joke might make students giggle, but it also demonstrates a key mathematical understanding of core concepts: number sequences and operations.

In the 1st grade, students learn to count up to 120 and start to recognize and break down larger numbers between 1 and 20 into understandable chunks to add, subtract and compare them. From wriggling kindergarteners to excited first graders, students grow tremendously as they take their next academic step, especially when it comes to math. While students may start the year counting on their fingers, by the end they’ll need far more fingers and toes to show off their counting skills. 

Numbers and operations grade 1 skills

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3. Measurement and data

1st grade curriculum

Measurement skills serve students well in their lives, from figuring out how long until their favorite cartoon is on to measuring out solutions in high school chemistry class.

Students will learn how to tell and write time in hours and half-hours, using both analog and digital clocks. In the California curriculum, they’ll also learn how to ask and answer questions about data points, discern how many points fall into a certain category, and how many more or less points there are between categories. 

Measurement and data grade 1 skills

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4. Geometry

1st grade curriculum

Shapes make up the world around a first grader. At this level, California students are learning to distinguish between shapes and their characteristics. They’ll also familiarize themselves with halves, thirds, quarters and how to use those phrases to describe shapes.

Geometry grade 1 skills

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The path to mastery should be paved with fun!

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Learning to love math can make all the difference in 1st grade, 2nd grade and beyond. Give students the inspiration and academic development they need with a resource like Prodigy. Prodigy’s unique platform incorporates the 1st grade math standards California requires in a fun, engaging way.

Turn math learning into an exciting journey with Prodigy!

Educators — Set an Assessment today and choose the curriculum-aligned skills you want your students to practice.

Parents — Motivate your child to practice essential skills from their school’s curriculum, then use the powerful tools in your parent account to track and support their progress.