Eight Math Skills Your Child Will Learn in 2nd Grade

Eight Math Skills Your Child Will Learn in 2nd Grade

In second grade math, children begin to work with larger numbers and develop a stronger understanding of place value. Students also learn everyday skills like telling time, working with money, and measuring. 

We parents can help our children succeed in second grade math by finding out more about what they’re going to learn. Over the year, your child will learn how to: 

1. Count within 1,000 

Second graders learn to read and write numbers to 1,000. They practice skip counting by 5s, 10s, and 100s as they notice patterns among numbers. 

At home: Create opportunities for reading and writing three-digit numbers. For example, have your child read the numbers on nutritional labels.
You can also ask your child to verbally skip count by 10s or 100s. Begin by starting at 10 or 100, then challenge your second grader to skip count on from other numbers, such as 60 or 204. 

2.  Understand place value in three-digit numbers

As kids learn to count within 1,000, they’ll be looking at three-digit numbers more closely. By looking at patterns in numbers, kids start to understand place value.

At home: Help your child by asking how many ones, tens and hundreds are in three-digit numbers. 

3. Compare three-digit numbers

After learning about place value and counting within 1,000, second graders will be able to compare three-digit numbers. They will be able to use their knowledge of place value to look at two numbers and tell which one is more or less than the other. Kids will learn how to use the symbols <,>, and = to compare three-digit numbers. 

At home: Help your child practice comparison skills by asking questions like “Which is bigger: 943 or 783?” Push your child’s thinking by asking why one number is bigger than another.

4. Add and subtract within 1,000

In second grade, kids get used to adding and subtracting numbers within 100. They solve one-step and two-step word problems, such as “Timmy had 39 toy cars. He got 12 more, then gave 18 away. How many cars does Timmy have left?”

After working to add and subtract within 100, kids will use their knowledge of three-digit numbers to practice adding and subtracting within 1,000. 

At home: make up some word problems like the one above, using your child's favorite toys or foods.

5. Measurement

Second graders develop their understanding of measurement by estimating lengths and measuring using different units. They compare lengths, similar to the comparison work they do with numbers, and use addition and subtraction to find out how much longer or shorter objects are. 

At home: Give your child a ruler and ask them to measure three different objects in the house. Then have your child put the objects in order from shortest to longest and explain how much longer or shorter each object is than the other ones. 

6. Telling time to the nearest five minutes

In first grade, students were introduced to telling time. Now second graders are able to extend their understanding to tell time to the nearest five minutes. Kids will also be able to tell the difference between AM and PM. 

At home, have your child practice telling time to the nearest five minutes - remind them to use AM and PM!

7. Word problems involving money

Second graders will solve lots of word problems involving addition and subtraction, including money problems. 

At home: Give your child a pile of coins and the job to count the total value. Or play “store” and have your child practice buying objects for different amounts of money, then figuring out how many cents are left. 

8. Picture and bar graphs

In second grade, your child will learn to use picture and bar graphs with up to four categories.

Challenge your child to take surveys at home and represent the data that is collected on a graph. 

Have a wonderful time digging into second grade math! 

Found this useful? Check out our grade by grade math guides from Kindergarten to 5th grade

Written by Lily Jones, Lily Jones loves all things learning. She has been a kindergarten & first grade teacher, instructional coach, curriculum developer, and teacher trainer. She loves to look at the world with curiosity and inspire people of all ages to love learning. She lives in California with her husband, two kids, and a little dog. 

About Komodo – Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost K-5 math skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math – without keeping them at the screen for long.

Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths – you can even try Komodo for free. 

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