T4T Cluster 1 Family Letter (English & Spanish)

Click to download fully formatted letter:

Download: Cluster_1_Parent_Letter_-_English.docx

Download: Cluster_1_Parent_Letter_-_Spanish.pdf

Letter Excerpt:

Dear Parents,


During the week of <date> we will be starting a new math unit focused on building a mathematical community while working with numbers within 20 . The purpose of this letter is to give you some background information about our new unit. This way of teaching math may look very different to you than when you were in school.


Focus of the Unit


This unit helps establish a foundation for all mathematical work by creating a positive and respectful climate for learning. The goal is for students to feel safe engaging in discussions around mathematical topics. This math talk can reveal understandings and misunderstandings, boost memory, promote deeper reasoning, foster language development, and support the development of social skills. Students will learn mathematical routines and expectations for talking about math including sharing their own thinking, listening, and critiquing the reasoning of others. Here’s an overview of the standards we will be covering in this unit:


●     Students will solve addition and subtraction problems up to 20 on a number line

●     Students will demonstrate fluency with addition and subtraction, within 20, using mental strategies

●     Students will determine whether a group of objects, within 20, has an odd or even number of members by pairing objects, then counting them by 2s.

●     Students will determine whether objects can be placed into two equal groups.

●     Students will write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends (8+8=16).



Building off Past Mathematics


In first grade, students added and subtracted within 20, but only demonstrated fluency within ten. In this unit, students build on their first grade work as they develop fluency with addition and subtraction within 20 using mental strategies.









Strategies that Students Will Learn

To build fluency with addition and subtraction within 20, we will introduce several mental strategies:


●     Make a Ten



●      Counting On~ start with the bigger number and count on (ex. 8+4=  Start at 8.     Think...9...10...11...12)

●      Counting Back~ start with the bigger number and count back (ex. 7-3=  Start with 7. Think...6...5...4)

●      Doubles~ 4+4, 5+5, 6+6, 7+7

●      Doubles +1~ 7+8 is the same as 7+7 plus 1 more


This unit will incorporate the use of the number line. Students should understand that when using a number line, the distance between the numbers is what is being “counted”, rather than counting the tick marks.




Students will also pair objects and then count them by 2s to explore concepts of even and odd. Through this process, they practice skip counting by 2s.



Ideas for Home Support

Playing math games at home is a great way to build your child’s fluency with math facts. Also, while riding in the car, call out math facts for your child to solve.  That’s a great way for them to practice using those mental strategies.  Give your child a group of items such as marbles or  pennies and have them pair the items and count them by 2s.  Have your child practice skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s.


Thank you for serving as partners in your child’s success as a mathematician!





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