Math Skills by Grade Level (CCSS)

Math Skills by Grade Level

Parents must have an easy-to-understand guide to what kids cover at each grade level.

  • Parents whose kids follow the US grade system and attend a school that observes the CCSSS will find it useful to know what their kids cover each year.
  • Parents whose kids are in a non-CCSS state or even another country can find it helpful to select the appropriate educational apps and resources as many of them describe their suitability in CCSS grades.
  • Home-schooling parents will find it helpful to see how their child's progress compares to the standards followed by many schools.

Below is a simplified and parent-friendly guide to math skills by grade.


Counting and Cardinality

  • Learn to count objects and understand that the last number they say represents the total number of objects.
  • Count up to 20 objects and also be comfortable with numbers up to 100 by counting in tens.

Understanding and Using Numbers

  • Kids should understand that numbers represent quantities and learn to compare two numbers between 1 and 10.
  • They should be able to identify which number is bigger or smaller and use terms like "more than" or "less than."

Basic Addition and Subtraction

  • Kindergarteners start learning the basics of adding and subtracting small numbers.
  • Use objects like blocks or fingers to understand how addition and subtraction work.

Shapes and Spatial Relationships:

  • Recognizing and naming shapes like circles, squares, and triangles
  • Learn about spatial relationships, which means understanding how shapes fit together and how they can be manipulated (like flipping or rotating them).

Measurement and Comparison

  • They start to understand basic concepts of measurement, like length and weight.
  • They learn to compare objects using words like "longer," "shorter," "heavier," and "lighter."

Grade 1

Counting and Understanding Numbers:

  • Kids learn to count forward and backwards, starting from any number, not just 1.
  • They understand and can use numbers up to 120.
  • They learn to read and write numbers in both numeric form (like 50) and in words (like fifty).

Understanding Place Value:

  • They learn about place values, which means understanding what each digit means in a two-digit number. For example, in 34, the '3' means 3 tens, and the '4' means 4 ones.

Addition and Subtraction:

  • Basic addition and subtraction within 20 are key skills.
  • They start to learn mental math strategies, like adding 2 + 3 by thinking, "2 plus 2 is 4, and one more is 5."

Tell and write time.

  • Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.

Understanding Shapes and Their Attributes:

  • Kids learn about different shapes like circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres.
  • They also learn to recognize and describe their attributes, like how many sides or corners they have.

Comparing and Measuring Lengths:

  • Students learn to compare the lengths of objects and use terms like longer/shorter and taller/shorter.
  • They use rulers and other tools to measure lengths.

Solving Word Problems:

  • They learn to solve simple word problems that involve addition and subtraction.

Understanding and Using Data:

  • Students learn to organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories. For example, they might count and graph the number of apples, oranges, and bananas in a fruit basket.

Grade 2

Understanding Place Value:

  • Kids look at larger numbers such as 345, where 3 is in the hundreds place, 4 is in the tens place, and 5 is in the ones place.

Addition and Subtraction:

  • They will practice adding and subtracting numbers up to 100.
  • They will solve word problems that require adding or subtracting.

Working with Money:

  • Kids learn to count money, including dollars and cents
  • They use addition and subtraction to work with money amounts

Telling Time:

  • Understanding how to tell time using analog and digital clocks is another key skill. They should be able to read time to the nearest five minutes.

Understanding Measurements:

  • This includes learning how to measure lengths using units like inches and centimeters, and how to compare different lengths.

Basic Geometry:

  • Kids should learn to recognize and draw simple shapes like rectangles, squares, triangles, and circles. They also learn to recognize and create simple patterns.

Mental Math

  • They are encouraged to use mental math strategies to add and subtract more efficiently.

Grade 3

Multiplication and Division

  • Kids learn how to multiply and divide numbers. They start with smaller numbers (like 2×3 or 9÷3) and learn the times tables.

Related Reading: Best Times Tables Apps

Understanding Fractions

  • They learn about fractions, focusing on fractions as parts of a whole.

Solving Word Problems

  • They work on solving real-world word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Rounding Numbers

  • Kids learn how to round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100. For example, rounding 67 to the nearest 10 would be 70.

Understanding Shapes and Their Attributes

  • They'll learn more about different shapes like squares, rectangles, and circles, and start to understand the attributes of these shapes (like number of sides and angles).

Measuring Lengths and Using Rulers

  • They'll measure objects using rulers and understand units of measurement like inches and centimetres.

Understanding Area and Perimeter

  • They'll learn the concepts of area (how much space is inside a shape) and perimeter (the distance around a shape).

Telling Time

Grade 4

Understanding Place Value

  • Kids learn about the place value of digits in large numbers. This means understanding the value of each digit in a number, like knowing that in 5,432, the '5' is in the thousands place.

Performing Multi-Digit Arithmetic

  • They do more complicated addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with larger numbers. For example, multiplying two-digit numbers like 23 x 45.

Related Reading: Best Speed Math Apps

Understanding Fractions

  • Fourth graders learn how to compare fractions
  • how to add and subtract fractions with the same denominator, and
  • how to multiply a fraction by a whole number.

Decimals and Fractions

  • Understanding the relationship between decimals and fractions, especially decimals to the tenths and hundredths places.

Geometry Skills

  • They learn about shapes and their attributes. This includes understanding angles, lines, and symmetry in shapes.

Grade 5

Place Value and Decimals

  • This includes understanding place value up to the billions
  • Being able to read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths

Operations with Whole Numbers and Decimals

  • Students should be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers and decimals, including multi-digit multiplication and division.


  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions
  • Working with mixed numbers such as 2 ¾

Volume and Measurement

  • Measuring volume and understanding the concept of cubic units.
  • Converting units of measure, like grams to kilograms or liters to milliliters.


  • Understand the properties of two-dimensional shapes and classifying them
  • Understanding the concept of hierarchy in shapes (like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares).

Data and Graphs

  • Kids learn to plot and interpret data on line plots, bar graphs, and coordinate planes.

As this guide simplifies and summarises the CCSS content to help non-educationalists, it may not contain all the required information. You should consult the official version for the full details and context.

Related Reading: Math Fluency and Automaticity

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