Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 2nd Grade Math

Last Updated on August 31, 2021 by Thinkster

Are you sending a second grader off to school for the first time? 2nd grade math can be challenging for some students. Here’s a basic idea of what your child will be expected to know and do in this upcoming school year.

Addition and Subtraction Mastery

Second grade is the year when kids will get to a mastery point of subtraction and addition as they gear up for multiplication and division. They will finalize those facts in their minds while learning to add and subtract larger numbers using the facts they have memorized. Having these facts committed to memory is crucial for this stage, which is why Thinkster Math focuses strongly on basic fact practice.

Along the same lines, in 2nd grade math students will be able to discuss the inverse relationship of addition and subtraction. By working with fact families, they will learn that subtraction is simply addition in reverse. They will also understand that subtraction gives you a smaller amount than you started with, while addition gives you a larger amount. By the end of the year, they will be able to add and subtract two- and three-digit numbers with or without regrouping.

Geometry Fluency

In geometry, students will need to move beyond basic identification of various shapes and figures. Now they will become fluent with some of the terms used to describe these items. They will be using terms like “angles,” “faces” and “vertices” to describe shapes in both two- and three-dimensions.

Fraction Introduction

Students won’t do much with fractions in 2nd grade math, but they should be introduced at this time. They should learn to identify thirds, halves, quarters and eighths. They will learn the basics of what fractions mean and use visuals to identify them.

Problems with Money

In 2nd grade math, students will become competent in counting mixed groups of coins. They should be able to identify when two different groups have the same amount of money, and they will be able to use coins to create a certain dollar value.

Place Value

The place value system is crucial to math understanding, and it’s in 2nd grade math that they will expand that knowledge. They will learn values up to 1,000 and will be able to group 10s and 100s to make the next place value.


Kids love to measure things, and in second grade they will get a lot of practice doing so. This will teach them how to determine which unit of measure is most appropriate for a particular measurement challenge. They should also be able to communicate verbally about measurement concepts, showing that they understand what these concepts mean and how to handle them.

Along with measurements, students will learn to measure time using clocks and calendars. They will learn about everything form seconds to years and will be able to read both digital and analog clocks. Measuring time up to five-minute intervals shows a mastery of these important concepts.

While math standards do vary by state, these are common to most areas. If your child could use a little more practice, Thinkster Math provides that practice with the help of certified teachers through the convenience of tablet-based tutoring. Give your child the best start at 2nd grade math this school year with Thinkster.

Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 2nd Grade Math
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Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 2nd Grade Math
If your child will soon have their first day in 2nd grade, you should prepare yourself for what to expect from 2nd grade math. Here are a few things you should bear in mind.
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Thinkster Math
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