8 Math Skills for Your Child in 2nd Grade: Most Important Concepts

Math in the 2nd grade introduces the lifelong journey of drawing math figures and counting. When you are a parent, you try to search for the answer: How to help my 2nd grader with math?

In this article, you can get the second-grade math skills checklist, and find out information about the interactive platforms with fun math lessons. So let’s get started.

What do 2nd graders learn in math?

Second graders learn the key math skills and concepts that are the ground of their future math knowledge. The core program includes counting patterns, drawing math figures, problem-dealing skills and critical thinking. All mentioned competencies can be attained after finishing the first-grade math program. 

Without learning skills during each grade, children can miss important bricks while building fundamental math understanding. Math learning platforms like Brighterly are taking care to reveal the needs of each student and implement possible instruments in the way of improving competencies and knowledge gaps.

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2nd grade math skills checklist

As you see, the checklist includes three core competencies that pupils have to get after completing the second-grade math program. The list includes analyzing abilities, creating geometric shapes and solving daily tasks. Let’s consider each of these skills in detail below. 

Analyzing abilities

This block consists of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Children learn how to globalize the problem and cope with it. They analyze different diagrams and bar charts, learn how to compare numbers, add and subtract numbers, and apply length, weight, and capacity units in everyday life.

Creating geometric shapes

Students’ visualization skills are developed by drawing math figures like rectangles, squares, triangles and circles. They learn to divide the shapes into equal parts, and small pieces and analyze the ratio.

Solving daily tasks

This skill is related to counting money. 2nd grade math skills include additions and subtractions, understanding of three-digit numbers, and calculations up to a thousand. 

What math should a 2nd grader know?

As a rule, education programs have the same number of lessons, skills and learning schedules which allow all children to receive equal education rights and the ability to develop certain skills and knowledge. 2nd-grade math topics are determined to develop the 8 core skills. Find out information about each below. 

8 most significant 2nd-grade math concepts

Calculation of at least 1000

Graduating from the second grade, children should not only have numbers sense, but also count quickly by ones, fives, tens, and hundreds up to one thousand. It is one of the core 2nd-grade math skills without which the understanding of future assignments, formulas and patterns can be complicated and slower. 

Place value understanding

The basic mathematical concepts for 2nd grade mean children understand the number of digits is meaningful and indicates the value. For instance, the child can count money due to the first gained skill and can talk about what stands for each digit in the number “795”. The awareness of 4-digit or 5-digit numbers is not required, but the 3-digit is compulsory for making number sense. 

Comparing numbers

The ability to compare numbers is among the key 2nd-grade math concepts, which directly influences further skill development. This concept involves learning the comparison of numbers up to 4 digits, using the signs <,>, and =. The second grade is a high time to discover this topic for future pre-algebra.

Add and subtract up to 1000

Pupils in the second grade should have strong arithmetic skills to add and subtract numbers to 100. After that, they learn how to count 3-digit numbers. At the end of the academic year, children have to make counts automatically without help. 2nd-grade math concepts like this prepare students for further patterns with proportions and formulas. 

Measurement units

Mathematical concepts for second grade include the understanding and knowledge of the measurement mechanism, units and types. Children acquire basic weight, height and length units. They learn how and where they can use units of measurement like pounds, liters, centimeters, miles, and kilometers. Making the comparisons of measurement units and counting them up to 1000 is an additional skill in this direction.

Telling the time

Both analogue and digital clocks are the subjects of learning in the second grade. Pupils are getting acquainted with the time and periods of the day. The concept of indicating the period of the day, telling time up to 5 minutes and counting the period to a certain time is among the core second-grade math skills which should be gained in the framework of this section. 

Money transactions

Second-grade math concepts include learning elementary skills in dealing with money. Children become aware of counting, exchanging and solving other money-related questions. This skill is accompanied by additions and subtractions.  

Bar charts visualization

This is the way children acknowledge to compare numbers. They learn to analyze the proportion of visualized parts and make conclusions based on the pictures.

How to help 2nd graders with math?

To help your children with concepts of math, skills, and topics in 2nd grade can be easily adopted by learners when they have enough support, and understand complicated tasks straightforwardly.

Help your second grader with math and show your positive attitude to the subject, implement practical usage of patterns and show how important they are in real life. They can be easily adopted by learners when they have enough support, and understand how to make complicated tasks straightforward.

Top 5 tips to engage a pupil in 2nd-grade math

Each of the following methods works separately and together. Gradually implement all of them to help the second-grade pupil gain knowledge.


Method description


Boost confidence

Each correct answer is a small win which leads to victory over the process. Tell your child how you are fascinated with the results and remember to praise them for that. 

The confidence of the child will increase and the fear of making wrong decisions will disappear. As a result, math concepts for 2nd grade will be attained faster. 

Provoke interest

You can engage your child in math and fill in the gaps in 2nd-grade math skills with the right approach. What is your child keen on? It may be reading books or playing different table games. Puzzle out how to apply education to a hobby.

An interesting lesson will encourage the study of those topics with which difficulties arise.

Fix the addition and subtraction relationships

Counting skill is one of the key elements of successful future learning and understanding. Practice more with the children to flow their way of counting to the automatic system. For instance, take beans and do the exercise, hiding some of them and asking about the number. Starting from 5, you can rise to 20, 40 and so on. 

Practicing adds and subtracts with household use, the pupil will develop analytical skills and the ability to understand the task faster.

Solving real-life problems

Second-grade math skills consist of the understanding of units of measurement of length, weight, height and others. Going to the shop, you can ask the child to weigh the fruits and count how much they will cost. The feeling of practice knowledge will encourage the interest to become a proficient learner of the topic. 

Realizing how needful math skills are in real-life situations, pupils will increase their consciousness and attitude to learning.  

Forming a positive attitude to math

Making your children feel how useful the second-grade math skills can be in the life of a family, will enhance responsible learning and realizing the purpose of math. Put both analogue and digital clocks in the house and ask your child to tell you the time. Feeling the importance of such a task, the pupil will learn the meaning of time. 

Time measurement skills become better and the desire to know how to say time correctly forces pupils to become proficient in the concept. 

What math is taught in 2nd grade?

At school math classes, the second-grade pupils are taught counting, time measurements, additions and subtractions and drawing math figures. They use books to show the pictures to pupils and explain patterns. However, pupils hardly understand math theory in 2nd grade. Teaching counting, units of measurement, time, comparing and three-digit numbers, and interactive methods are the keys to the absorption of knowledge.


To help your children get the perfect 2nd-grade skills and apply the theory and knowledge that will be useful further, you can try non-formal education tools. Online education platforms, like Brighterly, are perfect places where tutors work individually with students of different ages and teach them using new methods. During the first free lesson, the teacher determines the pupil’s level of knowledge, analyzes it and recommends practices which can improve the situation.

Book demo lesson for free today and help your child to become a better learner tomorrow.

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