## periodic table of math skills

Setting aside curricula for a moment, there are some basic skills everyone agrees kids should have before graduating elementary school, to prepare for real life. Check out our **Periodic Table of Math Skills** below – the hydrogen and oxygen of the nimble working brain. Then see below how each “element” propels real life!

## Row 1

**Know your numbers:** Press the right elevator button**Know your shapes:** Ski down the right slope!

## Row 2

**Counting on:** Add another party guest**Counting down:** Arrive on time; Make change**Rotate shapes mentally:** Stack objects; Tile a floor**Categorize shapes:** Load the dishwasher efficiently

## Row 3

**Add numbers:** Count calories; Know when you’ll get your restaurant table**Subtract numbers:** Know when supplies will run out**Know math facts cold:** Make all harder math easier**Understand the equal sign:** Prepare for all problem-solving**Read an analog clock:** Know the time on the world’s clock faces**Group common objects:** Lay groundwork for statistics**Find the perimeter of a rectangle:** Understand heating/cooling efficiency**Measure with a ruler:** Center pictures on a wall; Buy the right size clothes

## Row 4

**Multiply numbers:** Is the annual subscription better than monthly?**Work with negative numbers:** Calculate debt; Work with subzero temps**Understand prime numbers:** Strengthen your mental math**Understand zeroes and place value:** Gut-check politicians’ budget claims**Work with money:** Buy and sell**Make a bar or line graph:** Understand data in the news**Find the area of a rectangle:** Gut-check a realtor listing; Buy the right size rug**Measure angles:** Throw a ball the farthest; Set the wing flaps on a plane

## Row 5

**Divide numbers:** Share equally; Buy enough packs of cups and plates**Use parentheses:** Understand economies of scale**+ – x ÷ with fractions:** Make 1 1/2 times the recipe**+ – x ÷ with decimals:** Measure blood sugar, fevers, earthquakes; Understand gas prices**+ – x ÷ with percents:** Will driving 5 mph faster make a difference?**Set up a Venn diagram:** Know when to code AND vs. OR in a program**Find the volume of a box:** Buy the right air conditioner; Fill a pool or sandbox**Use compass directions:** Exit the NYC subway with confidence

## Row 6

**Work with exponents:** Understand how diseases spread**Solve multistep word problems:** Know which line at the store will go fastest**Find the average of a set:** Set a monthly budget; Track climate change**Estimate:** Think on your feet. Don’t be math roadkill.**Recognize patterns:** Spot errors on your utility bill or credit card**Calculate chance:** Know whether a warranty is a rip-off**Know units of measure:** Understand your drug prescription; Know your carbon footprint**Plot coordinate points:** Design items to 3D-print; Paint football field lines; Meet up at an intersection