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Math in French: Master the basics in Kindergarten and First Grade

Why not try a bit of math in French next time you get the chance to visit France? Although it might be tempting to stop working altogether, there are plenty of things you can do when on vacation to keep the wheels turning.

To help, it might be a good idea to think of math in a foreign language. This will help your child to continue their development and have fun while away from school this summer. And, before you know it, they will be conversing with others using their newfound knowledge!

So, without further ado, let’s get started with some math home learning – in French!

For anyone who is wondering, the French word for math is mathématiques.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way… let’s take a look at some basic vocabulary together to get you started:


Numbers are a good place to start. Mastering these will help your child to start using French when you are out and about.

math in french number

Consistently reading these out loud and reciting them together will push these terms into your long-term memory.

You might then want to use these numbers in a holiday-themed sentence. Perhaps:

Je voudrais + [number] + glaces = I would like + [number] + ice creams

For example:

Je voudrais deux glaces = I would like two ice creams

Four Operations

Do we all remember our operations?

In math, operations refer to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Fortunately, most of the four operations are the same as their English equivalents so it might not take long for your child to remember these!

  • addition = l’addition
  • subtraction = la soustraction
  • multiplication = la multiplication
  • division = la division

2D Shapes

Once your child has mastered the french numbers and operations, you can then move them on to talking about shapes.

Why not try finding one of the shapes below when you’re on vacation? Perhaps a nice square piece of cake?

This will really start to get their brain working:

math in french 2D Shape

Try to encourage your child to incorporate their number and shape knowledge together in the sentence:

J’ai [number] + [shape] = I have [number] + [shape]

For example:

J’ai trois triangles = I have three triangles

3D Shapes

Once you have mastered this vocabulary, why not move on to 3D shapes?

math in french 3D Shape

Again, try to encourage your child to use their shape vocabulary in the sentence:

J’ai [number] + [shape]

For example:

J’ai onze cônes = I have eleven cones

To improve memory retention further, it might be a good idea to print this vocabulary.

Sticking these translations up around your house (once you have returned from your vacations), will help cement the ‘math in french’ connections made in your child’s brain.

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The content in this article was originally written by primary school teacher Sophie Bartlett and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Jaclyn Wassell

Sophie Bartlett
Sophie Bartlett
Year 6 Teacher
Sophie teaches mixed age classes at a small school in central England. She is a self confessed grammar pedant and number nerd so we've welcomed her as a regular author and editor for Third Space Learning.

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