Maths is everywhere!

Parenting for the long game!
May 14, 2021

Maths is everywhere. Maths is all about thinking, noticing, problem-solving, having-a-go, being curious and persevering. It would be hard to have a conversation with children without a maths concept creeping in somewhere, which is just as well, as it is an essential skill for everyday life.

Children’s understanding about mathematical concepts begin from the moment they’re born as they  interact with people and the world around them. Much of our everyday conversations support numeracy. By being more aware of mathematical language we can support children to play, explore, and use the words that build mathematical understandings and confidence.

It is generally recognised that there are six significant areas of early numeracy:

  • numbers and counting (including one-to-one correspondence: counting 1 cup for 1 person)
  • sharing, number comparison and ordering
  • calculations patterns
  • shapes measurement

So what are some maths words?

Same             Different                  Equal             More             Less                Group            Fewer                        Take away    Add on          How many?             Number names Predict   Guess             Wonder        Pattern
Before            After              Time              First               Middle          Last
What’s next?          Big, bigger, biggest           Small, smaller, smallest              Order            Size            Half    Share             Empty            Enough          Part Whole  Guess            Predict            Wonder        Sort                Heavy            Light              Wide              Narrow         Faster             Slower          Full
Empty            Measure      Cold               Hot                 Tall                 Short             Weigh            Low    High    Down            Up     Upside down            Next to Under        Top     Bottom         Through            Shape            Curved          Bent Square Rectangle    Triangle        Corner           Points            Cube              Straight        Edge  

Some everyday examples:

Does everyone have a cup? (counting; one-to-one correspondence)

My car goes so fast. Oh no, it went under the bed. (measurement-speed, positional concepts)

What’s the number on our letter box? (recognising numbers)

Will all the cuddly toys fit in this box? (measurement-area)

The bean bag is big enough for 2. (classification, spatial awareness)

This lid is too small. (measurement-size)

That puzzle piece has a straight side. It’ll fit somewhere on the edge. (measurement-area)

Only 2 sleeps until your birthday. (measurement-time)

This shopping bag is so heavy. (measurement-weight)

How much cereal is left (measurement-volume)

There’s 6 children here so let’s cut the cake in 6 pieces. (one-to-one correspondence, fractions)

Would you like your sandwich cut into squares or triangles? (geometry-shape)

I can tell you rolled a 6 by the pattern on the dice. (number, patterns)

I’m gluing the smaller box on top of the bigger box. (Measurement- size, comparing)

Can you please make the clay into a cube? (geometry -3D shape)

Using maths words provides another avenue for talking together with your child about what you are seeing and doing together. Talking, play and everyday experiences helps your child to develop maths language which is fundamental for building strong mathematically understandings as they grow.