A child opening the Preschool Number Activity Cards

Maths Terminology

Maths Terminology

Using terminology correctly with your child will help them excel in maths and develop a secure understanding of mathematical concepts. Take a look at this list of terminology which is included in the Preschool Number Activity Cards, Preschool Shape, Measure and Pattern Activity CardsReception Number Activity Cards, and Reception Shape, Measure and Pattern Activity Cards
  • 2D shape - a flat shape, e.g. square, rectangle, triangle, circle 

  • 3D shape - a solid shape you can touch and feel, e.g. cube, cuboid, pyramid, sphere 

  • 100 square - a large square divided into 100 smaller squares filled with the numerals 1-100
  • Addition - combining two, or more, amounts to make a larger amount

  • Array - a group of dots, pictures or objects arranged in rows and columns  

  • Capacity - the amount an object can hold
  • Cardinality - the quantity a numeral represents, sometimes referred to as 'howmanyness' 

  • Composition of number - the idea that all numbers are made up of two, or more, smaller numbers 

  • Corner - the point where two sides meet on a 2D or 3D shape 

  • Digit - a single numeral, e.g. the 5 in 156

  • Double facts - an addition calculation where a number is added to itself, e.g. 1 + 1 = 2

  • Even number - a number that can be divided into two equal parts 

  • Fewest - the group which contains fewer than any other 

  • Five frame - a rectangle, split into five equal squares, used for counting 

  • Irregular shape - a shape with unequal sides and angles 

  • Length - how long or short an object is
  • Maths sentence - a calculation made up of numbers and signs. It can contain any of the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

  • Most - the group which contains more than any other
  • Number - a value or amount; may be a word, picture or digit

  • Number bond - two numbers that add together to make a larger number

  • Numeral - a single digit, or group of digits, use to represent a number, e.g. 156

  • Odd number - a number that cannot be divided into two equal parts 

  • Regular shape - a shape with equal sides and angles 

  • Repeating pattern - a pattern made up of two or more alternating parts, e.g. red, blue, red, blue

  • Side - a line that joins two corners on a 2D or 3D shape 

  • Spatial word - a word to describe the position of a person or object, e.g. above, below, in, on
  • Subitise - the ability to look at a small number of objects, or images, and recognise the amount without counting

  • Subtraction - taking one amount away from another to make a smaller amount

  • Tangram - a puzzle made up of seven shapes which are put together to make a square
  • Ten frame - a rectangle, spilt into two rows of five equal squares, used for counting 

  • Weight - how heavy or light an object is