Monthly Archives: April 2020

Maths by Month – May (updated 2020)

A new month is just upon us, and as usual, this heralds the latest installment in this series of posts designed to explore the Operation Maths topics on a month-by-month basis.

As teachers and families, around the country, continue to support children via distance learning, to contribute to this effort in some small way, we have launched a new series of posts entitled Dear Family. Each of these posts, will focus on a specific maths topic, and provide practical suggestions as to how families can support their child’s learning, as well as links to useful digital resources. We hope that, in some small way, they may prove to be beneficial, both now, and in the future.

The posts in the Dear Family series published to date, focused on the topics of weight, capacity, 2-D shapes and 3-D objects, some of which also feature in the plans for this coming month (see below). The next posts, currently in development, focus on the topics of number sentences and equations, money and chance.

Please feel free to share any of the Operation Maths blog posts with colleagues and members of your school community, whether they are Operation Maths users or not.

HINT: To ensure you don’t miss out on any future Maths by Month or Dear Family blog-posts, please subscribe to the Operation Maths blog via email, on the top right hand of this page.
Another way to keep up to date an all new maths-related developments is to like/follow the Edco Primary Maths page on Facebook and/or Twitter 

Operation Maths for Junior Infants to Sixth Class:

Operation Maths users can also access a class specific, month-by-month list of relevant links and online resources via the Weblinks document, accessible on www.edcolearning.ie. 

  1. Log into your edcolearning account
  2. Click on the At School Book/Pupil’s Book for your class level.
  3. Click on the Edco Resources icon (on book cover image on left-hand side)
  4. Select Weblinks from list of categories and then click to download the document.

Also accessible on  www.edcolearning.ie.  are the custom-made digital resources to support these topics. These will all be viewable when you click on the Edco Resources icon as directed above.

HINT: If you are new to Operation Maths this year or have changed class level, be sure to check out the Quick Start Guide to the Operation Maths books and the companion Quick Start Guide to the Operation Maths Digital Resources
Don’t forget that Operation Maths also has you covered for planning whether you’re teaching a single class or multi-class. 

Other suggestions for May:

  • May the Fourth Be With You! International Star Wars Day (May the fourth) is almost here!
  • Outdoor Classroom Day is May 21 2020. This global event encourages us to use the outdoors to teach, explore and learn. There are lots of resources with suggestions for all subject areas, including maths, https://outdoorclassroomday.com/. For more ideas for outdoor maths you could also check out:
    • the Maths Around Us activity ideas in your Operation Maths book
    • the Maths Around Us videos accessible at https://www.edcolearning.ie/
    • this post, Maths fun in the sun

We’re here to help!
If you have any questions on Operation Maths, Number Facts or anything related to primary maths over the course of the school year, please PM or contact Edco Primary Maths via Facebook and/or Twitter 


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to 3-D Objects

Dear Family, listed below are some practical suggestions as to how you might support your children’s understanding of the maths topic of 3-D objects. Also below, are a series of links to digital resources that will help both the children, and you, learn more about 3-D objects. The digital resources are organised according to approximate class level.

Junior Infants to Second Class
You can also find class specific tips at the back of your child’s Operation Maths At Home book, for infants to second class, and in the Operation Maths Dear Family letters for third to sixth class.

Practical Suggestions for all Children

  • Naming shapes: 3-D is short for three dimensional, i.e objects with length, width and depth/height. In Operation Maths we refer to them as 3-D objects, so as to distinguish them from their flat, 2-D relations. 3-D objects can also be referred to as solid shapes and they include cubes, cuboids, spheres, cones, cylinders, pyramids, etc. Distinguishing between 2-D shapes and 3-D objects can be a bit confusing for both adults and children; for example, the shape of a real ball may be referred to as a circle, since, if a ball is drawn, or shown in a picture, then the flat, 2-D shape of the ball in the image is now a circle! But in reality, it is a 3-D object called a sphere. And a box is not a 2-D shape, it is a 3-D object called a cuboid, but the flat surface of a box is usually the 2-D shape of a rectangle or, sometimes, a square. So, if looking for 3-D objects at home, ask the children to examine and if possible pick up, actual objects, as opposed to flat representations of the shapes in a picture book or magazine.
  • 3-D Shape hunts: Play games like “I spy, with my little eye, something the shape of a cube, cuboid, sphere” etc. Again, be careful that you affirm with your child that it is the entire object that you are looking at, as opposed to just a surface or a flat face of the object.

Lindor Cornet Milk | Products | Lindt Chocolate World

Waffle cone 3D model - TurboSquid 1434894

Order Cadbury Drinking Chocolate 250g Online at Special Price in ...Quality Street tubs shrink again as new chocolate added to mix ...

Tesco in second cut price blunder as thousands snap up discount ...

Champions of Design: Toblerone

Maltesers - Wikipedia

  • Sweet! A great place to find 3-D shapes is in treats and their wrappings or containers. Next treat time, look carefully at your Maltesers (spheres), Toblerone box (triangular prism), Smarties container and Lindor chocolates box (both hexagonal prisms), tub of Quality Street (octagonal prism) Starburst/Opal Fruits (cuboid), mini-rolls and hot chocolate powder (both cylinders) and wafer cones (cone, of course!)
  • Properties: Each family of 3-D objects also has properties or characteristics that make them different from other 3-D objects. In the younger classes, the children will be exploring whether a 3-D object can roll, stack, slide etc. When out and about or helping around the house, children can be asked to name the 3-D objects that are easier to stack on shelves in the shop, in the cupboard etc? What 3-D objects might roll off a shelf? As the children get older, they will be exploring properties such as the number of corners (also called vertices), the number and type of edges (straight or curved), and the number and type of surfaces (flat faces or curved surfaces). Through developing a better understanding of what makes an object that 3-D object, the children can start to group 3-D objects with similar properties or characteristics together.
  • Take it apart! 3-D objects and 2-D shapes, as mentioned earlier, are very connected. Another way that children can explore this relationship is to take apart examples of 3-D objects. Boxes are ideal for this, so, before you put your boxes in the recycling bin, ask your child to tear it open along an edge so as to open it out flat and identify the 2-D shapes that make it. This is referred to as the 2-D net of a 3-D object. Did they see the 2-D shapes they expected to see?
  • Play, play, play! Encourage your child to play and explore with 3-D objects as much as possible:
    • Lots of the toys that are aimed at preschool age children focus on 3-D shapes: wooden building blocks, shape sorter toys etc. Even older children can return to these toys and look at them in a new way to see what they can now discover and say about these shapes.
    • Magformers , Geomag and 3-D puzzles are examples of toys specifically geared towards the construction of 3-D structures. Other toys that can be used to create 3-D structures include Lego, K’nex, Mega Bloks, Plus-Plus and Stickle Bricks/Bristle Blocks.
    • Build anything! Use boxes and any objects from around the home to build, stack, etc. Without even realising it, the children will be exploring and learning about the properties of these shapes.
    • Solve 3-D puzzles. Perhaps you have a Rubik’s Cube somewhere around the house? Or look out for other 3-D puzzles like Rubik’s Cage, Soma cube or Tetris Shake. Any of these these type of puzzles are a very worthwhile way to spend time!

Digital Resources for Infants

NUMBERJACKS | Sphere Today, Gone Tommorrow | S1E3 - YouTubeThe Number Jacks have quite a number of 3-D shape-based episodes including Sphere today, Gone tomorrow, a Circle at both ends (cylinder) and Boxing Day.

3D Shapes Song | Shapes for kids | The Singing Walrus - YouTube3-D Shapes Song: Introduces cone, cylinder, cube and sphere.

Solid Shapes - YouTube

3-D Solids: A video lesson from Matholia introducing common solid (3D) shapes, including cubes, cuboids, cones, cylinders, spheres and pyramids. 

IXL | Maths and English Practice

Solid Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity L1-L7 are all about solid, 3-D objects.

3-D Sorting: Find the matching shape and sort the shapes (doesn’t require the children to know the names of the shapes)

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

NB: Children in first and second may also enjoy the links for infant classes, above

Describing and Naming Solids - YouTubeDescribing and Naming Solids: A video lesson from Matholia describing the properties of common solid (3D) shapes, including cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone and sphere. 

What 3D shape am I?What Shape am I? Use the clues to identify the name of the 3-D object. Guess the name before you click on to see the answer.

How to Draw 3D Shapes - YouTubeDrawing 3-D Objects: Video to show how to draw 3-D objects. Drawing is a great way to understand these shapes better.

IXL | Maths and English Practice3-D Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity N1-N10 are all about 3-D shapes.

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

NB: Children in these classes may also enjoy the links for first and second classes, above

Math is FunMaths is Fun: Background information on 3-D solids as a part of geometry. 

Shapes: 3D shapes - BBC Teach

3-D Shapes: Lots of useful information about 3-D shapes from BBC Skillswise, including a video highlighting 3-D shapes in the real world.

Learn Alberta - Interactive Math - Gail MooreShapes under the Sea: Answer questions on 3-D shapes to collect crystals and complete the game (also has a 2-D shapes topic).

Interactive whiteboard activity3-D Sorting lesson: Sort the shapes according to the required property. At the end click on answer to see if you are correct.

Unit 11 3-D Shapes, Weight, Volume & Capacity - Mrs. Warner's ...Mission 2110 – 3D Shapes: You need to know the properties of 3D shapes if you are to complete your mission in this exciting game.

Cube Nets - Content - ClassConnectCube Nets: Can you predict which of these nets will form a cube? Make your prediction and then watch the animation to see if you were correct.

What shape will I make? Look at the net and type in the name of the 3-D object it will make.

IXL | Maths and English Practice

IXL: A selection of geometry games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.

Kangaroo Hop Power your kangaroo by recognizing shapes. How many ...Kangaroo Hop: Get your kangaroo to the finish line first by choosing the correct 2-D or 3-D shapes.

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

3-D shape quiz: For 5th or 6th class or those looking for a challenge! 


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to 2-D Shapes

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of 2-D shapes, as well as some practical suggestions as to how you might support your children’s understanding at home. Also below, are a series of links to digital resources that will help both the children, and you, learn more about 2-D shapes . The digital resources are organised according to approximate class level:

Junior Infants to Second Class
You can also find class specific tips at the back of your child’s Operation Maths At Home book, for infants to second class, and in the Operation Maths Dear Family letters for third to sixth class.

Understanding 2-D Shapes

Why do children need to learn about shapes? Learning to recognise different shapes not only helps children learn about this maths topic, but, in the early years, it also develops their ability to recognise numbers and letters by their shape. This skill will also transfer to other signs and symbols, be they maths symbols such as +, =, <, > etc., or signs and symbols in the real world e.g. road signs, safety signs etc.

Naming shapes: 2-D shapes is short for two dimensional shapes, i.e. shapes with length and width, but not depth/height. Also called flat shapes, these include circles, squares, rectangles, triangles etc. 2-D shapes can be a bit confusing for both adults and children; for example, a real ball is not a 2-D shape, it is a 3-D object called a sphere, but if a ball is drawn, or shown in a picture, then the flat representation of the ball in the image is now a circle! And a box is not a 2-D shape, it is a 3-D object called a cuboid, but the flat surface of a box is usually the 2-D shape of a rectangle or sometimes a square. So, if looking for 2-D shapes at home, ask the children to examine the flat surface of objects and/or to look at the flat shapes in a picture book or magazine.

Properties of Shapes: 2-D shapes also have properties or characteristics that make them different from other 2-D shapes. A shape with three straight sides and three angles (also referred to as corners or vertices) is always a triangle…but as the children get older they will also realise that some triangles have three equal sides (equilateral), some triangles have only two equal sides (isosceles) and some have no equal sides (scalene). Through an understanding of what makes a shape that shape, the children can start to group shapes with similar properties or characteristics together. So, if exploring 2-D shapes, draw the children’s attention to properties such as the number and type of sides (equal, not equal, straight or curved), the number and type of angles/vertices (equal, not equal, right angles or not).

Children in the senior end of primary school will further classify shapes into named groups, for example, they will identify different types of triangles, polygons (any shape with straight, non-curved sides) and quadrilaterals (four sided shapes, quad = four) and explore the different properties (size/shape of angles, length of sides) that make each one unique. They will learn more detailed terminology about the parts of shapes, especially the parts of a circle. They will also be asked to solve various problems (for example finding the measure of an unknown angle or side) based on what they know already. This is preparing them for the type of geometry they will meet in second-level maths.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • Shape hunts: Play games like “I spy, with my little eye, something the shape of a rectangle” etc. Again, be careful that you affirm with your child that it is the surface or face of, for example, the door, that is a rectangle, not the entire door (which is in fact another cuboid i.e. a 3-D object). Look out for 2-D shapes on posters, road signs, billboards, wallpaper and in picture books. With older children, encourage them to notice that while each shape group has a key feature in common, each individual shape is different; for example while every triangle must have 3 sides, they also can have different size angles and sides. Look around for different triangles!
  • Play, play, play! Encourage your child to play and explore with 2-D shapes as much as possible:
    • Make 2-D shapes with sticks, string, playdoh, pastry, creating imprints in sand, mud, pastry, etc. Use construction toys such as Lego, K’nex, Geomag and Plus-Plus to create 2-D shapes and then build them further into 3-D structures.
    • Draw 2-D shapes and cut them out, create pictures, patterns, designs etc. Perhaps you have a spirograph toy somewhere in the house? Dig it out and give it a spin (excuse the pun!).
    • Solve shape puzzles. One of these are tangram puzzles. This ancient Chinese 7-piece puzzle, provides an excellent way to develop a child’s ability to manipulate and visualise shapes. You can often buy reasonably priced plastic or wooden tangram puzzles in local book and toy shops. You can also print out a set of trangram pieces and use them to solve the numerous puzzles available on line. Or you can play an interactive tangram puzzle game.
    • Other very worthwhile shape puzzles include tetrominoes (like the Tetris game of old) and pentominoes. You can also download games, based on many of these shape puzzles to your device; just search your app store for tangrams, tetrominoes/tetris and/or pentominoes.
  • Programming If your child does programming, or is interested in trying it out, they could use a free programme such as Scratch to draw various types of 2-D shapes.

Digital Resources for Infants

The Number Jacks have quite a number of 2-D shape-based episodes including Round and Round, Square Dancing and Very Shapely.


Shapes Songs Collection Vol. 1" - 35 Mins of Baby, Toddler ...Shapes Songs Collection: a collection of songs that teach children the names of common shapes.


Types of Shapes - YouTube2-D Shapes: A video lesson from Matholia introducing common flat (2-D) shapes, including squares, circles, triangles and rectangles. 


Shape Monsters – new learning game | The Topmarks BlogShape Monsters: an ideal introduction to 2-D shapes for young children. Children need to feed the monsters with the correct shapes. The monsters then say the name of the shape they’ve eaten.


Manipulatives | CoolMath4KidsPattern Blocks: Make numerous designs, pictures etc with these interactive pattern blocks. You can also choose a puzzle to complete.


Geoboard | The Math Learning CenterGeoboard: Make lots of different shapes using this interactive geoboard, free from the Math Learning Centre.


Kids Tangram Game - Play for free on HTML5Games.com

Kid’s Tangrams: a simple version of the puzzle that would suit infants.


Shape Games | Graphing Games | Math PlaygroundConstruct it! A shape puzzle that starts off easy but gets more and more difficult.


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Flat Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity K1-K6 are all about flat, 2-D shapes.


Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.


For more links to shape videos and songs, click here.

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

NB: Children in first and second may also enjoy the links for infant classes, above

Tangram Puzzles for Kids • ABCya!Tangrams: interactive puzzle pieces that can be rotated to complete the shape.


Shapes in Figures - YouTubeShapes in Figures: A video lesson from Matholia that explores the 2-D shapes in other figures.


Describing and Naming Shapes - YouTubeDescribing and Naming Shapes: A video lesson from Matholia describing the properties of common flat (2D) shapes, including squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi-circles and quarter circles.


2D Shapes - YouTubeWho am I? A video lesson where children have to identify the 2-D shapes from their properties and pictures. The shapes at the beginning are those relevant to first and second classes and the latter shapes are more relevant to 3rd class up.


* NEW * 2D Shapes What Am I Description Matching CardsWhat am I? Read the clue on the card; do you know what shape is being described? These are printable but they could also be downloaded, read out and answered out loud, without having to print.


Visit Thatquiz.org - ThatQuiz.That Quiz Shapes: lots of different options here; start with “identify” and chose the shape names and level of difficulty to suit.


Manipulatives | CoolMath4KidsPattern Blocks: Make numerous designs, pictures etc with these interactive pattern blocks. You can also choose a puzzle to complete.


Geoboard | The Math Learning CenterGeoboard: Make lots of different shapes using this interactive geoboard, free from the Math Learning Centre.


Shape Games | Graphing Games | Math PlaygroundConstruct it! A shape puzzle that starts off easy but gets more and more difficult.


IXL | Maths and English Practice2-D Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity M1-M5 are all about 2-D shapes.


Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

NB: Children in these classes may also enjoy the links for first and second classes, above

Math is FunMaths is Fun: Background information on 2-D shapes as a part of geometry.


Matholia: Various video lessons from Matholia exploring the properties or characteristics of a rectangle, square, triangle, rhombus and trapezium.


2D Shapes - YouTubeWho am I? A video lesson where children have to identify the 2-D shapes from their properties and pictures. The shapes at the beginning are those relevant to first and second classes and the latter shapes are more relevant to 3rd class up.


2D shape who am I?What shape am I? This time you have to identify the shapes just from their properties. Make sure you guess before clicking on to see the answer!


Learn Alberta - Interactive Math - Gail MooreShapes under the Sea: Answer questions on 2-D shapes to collect crystals and complete the game (also has a 3-D shapes topic).


Visit Thatquiz.org - ThatQuiz.That Quiz Shapes: lots of different options here; start with “identify” and chose the shape names and level of difficulty to suit.


Visit Thatquiz.org - ThatQuiz.That Quiz Triangles: lots of different options here; to identify different triangles, to calculate the measure of the angles, perimeter, area etc. Just chose the options and level of difficulty to suit.


Shapes: 2D shapes - BBC Teach2-D Shapes: Lots of useful information about 2-D shapes from BBC Skillswise, including a video highlighting 2-D shapes in the real world.


Odd Squad: PienadoPienado: A 2-D shape adventure game where you need to use 2-D shapes, in various positions, to plug gaps in a forcefield. 


montevistatechlab / Kindergarten April 2016Shapes in space: Blast the space rocks by answering the question correctly.


Classifying Triangles by Angles and Sides | PBS LearningMediaClassifying Triangles: a video which shows how all triangles are not the same.


IXL | Maths and English Practice

IXL: A selection of geometry games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.


Kangaroo Hop Power your kangaroo by recognizing shapes. How many ...Kangaroo Hop: Get your kangaroo to the finish line first by choosing the correct 2-D or 3-D shapes.


Shape Archives - Maths Zone Cool Learning GamesMatching Shapes: A type of memory game.


Properties of shapes | 5th grade | Math | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Properties of Shapes (5th and 6th class): Watch this series of videos on triangles and quadrilaterals and answer the practice questions


Math Game: QuadrilateralsI know it – Quadrilaterals: Interactive quiz


Coordinate plane | 5th grade | Math | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Coordinates: (6th Class) Watch this series of videos and answer the practice questions


Visit Thatquiz.org - ThatQuiz.That Quiz Coordinates: (6th Class) From the options on the left hand side select identify/plot/both and quadrants I.


Polygon quiz: Name the polygons by dragging the names into the correct places.


Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.


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