Understanding maths, not just doing maths…the Operation Maths way!

Operation Maths is a pioneering new maths programme for junior infants to sixth class.

Written by a team of six experienced teachers, Operation Maths is built on a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach, or CPA approach, (based on Jerome Bruner’s conception of the enactive, iconic and symbolic modes of representation) which research has consistently shown to be the most effective instructional approach to enable students to acquire a thorough understanding of the concepts required.

This blog post, and future posts, will explain some of the various features of the Operation Maths programme as well as outlining further ways in which this programme can be used to its full potential  to enable your students to truly understand maths, not just do it!

Background & Research

As authors, we researched, and were inspired by, the maths books and schemes used in those countries which are the highest-ranking internationally in relation to attainment in primary maths, for example Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Finland.

We also looked at best practice in New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and the United States, as well as the recommendations of our own home-grown publications including the PDST handbooks, NCCA publications (e.g. Bridging Guidelines, Assessment Guidelines etc.) and programmes such as Aistear and Mata sa Rang.

Finally, this was blended with the requirements of our primary school curriculum, in order to create a scheme that is truly innovative in its approaches and strategies and the most forward-thinking maths programme currently available for the Irish market.

 

Programme Components

For pupils in infants to second class:

  • At School BookOperation Maths Junior End
  • At Home Book
  • FREE Pupil Assessment Booklet
  • FREE Mini-white board
  • FREE Frames (five, ten or twenty frame)

 

 

For pupils in third class to sixth class:

  • Pupils boSenior Endok
  • Discovery book
  • FREE Pupil Assessment Booklet
  • FREE Mini-white board
  • FREE place value manipulative

 

 

For teachers of adopting schools:

  • Resource BooksFREE Teacher copies of all the relevant pupil resources
  • FREE Teachers Resource Book (TRB) which contains all necessary plans, teaching strategies, photocopiables, games, starters etc.
  • FREE access to all of the Operation Maths digital resources on edcolearning.ie, including ebooks, editable plans, and a whole suite of custom made videos  and eManipulatives which greatly enhance the teaching and learning experience for both teachers and pupils.

Furthermore, Operation Maths is the most teacher-friendly  and child-friendly programme currently available.


Maths by Month – September (updated 2020)

Category : Uncategorized

Maths by Month is back!

As we embark on this new school year, and with all the uncertainties and possibilities that it may bring, rest assured that Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, along the way.

Central to this will be our Digging Deeper series of posts aimed at teachers and the ever-expanding series of Dear Family posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home. In addition, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program, check out the About Operation Maths posts.

HINT: To ensure you don’t miss out on any future 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:

To access lists of relevant links and online resources, navigate towards the end of the relevant Dear Family posts, for a whole suite of suggestions, organised into approximate class levels.

Don’t forget that integrated with your digital pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyper links while viewing the digital book (see example of purple icon below) to bring you direct to the relevant resource.

TIP! If there are any digital resources for a particular page, they will also be briefly given and described in the footer of that page (both print and digital books). 

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 September:

  • Check out the “Maths and me” attitudes questionnaire, situated after the last assessment in the Operation Maths Pupil Assessment booklet for 3rd to 6th classes. Suggest to the children that they fill this using a particular colour on one of the first days of the school year to be then revisited later in the year. At this point, the children can again record their attitudes in a different colour and reflect upon any changes they made, if any.
  • Maths about me: another great activity for the start of a new school year. The children write facts about themselves that are appropriate to their ability eg height, age, shoe size, telephone number, distance from school (use google maps), time that they get up or go to bed etc. This can be recorded on the inside front cover of the discovery book, filled in on a pre-made template from the internet, used to make a large class display or even become a more complex problem solving activity in the more senior classes.
  • The Math in Learning Names: Another one for kick-starting the year; make learning names easier (for both you as the teacher, and for the other students) with these quick and fast sorting ideas, which incorporate maths and language features, such as vowels, syllables etc.
  • Inspire your class for the year ahead: Most people have this belief that there is such a thing as a maths brain, a belief which Jo Boaler, among others, strongly challenges. Since 2015, in conjunction with her youcubed team at Stanford University, they have put together resources, videos etc for a Week of Inspirational Maths. They now have lessons and activities aimed at infants to 6th, as well as second level. Click on the link for an overview of the activities in Week of Inspirational Math, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to access all the resources; Kindergarten roughly aligns with Infants, Grade 1 and 2 with 1st & 2nd classes, and Grades 3-5 roughly align with 3rd-6th classes.
  • New year, new initiative! Number Talks is an excellent maths methodology that is gaining traction globally, and more recently, nationally thanks to the promotion of the PDST. Better still, the rationale behind it aligns itself very closely with the underlying principle of Operation Maths, that is teaching children to understand maths, not just do maths. To find out more about number talks and to access a whole suite of ready-made resources for all class levels just click on the link above.
  • Maths Week (10-18 October) will all too quickly be upon us! And while it will be a very different celebration this year, with no public gatherings, it will still be possible to participate virtually. So why not start to consider now, how your school might get involved in this national celebration of maths, and don’t forget to register your school.

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 


Welcome to the Operation Maths blog!

Category : Uncategorized

The Operation Maths blog is a collection of articles offering support, guidance and tips for teachers, parents and families, whether they are Operation Maths users, or not. Many of the posts also contain links to other resources.

The posts fall into one of the following categories:

About Operation Maths: A series of posts, aimed at teachers unfamiliar with Operation Maths, that explore the programme in more detail, highlighting its rationale, purpose and features. 

Maths by Month: Posts which outline, on a month by month basis, the upcoming topics for that month, at each class level

Digging Deeper into… A series of posts, aimed at teachers, which delve deeper into the underlying mathematical concepts and pedagogy for each strand unit in the Primary Mathematics Curriculum (1999)

Dear Family: aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home, these posts provide brief guides to understanding each of the topics, practical suggestions, and links to digital resources, organised according to approximate class level.

About Operation Maths

A series of posts, aimed at teachers unfamiliar with Operation Maths, that explore the programme in more detail, highlighting its rationale, purpose and features. 

Maths by Month

Posts which outline, on a month by month basis, the upcoming topics for that month, at each class level

Digging Deeper into…

A series of posts, aimed at teachers, which delve deeper into the underlying mathematical concepts and pedagogy for each strand unit in the Primary Mathematics Curriculum (1999)

Dear Family

Aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home, these posts provide brief guides to understanding each of the topics, practical suggestions, and links to digital resources, organised according to approximate class level. New Dear Family posts coming soon!

Operation Maths Splash 1

Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Data

Category : Uncategorized

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of data 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 data. 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 Data

Data, as the name suggests, is all about information, and in maths it is about organising information in such a way that it is easy to read and interpret. Most of us are quite familiar with information from surveys, voting etc., presented in graphs, charts and tables in various print and digital media. But graphing is only one part of the data presentation and analysis process, and this process is essentially the same, whether at the junior or senior end of primary school, or even at a more advanced level of statistics:

  • It starts when someone ask a question, that doesn’t have an obvious and/or immediate answer. This could be a question like who do most people intend to vote for in the next election or what is the favourite colour of a group of people or which sweet occurs most often in a box.
  • Information is then collected relevant to the question. This may be collected via a digital or face-to-face survey. It may be collected from a large or small representative sample of people.
  • This collected information or data is represented in a structured way that makes it easier to read. This might be a type of graph, pie chart or table.
  • This represented data is then examined and compared (analysed and interpreted) in such a way as to be able to make statements about what it reveals and, in turn, to possibly answer the initial question; if the question remains unanswered, it may be necessary to re-start the process again, perhaps using different methods.

In the senior end of primary school the children will encounter more complex data and charts/graphs, while also analysing data in more complex ways, such as calculating the average (also know as mean), in 5th & 6th class, and identifying the most frequently occurring value in a data set (also known as mode) in 6th class.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • Let’s get organised! As mentioned earlier, data is all about organising information in an easy-to-interpret way. So any activities which involve sorting or organising can become a data analysis activity, for example:
    • What lollipop flavour/colour occurs most often in the bag (see image)? Ask your child to organise the lollipops in such a way that we can see the answer, without the need to count. This could be done with a box of wrapped sweets also, for example, Quality Street, Heroes, Celebrations etc. For more challenging questions, ask your child to tell you how many more/fewer of one type than another type.
    • What toy type do you have most of? When tidying up the toys, lay them out in rows alongside each other (parallel rows, similar to above), with the same type in each row. Of what toy type is there the most? The least?
    • Hat sort: Organise your hats into rows of winter hats and summer hats or hats with rims and hats without rims or even just according to colour. You can do something similar with other clothes types also.
    • You can also organise buttons or Lego pieces or building blocks in a similar way …. or any suitable material you may have at home.
  • Real-world examples: Anytime you come across any examples of the data process, share these experiences with your children. It could be completing a review (survey) for an online purchase or a holiday stay. It could be survey or election results you come across on the internet, radio or TV. If a graph is used, ask your child to tell you the type of graph it is and to tell you what they notice, or can tell, from the information shown.
  • League tables (soccer, GAA, rugby), are an ideal example of data presented in a table. Look at a table of results together, ask your child to interpret the information given, what it tells us, and what the various headings mean. Discuss an upcoming game: if your preferred team wins, how will that affect the table?
  • Planning a party and not sure what to do or where to go? Why not ask your child to survey his/her playmates with 3 or 4 possible options and then use the collated results to determine the destination?
  • Do a survey: You could do a traffic survey outside your house or a bird watch survey in your back garden. Or just encourage your child to come up with their own questions that they would like to answer. Survey your friends and family and then graph/present the collected information. Digital technologies (for example Microsoft Excel and Google Docs/Sheets) make it very easy to create a variety of very effective graph types.

Digital Resources for Infants

Fruit Fall Pictograph Game | 2nd Grade Math Games | Toy TheaterFruit Fall: A simple game where the fruit that is caught is laid out in rows on a grid.


Curious George . Hat Grab | PBS KIDSCurious George – Hat Grab: Help George grab hats to make a graph


I Know It - Home | FacebookI Know It – Reading Picture Graphs:  A review game/quiz. You can also try out a similar quiz here on block graphs.


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Graphs: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

Picture graphs (video) | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Picture Graphs: Watch the videos and then answer the practice questions. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other topics.


SoftSchools: Free online games, worksheets and quizzes | Paths to ...Pictograph Game 


Interactive Math Lesson | Reading Bar GraphsI Know It – Reading Picture Graphs:  A review game/quiz. You can also try out a quiz here on basic bar graphs and more advanced bar graphs.


KS2 Maths Quizzes for Primary School Students - Years 3 to 6

Handling Data – Quiz: Test yourself on what you know about data. Another similar quiz is also available here.


ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...

That Quiz – Graphs: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. From the options on the left hand side select pictogram, how many, difference, minimum, maximum, easier content. Do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct go up a level, and/or choose normal content.


IXL | Maths and English PracticeIXL.com – Graphs: a selection of interactive quizzes. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 

Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

Pie ChartMaths is Fun – Data: Background information on using and handling data.


Represent and interpret data | 3rd grade | Math | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Data: A unit of work including video tutorials and practice questions. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other areas and/or try more difficult material.


ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...That Quiz – Graphs: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. Ensure that the level is set to 1. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct go up a level, if not stay at that level. There are lots of different types of activities: it automatically starts on bar charts, and you can choose pictogram, line (trend graph), circle (pie chart), multi-bar also. There are many question options also: plot, how many, difference, minimum, maximum, mean (average, 5th up) and mode (6th class).


This is an image from this resource on the Internet4Classrooms ...Softschools.com – Tally Chart Game:  on this site you can also answer questions on a Favourite Colours Bar Chart, and Favourite Vegetables Bar Chart


nteractive Math Lesson | Interpreting Bar GraphsI Know It – Graphing: A bar graph interactive quiz


Bar Charts - MathsframeBar Charts: From Maths Frame, answer the questions on both vertical and horizontal bar charts; it also has both one-step and two-step questions. 


How to Make a Simple Graph or Chart in ExcelHow to make a graph using MS Excel: a tutorial


Insert Graphs in Google Docs Using Google Sheets - YouTubeHow to make a graph using Google Docs/sheets: a video tutorial.


ITP Line Graph - MathsframeInteractive programme to create line (trend) graphs


ITP Data Handling - MathsframeInteractive programme to create bar/pie charts 


Create a Graph Classic-NCES Kids' ZoneCreate a Graph: Online graph creation facility that also allows you to print finished product.


Digging Deeper into ... Representing and Interpreting Data (3rd ...Averages and Bar Models: Video tutorial on how bar models can be used to solve problems involving averages.


I Know It – Averages: A quiz on calculating averages


KS2 Maths Quizzes for Primary School Students - Years 3 to 6Handling Data – Quiz: Test yourself on what you know about data


IXL | Maths and English Practice

IXL.com – Graphs: a selection of interactive quizzes. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Lines and Angles

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of lines and angles 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 lines and angles. The digital resources are organised according to approximate class level:

Understanding Lines and Angles

Line and angles is a strand unit in the Primary Maths Curriculum for 2nd class up. For most people, when they think about angles, they also think about degrees, for example a 90° (ninety degree) angle. Yet in primary school, we don’t introduce degrees, as a way to describe, measure and construct angles, until 5th class. So what are they doing before that?

Initially, children are exploring angles as ‘turns’ i.e. recognising angles in terms of rotation: quarter-turns, half-turns and full turns. The children explore this themselves by turning to show the different turns, in both clockwise (turning right) and anticlockwise (turning left) directions.

In school, the children will also be shown other real-world examples of angles, including angles made by the hands of a clock, by the blades of an open scissors, by a door opening and closing, etc. We also look at angles (or corners/vertices) in 2-D shapes, for example in rectangles and triangles… even the names of these shapes pay homage to the angles that made them what they are today! (triangle = tri (or 3) angle; rectangle = rect (right/proper) angle)

In third class, the children will begin to use the term right angle, as a more mathematically correct way to describe the quarter turn (when movement is involved) or square corner (when there is no movement i.e. the angle is static) that they met in second class. The children will also learn to identify and name a variety of angles: angles less than a right angle (acute angles), angles more than a right angle (obtuse or reflex, more than 2 right angles/a straight angle) and angles equal to 2 right angles (straight angle). Then, in 5th and 6th class, they will begin to use degrees to identify, measure and construct various types of angles. This requires the use of a protractor, from a maths set, and it is not the most obvious or straightforward tool to use, so plenty of practice is required (see video links below in the Digital resources section for 5th and 6th class).

You can’t have an angle without having at least two connecting lines, therefore lines are an integral part of this area of maths. Like angles, not all lines are the same and the children learn to recognise and describe lines as horizontal, vertical, oblique, parallel or perpendicular.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • Ask your child to teach you about the angles and lines in your home. What different types of lines can be seen? What different types of angles can be seen? Can they name them?
  • Line Hunt: ask your child to show you some lines that they can see at home. Ask them to run their finger along the lines so they get a sense of the line’s direction and position.
  • Make a right angle finder: From a scrap piece of paper, tear out a large circular shape. Fold the shape in two, and then fold it in two again. The two straight edges/lines meet at a corner to make a right angle. Ask your child:
    • ‘Have you heard any other name for this type of angle?’ (square corner, quarter turn)
    • ‘Can you find any angles this size in this room? What are they called?’ (right angles)
    • ‘Can you find any angles greater than/smaller than right angles in this room?’
  • What’s in name? Write out your name in all capital letters. Name the different line types and angle types you can see. Are there any lines of symmetry in the letters? How many lines of symmetry and where? Click here to see some possible answers.
  • You gotta hand it to ’em! Look closely at your hand… can you see angles in the lines made by your fingers? Estimate the degrees and then click here to see possible answers.
  • 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 line and angle types.

Digital Resources for Second to Fourth Classes

Turns on a compass: Compare the start and end positions of the dial and decide how it turned.


A very basic introduction to rotation. http://nrich.maths.org/5560 ...Turn the man: Explore how many times you need to turn the man to match the images. 


Right or Left: Which way is the animal facing?


TurtleDiary - Apps on Google Play

Turtle Diary: Learn about lines and angles and then take the quizzes! Parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines; Types of Angles 1; Types of Angles 2 


Acute, Obtuse or Right angle: Answer the quiz questions


Math Games: Identify the parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Geometry: a selection of games from ixl.com, including types of angles, obtuse, acute or straight, types of lines. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 

Digital Resources for Fifth & Sixth Classes

Measuring Angles with a Protractor - YouTubeMeasuring Angles with a Protractor: Video Tutorial from Two Minute Math


Measuring angles | 4th grade | Math | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Measuring Angles: A unit of work exploring angles, including how to understand angles, how to measure angles and decomposing angles. Other relevant lessons include this one on the sum of angles in a triangle and this one on the sum of angles in a quadrilateral. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other areas and/or try more difficult material. 


Angles Alien Attack - MathsframeAngle Alien Attack: Defend the Earth from an alien invasion using your knowledge of angles. Choose to read them from the protractor or estimate them without a protractor. 


Shape Games | Graphing Games | Math PlaygroundAlien Angles: Create a specified angle to destroy the aliens. Challenging, but great for developing the ability to estimate angles. A similar game is Rocket Angles; this time you must estimate and input the measure of the given angle in degrees.


NRICH maths on Twitter: "Thanks to @Kaye_RW we now have a new ...Estimating Angles: In this game you must stop the angle size as near as possible to the target measure in degrees.


TurtleDiary - Apps on Google PlayTurtle Diary: Learn about lines and angles and then take the quizzes! Parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines; Types of Angles 1; Types of Angles 2; Angles in Degrees; Estimating Angles


ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...That Quiz – Angles: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. Ensure that the level is set to 1. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct go up a level, if not stay at that level. Start with only the “Measure” option on the left-hand side ticked, and when you bring the mouse across the screen, it changes into a transparent protractor. Other options included calculating the value of a missing angle in a triangle, (Triangle), and calculating the value of a missing angle in intersecting lines  (Line) or parallel lines (Parallel).


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Geometry: a selection of games from ixl.com, including classifying triangles and quadrilaterals. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Counting and Numeration

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of counting and numeration, 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 place value. 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.

Understanding Counting and Numeration

Counting and numeration is about the counting words we use to tell the amount in a group, and the numbers we write for those counting words. And counting is not just about chanting a series of numbers …’one, two, three, four, five…’. It is about using these numbers with meaning, for example, understanding that the word ‘five’ can be written as 5, that it comes after four and comes before six, and that it can be used to describe the amount in a group of five items (and not just the label for the last item in the count). So, even though your child may know how to count to 10 or 20 or more, by the time they come to primary school, this does not necessarily mean that they understand the meaning of each number, or its place in the counting sequence. This is often described as the difference between rote counting (chanting a sequence of numbers) and rational counting (counting with understanding); for more on this, please check out the one minute video below.

Counting and numeration is a strand unit in Primary Maths for children in junior infants to second class only. Children in the senior classes will still do a lot of counting and numeration activities, but mainly as part of the strand unit place value. In the younger classes, the type of learning activities are very similar at every class level; the main difference is that each class level will have different number limits. In school, we expect that most children should be able to read, write and use numbers:

  • 0-5 by the end of junior infants, and be able to count to 10
  • 0-10 by the end of senior infants, and be able to count to 20
  • Up to 99 by the end of first class
  • Up to 199 by the end of second class

That is not to say that you should limit your child to only counting up to the number limit for his/her class level. In reality, children will encounter much larger numbers in the real world, than they will encounter in their maths books, so feel free to include larger numbers when you meet them. But, bear in mind that, even if a child can read or say a large number, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand it.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • Count, count and count some more! Count out the plates at the table, count out sweets or treats, count steps as you go up and down stairs, count down the days left to a birthday; use every opportunity for your child to hear you count, and when ready involve them in the counting.
  • Say rhymes and sing songs that involve numbers or counting, for example, One, Two Buckle my Shoe, Five Fat Sausages, Ten Green Bottles, etc.
  • Watch Numberblocks and Numberjacks. Many of the episodes from these two award-wining series from the BBC are available on-line and may also be available on your TV if you have BBC.
  • Develop counting skills though play:
    • Play tea-time with the toys, where each toy gets one cup, one plate, one bun etc. No toy should have more than one, and no toy should have none. These activities help to reinforce the one-to-one correspondence required in counting correctly.
    • Play counting games at home (for example throw items into a basket/box and count them as you throw) and ordering games, for example where you layout playing cards in order. Or guessing games, where you estimate (guess carefully) the number of items in a container, bag etc., and then count to check.
    • Play board games where the child has to throw a dice, recognise the number of dots shown, and then move on a counter that number of places.
    • Play games where each number in a sequence (e.g. 1 to 10; 45 to 55; 103 to 113) is written on piece of paper/card and placed face-down. The child must turn over every piece in turn and read aloud the number. Then, he/she should put the numbers in a line in order. Finally, you could play hide and seek: remove a number from the line and your child has to tell you the missing number.
    • Play counting games on car journeys, e.g. each child in the car picks a colour and counts every car of that colour that they see or meet on the road. The winner is the person who hits the highest number before the driver’s patience wears out!
  • When your child starts to write numbers, you will need to monitor their number formation very carefully; it it very important that they don’t get into the habit of writing a number incorrectly.
  • Draw your child’s attention to numbers around your home and in the wider environment, e.g. numbers on signposts, car registrations, phone numbers, the number of pieces in a jigsaw, page numbers on catalogues, the numbers on houses or hotel rooms. When you spot a number, ask them to read it out.
  • With older children, when you are talking about numbers be careful to use the correct language e.g. for 125 say ‘one hundred and twenty five’ not ‘one-two-five’
  • It’s an unfortunate convention, but the way we talk about numbers every day, can often be mathematically incorrect and/or confusing. For example, when calling out a mobile number, that starts with 08….. we will likely say ‘oh eight‘…… Yet 0 is a digit called zero, whereas O (said as ‘oh’) is a letter of the alphabet and not a number at all! So, when verbalising numbers with zero, try to get into the habit of saying ‘zero’ instead of ‘oh’.
  • Numbers that end in ‘-teen’ or ‘-ty’ can be difficult for some children. In particular, some children can have difficulty hearing the difference between numbers ending in ‘-teen’ and ‘-ty’ when they are spoken out loud, e.g. ‘fifty’ (50) sounds very like ‘fifteen’ (15) when spoken, yet their values are very different. Try to say these type of numbers clearly, and encourage your child to say them clearly also, so that they appreciate the difference between these similar-sounding numbers.
  • For more help and tips, check out this parents’ resource Topmarks: Learning Numbers

Digital Resources for Junior and Senior Infants

Learn to Count up to 10 with Underwater Counting Maths Game ...Underwater Counting: Count the underwater sea creatures and choose the matching numeral. Has different levels: numbers up to 5, up to 10.


Free Number and Math Games 4 to 5 Year Olds | Smart Boarding School

Teddy numbers: Learn to count by giving Teddy the correct number of buns. Has different levels: numbers up to 5, up to 10 and up to 15.


The Gingerbread Man Game - Counting, Matching and Ordering game ...The Gingerbread Man Game: Counting, matching and ordering games with options for numbers up to 5, and up to 10.


Ladybird Spots - Counting, Matching and Ordering game | Ladybird ...Ladybird Spots: Counting, matching and ordering games with options for numbers up to 5, and up to 10. 


Kindergarten Games for Learning | RoomRecess.com

Toys Counting Game: Place the correct number of toys on the shelf. Counting to 5, 10 and using number words.


Curious George . Hide and Seek | PBS KIDSCurious George Hide and Seek: Find the number word, the numeral and the matching number of creatures. Numbers up to 10.


Curious George . Apple Picking | PBS KIDSCurious George Apple Picking: Pick the number that is missing from he sequence. Numbers up to 9.


Count the Yeti 1-10 - FUSE - Department of Education & TrainingCount the Yeti 1-10: Count the number of yetis and shoot the correct number at the top.


New updates for learning! Helicopter Rescue | The Topmarks Blog

Helicopter Rescue: Find on the number path the direct number that the computer asks, or find the number in between two given numbers. Has different levels: numbers up to 10, up to 20, up to 30, up to 50 and up to 100.


Caterpillar Count | TVOKids.comCaterpillar Count: Count and collect the numbers in order up to 15, to watch the caterpillar change into a butterfly.


Treasure Hunt | Number Recognition Games Online for KidsTreasure Hunt: Help the pirate find his lost treasure by clicking on the island that shows the correct number. Select ‘Find the biggest number’ option and then adjust to set the maximum number.


New updates for learning – Chopper Squad | The Topmarks BlogChopper Squad: Find a number 1 more/less or 10 more/less than a given number. Has different levels: numbers up to 20, up to 30, up to 50 and up to 100.


Blast Off Launched – Our new two-digit numbers game | The Topmarks ...Blast Off: In the Find a Number game (red labels) you are asked to find, from 3 options, the direct number that the computer asks, or find the number in between two given numbers. Has different levels: numbers 10-20,  10-30, 30-60, and 60 to 99.


A caterpillar game!Caterpillar Ordering: Choose between ordering (where you put the given numbers in order) or sequencing (where you complete the sequence with the correct numbers from those given).  Has various levels including 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20.


Flash Interactive | Fuel the Brain

Number Flash: How quickly can you recognise the number? Choose Five Frames (numbers up to 5) or Ten Frames (numbers up to 5). Requires Adobe Flash Player.


Kindergarten Games for Learning | RoomRecess.comCount and match: Count the items and drag over the matching numeral (up to 10)


Number Matcher | RoomRecess.comNumber Matcher: Find the matching number and number word.


Grade 5 Math - Online Enrichment ActivitiesHappy Numbers Pre-Kindergarten: Work through the activities from Module 1, counting to 5 and/or Module 3, counting to 10. Alternatively, go to Kindergarten, Module 1, numbers to 10


Interactive Math Lesson | Place Value (Up to 99)I Know it! – Counting: Scroll to numbers + counting  + place value to do any of the activities.


SplashLearn for Android Devices Released - IssueWireSplash Learn – Counting Games: An assortment of place value games organised according to US grade levels; junior and senior infants should choose among the games for kindergarten level.


IXL | Maths and English PracticeCounting: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum) 

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

Please note: The digital resources for first and second classes often overlap with the place value digital resources for these classes, as the skills are very related.

Counting by 1 – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Counting by one: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


Counting Above 100 – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Counting above 100: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


Place Value Concepts – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Place Value Concepts: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


New updates for learning! Helicopter Rescue | The Topmarks Blog

Helicopter Rescue: Find on the number path the direct number that the computer asks, or find the number in between two given numbers. Has different levels: numbers up to 10, up to 20, up to 30, up to 50 and up to 100.


New updates for learning – Chopper Squad | The Topmarks BlogChopper Squad: Find a number 1 more/less or 10 more/less than a given number. Has different levels: numbers up to 20, up to 30, up to 50 and up to 100.


Blast Off Launched – Our new two-digit numbers game | The Topmarks ...Blast Off: In the Find a Number game (red labels) you are asked to find, from 3 options, the direct number that the computer asks, or find the number in between two given numbers. Has different levels: numbers 10-20,  10-30, 30-60, and 60 to 99.


Treasure Hunt | Number Recognition Games Online for KidsTreasure Hunt: Help the pirate find his lost treasure by clicking on the island that shows the correct number. Select ‘Find the biggest number’ option and then adjust to set the maximum number.


Flash Interactive | Fuel the Brain

Number Flash: How quickly can you recognise the number? Choose Base Ten or Multiple Ten Frames. Requires Adobe Flash Player.


A caterpillar game!Caterpillar Ordering: Choose between ordering (where you put the given numbers in order) or sequencing (where you complete the sequence with the correct numbers from those given).  Has various levels including 1-100.


Coconut Ordering - Comparing Numbers, Prices, Mass, Length and ...Coconut Ordering: Hit the numbers in order of size. Select ‘numbers’ and then choose from numbers up to 10, up to 20, up to 100 (in tens) or up to 100 (any number).


Declan's Fun Facts!: very cool battle ship equivalent fractions on ...Battleship Numberline: Can you blow up the enemy submarines? This game starts very easy, where you must click the correct number on the number line, but then the game progresses in difficulty as the player must work out where a given number would be placed on the blank number line. Choose the whole number game.


Grade 5 Math - Online Enrichment ActivitiesHappy Numbers Kindergarten: First class could explore the activities from Module 5, Numbers 10 – 20 and Counting to 100. 


Interactive Math Lesson | Place Value (Up to 99)I Know it! – Counting: Scroll to counting and number patterns to do any of the activities.


SplashLearn for Android Devices Released - IssueWireSplash Learn – Counting Games: An assortment of place value games organised according to US grade levels; first class should choose from among the games for first grade, and second class should choose from the games for first and second grade.


IXL | Maths and English PracticeCounting: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum) 


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Early Mathematical Activities (EMA)

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of Early Mathematical Activities (EMA) 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 Early Mathematical Activities.

Junior Infants to Second Class
You can also find class specific tips at the back of your child’s Operation Maths At Home book

Understanding Early Mathematical Activities

Early Mathematical Activities is a strand in Primary Maths for children in junior infants only, although the activities can also suit children at the beginning of senior infants, as revision, as well as being suitable for many children in their final preschool year. The focus is on doing activities, that develop the child’s mathematical thinking, but that do not involve number or counting. The children will be:

  • identifying things that are the same, and things that are different
  • matching pairs of items that are identical and/or items that belong together
  • classifying (sorting) items into into groups that are identical and/or belong together
  • comparing items and sets of objects to determine which is larger or has more, and ordering objects according to to a certain criteria e.g. their length, size, weight etc.

All of these type of activities help prepare the children for later, similar activities, involving numbers and counting.

As mentioned, an essential skill is for the children to recognise objects and images that are the same and that are different. The objects may be completely identical in all features, or have the same colour but a different shape or size. The children will learn to match identical items (e.g. socks) and to match items that are different but belong together (e.g. fork and spoon). Later, the children will learn to sort items into different groups, depending on the purpose.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

Most of the Early Mathematical Activities can be incorporated into the various tidying and sorting/organising activities that occur regularly around the home:

  • Putting away or sorting clothes. Ask your child:
    • ‘What items are identical (or exactly the same) and belong together in matching pairs?’ For example socks.
    • ‘What items are identical or exactly the same and but don’t belong together in matching pairs?’ For example any t-shirts, or jeans, or pieces of underwear that are identical.
    • ‘What items are not exactly the same, but do belong together?’ For example, a pyjama top and bottom set, a shorts and t-shirt set etc.
    • ‘What items are the same colour?’
    •  ‘What items are different from everything else?’
  • Sorting, for example, the drawer of kitchen utensils and/or cutlery:
    • Organise the contents into groups of items that are identical or exactly the same.
    • What items don’t belong in any group e.g. a large soup ladle or wooden spoon? These items are different.
    • Can you find any items that are similar, and do the same thing but do not look exactly the same? e.g. different types of spoons
    • Can you find items that are not the same but usually go/belong together? E.g. fork and knife
  • Tidying up the toy box or play room. Ask your child to suggest ways to sort the items into groups e.g.
    • Sort according to type: all the similar items together, e.g. books, cars, dolls etc
    • Sort according to colour: all the red items together, all the yellow items together
    • Sort according to size: all of the large items together, all of the small items together
    • Sort according to owner: all of each child’s toys together
    • Organise the Lego pieces; you might sort them according to colour, shape, size or purpose e.g. all the wheels together, all the doors and windows together, all the mini-figures together etc.
  • Identifying colours:
    • Pick up something and ask your child to find another one that is the same colour or a different colour.
    • Organise items into groups of the same colour. Ask your child to name the colour.
    • Ask your child to show you an example of items that are the same colour, but not exactly the same (i.e. different shades of the same colour), and to use the words dark and light to describe these colours e.g. light blue and dark (or navy) blue.
    • Play ‘I spy with my little eye something the colour of …..red’. Repeat with other colours.
  • Go on a walk outside. Ask your child if they can you find any items from nature that are identical or exactly the same? Can he/she find any items that are different?

Digital Resources for Early Mathematical Activities

Grade 5 Math - Online Enrichment ActivitiesHappy Numbers Pre-Kindergarten: Work through the activities from Module 1, Topic A and Topic B.


New game – Let's Compare | The Topmarks BlogLet’s Compare: A comparing sizes game, including picking out the biggest, smallest, shortest etc


Sort Objects by Color - Practice with Fun Math WorksheetSplash Learn – Sort objects by colour: after this activity try Sort by Size and Sort pictures.


IXL - Same (Junior infants maths practice)ixl.com – Which are exactly the same? After this activity, try Different, Same or Different, Classify shapes by colour, Classify and sort by colour and Classify and sort by shape


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Place Value

Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of place value 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 place value. 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 Place Value

Place value is about exploring the base-ten number system we use: how our numbers are made up of digits, each of which represent different values, depending on their position or place in the number. In the senior classes the children will explore place value in numbers with a decimal point, as well as numbers without a decimal point (whole numbers).

No matter how large a number is, you really only need to know how to read a three-digit number, to be able to read any size number. This is because the digits are always organised in groups of three, as you can see in the image below. However, we do also need to know the significance of the commas. For example, three (3) million, six hundred and twenty-three (623) thousand, nine hundred and fifteen (915) = 3,623,915: the comma closest to the units is read as thousand, the next comma is read as million, etc.

At its most basic level, central to understanding our place value system, is to recognise that 10 single items or units or ones, can be grouped together to make a ten; that 10 tens can be grouped together to make a hundred; that 10 hundreds can be grouped together to make a thousand etc. In school, the children have lots of different materials that they can group together, or exchange, such as cubes, bundles of sticks, counters on ten frames and place value discs. At home, the children could bundle cotton buds or cocktail sticks or trading cards into groups of tens and fasten them with an elastic, or group identical pieces of lego into sticks of ten, or count out beads or buttons or pieces of pasta into small containers or bags as groups of tens.

Example of materials that might be used in school: place value discs, bundling sticks and base ten blocks

In school, the type of place value learning experiences that the children have, are very similar at every class level; the main difference is that each class level will have different number limits. In school, we expect that by the end of first class, most children will understand place value in numbers up to 99, in second class up to 199, in third class up to 999, in fourth class up to 9,999, in fifth class up to 99,999 and in sixth class there is no limit … millions, billions, trillions even!

That is not to say that you should limit your child to the number limit for his/her class level. In reality, children will encounter much larger numbers in the real world, than they will encounter in their maths book, so feel free to throw bigger numbers at them. But, bear in mind that, even if a child can read or say a complicated number, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand its place value.

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • Ask your child to read out loud any numbers they meet around your home and in the wider environment, e.g. numbers on signposts, car registrations, the number of pieces in a jigsaw, page numbers on catalogues, the numbers on houses or hotel rooms, larger numbers on fact books e.g. Guinness Book of World Records, recorded times for races, etc.
  • Correct language: When you are talking about numbers be careful to use the correct language e.g. for 91,856 say ‘ninety one thousand, eight hundred and fifty six’ not ‘nine-one-eight-five-six’ and for 23.95 say ‘twenty three point nine five’.
  • Zero does not equal ‘oh’! It’s an unfortunate convention, but the way we talk about numbers every day can often be mathematically incorrect and/or misleading. For example, when calling out a mobile number, that starts with 08….. we will likely say ‘oh eight‘…… Yet 0 is a digit called zero, whereas O or ‘oh’ is a letter of the alphabet and not a number at all! So, when verbalising numbers with zero, try to get into the habit of saying ‘zero’ instead of ‘oh’.
  • Numbers that end in ‘-teen’ or ‘-ty’ can be difficult for some children. In particular, some children can have difficulty hearing the difference between numbers ending in ‘-teen’ and ‘-ty’ when they are spoken out loud, e.g. ‘fifty’ (50) sounds very like ‘fifteen’ (15) when spoken, yet their values are very different. Try to say these type of numbers clearly, and encourage your child to say them clearly also, so that they appreciate the difference between these similar-sounding numbers.
  • Rounding large or awkward numbers is something we do to make them easier to say or report. For example, if there was 91,856 people at a concert or a match, the media might report that there was just over ninety thousand or there was almost ninety two thousand people in attendance. When you encounter numbers in the media, encourage your child to round them; ask him/her what the number would be roughly/approximately. If you come across a number that has already been rounded, together you could guess/speculate as to what the exact number might have been.
  • Make place value fun!
    • Play counting games on car journeys, e.g. each child in the car picks a colour and counts every car of that colour that they see or meet on the road. The winner is the person who hits the highest number before the driver’s patience wears out!
    • Race to the page! Challenge your child to try to find certain page numbers, in books with plenty of pages, as quickly as they can. Use a dictionary or other reference book, or even an Argos catalogue and call out a page number, for example ‘three hundred and ninety’ and see how quickly that page can be found. If you have more than one copy of a suitable big book or catalogue, two players can race against each other.
    • Play some simple place value games using dice or playing cards
    • Play any of the online interactive games below

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

Intro to place value (video) | Tens | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Intro to Place Value: this video and the videos that follow, explore place value in 2-digit numbers and then answer the practice questions. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other areas of Grade 1 maths.


Number Sense with the Hundred Chart || Happy Numbers - YouTube Happy Numbers – Place Value Activities: A series of lessons and activities; do Module 4 and 5.


Counting by 1 – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Counting by one: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


Counting Above 100 – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Counting above 100: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


Place Value Concepts – Math VisualsMaths Visuals – Place Value Concepts: Watch any of the videos and count out loud the numbers and images that are shown. Do you spot any patterns?


Place Value Grouping Video for 1st and 2nd Grade - YouTubePlace Value Grouping Video: Watch a video of how ones (units) can be grouped into tens, to make various numbers.


Candy machine | math 😃 first-grade math lessons - YouTubeCandy Machine: Help make up the orders of candy sticks by using bundles of tens and ones


Dienes - Identify and Represent Numbers - MathsframeDienes Penalty Shoot Out: Identify the number of counters and create numbers using Dienes blocks (aka Base Ten Blocks). Choose game mode to earn penalty chances, and then numbers up to 20, 50 or 100.


New game – Place Value Basketball | The Topmarks BlogPlace Value Basketball: Select the correct number to match the image. Work your way up through the various options/levels.


LifeguardsLifeguards: Click and drag into the place value grid, the correct number of place value discs to make up the given number. Choose between 0-50 or 0-100 options. You can also play a similar game called Shark Numbers


Maths Goalie - MathsframeMaths Goalie – Reading numbers:  Read the numbers in word form and then input the same number but in standard form. Choose reading numbers, and then number to 20 or 100.


Place Value Charts Update | The Topmarks BlogPlace Value Charts: Make a given number by combining the parts that make up the number. Select practice and then T O (Tens and Ones) in either column.


Flash Interactive | Fuel the BrainNumber Flash: How quickly can you recognise the number? Choose Base Ten or Multiple Ten Frames to identify 2-digit numbers (requires Adobe Flash Player).


Rocket Rounding – head to the launchpad of a new game! | The ...

Rocket Rounding: A multiple choice game involving rounding numbers: start with rounding numbers up to 99 and with the easier option of having a number line and then try to play the other more difficult option, no number line.


Declan's Fun Facts!: very cool battle ship equivalent fractions on ...Battleship Numberline: Can you blow up the enemy submarines? This game starts very easy, where you must click the correct number on the number line, but then the game progresses in difficulty as the player must work out where a given number would be placed on the blank number line. Choose the whole number game.


Interactive Math Lesson | Place Value (Up to 99) Scroll down to place value to do any of the activities. For children at the beginning of first class try Place Value up to 20, Base Ten blocks up to 20 and Count to 100 instead. There are some more advanced activities in the second grade section.


SplashLearn for Android Devices Released - IssueWireSplash Learn – Place Value: An assortment of place value games organised according to US grade levels; start with the grade below your current class level i.e. for first class pupil’s start with Kindergarten games and for second class pupils start with first grade games.


IXL | Maths and English PracticePlace Value: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum) 

Digital Resources for Third and Fourth Classes

Intro to place value (video) | Hundreds | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Place Value: in this video and the videos that follow, explore place value in 3-digit numbers and then answer the practice questions (says Grade 2, but is suitable for 3rd class). Fourth class student can access similar activities for 4-digit numbers and larger here. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other topics.


Number Sense with the Hundred Chart || Happy Numbers - YouTube Happy Numbers – Place Value Activities: A series of lessons and activities; for numbers up to 1,000 do Module 3. For rounding to the nearest ten and hundred do Module 2 here.


Place Value Lesson - 1st and 2nd Grade Math - YouTubePlace Value House: video lesson that explores hundreds, tens and ones (units), suitable for 3rd class.


Expanded Form Video - 1st and 2nd Grade Math - YouTubeExpanded Form: A video that introduces expanded form and explains how we can expand numbers to see the parts that make it, suitable for 3rd class.


Dienes - Identify and Represent Numbers - MathsframeDienes Penalty Shoot Out: Identify the number of counters and create numbers using Dienes blocks (aka Base Ten Blocks). Choose game mode to earn penalty chances, and then numbers up to 1,000 or 5,000.


New game – Place Value Basketball | The Topmarks BlogPlace Value Basketball: Select the correct number to match the image. Work your way up through the various options/levels.


LifeguardsLifeguards: Click and drag into the place value grid, the correct number of place value discs to make up the given number. Choose between 0-500 or 0-1,000 options. You can also play a similar game called Shark Numbers


Maths Goalie - MathsframeMaths Goalie – Reading numbers:  Read the numbers in word form and then input the same number but in standard form. Choose reading numbers, and then number to 1,000 or 10,000.


Place Value Charts Update | The Topmarks BlogPlace Value Charts: Make a given number by combining the parts that make up the number. Select practice and then either H T O (for third class) or Th H T O (for fourth class) in either column.


Rocket Rounding – head to the launchpad of a new game! | The ...

Rocket Rounding: A multiple choice game involving rounding numbers to the nearest 10 or 100, up to 999 or 9,999. Start with the easier option of having a number line and then try to play the other more difficult option, no number line.


Declan's Fun Facts!: very cool battle ship equivalent fractions on ...Battleship Numberline: Can you blow up the enemy submarines? This game starts very easy, where you must click the correct number on the number line, but then the game progresses in difficulty as the player must work out where a given number would be placed on the blank number line. Choose the whole number game.


Interactive Math Lesson | Place Value (Up to 99)I Know It! – Place Value: Scroll down to place value to do any of the activities with suitable number limits. There are some more advanced activities in the third grade section.


SplashLearn for Android Devices Released - IssueWireSplash Learn – Place Value: An assortment of place value games organised according to US grade levels; start with the grade below your current class level i.e. for third class pupil’s start with second grade games and for fourth class pupils start with third grade games.


Place Value Games Online - Math Activities For 2nd & 3rd GradePlace Value Games: An assortment of place value games using numbers of various sizes. Third class pupils should start with games up to 999 (three-digit numbers) and fourth class should start with games up to 9,999 (four-digit numbers)


ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...

That Quiz – Place Value: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. In place value, the lowest level is 3. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct, go up a level; if not stay at that level. There are lots of different types of activities: For Identification (it automatically starts on this) you must identify the value of certain digits; other options are conversions, rounding and sums.


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Place Value: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum) 

Digital Resources for Fifth and Sixth Classes

Place value | 4th grade | Math | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Place Value: in this video and the videos that follow, learn about place value in larger numbers and then answer the practice questions. You can also access similar activities for decimal numbers here. If you register for a free Khan Academy account, you can record your progress and explore other topics.


Grade 5 Math - Online Enrichment ActivitiesHappy Numbers – Place Value: A series of interactive lessons and activities on numbers up to one million. Do Module 1 Topic A, B and C


How big is a billion? (No, it's bigger than that!) - YouTubeHow big is a billion? It is very difficult to visualise the size of a million, or a billion, of anything. This video demonstrates the length of a thousand, a million, and a billion coins if they were placed top to bottom.


Maths Goalie - MathsframeMaths Goalie – Reading numbers:  Read the numbers in word form and then input the same number but in standard form. Choose reading numbers, and then numbers to 1,000,000 or 10,000,000.


Place Value Charts Update | The Topmarks BlogPlace Value Charts: Make a given number by combining the parts that make up the number. Select practice and then either whole numbers or decimal numbers, in either column.


Rocket Rounding – head to the launchpad of a new game! | The ...

Rocket Rounding: A multiple choice game involving rounding numbers, using whole numbers or decimal numbers. Start with the easier option of having a number line and then try to play the other more difficult option, no number line.


Declan's Fun Facts!: very cool battle ship equivalent fractions on ...Battleship Numberline: Can you blow up the enemy submarines? This game starts very easy, where you must click the correct number on the number line, but then the game progresses in difficulty as the player must work out where a given number would be placed on the blank number line. Choose the whole number or decimals game.


Who wants to be a Hundredaire? Game show-like quiz based on place value.


Interactive Math Lesson | Place Value (Up to 99)I Know It! – Place Value: Scroll down to place value to do any of the activities with suitable number limits. There are some more advanced activities in the fourth grade section.


SplashLearn for Android Devices Released - IssueWireSplash Learn – Place Value: An assortment of place value games organised according to US grade levels; start with the grade below your current class level i.e. for fifth class pupil’s start with fourth grade games and for sixth class pupils start with fifth grade games.


Place Value Games Online - Math Activities For 2nd & 3rd Grade

Place Value Games: An assortment of place value games using numbers of various sizes. Fifth class pupils should start with games up to 99,999 (five-digit numbers) and sixth class should start with games above this. There are similar games based on decimal numbers accessible here.


ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...

That Quiz – Place Value: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. In place value, the lowest level is 3. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct, go up a level; if not stay at that level. There are lots of different types of activities: For Identification (it automatically starts on this) you must identify the value of certain digits; other options are conversions, rounding and sums. Sixth class pupils looking for a challenge could try scientific notation.


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Place Value: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum) 


Considering a new maths scheme? Choose Operation Maths!

For any schools and teachers considering a new maths program, Operation Maths is your one-stop shop:

Resource Books

Operation Maths is not just about teaching children to do maths; it is about teaching children to understand maths, in a deep and meaningful way.

It provides an all-round comprehensive maths program that is the most-teacher-friendly available, providing a full suite of long-term and short term plans, including plans for teachers in multi-grade situations. The plans are broken down into comprehensive guides to each topic, suggestions for maths stations and Aistear themes in the junior classes, as well as daily concept-by-concept suggestions in the senior classes.

It is also the most child-friendly program available, designed around incorporating engaging and playful activities that are based on a concrete, pictorial, abstract (or CPA) approach, which enable active participation and learning, while developing a better understanding of maths concepts and facilitating a seamless transition to second level.

It is a completely integrated print and digital package, with a suite of custom made eManipulatives (interactive tools), ready-to-go digital activities, videos, weblinks, scratch (coding) lessons and more!

The design of Operation Maths has been heavily influenced by some of the key maths pedagogies that are widely recognised as the most effective for teaching and learning, and/or which epitomise best practice in teaching maths, in those countries with a strong tradition of excelling in maths education. These key pedagogies include:

In schools where Operation Maths has been introduced, there is evidence that it has had a positive impact on the standardised test results at the end of the first year of implementation.

Since its launch in 2016, Operation Maths continues to evolve in response to the needs of its users. The Operation Maths blog, launched in 2017, continues to provide teachers, and most recently families and children, with information, suggestions and support. Its Digging Deeper into….. blog series (2017 to present), aimed at teachers, looks in-depth at the various primary maths topics, and provides suggestions of further helpful resources etc. Most recently, a new blog series entitled Dear Family (2020) was launched to provide families with a wealth of practical suggestions as to how they might help support their children’s learning in maths, as well as lists of up-to-date, recommended resources, available online.

To find out more about Operation Maths, please click on any of the links above.

To get samples please contact your local Edco representative

And if you are already a user of Operation Maths, please spread the word to your colleagues and friends in other schools! Míle buíochas!


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Time

Dear Family, listed below are some practical suggestions as to how you might support your children’s understanding of the maths topic of time. Also below, are a series of links to digital resources that will help both the children, and you, learn more about time. 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

  • Difficult Topic? Although time plays a very important role in everybody’s life, it can be quite a difficult concept to grasp:
    • Unlike our number system, time is not built around a base-ten system. All of the other maths topics in measures (i.e. money, weight, capacity and length) are all built around units of ten, one hundred, one thousand and so on e.g. 100 c in €1; 1,000m in 1 km etc. But time is totally different: 60 seconds in a minute; 60 minutes in an hour; 24 hours in day; 7 days in a week; 4 and a bit weeks in each month; 12 months in a year etc.
    • While we can’t see or touch time, we have ways to record and show it, but again, there are many different ways to do this: sand timers, sun dials, analogue clocks and watches, digital watches and displays (which can be either 12 or 24 hour), calendars etc.
    • Time is not the same all around the world; each country belongs to a time zone and the time is different in each time zone.
    • Judging how much time has passed can be quite difficult, as it depend on what we are doing; we all have experienced how time can drag, or it can fly when having fun.
  • Talk about time all of the time! When you wake up your child in the morning, (or he/she wakes you!) announce the time and day; how many school days left before the weekend; how long before you need to leave the house; the start time for the sport’s practice or music lesson; dinner time etc. Give your child a set amount of time to complete a task or chore. Try to become a type of talking clock yourself, constantly announcing the time of day and the time left/needed to do something. This will help develop your child’s own internal sense of time.
  • What are we doing today? Involve your child in planning trips, visits and outings: what time do we need to leave to arrive there on time; what time do we need to get up at? How long is it going to take you to get ready? Highlight the importance of punctuality and being on time as a valuable life skill: we need to leave the house at 20 to 9 if we are going to get to the school for 9, etc.
  • Lots of clocks! Try to have plenty of time devices around your home, and of different types, for your child to become familiar with the many different ways to measure time. It is never too soon to have a clock in your child’s own room and/or for them to wear their own watch; however, first clocks and watches should be of the analogue type (i.e. with hands and a face) rather than digital. Even if your child is not able to read the time on the analogue clock face yet, noticing and becoming aware of the movement of the hands and their direction (clockwise) helps develop your child’s sense of the passage of time, a valuable learning experience that will be built upon when ready.
  • Buying a clock: While children need to be flexible, and to be able to tell time using a variety of different time devices, if you decide to buy a first clock or watch for your child, there are some clock features you should consider before you buy (click here to see some suitable examples):
    • All the numbers 1-12 (not roman numerals) shown clearly.
    • Minute intervals (i.e. little lines) shown clearly around the edge of the face.
    • A minute hand that is long enough to show that it is pointing beyond the numbers (which mark the hours) out to the minutes around the edge (the purpose of the long minute hand is to point out to the minutes).
  • Hour is key: When your child asks “what time is it?” ask them to try to work out what the time is roughly for themselves. When looking at an analogue clock, they should always look first at the short hour hand: which number is it pointing to (or closest to)? Then, that is the (nearest) hour. The minute hand only helps us refine that approximate time. When looking at an digital display, they should always look at the first digit; that is the hour that it was last. This is another example of why analogue is better than digital: it is possible to gauge the actual time more accurately using only the hour hand on an analogue clock, than using only the hour on a digital display.
  • Mark the date: Have calendars and/or weekly charts/diaries visible around your home. Use the calendar to mark events that would be important to your child, like birthdays, holidays, Christmas, school concert etc. Involve your child: if there is space available to do so, he/she can mark these important dates using words and/or pictures. Also try to have calendars that start with Monday, since Monday is officially the first day of the week (read on here for more interesting info on this). On weekly charts, mark repeat events like sports practices, lessons etc.
  • Dot, dot NOT dot! When writing or texting a time in digital format (e.g. See you at 6:30) always use a colon (two dots) rather than a single dot (i.e. don’t write 6.30). Firstly, a colon is what is used most often on actual digital displays. Secondly, a dot is identical to a decimal point (e.g. 2.5 meaning 2 and a half or the decimal point used when writing money e.g. €1.20) which, mathematically, is used with numbers on the base-ten system. And time, as we said earlier, does not work on a base-ten system. So using a single dot for writing time, may only confuse children.
  • 24 hour & 12 hour: For the older children, draw their attention to 24 hour time and encourage them to translate 24 hour to 12 hour with a.m. or p.m. and vice versa. Most phones, devices and smart watches have the option to display either version, so perhaps set these to 24 hour time to provide your child with more opportunities to become familiar with it.
  • When is it on? When does it leave? Highlight also any timetables and schedules that the household might use, or refer to, for example TV listings on an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), cinema timetables, transport timetables (e.g. bus and train), flight arrival and departure times. In the case of an upcoming flight for a family vacation, encourage the children to identify the arrival and departure times and to use this information to calculate flight time. If there appears to be a difference between the outgoing and incoming flight times, can the child explain this, i.e. does he/she notice that flight arrival and departure times are always given as local time and that the destination may be in a different time zone?

Digital Resources for Infants

NB: By the end of senior infants, children are expected to be able to tell time to the nearest hour.

Time - BBC BitesizeBBC Bitesize – Time: Nice images and a song to explore the structure of the typical day for a young child.

Telling the Time in Words - MathsframeTelling the time in words: Look at the clock and find the matching time in words. 5 different levels: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute, which can be played as timed or untimed games.

Telling the time: Read the time on an analogue clock. Lots of choice over levels, including: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute. Options include using a 24 hour clock and seeing how many correct answers you can get in a given time.

IXL | Maths and English Practice

Time: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 

Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

NB: By the end of second class, children are expected to be able to tell time to quarter hour intervals.

Telling time (labeled clock) (video) | Time | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Time: Watch the video to learn about time and then answer the practice questions. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other areas of Early Math.

Starfall Calendar April 2019 | Calendar for Kids - YouTubeLet’s make a Calendar: From Starfall, this builds an interactive calendar for the current month and asks questions. NB: This is a US site so the calendar starts with Sunday, not Monday and includes the US holidays and feasts.

Using a Calendar - MathsframeUsing a calendar: From Maths Frame, 3 levels of questions about the current month. Start on level 1 and move up a level when confident.

Calendar Quiz « Craighouse SchoolCalendar Quiz: From Soft Schools, this quiz has 3 levels with 5 questions in each.

Mr. Nussbaum - Calendar Clowns - Online GameCalendar Clowns: Answer a host of questions based on the calendar given.

Telling the Time in Words - MathsframeTelling the time in words: Look at the clock and find the matching time in words. 5 different levels: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute, which can be played as timed or untimed games.

Telling the time: Read the time on an analogue clock. Lots of choice over levels, including: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute. Options include using a 24 hour clock and seeing how many correct answers you can get in a given time.

View details - ScootleTime Tools: Match analogue and digital times, on the hour and half hour. Click on start to learn more about time (tell me more tab), telling time to any minute interval and to try out other challenges and games (other tabs along top).

Time Matcher | Date and Time Conversions Game | RoomRecess.comTime Matcher: Memory game where you match equivalent amounts of time eg 1 week, 7 days etc

Search Results at RoomRecess.comTime Teller: Tell the time game with 6 different levels, from half hour to minute intervals, and solving elapsed time problems in hours and/or minutes.

Adding Time Word Problems - MathsframeAdding Time Problems: Quiz game where you’ve to read the problems and work out the answer. Lots of options and levels.

ictgames || Time & MeasureHickory, Dickory, Clock: Read the time at the bottom of the screen and chose the matching clock. Three levels available.

ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...That Quiz – Time: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. Ensure that the level is set to 1. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct go up a level, if not stay at that level. There are lots of different types of activities: For Simple clock (it automatically starts on this) you must type in the digital time; if you set it to Time passed you must identify the amount of elapsed time from first to second time; other options are arithmetic and conversions, which includes time zones for  5th and 6th.

IXL | Maths and English PracticeTime: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 

Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

Clocks - Digital and AnalogTime: Background information on money from Maths is Fun, including Analog and Digital Clock Animation,  Time: AM/PM and 24 Hour Clock, Adding and Subtracting Time  and World Time Zones

Telling time with number line (video) | Time | Khan AcademyKhan Academy – Time: A unit of work exploring time, including how to read time to minute intervals, time on a number line and elapsed time. You can also register for a free Khan Academy account to record your progress and explore other areas and/or try more difficult material.

Elapsed Time Number-Line | The Avery BunchElapsed time number lines: A video from the Avery Bunch, showing how Marshall and Amanda solve elapsed time problems using number lines. 

Using a Calendar - MathsframeUsing a calendar: From Maths Frame, 3 levels of questions about the current month. Start on level 1 and move up a level when confident.

Calendar Quiz « Craighouse SchoolCalendar Quiz: From Soft Schools, this quiz has 3 levels with 5 questions in each.

Mr. Nussbaum - Calendar Clowns - Online GameCalendar Clowns: Answer a host of questions based on the calendar given.

Telling the Time in Words - MathsframeTelling the time in words: Look at the clock and find the matching time in words. 5 different levels: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute, which can be played as timed or untimed games.

Telling the time: Read the time on an analogue clock. Lots of choice over levels, including: reading time to the nearest hour, half hour, quarter hour, five minutes or minute. Options include using a 24 hour clock and seeing how many correct answers you can get in a given time.

View details - ScootleTime Tools: Match analogue and digital times, on the hour and half hour. Click on start to learn more about time (tell me more tab), telling time to any minute interval and to try out other challenges and games (other tabs along top).

ictgames || Time & MeasureHickory, Dickory, Clock: Read the time at the bottom of the screen and chose the matching clock. Three levels available.

Time Matcher | Date and Time Conversions Game | RoomRecess.comTime Matcher: Memory game where you match equivalent amounts of time eg 1 week, 7 days etc

Search Results at RoomRecess.comTime Teller: Tell the time game with 6 different levels, from half hour to minute intervals, and solving elapsed time problems in hours and/or minutes.

Adding Time Word Problems - MathsframeAdding Time Problems: Quiz game where you’ve to read the problems and work out the answer. Lots of options and levels.

Find the Start Time - MathsframeFind the start time: Quiz game where you’ve to read the problems and work backwards to identify the correct start time. Lots of options and levels.

ThatQuiz.org | Amazing automatic quiz generator! Awesome fun ...That Quiz – Time: This quiz has lots of options, on the left hand side, that can be changed to suit the ability of the child. Ensure that the level is set to 1. Each time do the set 10 questions, if you get 10 or 9 correct go up a level, if not stay at that level. There are lots of different types of activities: For Simple clock (it automatically starts on this) you must type in the digital time; if you set it to Time passed you must identify the amount of elapsed time from first to second time; other options are arithmetic and conversions, which includes time zones for  5th and 6th.

IXL | Maths and English Practice

Time: a selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. (Please note that the class levels given do not always align accurately with the content of the Irish Primary Curriculum.) 


Maths by Month – June (updated 2020)

The final month of the school year is almost upon us, and as usual, this heralds the last installment in this year’s 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, we have continued to roll out our latest series of posts entitled Dear Family. Each of these posts focuses on a specific maths topic, and provide practical suggestions as to how families can support their child’s learning, along with providing tried and tested 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 shapes3-D objects, number sentences and equations, money and chance. Some of these topics also feature in the plans for this coming month (see below). The next Dear Family posts, currently in development, will focus on the topics of time, patterns and lines and angles.

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 

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

Book lists not finalised yet? Please consider Operation MathsNumber Facts, Bua na Cainte, Exploring Spelling, Let’s Talk Literacy, Explore with Me and My Learner ID. Click on the links for more information and to view sample pages from each program and/or contact your local Edco reps for samples.

Operation Maths for Junior Infants to Sixth Class:

  • Junior Infants: will be reinforcing their understanding of the numbers 0-5 via the topic of money.
  • Senior Infants: Further Counting and Numeration, Comparing and Ordering and Combining and Partitioning of numbers to 10; patterns (different arrays of the same number, colour patterns, number patterns, odd and even numbers); time (one-hour intervals).
  • First Class: Weight; Patterns; 3-D objects (in particular, connecting their understanding of 3-D objects to their understanding of 2-D shapes)
  • Second Class:  More Place Value to 199; Area; Lines and Angles (revisiting half turns and quarter turns)
  • Third to sixth classes: Operation Maths 3-6 is specifically structured so that the programme can be completed by the end of May, thus covering all of the topics in advance of the standardised testing.
    Depending on your own specific school circumstances, you may find yourself looking for inspiration to fill the maths lessons from now until the end of month. Whether you’re an Operation Maths user or not, there are a whole suite of suitable ideas on this blog post.

Operation Maths users can also access custom-made digital resources to support these topics. To access these resources, log into your account at www.edcolearning.ie, select the At School Book/Pupil’s Book for your class level. Then you can either:

  • Navigate to the relevant page in the book and click on the hyperlink to open up the specific activity for that page in a new tab.
  • Click on the Edco Resources icon (on book cover image on left-hand side) to open the list of all the digital resources associated with that book.

Other suggestions for June:

  • Maths outside: typically this is the time of the year when teachers are bringing their classes outdoors for learning. Since the children are at home, longing to get into the outdoors, why not encourage them to safely do some of these activities, with their families, while on their outdoor walks.
    • Outdoor Classroom Day 2020 was officially celebrated on May 21. If you missed this day, you can still access their resources with suggestions for all subject areas, including maths, https://outdoorclassroomday.com/.
    • Maths Around Us activity ideas in your Operation Maths book and/or the the Maths Around Us videos accessible at https://www.edcolearning.ie/

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 


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