Maths by Month – October

Maths by Month – October

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the second installment in a new series of posts designed to explore the Operation Maths topics on a month-by-month basis, giving teachers greater insights into the concepts at hand, when they are most relevant.

In each monthly overview, there will be links to other topic-specific posts and articles, as well as a whole host of extra suggestions, links etc. To ensure you don’t miss out on any future Maths by Month blog-posts, please subscribe to the blog via email, on the top right hand of this page.

Operation Maths Jr Infs to 2nd classes:

  • Junior Infants will spend most of this month comparing and ordering objects according to length, width, height, weight, thickness or size, before extending this to comparing equivalent and non-equivalent sets. The key is to have the children engaged in activities using a wide range of concrete materials, ranging from mathematical equipment (such as Cuisenaire rods, attribute bears, attribute shapes, cubes etc) to real objects in the classroom (pencils, crayons, etc) and from the environment (leaves, twigs, shells, stones etc).  They will also begin to identify, copy and extend simple patterns.
    • The TRB has lots of suggestions for practical activities and stations using a concrete materials.The Ready Set Go Maths programme also has a whole suite of suitable activities.
    • Don’t forget to use the Sorting eManipulative on Drag out images onto the blank work space to compare (there are attribute bear images, shapes of different sizes etc), to create simple patterns and use the Venn diagram background for comparing sets.
    • You could also use the Bar Modelling eManipulative to create bars of different lengths, similar to Cuisenaire rods. Other very useful interactive resources for representing Cuisenaire Rods include this one from NRICH and  this one from the Maths Playground
  • Senior Infants will spend the first week of the month doing activities similar to that of Junior Infants, ie  sort and classify sets of objects as part of Data and identify, copy and extend simple patterns as part of Algebra. Thus, the Junior Infant suggestions above will also be relevant here.
    • Senior infants will also be exploring the sequencing of daily and weekly events, stages of development and the seasons as part of the strand unit Time.
    • Weeks 3 and 4 are largely concerned with counting and analysis of number and, in particular, using the Operation Maths ten frames for this purpose. If you are not overly familiar with ten frame and their purpose, you could read this post. Ten Frame images are also a core component of the Number Talks for Junior and Senior Infants, which are all accessible by scrolling down to the Junior and Senior Infants sections in this post.
  • First Classes will continue with Number, counting and numeration to cover all the “teen” numbers to 19. Teen numbers are widely acknowledged as common hurdles for children and so time spent now will be time well spent for the future.
    • As mentioned in September, the Operation Maths frames are invaluable tools for this topic.
    • Similar to infants, Ten Frame images are also a core component of the Number Talks for First classes, which are all accessible by scrolling down to the First class section in this post.
    • Recommended reading also includes these two blog-posts: Count on Me and Show Me.
  • Second Classes will start the month by consolidating their understanding of ordinal numbers, from the activities completed on the last week of September. As mentioned in Maths by Month September, there is a list of online interactive games here that could be used.
    • In comparing equivalent and non-equivalent sets, the children will use the inequalities symbols (<, >) for the first time. Many children will struggle with selecting the correct symbol to use, even if they can identify the larger or smaller quantity. Interactive quizzes like this one from That Quiz or this one from can provide opportunities for extra practice. However, it is preferable for there to also be a visual representation of the number, for example using stacks of cubes, base ten blocks, straws or base ten money (10c and 1c coins). As well as using the actual concrete materials, the Sorting eManipulative can be used to demonstrate how to do this using images of base ten materials; see Ready to go activities 2.3 and 2.4 as examples.
    • In Operations, the children will use and develop their strategies of doubles, bonds of ten and making 10. Worthwhile resources to accompany this include the addition Number Talks for second class, which are all accessible by scrolling down to the second class section in this post.
    • Another objective is to solve problems involving addition to 20. While bar models do not appear until Operation Maths 3, the children could use and explore simple bar models to achieve this objective. Thinking Blocks Jr are based on simple bar models and could be shown to the class on the IWB while the children suggest answers and labels on their Operation Maths MWBs.  Then the children could draw simple models in their books to help solve the word problems there. The Bar Modelling eManipulative could also be used to create bars of different length.
    • Also recommended viewing (if you didn’t view them last month) is the following videos, from Origo One, listed below:
  • 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 
    1. Log into your edcolearning account
    2. Click on the At School 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  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.

Operation Maths 3rd to 6th classes:

The October plan for these classes has deliberately allowed for a free week, to enable teachers to engage with Maths Week, held every year at this time. If you would like some suggestion for Maths Week activities, scroll down to the next section.

The topics for this month are:

Click on each link above to access more in-depth information and links on each of the topics for this month.

Other suggestions for October:

  • As mentioned above, with every October comes Maths Week. This year, Maths Week will run from 14-22 October. Make sure to register your school at the link above and then organise some fun maths activities for your class or school. You can follow the links in the site to find out more about Maths mazes, Maths Art (which coincidentally links very well with October Operation Maths for 3rd and 4th classes ie tessellations in 2D shapes), Maths and historycode breaking and lots more.
  • You could also make Maths Week become a game-themed week in your class. Teachers of third to sixth classes could use the Games Bank in the Operation Maths TRB. Teachers of infants to second classes can use any of the games listed in the short-term plans in their TRBs.
  • Another option for Maths Week, if you didn’t already do it in September,  is Jo Boaler’s  Week of Inspirational Maths. 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; K-2 roughly align with Infants to 2nd and Grades 3-5 roughly align with 3rd-6th classes.

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