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 – May (updated 2022)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the May installment of Maths by Month. Summer is officially here, let’s hope some finer weather also arrives soon!

As we move towards testing season, and the end of this school year, rest assured that Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, via:

  • Dear Family, our ever-expanding series of posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home
  • Digging Deeper, our series of posts, aimed at teachers, providing deeper insights into the underlying theory, approaches and pedagogies behind the various maths topics
  • About Operation Maths posts, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program itself.

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:

Teachers of Infants to Second Class: if you chose to administer the Operation Maths End of April Assessments, don’t forget to check out the Excel Record Spreadsheets to accompany the assessments in the Assessment Booklets; if you have any suggestions for how to improve these, please leave them here.

To access lists of relevant links and online resources (eg lessons, videos, games etc), 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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 May:

  • May the Fourth Be With You! International Star Wars Day (May the fourth) is almost here!
  • Outdoor Classroom Day is May 19 2022. This global event encourages us to use the outdoors to teach, explore and learn. There are lots of resources with suggestions for all subject areas, including maths, https://outdoorclassroomday.com/.
  • For more ideas for outdoor maths you could also check out:
    • the Maths Around Us activity ideas in your Operation Maths book
    • the Maths Around Us videos accessible at https://www.edcolearning.ie/
    • this post, Maths fun in the sun
    • Stem Smaointe 8 from the PDST

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 


Maths by Month – March (updated 2022)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the March installment of Maths by Month.

As longer, better and brighter days approach, Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, including:

  • Dear Family, our ever-expanding series of posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home
  • Digging Deeper, our series of posts, aimed at teachers, providing deeper insights into the underlying theory, approaches and pedagogies behind the various maths topics
  • About Operation Maths posts, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program itself.

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:

Teachers of Infants to Second Class: if you haven’t administered the Operation Maths End of February Assessments yet, don’t forget to check out the Excel Record Spreadsheets to accompany the assessments in the Assessment Booklets; if you have any suggestions for how to improve these, please leave them here.

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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 March:

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 


Maths by Month – February (updated 2022)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the February installment of Maths by Month.

As we move towards spring, and the promise of better and brighter days ahead, rest assured that Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, including:

  • Dear Family, our ever-expanding series of posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home
  • Digging Deeper, our series of posts, aimed at teachers, providing deeper insights into the underlying theory, approaches and pedagogies behind the various maths topics
  • About Operation Maths posts, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program itself.

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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 February:

  • Lá ‘Le Bríde, is Monday, February 1st. The story of St. Brigid’s Cloak could be used as springboard into a pattern activity, or a discussion on exponential growth with older students.
  • Also on the 1st of February this year is the celebration of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger) starts on Friday 12th February. Children in older classes could be encouraged to explore the Chinese numeration system and to challenge each other to translate standard numbers into Chinese numerals.
  • Ireland’s first game in the Six Nations (against Wales in the Aviva Stadium) is on Saturday 1st February. Some mathematical possibilities:
    • With older children, use the opportunity to explore the rugby union scoring system, and to identify what scores (up to 30, for example) are possible (how?) or impossible.
    • Calculate the number of games to be played; what if the competition had less or more teams, how many games would need to be played then?
    • Use the language of chance to discuss the possible outcomes for each nation in the competition and recognise that while it is impossible to predict the actual outcomes, we can use of knowledge of the teams performances to make informed predictions.
    • Calculate the dimensions of the pitch
    • Run a Fantasy Rugby League in your class
    • Make score predictions for each match and plot how these scores would be recorded on the Six Nations Table.
  • Storytelling Week runs from 29 January to 5 February. While this is primarily a UK based event, it does serve as a timely reminder of the rich role that mathematical stories can play in the early years.  For teachers of infants to second class, be sure to check out the Literacy suggestions within the Integration section of each short term plan in the TRB.
  • Valentine’s Day is 14th February. Try out these themed problems  and challenges (suitable from first class up) from Mashup Math and, from the Routty Math Teacher, this selection of five Valentine’s Day-inspired starters, that are sure to engage your students and get them thinking critically about maths.

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 


Maths by Month – January (updated 2022)

Category : Uncategorized

Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year! And here’s hoping that 2022 will bring with it, better and kinder times for us all.

As we find ourselves once again faced with many uncertainties, rest assured that Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, throughout 2022, including:

  • Dear Family, our ever-expanding series of posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home
  • Digging Deeper, our series of posts, aimed at teachers, providing deeper insights into the underlying theory, approaches and pedagogies behind the various maths topics
  • About Operation Maths posts, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program itself.

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:

HINT: Teachers of Infants to Second Class – if not yet done, don’t forget to use the Operation Maths Assessment Records on excel for recording and collating the End of December Assessments

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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 January:

  • Backward Day! The 31st of January marks this little-known celebration which encourages us to reverse or invert the typical societal rules. Without encouraging anarchy, there are obvious opportunities here to explore symmetry, mirror writing etc.
    • Challenge your class to write out the capital letters of the alphabet backwards; not only starting with z but writing each letter as flipped image of itself.
    • Ask them to consider in advance which letters might appear the same when flipped backwards and what letters will appear different.
    • The children’s letters can be checked using small plastic mirrors to see if the image in the mirror is correct.
    • The children can also be asked to do the same thing with the digits 0-9 or even bigger numbers.
  • Some parts have had some snow already, and there could be more! The Routty Math Teacher has a whole library of Solve it Friday puzzles many of which align themselves with feasts and seasons. Sign up here to get access to the library and then check out weeks 16-19 for snow-themed puzzles.

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 


Maths by Month – December (updated 2021)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the December installment of this year’s Maths by Month posts, designed to explore the Operation Maths topics on a month-by-month basis.

As we journey together through the school year, Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog continues to support teachers, schools and families, along the way. Central to this is our Digging Deeper series of posts aimed at teachers and the extensive 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:

HINT: Teachers of Infants to Second Class – don’t forget to use the Operation Maths Assessment Records on excel for recording and collating the End of December Assessments

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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 December:

  • This year, Computer Science Education Week runs from 6-12 December, during which time, they are also encouraging everybody, young and old, to engage with their annual Hour of Code event.  Coding is the future! Computers are changing every industry on the planet. Every 21st-century student should have the opportunity to build technology. Click on the links above to access Hour of Code and other computer science activities for learners of all ages. Operation Maths users can also access the tailor-made Operation Maths Scratch lessons on https://edcolearning.ie 
  • Check out the NRICH Primary Advent Calendar. They have lots of other Christmas-themed activities that can be accessed here: https://nrich.maths.org/public/search.php?search=christmas. They also have an Advent-themed sudoku challenge that some of the more-able senior class pupils might like to tackle.
  • Mash-up Maths have a Christmas-themed 12 Days of Holiday Math Challenges, suitable for 1st class up. It can be better to hide all the puzzle initially, and then, reveal just one line at a time and ask the children to record and justify all the possible solutions based on what they know at that point. As they move through each line, they can then explain why they should now discard certain options. This is a better way to engage all of the children in thinking mathematically, rather than it just becoming a race to the solution (which can often turn-off those less mathematically-inclined). For more of this type of problem sign up to the Mash-up Maths weekly newsletter, to receive lots of other themed maths puzzles and challenges like this Grinch-themed challenge.
  • Interested in more Christmas-themed maths problems? From Dec 1-24 the German Maths Society posts a daily problem (in English) on its online Advent Calendar. There are 3 levels of difficulty, 4th class to adults.

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 


Maths by Month – November (updated 2021)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the third installment in this year’s Maths by Month posts, designed to explore the Operation Maths topics on a month-by-month basis.

As we journey together through the school year, Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog continues to support teachers, schools and families, along the way. Central to this is our Digging Deeper series of posts aimed at teachers and the extensive 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:

HINT: Teachers of Infants to Second Class – don’t forget to use the Operation Maths Assessment Records on excel for recording and collating the End of October Assessments

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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 November:

  • The Bebras® Computing Challenge 2021 runs from 8th to 26th November; it introduces computational thinking (i.e. the thinking skills behind coding and programming tasks) to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim of Bebras is to get students all over the world excited about computing. The challenges are divided into five different age categories from 8-18 years old. On the link above, both teacher and student can explore previous challenges and, even if your class or school doesn’t register to take-part (which is free), the past challenges are very engaging and worthwhile to explore as a whole class or groups.
  • The 11 November marks the anniversary of the ending of the Great War, “the war to end all wars”, which is now typically referred to as World War 1. For 5th and 6th class teachers, who are planning to explore this topic in history, check out these Maths Activities from the Trench Brothers Education Zone.
  • Codes and code breaking were a very important part of warfare tactics during both World War 1 and 2. To find out more about the maths of code breaking click on the link.
  • Science Week 2021 runs from 7th-14th November. Maths and Science, are intrinsically interconnected (eg consider STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Of the STEM areas, coding is one of the most exciting, not least of all to kids! And Operation Maths is the only Irish maths programme that has integrated coding activities via the Scratch Lessons for Operation Maths 3-6. Check out the scratch lessons that are included in the Operation Maths digital resources via your TRB or edcolearning.ie For infants, the Aistear Themes are an ideal way to explore STEM using a thematic focus (and lay the foundations for the development of computational thinking skills); consult the Junior and Senior Infants TRB for the monthly Aistear suggestions.

For some more primary-focused STEM activities, check out the links below:

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 


Maths by Month – October (updated 2021)

Category : Uncategorized

Welcome to the second installment in this year’s Maths by Month posts, designed to explore the Operation Maths topics on a month-by-month basis.

As we journey together through the school year, Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog continues to support teachers, schools and families, along the way. Central to this is our Digging Deeper series of posts aimed at teachers and the extensive 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:

HINT: Teachers of Infants to Second Class – don’t forget to use the Operation Maths Assessment Records on excel for recording and collating the End of October Assessments

To access lists of relevant links and online resources, navigate towards the end of the accompanying 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 October:

  • The October plan for third to sixth classes has deliberately allowed for a free week, to enable teachers to engage with Maths Week, held every year at this time. This year, Maths Week will run from 16-24 October, 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 at the link above. Check out their resources, including problem solving, puzzles, acmhainní as gaeilge, and their resource packs by class level also. You can also follow these links below, from previous Maths Weeks, to find out more about Maths Art (which, coincidentally, links very well with October Operation Maths for 3rd and 4th classes i.e. tessellations in 2D shapes), Maths and history and code breaking.
  • 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; Kindergarten roughly aligns with Infants, Grade 1 and 2 with 1st & 2nd classes, and Grades 3-5 roughly align with 3rd-6th classes.
  • Other STEM projects to consider during October:

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 


Maths by Month – September (updated 2021)

Category : Uncategorized

Maths by Month is back!

As we embark on this new school year, and with all the 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 extensive 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 accompanying 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 

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 (16-24 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 


Maths by Month – June (updated 2021)

Category : Uncategorized

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 we move towards the end of this challenging school year, rest assured that Edco Primary Maths and the Operation Maths blog will continue to support teachers, schools and families, via:

  • Dear Family, our ever-expanding series of posts, aimed at parents and families, supporting children’s mathematical development at home
  • Digging Deeper, our series of posts, aimed at teachers, providing deeper insights into the underlying theory, approaches and pedagogies behind the various maths topics
  • About Operation Maths posts, for teachers who want to find out more about the Operation Maths program itself.

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.

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:

  • 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 for June maths on this blog post.

Teachers of Infants to Second Class: if you choose to administer the Operation Maths End of June Assessments, don’t forget to check out the Excel Record Spreadsheets to accompany the assessments in the Assessment Booklets; if you have any suggestions for how to improve these, please leave them here.

To access lists of relevant links and online resources (eg lessons, videos, games etc), 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 Operation Maths pupil books, are numerous custom-made digital resources to support each maths topic. Just click any of the hyperlinks while viewing the digital book 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 June:

  • We have a separate post entitled Maths for June where there is a whole suite of ideas, that are ideal as end-of-year maths, whether you’re an Opeation Maths user of not.
  • Maths outside: not only is this typically the time of the year when teachers are bringing their classes outdoors for learning, but this yer we are being encouraged to be outside as much as possible.
    • Outdoor Classroom Day was May 20 2021. This global event promotes the use of the outdoors to teach, explore and learn. If you missed this day, you might like to do an Outdoor Classroom Day in June instead. There are lots of resources with suggestions for all subject areas, including maths, https://outdoorclassroomday.com/.
    • For more ideas for outdoor maths you could also check out:
      • the Maths Around Us activity ideas in your Operation Maths book
      • the Maths Around Us videos accessible at https://www.edcolearning.ie/
      • this post, Maths fun in the sun
      • Stem Smaointe 8 from the PDST


Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to Spatial Awareness

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

Understanding Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is being able to describe the position of something/someone in relation to another, using words and/or gestures, and being able to represent spaces and locations using models and/or drawings. For example, it includes being able to tell another where to find shoes, books etc., and it would also include being able to draw a simple map for someone with directions for how to get somewhere.

This maths topic has a lot in common with language, communication and geography skills. The concepts of spatial awareness also lay the foundations for all aspects of geometry, be it at upper primary, secondary or an even higher level.

Essentially your children need to develop an understanding that:

  • The spatial relationships between objects and places can be described and represented, for example using positional words (such as over, under, up, down, on, beside, in, above, below, near, far, right, left), and directional words (go straight, go through, stop, turn left, turn right, clockwise, anticlockwise).
  • These relationships may be viewed, described and represented differently depending on the perspective of the viewer (in particular, consider left and right; if we’re facing each other and I hold up my right hand, it is opposite your left hand).
  • Developing the ability to mentally visualise the representations will enhance a person’s ability to picture how a shape will look when rotated when turned, flipped etc. Therefore, we should encourage our children to imagine or picture places and locations e.g. “Think: when we go to Granny’s house, do we turn right or left at the end of our road/street/driveway?”

Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

  • When doing things together at home, or when out and about, try to use the language of spatial awareness as much as possible with your child, for example using positional words (such as over, under, up, down, on, beside, in, above, below, near, far, right, left), and directional words (go straight, go through, stop, turn left, turn right, clockwise, anticlockwise).
  • Always remember that most spatial language depends on the perspective and direction/location of the person using it; an object could be very close to me but far away from you. Of all the spatial words, left and right are possibly the most confusing: an object to my right, will be to your left if you are facing me. Therefore, be especially mindful of using these words correctly with your child. Click here to read more on the difficulties with left and right.
  • Play, play, play! Games and puzzles such as jigsaws, tangram puzzles, using mazes, grids and board games all promote the development of spatial skills. Twister is a particularly good example of a suitable game.
  • Children often find looking at maps really interesting! When out and about or travelling somewhere, use maps to track where you are going. If you visit a tourist attraction (e.g. zoo, forest park etc.), let your child have a copy of the accompanying map/guide so that he/she can be responsible for directing the family around. Other ideal outdoors activities include treasure hunts and outdoor mazes.
  • Look at Google Maps. Find your local area in satellite mode; can your child(ren) pick out any familiar features? Can they trace their regular journeys to the school, shops, friend’s houses etc?
  • Coding is a STEM area that develops spatial awareness and the ability to mentally visualise various representations. Your child could explore basic coding via simple coding programs and apps, such as Lightbot and Scratch Jr.

Digital Resources for Infant Classes

White Rose Geometry – Position & Direction: a series of lessons on position and direction for year 1. 

 


Spatial Awareness: A series of video lessons from Matholia including Introduction to Positions and Naming Left and Right

 


FCPS – Positional Words: An instructional video

 

 


Happy Numbers Pre-Kindergarten – Above and Below: Pupils could start the activities in Module 2, Topic A, and then progress to the activities in Kindergarten, Module 2 also. 

 

 


Right or Left: Which way is the animal facing?

 

 


I Know It! A game on Position and Location and another on Right and Left.

 

 


Math Games – Geometry: Select any of the positions games from Junior Infants or Senior Infants

 


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Geometry: a selection of games from ixl.com. Select any of the games from Junior Infants, Section F and Senior Infants, Section I. 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 & Second Classes

White Rose Geometry – Position & Direction: a series of lessons on position and direction for year 1. These could be followed up with other lessons in year 2, week 1 and week 2


Spatial Awareness: A series of video lessons from Matholia including Introduction to Positions, Naming Left and Right, Clockwise and Anticlockwise, Turns 1 and Turns 2.

 


FCPS – Positional Words: An instructional video

 

 


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?

 

 

 


I Know It! A game on Position and Location and another on Right and Left.

 

 


Math Games – Geometry: Select any of the positions games from First Class or Second Class

 


IXL | Maths and English Practice

Geometry: a selection of games from ixl.com. Select any of the games from First Class, Section O. 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)