Mathematical terminology with pictures

A ratio is used to compare values, showing the relative value of one to another. It is taught using real-life examples, such as comparing the number of boys to girls in class. For example, the ratio of boys to girls was , meaning there are two boys for every one girl. A reflection of a shape is a drawing of a shape reflected in a mirror line, with the reflection on the other side of the line but facing in the opposite direction. Reflective symmetry is a type of transformation, looking at when a shape or pattern is reflected in a mirror or line of symmetry.

The reflected shape should be exactly the same size and distance from the mirror line as the original. A regular shape is one where all the sides and interior angles are equal, whereas an irregular shape has sides and angles of different lengths and sizes.


Roman numerals are the numbers used in ancient Rome, with letters from the Latin alphabet representing certain numbers. They are commonly taught using years.

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A rotation of a shape is when a shape is moved around a fixed point, either clockwise or anticlockwise and by a certain number of degrees. Rotational symmetry is a type of transformation, where a shape is turned around a central point, without changing its size. To round a number means to adjust it up or down to a number that makes calculating with it easier.

Numbers are usually rounded up to the nearest 10, or , with decimals being rounded to the nearest whole number, tenth or hundredth. There is a rule that if a digit is 4 or less it rounds down and if it is 5 or more it rounds up. For example, rounds to to the nearest 10, but to the nearest A scale factor is used when we increase or decrease a 2D shape in size, so we make the shape larger or smaller depending on the scale factor.

For example, this shape has been increased by a scale factor of 2. A scalene triangle is a 2D three-sided shape where all the sides and angles are unequal. To simplify a fraction means to reduce it to its lowest form, by dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number. A square number is the result of multiplying a number by itself.

When writing this, we write a small two next to and above the number. Standard units are the units of measurement we normally use to indicate the length, mass or capacity of an object. For example, centimetres, metres, grams, kilograms, millilitres and litres.

Non-standard units are used by when introducing measurement in KS1, for example the length of a pencil or hand spans. A sum of two numbers is another name for the result of an addition calculation. For example, the sum of 15 and 23 is A tally chart uses marks instead of numbers to represent information. One vertical mark is used to represent each one unit, with five being shown as a fifth line crossed through the first four lines. When shapes fit together exactly with no gaps, we call this Tessellation.

An example of this in real life are floor tiles. A time interval is the length of time between two times. For example, the time interval between and is 30 minutes. Translation is a type of transformation, where a shape is moved into a new position, without being changed in any way. A triangle is a 2D shape with three sides, angles and corners. A triangular number is a number that can make a triangular dot pattern. A two-step problem is a word problem which needs two calculations to solve it.

A multi-step problem requires more than two calculations to solve it. A unit fraction is any fraction with 1 as the numerator, whereas a non-unit fraction is any fraction with a number greater than 1 as the numerator. A Venn diagram is a visual way of sorting different objects or numbers into overlapping circles with different rules, with anything in the overlapping part sharing both rules. In primary maths, there are two types of variation, conceptual and procedural variation.

Conceptual variation means looking at a maths idea in various representations. For example, showing a number using multilink, diennes block, square or partitioned, to explain place value. Vertex is another name for a corner of a 2D shape or the points where edges in a 3D shape meet. The volume is the amount of space an object occupies, especially 3D shapes. A word problem or a story problem is a real-life situation where a maths calculation is needed to solve a problem.

For example, in the number it changes the number 73 to the much larger On top of this, one-to-one learning is one of the best ways to help your child learn throughout primary school, so if you are interested in locating the best maths tutor for your child, sign up to our online tuition today and get your child ready and raring to go to for maths! Does your child struggle at maths or just wants to do more of it at a more suitable level.

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Wolfram|Alpha Examples: Mathematics

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Basic MATH vocabulary in English

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Word Wall Cards - 2016 Mathematics SOL

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Math Vocabulary – Mathematical Terms in English

Find maths help for your child Does your child struggle at maths or just wants to do more of it at a more suitable level. Year 2 Age Year 3 Age Year 4 Age Year 5 Age Year 6 Age Year 7 Age Related articles. Setting and Streaming in Schools: Explained for Parents. What Is A Unit Fraction? A Carroll diagram is a way of organising information and grouping according to what criteria it fits into. For example, which shape has 6 sides and 1 line of symmetry? A circle is a simple curved 2D shape, with 1 edge, no corners and infinite lines of symmetry. The circumference is the length around the edge of a circle.

To move in a clockwise direction means moving in the same direction as the hands on a clock. If something moves in the opposite direction to the hands of a clock, it is moving in an anticlockwise direction. The coordinates of a shape or object refer to where on a map or graph they are, by looking at the two axes and recording the numbers they are at.

The numbers are written on top of each other, with the correct digits in each column e. The commutative property states that addition and multiplication calculations can be carried out with the numbers in any order, whereas for subtraction and division, the numbers must be in a particular order. Complementary addition is a method for subtraction that involves using a number line to jump from the smaller number to the bigger number and counting the number of jumps.

The concrete, pictorial, abstract approach is a way of teaching mathematical concepts and theories in various stages, in order to help children fully understand and master what they are learning. For example, children may solve a problem adding groups of toys together using real toys. The pictorial stage uses visual representations of concrete objects to model problems, encouraging children to make connections between the physical object and the picture that represents the object.