Maths A to Z

Our Maths A to Z glossary provides straightforward explanations and illustrated examples of maths terms used in the classroom.

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A


Accuracy of measuring

All measurements are approximations.

The accuracy of the measurement depends on the quality of the instrument being used and the person measuring.


Acute angle

An angle less than 90 degrees.

Example

The red lines illustrate some angles that are acute (less than 90 degrees).

90 degree angle with pink arrows inside the angle showing variations of acute angles. A second example shows are more acute angle at approximately 45 degrees.


Acute angled triangles

Triangles with all interior angles less than 90 degrees.

Example


Add

  • The process of combining collections of objects into a larger collection.
  • This is the opposite of subtraction.
  • Add, addition, plus and sum are interchangeable terms

Example

Combining a collection of things together:

Graphic indicating that adding one object to 3 objects will leave you with 4 objects.


Adjacent sides

  • Two lines, or sides that share a common vertex.

Example


Algebra

A strand of maths that substitutes letters for unknown numbers.

Example

A simple algebraic equation could be:

2x + 3 = 15

2x = 12

x = 6


Algorithm

A step-by-step method for solving problems in maths.


Alternate angles

When two lines are cut by a third line (transversal) alternate angles are between the pair of lines on alternate sides of the transversal. If the lines are parallel, the alternate angles are equal.

Examples


Analog

What is it?

Digital means the binary format of 1s and 0s (on or off). Digital can also refer to electronic products, such as a digital camera, MP3 player or eBook reader.

How does it work?

A digital product such as a camera transforms an analog image into data (a series of 1s and 0s) which is then transferred into a storage device and reassembled so that you see the original image. Analog cameras store the image onto film, which is then processed into prints. You can make a huge varietyof changes to digital imagery which you cannot make to photo prints.

An eBook is a digital representation of a book and can only be displayed on a computer, or an ereader device, such as a Kindle.

Why is it useful?

The invention of digital and the development of electronic products and services have led to a revolution that, in general, has made products more widely available and easier to use.

What do you need to keep in mind about your children and digital?

Digital development will continue to create many new and amazing new careers for your child to consider in the future.

Want to know more?

To learn more about digital as a topic, you can search the internet for specific digital products and services to find websites that explain its benefits and how it works.


Analog clock

A clock with a face and two rotating hands – the minute hand (long) and the hour hand (short) – also sometimes another hand for seconds.

Example


Angle

The measure of turn between two straight lines that meet.

A protractor is used to measure an angle. Angles are measured in degrees.

Example

An angle with text inside the angle reading 'For example this angle measures 38 degrees


Apex

The highest vertex in a polyhedron or geometric solid.

Example

2 triangle shapes with the word 'apex' between the peaks of the two shapes. Arrows point to the top of the shapes.


Arc (of a circle)

Part of the circumference of a circle.

Example

a circle with red dotted lines depicting a quarter of the circle. A thicker red line highlights the part of the circumference between the two dotted lines.


Area

The amount of surface inside a closed 2D shape.

Example

The area of this rectangle is 4 + 4 or 2 x 4 = 8 square units

A yellow rectangle divided into 8 equal sized squares.


Arms of an angle

The two lines that form the angle.

Example

two lines forming an acute angle


Array

A rectangular diagram divided into rows and columns.

Example

Twelve divided in 3 rows = 4 in each row (rows are horizontal).

12 orange squares arranged in a grid, also known as an array.


Ascending order

Increasing from smallest to largest.

Example

These numbers are in ascending order.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...


Attribute

The attributes of a 2D shape are its size or shape. A 2D shape can have more than one attribute.


Average

  • The average of all scores.
  • The total of a set of scores divided by the number of scores.
  • A measure of central tendency.
  • Average and mean are interchangeable terms.

    Example

    For the scores 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, and 10:

    • the Mean = (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 9 + 10) / 9
    • the Mean = 5.

B


Bar chart

A graph in which the information is summarised into columns for easy comparison. Bar chart and column graph are interchange terms.


Base

The side of a 2D shape or face of a 3D object that is considered on the bottom of that shape.

Example

A 2 dimensional shape and a 3 dimensional shape with their bases coloured red to indicate where the base is.


Base ten blocks

Blocks used to help children visualise the value of numbers. Except for the individual unit blocks, all other blocks are based on tens, hence the reason why they are often referred to as 'base ten blocks'. MAB blocks and base ten blocks are interchangeable terms.

Example

1 single block called '1 short'. 1 'long block' consisting of ten blocks. '1 Flat' consisting of 100 blocks. 1 Block' consisting of 1000 blocks.


Bisect

To cut in half.

Example

A blue line being bisected (crossed) by a red line.


C


Calendar

A system of organising time into days, weeks, months and years.


Capacity

The amount a container can hold.

Example

This container holds 2 litres – its capacity is 2 litres.

A red paint tin with the words 'Paint 2 Litres' on the label.


Cardinal number

A number expressing how many of something exist.

Examples

  • There are 2 birds on the balcony.
  • There are 7 days in the week.
  • There are 112 ants on my sandwich.

Categorical data

Information that can be put into different categories.

Example

  • Hair colour (brown, red, black, blonde)
  • Gender (male, female).

Census

A survey of the entire population.


Centre

The point inside the circle which is equidistant from all points on the circumference.

Example

A circle with a red dot  in the centre


Chance

  • The likelihood of something occuring.
  • The probability of an event occurring equals the number of desired outcomes divided by the total number of outcomes.
  • P(E) = number of desired outcomes divided by total number of outcomes.
  • Probability and chance are interchangeable terms.

Example

P(red marble) = 1 / 5. The probability of selecting a red marble from the bag is 1 in 5.

Bag with 5 marbles in it


Chord

A line that joins two points on a curve.

Example

A circle with a red line inside touching two points on the inner curve.


Circumference

The boundary line or perimeter of a circle.

Example

a circle whit a thick red border


Clock

An instrument used to keep and display the time.

There are many different kinds of clocks, but the two most common are analog with 'hands' for hours, minutes and seconds, and digital, which displays only digits (numbers).

Example

A digital clockAnalog clock that has hour, minute and second hands.


Cluster

Where most of the scores are grouped.

Example

The scores are clustered around the scores 3 and 4.

red dots on a graph indicating instances of a particular score


Co-interior

When two lines are cut by a third line (transversal) co-interior angles are between the pair of lines on the same side of the transversal. If the lines are parallel the co-interior angles are supplementary (add up to 180 degrees).

Example

Co-interior

Two lines cut by a third line with the co-interior angles highlighted.


Column

A vertical arrangement of items.

Example

A column of numbers:

23
45
67
92
64
83


Column graph

A graph in which the information is summarised into columns for easy comparison. Bar chart and column graph are interchange terms.


Common fraction

Fraction shown with one number over another with a dividing line, e.g. ½.


Commutative law

  • Demonstrates that numbers can be added in any order or multiplied in any order and the answer will be the same.
  • Commutative law, commutativity and turn-around facts are interchangeable terms.

Compass directions

The directions shown on a compass: North (N), South (S), East (E), West (W). Also North East (NE), South East (SE), South West (SW) and North West (NW).

Example

A common compass with red and black needle used for hiking, or generally finding your direction.


Compensation strategy

One number is rounded to simplify the calculation then the answer is adjusted to compensate for the original change.

Example

For addition:

52 + 39... think 52 + 40 = 92, then subtract the extra 1 added to 39 at the start: so 52 + 40 - 1 = 91


Complementary angles

Angles that add to 90 degrees.

Example

A 90 degree angle with 2 45 degree angles inside.


Complementary event

Not the event but the opposite of the event.

P(E)=1-P(E)

Example

When tossing a coin the complementary event of getting a head is getting a tail.


Composite number

Has more than two factors.

Example

15 has the factors 1, 3, 5, and 15.


Compound interest

Interest is paid on the sum invested (principal) as well as on any interest earned.

Example

A = P(1+R)N and CI = A-P


Concave quadrilateral

A quadrilateral that contains a reflex angle.

Example

A triangle shape with one side bent in at an obtuse angle


Cone

A 3D (three-dimensional) object with a circular base.

Example

A cone with its pointy end facing upwards


Congruent

The same size and the same shape.

Example

Two identical yellow pentagons


Continuous data

Quantitative (numerical) data that is obtained by measuring.


Conversion graphs

Used to convert from one unit to another.

Example

graph with US dollars on the Y axis and Australian dollars on the X axis.


Convex quadrilaterals

Convex quadrilaterals have the diagonals inside the figure.

Example

A kite shape with a red cross indicating the 4 triangle shapes that make up the shape


Coordinates

A set of numbers and/or letters that shows the position of a point or space on a map or grid.

The horizontal direction is read first.

Examples

  • The image on the left represents the coordinates E3
  • The image on the left represents the coordinates 2X

Two examples of a grid with a particular coordinate plotted.


Corresponding angles

When two lines are cut by a third line (transversal) corresponding angles are in corresponding positions (i.e. on the same side of the transversal and both above or both below the pair of lines). If the lines are parallel, the corresponding angles are equal.

Example

Two red lines intersected by a 3rd line. The resulting inside angles are highlighted


Cross-section

The shape you get when a solid is cut through parallel to the base.

The cross-sections of prisms are uniform – same size and shape as the base.

Examples

A prism cut in half parallel to the bass

The cross-sections of pyramids and cones have the same shape

A cone with the top half cut off


Cube

A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges and 8 corners (or vertices). It is a square prism, which is a particular type of prism with faces that are all congruent squares.

Example

A cube with 1 face shaded yellow and labelled. The edges and vertices are also labelled.


Cube root

  • A number that when multiplied by itself three times equals a given number.
  • The opposite operation of cubing.
  • Indicated by the cube root mathematical symbol ∛

Example

∛125 = 5 since 5 x 5 x 5 = 125


Cubed

The small number written to the above right of a number in maths. Shows the number of times to multiply the big number by itself.

Cubed and index are interchangeable terms. Indices is the plural form of index.

Example

  • in 32, the index is 2, so 32 = 3 x 3 = 9
  • in 53,  the index is 3, so 53 =  5 x 5 x 5 = 125

Cumulative frequency histogram and polygon

  • The cumulative frequency histogram is the columns.
  • The cumulative frequency polygon is the line.
  • The polygon is also called the ogive.
  • The scores (x) are always on the horizontal axis.
  • The cumulative frequency (cf) is always on the vertical axis.
  • The height of each column shows the cumulative frequency (how many scored that number or less).

Cylinder

A three-dimensional (3D) object with two circular bases that are opposite each other in position and are the same size and same shape.

Example

a simple cylinder


D


Decagon

A polygon with 10 straight sides and 10 interior angles. Can be regular or irregular.

Example

Example of regular and irregular decagons.


Decimal

A fraction that is made by dividing a whole into tenths (10 equal parts) or hundredths (100 equal parts). Uses a decimal point when written.

Decimal and decimal fraction are interchangeable terms.

Example

  • 1/2 as a decimal fraction (or just decimal) is 0.5 which is the same as 5 parts out of 10.
  • 1/4 as a decimal is 0.25.

Decimal fraction

A fraction that is made by dividing a whole into tenths (10 equal parts) or hundredths (100 equal parts). Uses a decimal point when written.

Decimal and decimal fraction are interchangeable terms.


Decrease

  • Taking one number or amount away from another.
  • This is the opposite of addition.
  • Decrease, subtract, subtraction and take away are interchangeable terms.

Degree

A measurement used for angles shown by the degrees symbol °.

Degree and degrees are interchangeable terms.

Example

Two diagrams: a 90 degree angle and a 45 degree angle


Denominator

The number below the line in a fraction that shows the number of parts a whole has been divided into.

Example

The 8 in the fraction 7 over 8.


Depreciation

Depreciation occurs when an item loses value over time.

Example

A = P(1 + R)N and D = A – P


Descending order

Numbers getting smaller.

Example

20, 19, 18, 17, 16...


Diagonal

A line that joins any two vertices (corners) of a polygon or polyhedra, where the vertices are not next to each other.

Example


Diameter

An interval across a circle through the centre (twice the radius).

Example


Difference

The result of subtraction.

Example

The difference between 10 and 16 is 6 (i.e. 16 – 10 = 6)


Digit

A symbol used to write a numeral. The digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are used to write all the numbers in our number system.

Example

  • 23 is a 2 digit number
  • 387 is a 3 digit number

Digital clock

Displays the time in digits.

Example


Directed number

A positive or negative number.

A number showing both sign and size.

Example

-7.5, + 612, -3


Directed number line

The directed number line extends indefinitely in two directions to show both positive and negative numbers.

Example


Discrete data

  • Quantitative (numerical) data that is obtained by counting.
  • 'In-between' values are not possible.

Example

An example of discrete data is the number of goals scored in a netball game.


Divide

To share into equal groups or parts

Example

Divide 6 chocolates between 3 children and they get 2 each


Divided bar graph

A rectangle cut into pieces representing the parts of a whole.

Example

Favourite colours

Rectangle divided into 3 equal parts containing the words 'Red', 'Green', and 'Blue'


Divisibility tests

A quick test to see if a number can be divided by another without remainder.

Example

A number ending in 5 or 0 is always divisible by 5.


Division

Partitioning into equal groups.


Dodecahedron

A three-dimensional (3D) object with 12 faces.

Example

Three dimensional diagram of a dodecahedron


Dot plot

A number line with dots drawn above the numbers to represent the scores.

Example


E


Euclidean geometry

Euclidean geometry involves figures and lines on flat surfaces and their properties. In Euclidean geometry there is exactly one straight line through any two points.

Example


Euler’s formula

A relationship between the number of vertices (V), edges (E) and faces (F) of polyhedral shapes. The relationship is V + F – E = 2.

Example

8 vertices + 6 faces – 12 edges = 2


Edge

The line where two flat surfaces meet.

Example


Empty number line

An unmarked number line that shows mental calculations.

Examples

An unmarked number line

An unmarked number line

Using an empty number line (below) to show a jump strategy for addition and subtraction

Number line showing a jump strategy for adding 33 to 46. Starting at 46 we jump 3 times in increments of 10, then 3 more jumps in increments of 1 to arrive at 79.


Equal groups

Putting objects together in equal groups helps to understand multiplication and division.

Example

12 is divided into 3 groups = 4 in each group

OR

3 groups with 4 in each = 12 altogether.


Equals

Has the same value as.

Often shown by using the equals = sign (symbol).

Example

Synonyms for 'Equals' include: 'the same as', 'is', 'means' and 'equivalent to'.


Equals sign

Symbols used to show that two or more amounts have the same value.

eg. 5 + 6 = 12 – 1


Equation

A mathematical statement using the equals sign to show one side has the same value as the other side.

eg. 20 = 5 x 4


Equilateral triangle

A triangle with all sides equal in length. All angles are equal (60°).

Example


Equivalent

Has the same value as.

Example

two 2 dollar coins and a 1 dollar coin totalling 5 dollars


Equivalent fractions

Fractions that are equal in value but have different names.

Example


Estimate

A type of measure which uses non-standard units such as hand spans, footsteps or pattern blocks to measure length, area, etc.

Estimate and informal measurement are interchangeable terms.

Example


Even number

Any whole number ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 is even.

Example

the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12...


Expanded notation

Shows the amount each digit is worth because of its place in a number.

Example

Expanded notation for 287 is 2 hundreds, 8 tens and 7 ones or 200 + 80 + 7


F


Face

One of the flat surfaces of a 3D (three dimensional) object.

Example


Fact family

Groups of related facts in addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.

Helps students understand the relationship between operations.

Example

Addition and Subtraction

3 + 7 = 10

7 + 3 = 10

10 – 3 = 7

10 – 7 = 3

Multiplication and Division

3 x 4 = 12

4 x 3 = 12

12 ∕ 3 = 4

12  ∕  4 = 3


Factor

A factor of a given number is a whole number that divides into it exactly.

Example

The factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12

...1 x 12, 2 x 6 and 3 x 4 all equal 12.


Factor tree

A factor tree can be used to express a number as a product of its prime factors.

Example


Fibonacci sequence

Numbers following a sequence in which each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two numbers.

Example

This sequence starts with 1:

The numbers 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ...

1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5, 3 + 5 = 8, 5 + 8 = 13


Flip

Turn over to give the mirror image – a reflection.

Example


Formal measurement

Using a standardised measure such as metres, litres or kilos.

Example

A measuring jug, weight scales, a measuring tape, a workman holding a measuring tape, and a stop watch in someone's hand.


Fraction

A fraction is one or more parts of a whole that has been broken into equal parts.

A fraction is shown by putting one number over another with a dividing line between them.

Example

This shape has been broken into 4 parts and 3 of them have been coloured. The coloured fraction is 3 over 4.


Fraction notation

A number in the form a/b where a and b are numbers and b is not equal to zero.

Example

  • 1/2 as a decimal fraction (or just decimal) is 0.5 which is the same as 5 parts out of 10
  • 1/4 as a decimal is 0.25.

Frequency histogram

  • A type of column graph without gaps between the columns used in statistics.
  • The scores (x) are always on the horizontal axis.
  • The frequency (f) is always on the vertical axis.
  • The area of the column tells how many of that score there is.
  • The area of a frequency histogram represents the total number of scores.

Example


Frequency histogram and polygon

  • The frequency histogram is the columns.
  • The frequency polygon is the line graph.
  • The scores (x) are always on the horizontal axis.
  • The frequency (f) is always on the vertical axis.
  • The area under a frequency polygon represents the total number of scores.

Example


Frequency polygon

  • A type of line graph used in statistics.
  • The scores (x) are always on the horizontal axis.
  • The frequency (f) is always on the vertical axis.
  • The height of the point tells how many of that score there is.
  • Always starts and finishes on the horizontal axis.

Example


G


Globe

A perfectly round 3D object. Globe and sphere are interchangeable terms.

Example


Graph

A visual way of showing a collection of information.

Example

Bar (column) graph

Pie (sector) graph

Picture graph

Line graph


Greater than sign

The sign > is used to show that the first number is greater than (more than) the second number.

The open (bigger) part is beside the bigger number, the small pointed end points to the smaller number.

Example

85 is greater than 37 is written: 85 > 37.

'Is 85 greater than 37?' is written: is 85 > 37?


Grouping

Putting objects together in equal groups helps to understand multiplication and division.

Example

12 is divided into 3 groups = 4 in each group

OR

3 groups with 4 in each = 12 altogether.


H


Hindu-Arabic number system

  • The system of numerals we use today.
  • Uses the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 with place value.

Hefting

Holding objects to judge weight.

Example


Heptagon

A polygon with 7 edges and 7 angles. It can be regular or irregular.

Example


Hexagon

A polygon with 6 edges and 6 angles. It can be regular or irregular.

Example


Hexagonal prism

A solid with 2 parallel ends that are hexagons of the same size and shape (ie are congruent).

Example


Hexagonal pyramid

A solid with a hexagon as its base. Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).

Example


Hexahedron

A 3D (three-dimensional) object with 6 faces.

Example


Highest common factor

The highest common factor (HCF) of two or more whole numbers is the largest number that will divide exactly into each of them.

Example

2 is the HCF of 4 and 6


Horizontal

Parallel to the line or surface.

Example


Hundreds chart

An organised grid of the numbers 0-99 or 1-100 to see and understand patterns in numbers to 100.

Example


Hundredth

One part of a hundred divided into 100 parts.


Hypotenuse

The side of a right-angle triangle that is opposite the right angle.

Example


I


Icosahedron

A 3D (three-dimensional) object with 20 faces.

Example


Improper fraction

A fraction where the numerator is equal to, or larger than, the denominator.

Example


Index

The small number written to the above right of a number in maths. Shows the number of times to multiply the big number by itself.

Cubed and index are interchangeable terms. Indices is the plural form of index.

Example

  • in 32, the index is 2,  so 32 = 3 x 3 = 9
  • in 53, the index is 3, so 53 5 x 5 x 5 = 125

Index notation

A number written with a power.

Example


Informal measurement

A type of measure which uses non-standard units such as hand spans, footsteps or pattern blocks to measure length, area, etc.

Estimate and informal measurement are interchangeable terms.

Example


Integer

Any whole number. An integer can be a positive or negative whole number.

Example

  • +5
  • -6

Interquartile range

  • The difference between the upper quartile and the lower quartile.
  • Represents the middle 50% of the scores.
  • Is not affected by outliers.

Example

Interquartile range = upper quartile – lower quartile


Intersection

The point where lines meet or the line where two or more planes meet.

Example

intersection


Interval

A part of a line that has a definite starting and end point.

Example


Inverse operation

The function that reverses another one. This is a way of checking if answers are correct.

Addition and subtraction are inverse operations.

Multiplication and division are inverse operations.

Example

  • 6 x 3 = 18 and 3 x 6 = 18 the inverse of these are 18 / 6 = 3 and 18 / 3 = 6
  • 4 + 6 = 10 and 6 + 4 = 10 the inverse of these are 10 – 6 = 4 and 10 – 4 = 6

Isometric grid paper

Grid paper used to draw 3D figures. The grid is a series of dots or lines which represent equilateral triangles which allow for the drawing of a solid showing 3 or more faces.

Example

isometric grid paper


Isosceles triangle

A triangle with two sides equal in length. Two angles are equal.

Example


J


Jump strategy

Mental calculation method jumping from one number (usually the largest number) either forwards (addition) or backwards (subtraction) to the answer.

Example

can have any number of digits 23 + 35; 23 + 30 = 53, 53 + 5 = 58


L


Length

The longest dimension of an object.


Less than sign

The sign < is used to show that the first number is smaller than the second number. The small end of the angle points to the smaller number.

Example

  • 37 is less than 85 and is written: 37 < 85
  • 'Is 37 less than 85?' is written: is 37 < 85?

Limits of accuracy of measurement

The limits of measurement are within half the smallest unit being used.


Line

A line is a collection of points. A line does not have a start or end point, it go on forever.

Example


Line graph

  • Has horizontal and vertical axes.
  • The points show the quantity.
  • Points are joined by lines.
  • Reading between the points has meaning.

Example


Line of symmetry

A line that divides a shape in half so that one half is the mirror image of the other. There can be more than one line of symmetry.

Example


Long division

Any written method used to divide by a number with two or more digits.

Example

An example of long division may look like this:


Lowest common multiple (LCM)

The lowest common multiple or least common multiple (LCM) of two or more numbers is the smallest number that is a multiple of all of them.


M


MAB blocks

Blocks used to help children visualise the value of numbers. Except for the individual unit blocks, all other blocks are based on tens, hence the reason why they are often referred to as 'base ten blocks'. MAB blocks and base ten blocks are interchangeable terms.

Example


Mass

The amount of matter in something.

Example


Mean

  • The average of all scores.
  • The total of a set of scores divided by the number of scores.
  • A measure of central tendency.
  • Average and mean are interchangeable terms.

Example

For the scores 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, and 10:

  • the Mean = (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 9 + 10) / 9
  • the Mean = 5.

Measurement

Using a standardised measure such as metres, litres or kilos.


Measuring angles

An angle is the measure of turn between two straight lines which meet at a common point. A protractor is used to measure angles. Angles are measured in degrees °.

Example

A protractor with red lines on it showing a 45 degree angle


Median

The middle score of an ordered data set.

Example

For the scores: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10

Median = 5


Mental strategy

Calculating in your head.


Mixed numeral

A number made up of a whole number and a proper fraction.

Example

  • 112
  • 338

Mode

The score that occurs the most.

Example

For the scores 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9,10

Mode = 5


Multiple

The product of any quantity and a whole number.

Example

the multiples of 3 are 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24...


Multiplication

A process of repeatedly adding the same number a given amount of times (this only relates to whole numbers).

Example

multiplication, times, products of, lots of, product, square, of (i.e. 1/4 of 8, 3 groups of 6)


Multiplication table

  • The products of numbers 0 to 10 multiplied by each other. Students are encouraged to learn and appreciate a range of mental strategies to work out the answers.
  • Multiplications may be shown in an organised way (such as the examples below) to assist in memorising the answers.
  • Multiplication table and times table are interchangeable terms.

    Example

The 5 times table:

1 x 5 = 5

2 x 5 = 10

3 x 5 = 15

4 x 5 = 20

5 x 5 = 25

6 x 5 = 30

7 x 5 = 35

8 x 5 = 40

9 x 5 = 45

10 x 5 = 50


N


Nearest whole number

  • To increase or decrease to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand, etc.
  • For 1, 2, 3, 4 go down to 0 and for 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 go up to 10.
  • With money, rounding increases or decreases the price to the nearest available coin or note.
  • With fractions, rounding is to increase or decrease to the nearest whole number.
  • Nearest whole number and rounding are interchangeable terms.

Examples

  • 38 rounded to nearest 10 is 40
  • 623 rounded to the nearest hundred is 600, to nearest thousand is 1000
  • $7.99 rounds to $8
  • 814 is rounded to 8.

Negative index

A number raised to a negative power is the reciprocal of that number raised to the positive power.

Example


Net

A flat shape that can be folded up into a solid.

Example


Nonagon

A polygon with 9 straight sides and 9 angles. It can be regular or irregular.

Example


Number line

The line can start and end on any number.

Examples

The position of 43 on the numberline:

Adding 257 + 220:

Numberlines can represent fractions:


Number sentence

Using numbers and symbols in an equation.

Example

Number sentence for 3 birds which have 6 eggs each: 3 x 6 = 18 or 6 + 6 + 6 = 18


Numerator

The number above the line in a fraction which shows how many parts are being considered.

Example

The 7 in 7/9.


O


Object

An object has 3 dimensions – length, width and depth.

Example


Oblique solids

Solids drawn or shown on a slant. The sides are not perpendicular to the base.

Example


Obtuse angle

An angle measuring between 90° and 180°.

Example


Obtuse angled triangles

A triangle with one angle that is obtuse (greater that 90 degrees).

Example


Octagon

A polygon with 8 straight sides and 8 angles. It can be regular or irregular.

Example


Octagonal prism

A solid with 2 parallel bases that are octagons of the size and same shape.

Example


Octagonal pyramid

A solid with an octagon as its base. Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).

Example


Octahedron

A three-dimensional (3D) object with 8 faces.

Example


Odd number

Any number ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 is odd.

Example

The numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11...


One-dimensional

Having one dimension ie length.

Example

A line has only one dimension (i.e. length)


Order of symmetry

This is the number of times a shape matches the original in one full rotation.

Example

An equilateral triangle can be turned 3 times and match its original shape exactly. It also has a rotational symmetry order of 3.


Ordinal number

Tells the position of something in a sequence.

Example

1st, 2nd, 15th, 100th


Outlier

A value that 'lies outside' (is much smaller or larger than) most of the other values in a set of data.

Example

In this data set: 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10, 25

25 is an outlier


P


Pascal’s triangle

A triangular array of numbers in which each number in the triangle is the sum of the two directly above it.

Example


Palindromic numbers

Numbers that are the same if read forwards or backwards.

Examples

  • 44
  • 121
  • 3,993
  • 23,532.

Parallel

Lines on the same plane that are the same distance apart and never meet.

Example


Parallelogram

A polygon with 4 straight sides. The opposite sides are parallel and equal. The opposite angles are equal.

Example


Pattern

A pattern is made up of a number of elements that repeat.

Example

This is a pattern – 2 elements repeat


Pentagon

A polygon with 5 straight sides and 5 angles. It can be regular or irregular.

Example


Pentagonal numbers

Numbers that can be represented by a pattern of dots in the shape of a regular pentagon.


Pentagonal prism

A solid with 2 parallel ends that are pentagons of the same size and shape (ie are congruent). All its other faces are rectangular.

Example

wireframe 3D graphic of petagonal prism


Pentagonal pyramid

A 3D (three-dimensional) object with a pentagon as its base. Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).

Example


Per annum

For each year (ie the interest rate on the mortage was 7% per annum). Also referred to as p.a.


Per cent

Means parts per 100 and is shown by the sign %. A grid of 100 is used to show per cent. Per cent can also be expressed as percent, percentage or simply with the symbol %.

Example

30 out of the 100 squares have been shaded, so 30% is shaded


Percentage

Means parts per 100 and is shown by the sign %. A grid of 100 is used to show per cent. Per cent can also be expressed as percent, percentage or simply with the symbol %.


Perimeter

The distance around the boundary of a 2D (two-dimensional) shape. Calculating the perimeter of a shape = the sum of the length of all sides.

Example

Perimeter of this trapezium is 6cm + 4cm + 3cm + 4cm = 17cm


Perpendicular

At 90° to the given line.

Example


Perpendicular height

The height measured perpendicularly from the base to the vertex at the top. That is, creating an angle of 90 degrees with the base.

Example


Place value

The amount a digit is worth due to its position in a number, ie, ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.

Examples

  • the digit 2 in 42 is worth 2
  • the digit 2 in 269 is worth 200
  • the digit 2 in $53.25 is worth 20 cents.

A tool for showing the value of each digit in a whole number. Can be used to help with addition and subtraction.

Example

The whole number 521 can be shown on a chart as:

Hundreds Ten Ones
5 2 1

521 + 47 can be shown on chart as:

Hundreds Ten Ones
5 2 1
+ 4 7
5 6 8

Place value chart – decimal fractions

A tool for showing the value of each digit in decimal fractions. Can be used to help with addition and subtraction of decimal fractions.

Example

The decimal fraction 0.34 can be shown on the chart as:

Ones Tenths Hundredths
0 3 4

Plane

Any flat two-dimensional (2D) surface. Also known as face.

Example


Platonic solids

A set of five regular polyhedra. All the faces are congruent regular polygons and the same number of faces meet at each vertex. The platonic solids are: the cube, dodecahedron, icosahedron, octahedron, and tetrahedron.

Examples


Plus

  • The process of combining collections of objects into a larger collection.
  • This is the opposite of subtraction.
  • Add, addition, plus and sum are interchangeable terms.

Example

Combining a collection of things together:


Point

A point is a position in space. It has no length, width or height. Where two lines intersect. A point is named using a capital letter.

Example


Polygon

A two-dimensional (2D) shape having three or more straight sides. It can be a regular polygon – where all sides are the same length and all angles are the same size – or an irregular polygon.

Example


Polyhedron

  • A three dimensional (3D) object in which each face is a polygon.
  • It can be a regular polyhedron – all faces are identical regular polygons – or an irregular polyhedron – where all faces are not regular polygons.
  • Polyhedra is the plural of polyhedron.

Example


Population

All the items under consideration.

Example

If data on the opinions of Year 8 is required, then the population is all of Year 8.


Position

The location of an object in relation to oneself or another object.

Example

The tree is to my left, the station is south-west of the school.


Prime factor

A factor that is a prime number cannot be divided again by a number other than itself or one.

Example

Prime factors of 12 are 3 x 2 x 2 or 3 x 22


Prime number

A number that has only 2 factors.

(Note that 1 is not a prime number as it only has one factor – the number 1.)

Example

7 has only 2 factors: 1 and 7


Principal

The original amount of money borrowed or invested.


Prism

  • A 3D (three-dimensional) object with two facing ends or bases (polygons) that are the same size and the same shape (ie they are congruent).
  • All its other faces are rectangular.
  • A prism is named according to the shape of its base, eg one with a hexagonal base is called a hexagonal prism.

Example


Probability

  • The likelihood of something occuring.
  • The probability of an event occurring equals the number of desired outcomes divided by the total number of outcomes.
  • P(E)=number of desired outcomes divided by total number of outcomes
  • Probability and chance are interchangeable terms.

Examples

It may rain today but raining money is impossible.

a purple umbrella with 1 dollar coins raining down upon it

P(red marble) = 1 / 5. The probability of selecting a red marble from the bag is 1 in 5.

Bag with 5 marbles in it


Product

The answer when 2 or more numbers are multiplied together.

Example

15 is the product of 3 x 5


Proper fraction

The numerator (top number) is smaller than the denominator (bottom number).


Protractor

A tool used to measure angles.

Example

A protractor commonly used in schools.


Pyramid

  • A 3D (three-dimensional) object with any polygon as its base.
  • Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).
  • A pyramid is named by the shape of its base, eg a pyramid with a square base is called a square pyramid.

    Example

    3 dimensional images of 2 blue pyramids.

Pythagora’s theorem

A famous result named after the Greek mathematician Pythagoras.

The theorem says that in any right angled triangle, the square of the length of the longest side is the same as the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides: a2+b2 = c2.

Example


Pythagorean triad

A set of three integers (whole numbers) that obey Pythagoras' theorem.

That is the sum of the squares of the two smaller numbers is the square of the largest number.

Example


Q


Quadrant

A quarter of a circle or quarter of its circumference.

Example

Two circles: 1 has a quarter (quadrant shaded) the other indicates  the quadrant's circumference.


Quadrilateral

  • A polygon with 4 straight sides. The sum of the angles in a quadrilateral is 360°.
  • Different types of quadrilaterals include squares, rectangles and trapeziums.

Example


Quantitative data

  • Numerical data.
  • Information represented by numbers.

Example

  • number of children in family
  • heights of students in class.

Quotient

The answer when a number is divided.

Example

The quotient when 18 is divided by 6 is 3.


R


Roman numerals


Examples

  • 7 in Roman numerals is Vll
  • 65 in Roman numerals is LXV

Radius

The distance from the centre of the circle to the circumference of the circle. Radii is the plural of radius.

Example


Range

  • The difference between the highest score and the lowest score.
  • A measure of the spread of the distribution.

Example

Range = highest score to lowest score.

For the scores 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10. The range is 10 – 1 = 9.


Rates

A rate is used to compare quantities that are measured in different types of units.

Example

A typist might type at a rate of 45 words/min.


Ratio

ratio is a comparison of two or more quantities.

Example

The ratio of stars to hearts is 4:3

4 star shapes and 3 heart shapes with text that reads: The ratio of stars to hearts is 4:3


Reciprocals of fractions

The reciprocal of a fraction (not equal to 0) can be made by interchanging the numerator and the denominator.

Example

The reciprocal of 2/3 is 3/2.


Rectangle

  • A polygon with 4 straight sides with 4 angles that are equal.
  • The opposite sides are equal in length and it has 2 sets of parallel lines.

Example


Rectangular prism

  • A solid with 2 parallel faces that are rectangles of the same size and shape (ie are congruent).
  • All its other faces are rectangles.

Example


Rectangular pyramid

  • A 3D (three-dimensional) object with a rectangle as its base.
  • Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex)
  • All the other faces are triangular and meet at a common vertex.

Example


Reflect

To flip over or appear as a figure would look if shown in a mirror.

Example


Reflex angle

An angle between 180° and 360°.

Example


Remainder

The amount left over after a quantity has been divided equally.

Example

12 / 5 = 2 with remainder 2


Revolution

An angle measuring 360°. A complete turn.

Example


Rhombus

A quadrilateral with all sides equal, opposite angles equal and opposite sides parallel.

Example


Rhythmic counting

Counting with emphasis on rhythm.

Example

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (all numbers are spoken, but the bold numbers are said more loudly).


Right angle

An angle that measures 90°.

Example

Right angles are shown like this:


Right angled triangle

A triangle with one right angle (90°).

Example


Rotate

  • To rotate around a point.
  • Can be done by turns or a given number of degrees.
  • Rotate and turn are interchangeable terms.

Rotational symmetry

A shape has rotational symmetry if an outline of the figure can be rotated about its centre to match its original shape.

Example

A regular hexagon comes to rest in 6 identical positions to it original shape


Rounding

  • To increase or decrease to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand, etc.
  • For 1,2,3,4 go down to 0 and for 5,6,7,8,9 go up to 10.
  • With money, rounding increases or decreases the price to the nearest available coin or note.
  • With fractions, rounding is to increase or decrease to the nearest whole number.
  • Nearest whole number and rounding are interchangeable terms.

Examples

  • 38 rounded to the nearest 10 is 40
  • 623 rounded to the nearest hundred is 600, to nearest thousand is 1000
  • $7.99 rounds to $8
  • 81/4 is rounded to 8

Row

Items arranged horizontally.

Example


S


Sample

A part of the population that has been selected in order to find information about the whole population.


Sample space

The set of all possible outcomes of a situation or experiment.

Example

The possible outcomes when tossing a die are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The set would be {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}.


Scale drawings

A drawing, which maintains proportions, shown bigger or smaller than real life. Common examples include maps or house plans.

Example


Scale factor

A measurement of how much a diagram has been enlarged or reduced in a scale diagram.

Example


Scalene triangle

A triangle which has sides of different lengths and where all angles are different.

Example


Scientific notation

  • Used for writing very large or very small numbers.
  • Also called standard notation.

Examples

  • Population of the Earth in 2010 was about 6.82 x 109
  • The mass of an electron is about 9.1 x 10-31kg

Secant

A straight line that passes through two points on a circle or curve.

Example


Section

The flat surface you see after cutting through a solid in any direction.

Example


Sector

Part of a circle between 2 radii (plural of radius).

Example


Sector graph

  • A circle divided into sectors to illustrate parts of a whole.
  • Also called a pie chart.

Example

Sports played:


Segment

The part of a circle that is between a chord and the circumference.

Example


Semicircle

Half a circle.

Example


Sharing

To divide into equal or unequal groups.

Example

Sharing 10 apples between 5 children gives 2 apples each.


Significant figures

The digits considered to be significant in reporting a measurement, irrespective of the location of the decimal place.

Example

  • Population of the Earth in 2010 was about 6.82 x 109
  • The mass of an electron is about 9.1 x 10-31kg

Similar figures

Two figures that look the same but one is an enlargement of the other. All proportions are maintained.

Example


Simple interest

  • Simple interest is the interest calculated on the original investment amount or the amount borrowed (the principal).
  • Simple interest is also called flat rate interest.

Example

I = PRT where:

I = the simple interest

P = the principal

R = the interest rate per period, expressed as a decimal

T =  the number of time periods.


Simplified box-and-whisker plot

A diagram that indicates the middle 50% of the scores, with a box with lines (whiskers) drawn to the extremes (end scores).


Skew lines

Skew lines never touch each other but are not parallel. Skew lines only exist in 3D figures.

Example


Skewed distribution

Most of the data is clustered at one end.

Example


Skip counting

Counting forwards or backwards in groups or multiples of a particular number.

Example

4, 8, 12, ....


Slant height

Slant height is the height from the base to the apex along a surface. This is at an angle to the base, not perpendicular.

Example


Slide

To move the position without rotating it or turning it over. This is also called a translation.

Example


Solid

Is any 3D (three-dimensional) object. The three dimensions are length, width and depth.

Example


Sphere

A perfectly round 3D object. Globe and sphere are interchangeable terms.

Example


Split strategy

Mental computation method where numbers are 'split' into their place value to make it easier to add them.

Example

for 46 + 33 the numbers are split to become:

(40 + 30 + 6 + 3) =
70 + 9 = 79


Square

Is a polygon with 4 straight sides where all sides are equal in length. The opposite sides are parallel and the 4 angles are all right angles (90°).

Example


Square number

The result of multiplying a number by itself.

Example

16 is a square number – it has 4 rows of 4, so 4 x 4 = 16


Square prism

  • A 3D solid with 2 parallel bases that are squares of the same size and shape (ie are congruent).
  • Its other faces are squares, rectangles or parallelograms.
  • It is called a cube if all its other faces are also squares.

Example


Square pyramid

  • A 3D (three-dimensional) solid with a square as its base.
  • Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).

Example


Square root

  • A positive number that can be multiplied by itself to give this number.
  • The opposite operation of squaring.
  • Indicated by the square root symbol √.

Example

√25 = 5 since 5 x 5 = 25


Standard deviation

A standard measure of the average spread of the scores about the mean.


Stem and leaf plot

  • A way of representing small data sets.
  • It shows the shape of the distribution.
  • The left column contains the stem and the right column contains the leaf.

Example


Step graphs

  • A line graph with broken horizontal intervals.
  • Used when the values stay the same for a period of time, e.g. parking costs.

Example


Straight angle

An angle measuring 180°.


Strategy

A way of working something out using known relationships, patterns and operations.


Subitising

Immediately recognising the number of objects in a small collection without having to count them.

Example

Seeing 5 immediately, without counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


Subtract

  • Taking one number or amount away from another.
  • This is the opposite of addition.
  • Decrease, subtract, subtraction and take away are interchangeable terms.

Example


Subtraction

  • Taking one number or amount away from another.
  • This is the opposite of addition.
  • Decrease, subtract, subtraction and take away are interchangeable terms.

Example


Sum

  • The process of combining collections of objects into a larger collection.
  • This is the opposite of subtraction.
  • Add, addition, plus and sum are interchangeable terms.

Example

Combining a collection of things together:


Supplementary angles

Supplementary angles add up to 180 degrees.

Example


Surd

  • An old-fashioned term for an irrational number.
  • A number under a √ sign that has no decimal equivalent.

Example

√3 is a (quadratic) surd


Symmetrical

An object or shape has symmetry or is symmetrical when one half is the mirror image of the other half.

Example


Symmetrical distribution

The spread of scores or results is symmetrical.

Example


Symmetry

An object or shape has symmetry or is symmetrical when one half is the mirror image of the other half.

Example


T


Table

A way of presenting information in rows and columns for easy interpretation.

Example

What pets do you own?


Take away

  • Taking one number or amount away from another.
  • This is the opposite of addition.

Example


Tangent

A straight line that touches a circle or curve at only one point.

Example


Ten frame

An empty chart that has 2 rows of 5. This frame helps children to visualise the numbers 1 to 10.

Example


Tessellating

Fits together without any spaces or overlaps.

Example


Tetrahedron

A 3D (three-dimensional) object with 4 faces.

Example


Three-dimensional

  • Three-dimensions defines a space as having length, width and depth.
  • Three-dimensional and 3D are interchangeable terms.
  • Shapes are two-dimensional, objects are three-dimensional.

Example

A solid shape has 3 dimensions


Three-dimensional object (3D)

Has 3 dimensions – length, width and breadth – and has surfaces that are curved, flat or a combination of both. Flat surfaces that meet at the edges are called faces.

Example

A solid shape has 3 dimensions


Times tables

The products of numbers 0 to 10 multiplied by each other. Students are encouraged to learn and appreciate a range of mental strategies to work out the answers.

Multiplications may be shown in an organised way (such as the examples below) to assist in memorising the answers.

Multiplication table and times table are interchangeable terms

Examples

The 5 times table:

1 x 5 = 5

2 x 5 = 10

3 x 5 = 15

4 x 5 = 20

5 x 5 = 25

6 x 5 = 30

7 x 5 = 35

8 x 5 = 40

9 x 5 = 45

10 x 5 = 50


Trading

Changing a quantity into smaller or bigger parts without changing its value. This method is used to make calculations easier.

Example

541 minus 127 involves trading:


Translation

The result of sliding a figure without turning or flipping it, while maintaining its size.

Example


Transversal

A straight line that crosses two or more other lines.

Example


Trapezium

A quadrilateral with at least one set of parallel lines.

Example


Travel graphs

  • A travel graph shows a journey.
  • The time is marked on the horizontal axis.
  • The distance from home (or the starting point) is shown on the vertical axis.

Example

Dan's walking track


Tree diagram

A branching diagram used to list all the outcomes of a sequence of events.


Triangle

A polygon with 3 straight sides and 3 angles. The sum of the angles in a triangle is 180°.

Example


Triangular numbers

Number that can be represented by a triangular pattern of dots.

Example

The first three triangular numbers 1, 3 and 6 can be represented by:


Triangular prism

  • A 3D (three-dimensional) solid with 2 parallel ends that are triangles of the same size and shape (ie are congruent).
  • All its other faces are rectangles.

Example

Triangular pyramid

A pyramid with a triangle as its base. Its other faces are triangles that meet at a common point (vertex).

Example


Turn

  • To rotate around a point.
  • Can be done by turns or a given number of degrees.
  • Rotate and turn are interchangeable terms.

Example


Turnaround facts

  • Turn around facts show you are able to add and multiply numbers in any order (you are able to turn them around) and the answer will not change.
  • Commutative law, commutativity and turn-around facts are interchangeable terms.

Twenty-four hour time

  • A division of the day into 24 hours, starting from midnight (00:00) through to 11:59pm (23:59).
  • 24 hour clock and twenty-four hour time are interchangeable terms.

Example

7:30 in the morning is 7:30 or 07:30, but 7:30 at night is 19:30 (midday 12:00 plus 7 1/2 hours).


Two-dimensional (2D)

Having 2 dimensions – length and width.

Example

A flat shape has 2 dimensions


U


Uniform cross-section

A cross section that is the same size and shape throughout a solid.

Example

This solid has a uniform cross-section:

This solid does not have a uniform cross-section:


Unit fraction

A fraction that has a numerator of 1.

Example


Units of length

Standard length units include:

millimetres (mm), centimetres (cm), metres (m), kilometres (km) and nautical miles (nm)

10 mm = 1 cm

100 cm = 1 m

1000m = 1 km

1852km = 1 nm

Example


Units of time

Time is measured in units such as seconds, minutes, and hours. 60 seconds = 1 minute 60 minutes = 1 hour 24 hours = 1 day

Example


Units of volume

Standard volume units include:

centimetres cubed (cm3), metres cubed (m3) and kilometres cubed (km3).

Example


V


Vertex

  • A point where 3 or more edges of an object meet.
  • The plural of vertex is vertices.

Example

A cube has 8 vertices


Vertical

A line that is at right angles to a horizontal plane.

Example


Vertical algorithm

A step-by-step method of addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.

Example


Vertically opposite angles

Vertically opposite angles are created when two lines cross. These angles are equal in size.

Example


View

Solid shapes look different depending on where they are seen from, eg front view, side view, top view.

Example

Different views of this solid


Volume

The amount of space taken up by an object or substance, measured in cubic units.

Example

This shape has a volume of 6 cubic units


W


Weight

Mass and weight are interchangeable in everyday usage but weight is a force which changes with gravity, while mass remains constant.

Example


W


Whole number

Any number that is not or does not include a fraction or a decimal.

Example

2 or 84 or 6000


Z


Zero index

Any number (not equal to zero) to the power of zero is equal to one.

Example

20 = 1, 50 = 1, 230 = 1

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