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Commonly Used Terms in Singapore Math

Array- An array is a pictorial representation, a picture of rows of dots, to help children understand multiplication and times tables.


Arrow Cards- Arrow cards are a math tool useful for explaining place value and how to partition numbers (separate them into ones, tens, hundreds etc.)

Ascending Order- the arrangement of numbers (or any other item) in an order starting from smallest to largest.

Bar Chart- A form of graph that displays information using rectangular bars of different heights, according to their numerical value.


Bar Model - A method that uses diagrams of rectangular bars to represent maths problems in a visual way, making them easier to see which operation to use to work out a calculation.

CPA Approach - Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract Approach- A way of teaching mathematical concepts and theories in various stages, in order to help children fully understand and master what they are learning.

The concrete stage involves using items, models and objects, giving children a chance to be ‘hands-on’.

Descending Order - the arrangement of numbers (or any other item) in an order starting from largest to smallest value.

Difference- The answer or solution when numbers are subtracted from one another. Often used when comparing values.

Digit – Individual numbers are called digits. Numbers are made up of digits (0, 1, 2, 3, ... 9)

Graph - a graph can be defined as a pictorial representation or a diagram that represents data or values in an organized manner. 

Grid - A set of uniformly spaced lines used to help us accurately draw graphs etc. Also help in understanding multiplication.

Mass - The mass of an object is how much it weighs and is usually measured in grams and kilograms. For example, the mass of a bag of sugar is 1 kilogram.

Number Bond - Pairs of numbers that make up a given number.

Number Facts- Number facts are simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division calculations that children should be able to mentally recall easily. For example, 50 + 50 = 100 or 2 x 2 = 4 are number facts.

Number Line -number line is a horizontal line with markings to show the position of numbers relative to each other.

Number Pattern- A repeated pattern or sequence in a series of numbers.

Number Sentence -number sentence is an arrangement of numbers and symbols that express the math steps being followed.  Example: 6 + 7 = 13 (addition number sentence), 45 - 6 = 39 (subtraction number sentence), 8 x 9 = 72 (multiplication number sentence), 48 ÷ 8 = 6 (division number sentence).

Order of Numbers – Numbers written in a particular sequence, either in ascending order (from small to big) or descending order (from big to small).


Ordinal Numbers - Numbers that refer to position. They can be written as numerals (eg. 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) or words (eg. first, second, third...)


Place/Place Value - Place refers to the position of the digit in a number. Place Value is the value of the digit. The value of each digit depends on its place or position.


Picture Graph - A pictorial display of data with symbols, icons, and pictures to represent different quantities


Product- The answer or solution when numbers are multiplied with one another. Often used when finding a total number in equal groups.

Quotient - The answer or solution when numbers are divided by one another. Often used to find out how many smaller equal groups.


Regroup - To regroup means to rearrange groups in place values of tens, hundreds, thousands etc to carry out an operation that involves addition or subtraction with 2 digit or larger numbers.


Sum- The answer or solution when numbers are added together. Often used when finding a total value.


Two-Step and Multi-Step Problems -two-step problem is a word problem that requires two operations to solve it; a multi-step problem requires more than two operations before the solution can be found.


Volume - a measure of how much space taken up by an (3-dimensional) object.


2D- Having only two dimensions, such as width and height but no thickness. Squares, Circles, Triangles, etc are two-dimensional objects.


3D- Having three dimensions (such as height, width and depth), like any object in the real world. Cubes, spheres, cylinders etc. are three-dimensional.

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