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a b c e f i m n o p r s t


Any quantity being added to another quantity (e.g., in the expression 32 + 57, both 32 and 57 are addends).


Characteristics of 2-D shapes and 3-D objects that can be used to compare and sort sets of 2-D shapes and 3-D objects (e.g., colour, relative size, number of corners, number of lines of symmetry).


Numeric quantities used to compare and order other numeric quantities. For example, 0, 5, 10, and 20 are often used as benchmarks when placing whole numbers on a number line.

Concrete Graph

A graph which uses actual objects to show how often something occurs.

Correspondence (one-to-one)

A correspondence is a description of how one set of numbers (or objects) is mapped to a second set of objects. For example, a correspondence might describe how individual students can sit in a given number of chairs. One-to-one correspondence can also be used to determine if there are enough, too many or just the right number of apples in order for each child to have exactly one apple.

Equality as a Balance and Inequality as Imbalance

The equal sign represents the idea of equivalence. For many students it means do the question. For some students, the equal sign in an expression such as 2 + 5 = means to add. When exploring equality and inequality by using objects on a balance scale, students discover the relationships between and among the mass of the objects. The equal sign in an equation is like a scale: both sides, left and right, must be the same in order for the scale to stay in balance and the equation to be true. When the scale is imbalanced, the equation is not true. Using 2 + 5 = , rather than simply 2 + 5 = helps students understand that the equal sign (=) represents equality rather than " do the work" or " do the question".

Familiar Arrangements

Arrangements of objects or pictures that do not need to be counted to determine the quantity such as on dice, cards, and bowling pins. Some documents refer to this as subitizing (instantly seeing how many). This is a visual process in which the quantity is known instantly rather than moving eyes from one object to the other.


Disciplines connected by common concepts and skills embedded in disciplinary outcomes.


In a subtraction sentence, the quantity that is being decreased (e.g., in the subtraction sentence 84 – 55, 84 is the minuend).


Discipline outcomes organized around a theme and learned through the structure of the disciplines.

Number, Numeral, Digit

A number is the name that we give to quantities. For example, there are 7 days in a week, or I have three brothers - both seven and three are numbers in these situations because they are defining a quantity. The symbolic representation of a number, such as 287, is called the numeral. If 287 is not being used to define a quantity, we call it a numeral.

Numerals, as the symbolic representation of numbers, are made up of a series of digits. The Hindu-Arabic number system that we use has ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. (Note: sometimes students are confused between these digits and their finger digits – this is because they count their fingers starting at one and get to ten rather than zero to nine). These digits are also numerals and can be numbers (representing a quantity), but all numbers and all numerals are combinations of digits. The placement of a digit in a number or numeral affects the place value of the digit, and hence how much of the quantity that it represents. For example, in 326, the 2 is contributing 20 to the total, while in 236 the 2 contributes 200 to the total quantity.


Object is used to refer to a three-dimensional geometrical figure. To distinguish this meaning from that of shape, the word "object" is preceded by the descriptor "3-D".

Personal Strategies

Personal strategies are strategies that the students have constructed and understand. Outcomes and indicators that specify the use of personal strategies convey the message that there is not a single procedure that is correct. Students should be encouraged to explore, share, and make decisions about what strategies they will use in different contexts. Development of personal strategies is an indicator of the attainment of deeper understanding.


A graph which uses pictures or symbols to show how often something occurs.


A concrete representation of a quantity. For example, seeing what 25 beans in a container looks like makes it possible to estimate the number of beans the same container will hold when it is full of the same kind of beans. Compensation must be made if the container is filled with smaller or larger beans than the referent or if the size or shape of the container is changed.


Mathematical ideas can be represented and manipulated in a variety of forms including concrete manipulatives, visual designs, sounds, physical movements, and symbolic notations. Students need to have experiences in working with many different types of representations, and in transferring and translating knowledge between the different forms of representations.


In this curriculum, shape is used to refer to two-dimensional geometric figures and is thus preceded by "2-D". The term shape is sometimes also used in mathematics resources and conversations to refer to three-dimensional geometric figures. It is important that students learn to be clear in identifying whether their use of the term shape is in reference to a 2-D or 3-D geometrical figure.


In a subtraction statement, the quantity that is being subtracted (e.g., in the subtraction statement 90 – 26, 26 is the subtrahend).


All knowledge interconnected and interdependent; real-life contexts emphasized and investigated through student questions.

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