Inspiring to Inspire Maths


Common Symbols and Their Meanings

This poster shows the symbols that are associated with the four operations of number.  As adults, these symbols are totally familiar to us. What is hard to remember when working on any of these with your child, is that until he/she also becomes familiar with them they are hard to learn.

Lots of practise of each of the four rules using objects and the connected mathematical vocabulary will help your child to really understand what concept each of the symbols represents.

We have highlighted the = symbol in particular as many adults, teachers included, just assume that children know what it means.

Work with balance scales shows, in a concrete way, exactly what is meant by the symbol = you could even have some fun with your child making a set of balance scales to work with. We found one here how to make a balance scale with children but there are many others out there on the internet.