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Oblong Or Rectangle ?


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I'm doing a mini theme on shapes at the moment. We've always used the term "rectangle", but on a Nursery Education poster that I would like to use, they use "oblong" (which I was taught as a child).

 

I do find that children muddle the terms rectangle and triangle, so oblong would be easier, but those who know the name already know it as "rectangle". I'm sure my own children who are further up the school now call it an "oblong".

The curriculum guidance is no help at all.

 

Which term should I use with my Nursery children?

 

Thanks, Jackie

 

:oxD

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Hi Jackie,

 

Some time ago I had the same question when I used that NE issue. They made a clarification in a later issue. This is sort of what they wrote:

 

oblong [show phonetics]

noun [C]

an object or shape that is longer than it is wide, especially a four-sided flat shape with four angles of 90° and opposite sides of equal length

 

rectangle [show phonetics]

noun [C]

a flat shape with four 90° angles and four sides, with opposite sides of equal length

 

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp...54733&dict=CALD

 

This means that what children now call a rectangle is indeed an oblong :) . Bye these definitions, a square is also a rectangle. I wonder when and where this confusion started around the world :o.

 

Have a nice summer!

Edited by SmileyPR
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Hi Jackie

 

I asked the reception teacher and she said rectangle so that is what we use ... perhaps we should use both (CLL extending their vocabulary and exploring the meanings of new words)

 

 

Quote from practical preschool "Rectangle or oblong ... both of these shapes are rectangles. Unfortunately we tend to use the word rectangle when we mean oblong. The rectangle is not just a shape but it is a shape family, a family which contains both squares and oblongs"

 

 

Carol

Edited by Carol
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I know we discussed this before, but I cant find it.

 

We use the term oblong because its the correct terminology and its easier for children to see the 'long' sides in the word ob...long.

The dfficulty is the usage in common culture which chidren also need to be familiar with. Many books use the term rectangle, which of course isnt wrong, but the rectangle does refer to ANY shape with 4 sides and 4 right angles. Carol explains this very well. thanks Carol.

 

Books often say

 

'this is a reactangle...it has 2 long sides and 2 short sides'..

This is then incorrect, and here the term oblong should be used.

 

If children are already using the term rectangle, then we tend to say, yes it is a rectangle but its a special kind of rectangle called an oblong.

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I have asked several Maths consultants this thorny question and they came up with rectangle, but we know that an oblong is correct for a shape with 'two sides long snd two sides short'...so why don't we all make the decision to use oblong. There are enough of us on here to spread the word!!! :o

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Whenever I've taught it I've always used both words. The children learn that there are often more than 1 word to mean the same thing, and like people have noticed different resources use the different names, so I've always taught them both. The children have never had any difficulty taking that on.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I shall definitely introduce both names this week. I hadn't thought about the fact that the "long" of "oblong" could help the children associate the word with the shape (length of sides).

 

Jackie

:o:)

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