No oblongs allowed
This particular controversy about oblongs and rectangles, however, has been going on for as long as I can remember. Working as a maths advisory teacher, I was constantly asked which word was correct. I prefer rectangle myself as it is a more mathematical word, and I am quite happy to regard a square as a special case of rectangle. However, some people, when thinking about the set of rectangles, need another word for the non-squares and oblong is a perfectly good word to use to describe such shapes. Such dogmatism about what young children can learn and when is misguided. On the whole I welcomed the NNS vocabulary book as useful guidance as to what mathematical language we should expect from primary children. But it needs to be used as guidance, not as a rigid framework. The idea that young children cannot cope with two names for the same thing is ridiculous - they know they call their mother "mum" but their grandma always calls her by her first name.
Children love the sound of many of the words like rectangle, triangle and hexagon, and they enjoy saying the words. Sometimes they get it wrong and talk about "red tangles" and "blue tangles", because they are the colours of the plastic shapes, but such mistakes can be a useful starting point for a discussion about the correct words.
One Year 2 boy, when sorting some 3-D shapes, was intrigued by a particular box. He asked me for the name of the shape. I told him it was a parallelepiped (a solid body upon which each face is a parallelogram). He repeated the word. He went round chanting the word for days, telling everyone who came into the classroom about this shape with the magical name.
The name of this shape is not required knowledge, even at Year 6, but the thrill of learning about it gave this child the incentive to learn about the ones he needed to know for Year 2.
In retrospect, I wonder if I too should I have been ticked off?