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Math Vocabulary Ring

Here's a great way for parents to reinforce the importance of math vocabulary at home.
on August 19, 2014

Using appropriate math language is an integral part of children's understanding in today's math class. As a math teacher, I always pushed my students to use strong math talk in our classroom discussions as well as in their explanations. Once I taught the word product, I never allowed my students to use answer when talking about multiplication. So instead of "the answer is ..." they would need to correct themselves and say "the product is..." Encouraging students to use accurate language not only enriched our discussions but made a greater impact on their understanding. Students as young as kindergarten are taught to use math vocabulary. For example, in geometry, kindergartners are taught to refer to "corners" of 3-dimensional shapes as "vertices." Second graders are introduced to odd and even numbers while fourth graders learn about prime and composite numbers.


A great way for parents to reinforce the importance of math vocabulary is to create a vocabulary ring at home. Every time a new word is introduced in the classroom, it can be added to the ring at home to help study from and enhance the understanding of the word.


All you need is: 

Multi-colored index cards 

Single hole punch 

1-ring clip


One vocabulary word is written on each index card in any way that is best for your child. In math, I always made my students give an example along with the definition. So the word was on one side with the definition and example on the other. I like to use different colored index cards to represent each unit so children can visually see the relationship between different words in each chapter or unit.This strategy can also be used from year to year with different grade levels. For example, 1st grade are all yellow index cards, 2nd grade is green cards, and so on. This way children can keep building on the vocabulary they are learning from year to year!!


Use the hole punch to make holes in one corner of the index cards and clip them all together. And you have a math vocabulary ring!!!!


Students can use this nightly for homework help or when studying for a test. Either way will make a huge impact on their learning!

About this blog

Scholastic Parents is a trusted source of expert advice on reading and learning. In the Learning Toolkit blog, get quick and easy tips on how to support your child’s learning at home. From playing a fun game of creating new words during dinner to solving bedtime math stories and using easy tricks to try with homework problems, this blog offers simple suggestions for supporting your child’s development at every age and every stage.

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