Resources For Teaching Math Vocabulary And Concepts

Posted by Kristy Beaudry McCain on Jul 20, 2014 12:11:00 AM


Teaching Kids Vocabulary Helps Them To Succeed In Math

Introducing academic vocabulary prior to direct instruction of the lesson is a key teaching technique. This is known a preteaching. Research has shown that people tend to acquire vocabulary after five to seven concrete exposures of the word. Explicit instruction in academic vocabulary is necessary. The word should be introduced along with a picture and representation of the word. Using math texts, or through real-life situations, children can be introduced to the vocabulary of math words and symbols. The brain is more likely to remember connected information and vocabulary. Therefore, using real life situations to practice mathematical vocabulary increases word retention.


Recommended Reads

Readers have the opportunity to enjoy these titles that teach students critical math vocabulary and concepts. These expository texts can be used to introduce students to math words and symbols. These texts offer a great opportunity to enrich student’s educational skills by introducing them to new academic content and vocabulary. Big Universe offers hundreds of titles in many different languages on thousands of topics. Find these informational and engaging texts that help kids learn about mathematics at

thumb-5 Math Words and Symbols

by Lynn Peppas (author) © 2011
ISBN: 9780778797654 AR:

Through real-life situations, children will be introduced to the vocabulary of math words and symbols. Fundamental vocabulary such as “greater than” and “less than,” and the meaning of symbols such as +, _, =, are all explained with engaging photographs and easy-to-understand text.

thumb-1 Line, Bar, and Circle Graphs

by Claire Piddock (author) © 2010
ISBN: 9780778791560 AR:

Lily, the librarian, has started a summer reading club. Children can follow along with the club’s members to learn all about bar, line, and circle graphs, as well as concepts such as data, scale, maximum, and minimum.

thumb Slides, Flips, and Turns

by Claire Piddock (author) © 2010
ISBN: 9780778791621 AR:

Sofia makes a special birthday card for her Grandma by sliding, flipping, and turning shapes. Using the same simple steps, young children will learn about transformations as well as concepts such as diagonal, horizontal, and vertical.

thumb-1 Lines, Segments, Rays, and Angles

by Claire Piddock (author) © 2010
ISBN: 9780778791577 AR:

Grace and Ethan are going to the fair with their Aunt Sarah. Lines and angles are everywhere they look. Young readers will love to follow along with them and learn what lines and angles are.

thumb-2 Measurement

by Penny Dowdy (author) © 2011
ISBN: 9780778790211 AR:

Colorful photographs of measuring tools show the reader how they can measure using common tools at home. This book offers the young reader a clear insight into understanding length, weight, capacity, and temperature.

thumb-3 Geometry

by Penny Dowdy (author) © 2011
ISBN: 9780778790204 AR:

Colorful photographs show the reader how they can understand the properties and relations of points, lines, surfaces, solids, and higher dimensional analogs.

thumb-4 Area

by Dorianne Nardi Marsha Arvoy (author) © 2010
ISBN: 9781427194992

What is area? It is a measure of space or of a place! The kids in Mrs. Jacksons class are learning all about area, and you can, too. See why area is important, what it is used for, and how to measure area in meaningful ways. Soon you will be measuring area in your own everyday experiences.

Connecting To The Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards clearly outline what is expected of students at each grade level. The Common Core State Standards can be found at

The Common Core State Standards offers a mathematics glossary.

For more information on teaching math vocabulary visit

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Big Universe News

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