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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why We Have to Teach Math Vocabulary

Do you have any idea how many words students in grades 3, 4, and 5 have to learn? You'll be mind-boggled to learn that there are over 500 words!  😳

Don't take it for granted that students will remember and apply these words without direct teaching. Students need to work with and use the words in their daily language and math journals.  Teach the language of math and use it in conversation whenever possible.

Having a math vocabulary word wall is an absolute must.  I suggest setting it up alphabetically, like a dictionary so students can find words quickly with no time wasted.

Model using the word wall charts.  
When students need a word, simply turn your body toward the word wall, and bob your head as if you're trying to locate just the right poster.  Then wait a few seconds and soon all students know the meaning.  Students will watch how you find the posters and they will do the same.  You won't have to say a word!  Students will refer to the math word wall ALL the time.  As a teacher, all you have to say is . . .  "Wait, the answer's up there on the wall!"

Here's some links that show my OLD (embarrassing!) math word wall posters before I added color and upped my game!   Photo #1    Photo #2    Photo #3     The new posters are MUCH nicer and are designed to match with any classroom decor.
I recently finished creating a set of math words dealing with financial literacy.  Every word was researched, then I wrote definitions in kid friendly language and added a visual.  The posters are designed to be read from across the room.    This set was created by taking all of the words that 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders needed to know PLUS all of the financial literacy words and added them to this MEGA set of 554 math vocabulary posters!   This set is NOT tagged for Common Core, but best of all, the Common Core words ARE included in the set (and lots more).

Enjoy and teach the language of math!

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