Parents who use math vocabulary when speaking with their children help
them to have a better basis for understanding mathematical concepts. If you know
the meaning of these terms, use them and explain them when you use them. If
there are some that you don’t know, find out what they mean and make an effort
to incorporate them into your speech and activity.
Helping a child to feel secure in math is easier done when she is
younger. It usually doesn’t take too much practice to get children comfortable
with many of these concepts. It’s just a matter of introducing a word or
phrase, using it, showing the context, and practicing it on a regular basis.
This list of math terminology can get you started.
circle, triangle, rectangle, square, rhombus, parallelogram, hexagon, octagon,
pentagon, sides, line, point, round
sphere, cube, pyramid, polyhedron, dome, ball, obelisk, geometry
half, third, quarter, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, etc.
percent, decimal point
one, two, three, etc.
first, second, third, etc.
numeral, digit, integer, pattern, next, figure, number sequence, counting, even,
odd, every other, infinite, infinity, calculate
inch, foot, yard, square foot, cubic foot, mile, square miles, acre, bushel,
centimeter, millimeter, meter, kilometer, hectare
cup, ounce, pound, half-pint, pint, quart, gallon, barrel
second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century, millennium,
annual, anniversary, biannual, centennial, sesquicentennial, bicentennial,
add, plus, subtract, minus, multiply, times, divide, number sentence, equation,
answer, sum, difference, product, result, least to greatest, greatest to least,
missing, most like, the most, the least, square root, pi
cent, dollar, penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, dollar
the same as, less than, fewer than, more than, equal to, as many as
graph, axis, point, chart
point, line, angle, obtuse, right angle, 45°, 90°, 180 °, 360°
This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacher’s Advice for Parents.