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.
shapes:
circle, triangle, rectangle, square, rhombus, parallelogram, hexagon, octagon,
pentagon, sides, line, point, round
threedimensional
shapes:
sphere, cube, pyramid, polyhedron, dome, ball, obelisk, geometry
fractions:
half, third, quarter, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, etc.
decimals:
percent, decimal point
cardinal
numbers:
one, two, three, etc.
ordinal
numbers:
first, second, third, etc.
number
sense:
numeral, digit, integer, pattern, next, figure, number sequence, counting, even,
odd, every other, infinite, infinity, calculate
measuring,
imperial system:
inch, foot, yard, square foot, cubic foot, mile, square miles, acre, bushel,
peck,
measuring,
metric:
centimeter, millimeter, meter, kilometer, hectare
measuring
liquids, imperial:
cup, ounce, pound, halfpint, pint, quart, gallon, barrel
measuring
liquids, metric:
liter
time:
second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century, millennium,
annual, anniversary, biannual, centennial, sesquicentennial, bicentennial,
calendar
math
functions:
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
money:
cent, dollar, penny, nickel, dime, quarter, halfdollar, dollar
comparisons:
the same as, less than, fewer than, more than, equal to, as many as
recording:
graph, axis, point, chart
geometry:
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.
