Math Vocabulary: Graphic Organizers and Movement

Vocabulary in the math classroom can sometimes be challenging for students. The chart below shows how math vocabulary can be viewed through different lenses.

Math vocabulary can have multiple meanings. Think about the word gross. A math gross (noun) is very different than a gross (adjective) mess. Some vocabulary words are specific to math, so repeated exposure outside the math classroom might not happen often. Outside of the context of math, where have you seen the word algebra used? Whether through explicit or implicit instruction, students can benefit from vocabulary instruction that takes on multiple modalities.

When introducing math vocabulary, try using a graphic organizer. The Frayer model lends itself to differentiated math instruction and helps to represent words in more than one way. Click on the image to grab a copy. There are differentiated versions for the different learners in your classroom.

Learning can be enhanced by utilizing movement for instructional purposes. The movement increases sensory input to the brain. (Wolfe 2001) Try adding movement activities to teach and review math vocabulary. If you click the image below, you can find four ways to incorporate movement into the math classroom while teaching/reviewing vocabulary. These activities can be a "brain break" to get students up and moving while still learning! Use words that are part of your math word wall to review. 

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