Thursday, April 3, 2014

Math Vocabulary Fun (free new resource!)

This morning, one of my math students reflected on a comment heard at home. "My mom doesn't get why we say 'product' instead of just saying 'the answer.'"

This led to a fabulous conversation in which students explained how specific vocabulary leads you to understand what operation is being performed. They listed and defined vocabulary for different "answers":
  • Sum
  • Difference
  • Product
  • Quotient
Math Vocabulary Cards
I then introduced a free new app (also available as an online tool) that provides ample opportunity to explore mathematical vocabulary. Each Math Vocabulary Card includes:
  1. the word
  2. the definition
  3. a visual
Any of these components can be hidden. This morning I chose a smattering of vocabulary that complemented our discussion (sum, difference, etc.) and also included some concepts that we've been recently studying. I set the program to flip through that limited set of cards and covered the upper left section, masking the vocabulary word. So, for example, I showed them this card:

After most of them had a word in mind, I revealed the answer:

I sent the link home in an email, encouraging students to use the vocabulary cards at home with their parents. I suggested they mask different portions of the screen; they loved the idea of quizzing their parents!

The vocab cards include sets for grades K-2 or 3-5 and can be explored by specific math category. One click takes you from English to Spanish definitions/vocabulary.

This free app (also available as an online resource) from The Math Learning Center can be accessed at Math Vocabulary Cards.

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