# Math Words (Vocabulary List, Teaching Ideas, and Free Printables)

So much of math teaching is actually language teaching as well. There are quite a few math vocabulary words kids must understand in order to learn math concepts. It’s like a whole other language! That’s where these free printable math vocabulary lists and cards come in handy.

There are two lists: one for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-6. Each set of words is organized by concept strand and then alphabetized for easy use. There will be some overlap and you may find, depending on your class, that you will use words from both lists.

The printable cards are great for creating a word wall and for a variety of learning activities. As you introduce a concept, consider adding each new vocabulary word to the word wall. In fact, some teachers like to add pictures or examples to the word wall. You could do this or invite students to take turns helping to “manage” and “enhance” the word wall. Then use the cards for some of the activities below to engage and excite students about learning the “language of math.”

Activities Using Math Word Lists and Cards

## Math Vocabulary for Grades K-3

### Numbers and Operations

classify, column, combine, compare, compute, count

difference, digit, division, double

each, equal, equivalent, estimate, exact, expanded, extra information

fact, factor, fewer, first (second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth)

greater than, group

hundred

least, left over, less

many, match, middle, minuend, minus, missing, model, more, multiplication, multiply

number, number line, numeral

operations

place value (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands), plus, product

regroup, related facts, Roman numerals, rounding

same, sign, skip-count, solve, subtract, subtraction, sum

total

whole

### Geometry and Spatial Relations

alike, angle, area, attribute blocks

box

center, circle, closed, cone, congruent, connect, construct, corner, corresponding, cube, curve, curved, cylinder

edge, end point

face, figure, flat, flip

geometry

hexagon, horizontal

inside

on, open, outside

parallelogram, pentagon, point

rectangle, root, rotate, round, ruler

same shape, same size, segment, side, size, solid, sphere, square, stairs, straight, symmetry (line of symmetry)

tessellation, tile, tilt, triangle, tube, turn

vertical

whole, width

### Measurement

apart, area

capacity, Celsius, centimeter (cm), cubic unit

decimeter (dm), degree, dimension, distance, dozen

empty

Fahrenheit, feet, foot

gallon (gal), gram (g)

height

inch

kilogram (kg), kiloliter (kl), kilometer (km)

length, linear unit, liter (l)

measure, measurement, meter (m), meter stick, metric unit, mile, milligram (mg), milliliter (ml), millimeter (mm)

ounce (oz)

perimeter, pint, pound

quart

rectangular, ruler

scale

tablespoon, teaspoon, temperature, thermometer

volume

weight, width

yard, yardstick

### Time

after, afternoon, a.m., analog

before, birthday, breakfast

calendar, clock (long hand, short hand)

daily, date, days, days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday), digital

early, evening

half hour, hour

late

midday, minute, minutes, month, months (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December), morning

night, noon

p.m.

quarter hour

season, seasons, second, seconds

time, today, tomorrow, tonight

watch, week

year, yesterday

### Money

cent, change, cost

dime, dollar

half-dollar

money

nickel

pay, penny

quarter

save, sell, spend

average

bar graph

data

grid

picture graph

## Math Vocabulary for Grades 4-6

### Numbers and Operations

actual, adjacent, alternative, approximately, array, associative property, at least, at most

calculate, cardinal, common multiple, composite number

decimal, decimal point, determine, distributive property, dividend, divisor

extrapolate

factor

geometric pattern

if … then, infinite set, insufficient information

magic square, member, multiple, multiplication, multiplier

natural number, natural order

place value, prime, prime factorization, problem, product, property, proportion

quotient

ratio, remainder, repeating decimal, rule

score, statement

terminate, times

value

### Geometry

altitude, angle (acute, obtuse, right), arc, axis

base

circle (center, diameter, radius, semicircle), compass, construction, coordinates

diagonal, diagram

hemisphere

image, intersect

line, line of symmetry, line segment

parallel, perimeter, perpendicular, pi, plane, polygon, population density, prism (square, triangular), pyramid (square, triangular)

radius, ray, reallotment, reflections, rotations (half-turn, quarter-turn)

scale drawing, semicircle, similar, surface area, symmetrical, symmetry

translation, trapezoid, triangle (equilateral, right, isosceles, scalene)

vertex, view (front, side, top)

### Measurement

capacity

estimate

ounce (oz)

perimeter, protractor

quart

scale, square foot, square inch, square meter, square mile

ton

### Time

century

Earth rotation (day), Earth orbit (year)

month (moon)

seasons

yearly

### Money

cash, currency

deposit

withdraw, withdrawal

### Data Analysis

broken-line graph

descriptive statistics

equally likely events

factor tree, frequency

generalization

histogram

inference, interpolate, interpret

line graph, line plot

mean, median, midway, mode

ordered pair, outcome

probability

random range, ratio

sample, scale drawing, simple event, statistics

## Activities Using the Math Word List and Cards

### What Is It?

Give each student a white board or a piece of paper and something to write with. As you introduce a word, for example “square,” hold up the vocabulary card and ask, “What is this? Can you draw it or write an example?” You can use almost any words, such as addition equation, two-digit number, quadrilateral, sum, and so on.

Some words might require more words, numbers, and/or drawings. Make sure students understand by doing a couple of examples. After you ask the question and show the word card, take a walk around to look at and have students share their responses.

### Math Word Concentration

Using index cards, write a vocabulary word on one and on another an example or picture. On the back of each pair, write the same number. Make at least 10 pairs depending on the concept you are working on.

Mix the cards up and put them face down on a table or floor with a dividing line between words on one side and examples on the other (a piece of yarn works well here). Have students take turns flipping two cards over trying to find a match of word card and example card. You can play as individuals or teams.

It’s a lot of fun and a great learning experience to have students make their own card sets to share with the class.

### Math Clue Cards

Using the cards created for Concentration (see above), choose a word card and describe or give clues to the targeted word. For example, for the word “square,” you might say, “It has four sides, all four sides are straight, all four sides are of equal length.” Demonstrate this a few times, and then let students take turns picking cards and supplying clues.

### Can You Use It in a Sentence?

Using the Concentration cards again, put the cards in a stack, face down. Have a student turn over the top card and use the word in a sentence that demonstrates understanding. For example, let’s say a student picks the word “Add.” An acceptable sentence that shows understanding could be, “When I add 2 + 2, I get a sum of 4.” An unacceptable answer, one that doesn’t show understanding, would be, “I like to add.” Give these as examples so everyone understands the criteria for a good answer.

You can play this as a class, small group, or partners.

### Math Word Bingo

Prepare bingo cards or sheets with the math vocabulary words you want students to practice.  For younger students, a bingo card with eight spaces is a good start. For older students, the card can have up to 25 spaces (with a “Free Space” in the center).

There are a few ways to play. You could start by having a helper student pick a card from a pile and read it out loud. Players mark that square with whatever token you’d like to use. Once they have a row or column filled in, they call out, “Math Bingo!”

Another way to play is to call out a definition or example and have players hunt for the math vocabulary word that matches the example. You could also reverse that by preparing cards with examples and having helpers call out the vocabulary words. There are lots of ways to have fun with this game!

## Get Your Free Math Vocabulary Word Printables

Print copies of the word list and cards to keep on hand for word walls, teaching examples, and for games and activities like the ones described above.