Third Grade Math Vocabulary

How is the moon like a dollar?
When do giraffes have eight feet?
What did one math book say to the other math book?
(Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the answers to the math riddles. )


When we think of the word literacy, we think of reading and writing, but there is also mathematical literacy!  It is important that students know, understand, and apply math vocabulary associated with Johnsburg District 12's Mathematics Curriculum and Power Standards, and ISBE's Third Grade Mathematics Core Standards to be successful in mathematics this year, and far beyond.  

In order to support students with the many mathematical vocabulary terms we attempt to master, each student has a "Mathematician Vocabulary Book", we have posters to support our vocabulary hung around our room, and we come up with mneumonics to help us remember the words and meanings. I believe in posting things as we learn them, so the students know it was put there just for them!  We also do a lot of creating together.  By taking ownership, I see the students using their resources.   

Please look below to see some of these things in action, 
as well as clicking on links to some of our posters.

"Mathematician's Vocabulary Book"

Students work throughout the year adding new vocabulary to their books.  They give a description (definition), examples, their ideas, and a sentence.  I adapted this idea from reading about math vocabulary on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) website.

IMG_2672.JPG  IMG_2673.JPG
Some students are writing in their Math Vocabulary Books.

IMG_2674.jpg     IMG_2675.jpg
This is what our Math Terms Book looks like.  The front bag opens to store any items students use to help with vocabulary lessons.  Here is a letter A we are using for learning about flips, slides, and turns.  Later the same letter A will be used for a symmetry lesson.

IMG_2676.jpg     IMG_2677.jpg
Samples of Student Pages

IMG_2678.jpg     IMG_2679.jpg
Samples of Student Pages

Sample of a Student Page

I had a parent helper make our Math Vocabulary Books. 
She used two paper bags, three metal brads, a book cover,
and inserted thirty vocabulary pages
When you have enough terms, it's fun to play Math Vocabulary Bingo
with your class, or at home if you are using this resource.

Our Math Vocabulary Words Posters:

Please click below to see some of our math posters displayed in our classroom.  The posters are categorized by topic, backed with like-colored paper, and hung together so students can find them easily. 
For example, all of the probability posters have a yellow border and are hung together in a cluster.


Answers to riddles:

A moon is like a dollar because they have four quarters!
Giraffes have eight feet when there are four of them!
One math book said to another, "Wow, have I got problems!".