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# Vocabulary in Mathematics Classrooms

By D. W. Moore |S.A. Moore|P.M. Cunningham| J.W. Cunningham
Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall

When most people think of mathematics they think of numbers, but math is a subject with its own very particular vocabulary, and if you don’t know precisely what its words and symbols mean, you just can’t do mathematics! Here are some activities teachers use which help students master the language of math.

### A Symbol Board

Cover a bulletin board or attach a banner to your wall and add symbols to it as they are introduced. Put the symbol and a “class-created, user-friendly” definition. Add pictures and opposites as appropriate. Use different colored markers and make it as appealing as possible

### Math Morphemes

The Word Bench activity in which you ask your students if they know any other words that look and sound like a new mathematics term and if they think any of these words might be related will help your students become more morphologically sophisticated. In addition, you have the unique opportunity to teach your students the meaning for some morphemes that occur most commonly in mathematics words. Seize this opportunity when introducing one of these words because your students might not meet these morphemes in any of their other classes:

 Morpheme Math Usage General Usage bi (two) cent (hundred) circu (around) co, con (with) dec (ten) dia (through) equi (equal) inter (between) kilo (thousand) milli (thousand) peri (around) poly (many) quadr (four) tri (thre bisect, binomial, bimodal centimeter, percent circle, circumference coefficient, cosine, collinear decimal, decagon diagonal, diameter equilateral, equiangular intersect, interpolate kilometer, kilogram millimeter, milligram perimeter polygon, polynomial quadrant, quadruple triangle, triple bicycle, bifocals, bilingual century, centipede circumvent, circumstances cocaptains, coordinate, concurrent decade, decibel dialogue, diagram equator, equinox, equitable interception, international kilowatt millennium, million periphery, periscope, periodontal polygamy, polyunsaturated quadrangle, quadruped tricycle, tripod, trilogy

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