The Best Resource for Teaching Math Vocabulary

the best resource for teaching math vocabulary

You decided to start using a math word wall. It helps SO much in the classroom, but once students go home they are left to Google the meaning of their vocabulary. What good does that do when there are so many different ways to describe something? The definition may be wrong. The examples may be confusing. Consistency is key and I have the solution for you!

PRINTABLE MATH VOcabulary WORD WALLS

Using a word wall in any subject is an amazing tool that you can give to your students. Since we’ve stopped using traditional dictionaries and textbooks in most schools, students don’t have access to consistent vocabulary words with their definitions and examples. They’ve come to rely on asking their teacher what a word means every time they don’t remember a word’s meaning. Or even worse, they won’t ask at all and will just “skip” it.

4th grade math word wall on bulletin board

I used a word wall while teaching grades 4, 5, and 6 in both math and science. I didn’t have a ton of space to leave up an entire year’s worth of vocabulary, but with every unit, I’d switch out the domain-specific words. Each vocabulary card featured the word, definition, and an example. The visuals are beneficial for all of your students – including ELL and special education students.

I encouraged students to use the vocabulary word walls every time they needed to. I was teaching my students to use their resources and not just rely on asking me what something means. They were even allowed to get up out of their seat and use the word wall during a test if needed. (I didn’t let them take their test or anything to write with along with them. They were not allowed to approach the wall if someone else was there to keep them from talking during a test.) This helped my students develop a natural tendency to seek out information themselves during the school year.

DIGITAL MATH Vocabulary WORD WALLS

Back before Google Classroom existed I had students copy the words and definitions into their notebooks. Sometimes they were able to draw examples. Sometimes it was too difficult to do well enough to get the point across. I wanted a way for students to access our word walls at home but didn’t want to copy pages and pages of vocabulary cards for them.

Now that schools have jumped into digital learning, teachers have found ways to give their students access to resources at home. This is a huge asset! But, not every resource that is created for teachers is meant to go directly into the hands of students. A PDF of word wall cards isn’t going to do a student any good.

digital 5th grade math word wall

To create my printable math word walls for 4th and 5th grade, I pulled words from several states’ curriculums to try to cover as much vocabulary as I could for these grade levels. I knew my digital math word walls had to be something that a teacher could still pick-and-choose their words for and customize.

Digital math word walls are a GAME CHANGER for teachers and students. Teachers can easily recreate their math word wall that is used in the classroom on the virtual classroom bulletin boards I’ve created. Students will have access to the same words, definitions, and examples that they are using in the classroom!

Plus, you can give access to all vocabulary words you’ve learned all year to your students – and add to it as the year progresses. If you use spiral math homework, this makes life SO much easier for you. No more excuses of forgotten math notebooks for remembering definitions. If a student has internet access, they can use your digital math word wall.

USING WITH DISTANCE LEARNING

If you’re teaching virtually this year or in the future, there are a lot of educational tools that you’re now unable to utilize. A word wall doesn’t have to be one of them.

First, decide how you want to use the digital word wall.

  • Do you want to give students access to all of the words at once? There are clickable parts in the Google Slides file that allow students to easily navigate their way through. Just preview the words first and remove any that you don’t feel are relevant to your teaching.
  • Do you only want to include some words and add to it as you teach? You can delete cards off of the word wall and add them back later from the Extra Word Cards file that is included. Or you can drag the words you’ll add later off the side of the slide, out of view.
digital 5th grade math word wall

When you’re ready to go, there are a few ways you can share your word wall with students.

  • SAVE AS A PDF :: If your school does NOT use Google Apps, this is probably the best choice. The PDF will keep it’s clicking functionality!
  • SHARE VIA GOOGLE CLASSROOM :: If your school DOES use Google Apps, this is a good option. You can easily share this file to Google Classroom as view only.
  • SHARE VIA GOOGLE SITES :: If you have a Google Site, you can embed the Google Slides file on a page.

Ready-To-Go Word Walls

If you’re looking for ready-to-go math vocabulary word walls, I’ve got you covered! I currently have math word walls for 4th and 5th grade. 3rd grade math, 6th grade math, and financial literacy are in the works and will be added to the bundle linked here. They will also be available to purchase individually.

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Upper Elementary Math Word Wall Growing Bundle

There is so much new math vocabulary for students to become familiar with in 4th grade and 5th grade! Create a math word wall in your classroom or share a digital word wall with your students with these vocabulary cards. Each card features the word written clearly at the top, with a kid-friendly definition and example or related image. Both a printable word wall AND a digital Google Slides™ word wall are included!


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