There’s a lot or reasons to teach math vocabulary in a math class. In another post, I compiled a list of my favorite justifications for doing so, plus several tips to make it happen. Below are five free resources for teaching math vocabulary in the middle school math classroom.

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Math Word Wall Cards

1. Ratios and Proportions

This resource has color-coded word wall cards for terms like percent, ratio, and unit rate.

2. Fractions

Bring fractions to life with these easy-to-use word wall cards.  Nuts-and-bolts terms like denominator, numerator, reciprocal, and whole number are illustrated and defined.

math vocabulary

Interactive Notebooks

These interactive notebooks focus on vocabulary. The concepts can be explored in tandem, on the facing page.

3. Coordinate Plane

The foundation of so much middle school math is built. This INB is a good way to preview, review, teach, or re-teach the coordinate plane, its function, and related terms.

4. Operations

This interactive math notebook includes pre-filled-in and blank printable templates, along with concise, kid-friendly definitions and step by step instructions for building the foldables.


5. Geometry Vocabulary Crosswords

Wha? Crosswords in a math class? Perfect for when you have a sub who is a bit rusty in the maths. I also use ’em in homework packets, and for early finisher work. I assign them more than once a school year, too! The kids have yet to notice!

About math vocabulary, a wise person once said…

Sometimes, when explaining math vocabulary to my class, I feel like a dog chasing its own tail. Perhaps that’s why the mathematician Henri Poincare was fond of saying, “Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.” A few other great minds had deep insights into the language of math.

The power of mathematics is often to change one thing into another, to change geometry into language. – Marcus du Sautoy

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. – Albert Einstein

Mathematics is the music of reason. – James Joseph Sylvester

A person whose mind has gone astray should study mathematics.  – Francis Bacon

Is zero a number, or what?

I thought I knew until I read Math Lingo vs. Plain English by Reuben Hersh.

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