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Beginning Math Vocabulary

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Beginning Math Vocabulary

Animation and real-life examples make math vocabulary come alive. Learn many math words including equal, more than, less than, number, half, whole, most, least, pair, alike, several, many, always, never, almost, and middle. Concepts include reasoning, separating into parts, concepts of order, and number sense. Great for all kids! Excellent support for English Language Learners.

Take a look and listen to words we use all the time to describe amounts of things and amounts of time.

  1. Students will know the following quantitative words and phrases and how to use them to describe quantities of objects and amounts of time.
    1. These words and phrases describe a general amount of objects and a general amount of time:
      i) Zero means none (there were no pennies in the jar).
      ii) A few means some but not many (two or three).
      iii) Several means some.
      iv) Many means a lot (there were many pennies in the jar).
    2. These words compare the number of objects in one group with the number of objects in another group and also compare amounts of time:
      i) The phrase as many shows equality in number.
      ii) The phrases more than and less than show that the numbers are not equal.
      iii) Most and least show that the amount is at the extreme. One ant had the most amount of watermelon another ant had the least amount of watermelon.
    3. The word whole means complete (the whole pie). However, the word half refers to the two equal parts that, when put together, make one whole.
    4. The words always and never refer to time. Always means forever or invariable. Never means not ever.
  2. Students will realize that objects can be put in order. For example, one could place objects in order from thinnest to widest. Also, know how to find the object in the middle of the order.
  3. Students will understand that the word almost means not totally. It can be used in referring to time or an object(s).
  4. Students will know objects that are not the same are said to be different, meaning they do not match. However, objects that are the same or alike are said to match.
  5. Students will know a pair is two objects that go together (a pair of shoes).

  1. Before viewing the video

    1. Anticipatory Set: Have children hold up both hands with fingers spread out. Say the following: "How many fingers do you have on each hand? Show no fingers. You have zero fingers showing now. Show me a few fingers. Show me many fingers. Show me three fingers on one hand and show me many fingers on the other hand. We are going to see a video that tells us more about these number words."
  2. After viewing the video

    1. Have 18 4X6 cards and 35 5X8 cards with a line down the middle (either way). Provide one dark crayon per child. Print on the 4X6 cards using these words given in the same order shown on the video: in, out, empty, zero, few, some, not many, many, as many as, equal, more, less, more than, less than, how many, most, least, and several.
    2. Playing the Math Word Card Game: Discuss some of the things shown in the video (pennies, ants, candy, etc.). Give each child a 5X8 card and 10 markers. Hold up and read a card, for example, "empty." Put markers on one side of the card only. As each card is held, read the word and make a sentence telling the students what to do on their cards. Several sessions may be necessary to cover all the math word concepts.
    3. Review the video: By watching the video again, the students are able to relate what they have just done in class to the concepts shown on the video.
    4. Access what the students have learned: Give each child a sheet with rectangles similar to their card from the game and one crayon. As each card is held in the air by the instructor, the students should draw dots in each numbered rectangle to illustrate the math word. This is a good way to evaluate what they now understand.