Dictionaries play an important role in the development of vocabulary and the introduction of words with different meanings. When kids are in elementary school, dictionaries are introduced to them, particularly in the form of picture dictionaries. These dictionaries become a valuable resource for kids as they progress through their reading and comprehension journey. Following the introduction of picture dictionaries in the early school years, word dictionaries appear in first grade. Each subject has its own vocabulary. In a similar vein, math vocabulary includes terms and symbols that are pertinent to its context. Many kids may not be familiar with these terms, and this is where a math dictionary for kids comes in handy. Simply put, kids can learn about various mathematical terms and their meanings with the help of a math dictionary. Furthermore, these math dictionaries will be very helpful for kids of all ages.

As kids learn new math terms from math dictionaries, they will be able to apply their mathematical knowledge in real-life situations. This will help them to develop a better understanding of various math concepts and solve math problems with confidence. Apart from this, math dictionaries can also be used for curriculum and extracurricular purposes.

There are different kinds of math dictionaries for kids. Math dictionaries can be arranged according to a table of contents, in alphabetical order, with illustrations, etc. Although you can benefit from using any of the published math dictionaries that are currently on the market, making your own is the most efficient way to learn. Yes, that’s right! When you make your own math dictionary, you not only enjoy the process of doing so, but you also begin to learn new mathematical terms. And that’s not all. You may find it easier to retain math concepts and definitions in your long-term memory if you create your own resource.

How to Make Your Own Math Dictionary?

Unleash your creative side with a DIY math dictionary and have a blast with your child! Here are some pointers to get you started. 

  • You can either take a new notebook or save a few pages of your math notebook for the math dictionary. 
  • Make a list of any new math terms that your kid learns in class, from friends, or with the help of their teachers. Make sure that you let your kid write the definitions and meanings of the new math terms by themselves. If they are allowed to copy them from the textbook, it won’t be of much help in the long run. 
  • To make your math dictionary look lively, you can also add images and vibrant colors to go with the new math terms. These pictures can help in understanding math concepts by simply looking at them.
  • You can organize your math dictionary in a unique way. Rather than listing the new math terms alphabetically, you can group them by concept. For example, the math terms “numerator” and “denominator” are not found together in a typical dictionary. But it is sensible to group them together in a math dictionary as they are related to “fractions.” Sounds interesting, right?

DIY math dictionaries are simple to create; you simply add new math terms as you come across them in different lessons. The rest of the time, your DIY math dictionary can serve as a reference. However, there is one exception: geometry. Geometry is one of those branches of math where you will learn new terms every other day. Examples include perpendicular, symmetry, parallel, vertical angles, diameter, radius, and many others. So, why not create an exclusive math dictionary for geometry and keep adding to it? Doing this will allow you to maintain a separate vocabulary for geometry that you can review without stumbling upon other math terms.

What Math Terms are Included in a Math Dictionary?

Now that you have drafted your own math dictionary, you must add the math terms and their meanings and definitions that will be very helpful for your kid’s lessons. Remember that you should add math terms to your dictionary so that kids can solve math problems and get a grasp of unfamiliar terms. Your dictionary should also come in handy for geometry formulas, measurement conversions, and any other math-related questions that may arise.

Here are a few common math terms for elementary school that can be introduced in a math dictionary for kids:

  • Numbers
    • Even numbers: Numbers that can be divided by two. For example, two, four, six, eight, ten, and so on.
    • Odd numbers: Numbers that cannot be divided by two. For example, one, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, and so on.
  • Fractions
    • Numerator: The number that is placed on top of a fraction. For example, ⅚, where 5 is the numerator.
    • Denominator: The number that is placed on the bottom of a fraction. For example, ⅚, where 6 is the denominator.
  • Angles
    • Right angle: This angle measures 90 degrees.
    • Acute angle: This angle measures less than 90 degrees.
    • Obtuse angle: This angle measures more than 90 degrees.

Here are a few other math terms ranging from general arithmetic to geometry, algebra, probability, statistics, and much more, based on the lesson being studied.

  • Absolute value: The numerical value of a real number, disregarding the sign. For example, |-3| = 3
  • Whole numbers: Numbers without any fractional, decimal, or negative part. For example, {0, 1, 2, 3, …}
  • Circumcircle of a triangle: A tangent that passes through the three vertices of a triangle.
  • Y-intercept: The point at which a graph of a relation intercepts the y-axis. The ordered pair for this point will have a value of x = 0.
  • Pictograph: This represents the data in picture form.
  • Random experiment: If an experiment, although conducted under similar conditions, can result in two or more known outcomes, it is called a random experiment.

Math dictionaries for kids can certainly be a fun way of learning math while exploring new math terms and concepts. So, keep that inquisitive mind in active mode and keep adding new math terms to your DIY math dictionary for improved math skills.

If you want to read more articles like this and discover a world of possibilities while learning about novel ways to teach kids math concepts, go to BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog


  1. Personal Dictionary –      Math Strategies      . (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://mathematicstrategies.weebly.com/personal-dictionary.html 
  2. Patterson, L. G., & Young, A. F. (2013). The Power of Math Dictionaries in the Classroom. SRATE Journal, 22(2). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1015817.pdf 


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