Words like untoward, gregarious, and plethora immediately bring back memories of college. A good vocabulary is always beneficial because it allows us to comprehend what is going on around us and participate in conversations and discussions with others. Math, like other subjects, has its own set of words. We also refer to this collection of words as our math vocabulary.^{1} Let’s explore further how having a strong math vocabulary is useful and how it can aid in overcoming math anxiety. Perhaps answering a few questions will clear things up!

Table of Contents

**Why is it Important to Develop and Improve Math Vocabulary?**

It is imperative to understand vocabulary to gain an overall understanding of many subjects, including math.The development of students’ mathematical vocabulary, in particular, is a crucial step toward their eventual proficiency in math and language.^{2} Some reasons^{3} why we should introduce new math words to our children include:

- To understand the question being asked, for example, if a third grader is asked to measure their TV at home, they might seem puzzled. This is primarily due to the fact that “measure” is a word that is not commonly used in our everyday conversations.
- To differentiate and identify words in mathematical context, for example, angle is a word that is used differently in math and in real life.
- In a classroom, it’s crucial for children to be able to share ideas with others and talk about how they solved a problem or what they were thinking as they tried to figure it out. They may find it easier to explain their ideas if they are familiar with and understand some of the math words.

**Which Math Terms are Introduced in Which Grade?**

Elementary schooling involves math words related to daily life, such as measurement, time, multiplication, fractions, etc., whereas middle school and high school deal with more complex terminologies related to trigonometry, surds, quadratic equations, and so on.

**How can We Get Children Accustomed to Math Vocabulary?**

Children are very inquisitive about learning new things, and most of the time, they do this by imitating their parents. So, it becomes ever so important for parents to make their children learn new math words by incorporating them into daily conversations. As a parent, you can try to bring in new words into conversations while doing daily chores. Let’s take a look at some math words that you can introduce to children while running errands.

- Cooking or baking: Measurements, time, temperature, counting
- Gardening or cleaning the house: Area (area of the backyard), cuboid (shape of the room), rectangle (shape of the floor)
- Shopping: Counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, discount, marked price.
- Driving: Distance, speed, speed limit (less than, more than comparisons)

**How to Make Learning New Math Words Fun and Entertaining?**

One can very effectively do that by making a list of words from the tables given above and then planning some fun activities around it. Some entertaining word games^{5,6} are as follows:

- Crossword puzzles: They are very effective at correlating words and their meanings. We can create our own crossword puzzles by using a mobile app or an online crossword generator.
- Wordle: It is trendy and popular, and you can create your own wordle with the help of various step-by-step guides.

**Can Developing a Math Vocabulary Help Children with Math Phobia?**

Yes, absolutely.^{7} Math phobia develops when a child is unable to connect mathematical concepts to their daily lives. Visualizing a math problem becomes increasingly difficult if they do not understand the math terms and words being asked. Developing a math vocabulary also helps children improve their problem-solving skills, which boosts their confidence and motivates them to do more.

So, when it comes to overcoming math phobia, a stitch in time saves nine. It’s better to catch them early and work on them than to wait until it’s too late. Math vocabulary is crucial for conquering math anxiety because once you comprehend the meaning of the math, half the battle is already won. Like any other language, math is simpler to learn if it is properly understood, practiced regularly, and learned effectively.

How about learning more math terms, concepts, and strategies to help your child become more proficient in math? Check out BYJU’s FutureSchool Blog now.

**References:**

*Strategies to Teach Math Vocabulary – TeachHUB*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies/2020/07/strategies-to-teach-math-vocabulary/*ERIC – EJ1060695 – The Language of Mathematics: The Importance of Teaching and Learning Mathematical Vocabulary, Reading & Writing Quarterly, 2015*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1060695*4 Reasons Teaching Math Vocabulary is Important*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://mathgeekmama.com/4-reasons-teaching-math-vocabulary-is-vital/*Strategies to Teach Math Vocabulary – TeachHUB*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies/2020/07/strategies-to-teach-math-vocabulary/*Crossword Puzzles as a Learning Tool For Vocabulary Development*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269602861_Crossword_Puzzles_as_a_Learning_Tool_For_Vocabulary_Development*Crossword Puzzles as a Learning Tool For Vocabulary Development*. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269602861_Crossword_Puzzles_as_a_Learning_Tool_For_Vocabulary_Development- Blessman Beverly Myszczak, J. (n.d.).
*MATHEMATICS VOCABULARY AND ITS EFFECT ON STUDENT COMPREHENSION*. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1079788.pdf