3 Creative Ways to Increase Math Vocabulary

3 Creative Ways to Increase Math Vocabulary

Looking for creative ways to increase math vocabulary for your students?
I love using different methods and resources to increase student math vocabulary.

Increase Math Vocabulary by Assigning Student Partners

One of my favorite ways to assign partners or group work is by using math vocabulary words and flashcards. I first list the vocabulary terms, definitions, and examples for a particular math lesson or math unit. Then I use the listed math vocabulary terms as a creative way to assign partners and group work. The number of flashcards that I use depends on the number of students, as well as whether students will be assigned as partners or with multiple students in a group.

First, I write each math vocabulary term of the unit on each blank flashcard or notecard. Then I write the definition, or a modeled example, on the other flashcard(s). For example, I will write the math vocabulary term the commutative property of addition on one flashcard and assign it to a specific student. Then I write the definition of the commutative property of addition on another flashcard. If I only want two students partnered together, I will also add a modeled example on the definition card. If I want to assign multiple students to the group, I will write a model of an example of the commutative property of addition on various flashcards.

Math Vocabulary Word Rings

Another creative way to increase students’ math vocabulary is by using word rings. Quite often, word rings are typically used in lower elementary classrooms. However, word rings can also be utilized for older students through the use of vocabulary word rings. Depending on the student, vocabulary word rings are either created by students independently during math centers or with the teacher during small group math instruction.

Either the student or the teacher writes the math vocabulary word on one side of the flashcard, as well as the definition and a modeled example on the backside of the flashcard. Students review the math vocabulary word ring during math centers, with partners, and as study cards. Students can review and practice their math vocabulary word rings in school and at home.

Math Vocabulary Digital Flashcards

Another fun and effective way to increase students’ math vocabulary is through the use of interactive digital flashcards. Interactive digital resources are a great way to increase student engagement when learning math vocabulary words. I love to use digital resources such as Quizlet and Google Slides as an effective way to increase students’ math vocabulary.


The online website Quizlet is a great way to increase students’ math vocabulary. Teachers can create various sets of digital math vocabulary flashcards for the class. Your students can create their own sets of digital math vocabulary flashcards as well. Students can access Quizlet on a computer, tablet, phone, or iPad. Students can review study sets, practice in study mode, play individual review games, and play in-class review games. My third-grade students always look forward to using Quizlet during math centers.

Google Slides

I also love using Google Slides to help students create digital math vocabulary books. Students love creating personalized slideshows to learn and practice vocabulary words for each math unit. First students type each vocabulary word as the title for each slide. Then the students add the definition and an example to display an understanding of each vocabulary term. My third-grade students also love adding clip art and photographs to their digital math vocabulary slides. Using Google Slides is an easy and great way to keep students engaged in learning math vocabulary terms and definitions.

Well, there are a few of the creative ways I like to increase math vocabulary with my students!

Interested in using an interactive notebook and flipbook to increase student engagement? Click here to read about how I use a Multiplication Interactive Notebook and Flipbook in my third-grade classroom.

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