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Rebekah Pounders Staff Photo

Math Vocabulary & Skills 


digits - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

even - a whole number that has a 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 in the ones place and can be divided evenly by 2

odd - a whole number that has a 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 in the ones place

Ways to write a number:

standard form - 746,367

expanded form - 700,000 + 40,000 + 6,000 + 300 + 60 + 7 (show the value of each digit)...E X P A N D the #! You can also write each digit and make every number after it a 0, separating each one by a + sign.

word form - seven hundred forty six thousand, three hundred sixty-seven

picture form - cubes (thousands), flats (hundreds), rods (tens), units (ones)

omparing #'s:  , or =

367 < 499   367 is less than 499 b/c the 3 in the hundreds place is less than the 4 in the hundreds place

452 > 439   452 is greater than 439 b/c the 5 in the tens place is larger than the 3 in the tens place

367 = 367   367 is equal to 367

The bigger side of the sign opens to the bigger number! The smaller side points to the smaller number!


Naming Numbers:
Addend - the numbers being added
Sum - the answer to an addition problem
Minuend - the number being subtracted from (larger/first number)
Subtrahend - the number being subtracted
Difference - the answer to a subtraction problem
Addend + Addend = Sum
Minuend - Subtrahend = Difference


Properties of Addition:

Commutative - you can add two or more numbers in any order and get the same number.

Example: 4+5=5+4

Identity - when you add zero to a number, the result is that number.

Example: 6+0=6

Associative - you can group addends in different ways and still get the same number.

Example: (5+4)+3 = 5+(4+3)


Inverse Operations - the "reverse" or opposite operation.

Example: 2+3=5...inverse is 5-3=2; 8-1=7...inverse is 7+1=8
Fact families - 3 numbers that are related addition and subtraction facts.

Example: 3, 4, 7; 3+4=7; 4+3=7; 7-4=3; 7-3=4

***There can be no other members in the family, just those 3, and the problems have to be true/make sense!


Equalities - when both sides of an equation are equal.

Example: 4+4=7+1

Missing addends - a missing digit that will make an addition problem true.

Example: 7+__=11...missing addend is 4

Missing variables/quantities - a missing number that will make an equation true.

Example: 10 - x = find the answer, use the inverse...10 - 6 = 4



repeated addition (3+3+3+3)

factors (4x3)

pictures (4 groups of 3 fish)

arrays (4 rows and 3 columns)

number line (number of spaces x number of jumps)

product -the answer to a multiplication problem

factors -the numbers you multiply together


Multiplication Properties:

Commutative - you can multiply two or more numbers in any order and get the same number

Example: 4x5=5x4

Zero - when you multiply zero by a number, the result is zero  

Example: 6x0=0

Associative - you can group factors in different ways and still get the same number  

Example: (5x4)x3 = 5x(4x3)

Identity - you can multiply 1 by any number, and the result is that number  

Example: 5x1=5


Inverse Operations - the "reverse" or opposite operation  

Example: 2x3=6...inverse is 6/3=2

Fact Family  - 3 numbers that are related multiplication and division facts. Fact families

Example: 3, 4, 12; 3x4=12; 4x3=12; 12/4=3; 12/3=4

***There can be no other members in the family, just those 3!



Repeated subtraction = 12-3-3-3-3=0 (12 divided by 3 = 4)

Terms -the dividend divided by the divisor = the quotient

Pictures -12 divided into 3 equal groups = 4 in each group

Arrays -12 divided into 3 rows = 4 in each row

Number line -number you end with divided by # of spaces = # of jumps



Numerator -the number of shaded or missing pieces; the top number in the fraction

Denominator -the total number of pieces; the bottom number in the fraction



Length -the distance between two points


inch (in.) - length of a small paper clip

foot (ft.) - length of a sheet of notebook paper

yard (yd.) - length of a baseball bat

mile (mi.) -the distance walked in about 20 mintues

12 inches = 1 foot

3 feet = 1 yard

1 mile = 5, 280 feet


centimeter (cm) - about the width of the top of a child's finger

decimeter (dm) - about the width of an adult's palm

meter (m) - about the width of a door

kilometer (km) - the distance walked in about 10 minutes

1 meter = 100 centimeters

1,000 meters = 1 kilometer



Capacity -the amount a container holds


cup (c) -the amount of liquid in a coffee mug

pint (pt) - the amount of liquid in about one bowl of soup

quart (qt) -the amount of liquid in a small pot

gallon (gal) -a jug of milk


milliliter (mL)

liter (L)

1,000 mL = 1 L



Weight -how heavy an object is


ounce (oz) -a slice of bread is about 1 ounce

pound (lb) -a loaf of bread is about 1 pound


gram (g) -a small paper clips has a mass of about 1 gram

kilogram (kg) -a box of 1,000 paper clips has a mass of about 1 kilogram

1,000 g = 1 kg



Plane Figures - a figure on a flat surface; formed by curved or straight lines

Polygons -a closed plane figure with straight sides

Polygons have length and width, so they are called 2D Shapes

A circle is NOT a polygon!


Triangle: 3 sides, 3 angles

Quadrilateral: 4 sides, 4 angles: square, rhombus, parallelogram, trapezoid, rectangle

Pentagon: 5 sides, 5 angles

Hexagon: 6 sides, 6 angles

Octagon: 8 sides, 8 angles



Translation (slide)

Reflection (flip)

Rotation (turn)






line segment







Possible Outcomes -The possible results.

Example: There are 4 yellow marbles and 5 red marbles in a bag.  You have a 5/7 chance of pulling a red marble.  Outcomes are either likely, unlikely, impossible, or certain. 





Two or more items joined together.


Example: You have 3 pairs of pants and 2 shirts.  There are 6 possible combinations of 1 pair of pants and 1 shirt.  When making combinations you multiply!!  You can also draw a tree diagram to find the number of possible combinations.