“Not being able to read the question” is the number 1 reason, given by teachers, for their kids not doing well at maths testing. In this post you’ll get fun math vocabulary Games {Online} to help your kids.

This reason is really surprising, as the kids are generally doing well at “reading”in the English Learning Area. So why is there a problem in maths?

Researchers have found that kids struggle with reading math questions because:

- Reading math questions is very different to reading regular literacy texts. It’s dense and includes symbols and graphics.
- Fewer words are used in math texts compared to very detailed paragraphs in novels. So kids need excellent inferencing and contextual understanding skills to be able to make sense of math questions.
- The meaning of words changes significantly in math problems compared to how they are used in everyday life. E.g. volume might mean the sound control on a T.V. remote but in mathematics it is linked to measurement.
- Many words in maths have more than one meaning, that changes in different contexts, e.g. square is a shape, but can also be a square number.
- Some words are unique to maths which means students cannot take an informed guess as to the meaning. E.g. numerator and denominator.

So spending time on building math vocabulary will have a huge impact on student achievement.

Don’t take my word for this, there’s lots of research to back it up too. Studies by Swan & Dunstan; Hirsh & Nation found:

- vocabulary is connected with reading comprehension and is predictor of students’ comprehension
- Students need to know 90-95% of the words in a text before they can comprehend that text
- Vocabulary need to be explicitly taught first
- Students from low socio economic areas need greater support
- Teaching math vocabulary can help raise student achievement levels
- Students with high vocabularies are better at mathematical reasoning

So it’s pretty clear that including math vocabulary activities are a MUST, and if included ,will increase the level of achievement for students. Now we’re all for that!