Vocabulary Knowledge

(This page) Vocabulary Knowledge is the Pre-requisite for all Problem Solving

Topic-based Problem Solving

e.g. Time questions

Structure-based Problem Solving

e.g. NAPLAN-style questions

General Problem Solving

Using strategies


This section collects a number of resources dealing with teaching mathematical vocabulary with a view to reaching towards Problem Solving.

The procedure is shown further down this page, and the resources in this solution provides the word lists and lesson ideas for mathematics vocabulary which can be implemented as a whole school solution.

Further teaching assistance can be found in the free “A Guide to Mathematical Vocabulary”

Special Features:

  • Teaching in the Guide, and with each book.
  • Practical activities for the classroom tied in to using Story Books

Students hear teachers use the vocabulary and see the words in written form.

A Guide To Mathematical Vocabulary
File Size 4.03 MB
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Updated On May 20, 2022

My Word Book: Mathematics: Covers what words to teach and when to teach them.

Junior Illustrated Maths Dictionary: Definitions and explanations. Use first as a teacher reference and as a final consolidation for students.

Students are exposed to the words in contexts like stories and in other classroom activities.

These books work two ways: either to help you find relevant maths story books, or to find out what maths you can derive out of story books you already have.

Exposure through Children’s Story Books with a maths focus:
Foundation – 1: Teaching Mathematics Through Story Books 1
Years 2 – 3: Teaching Mathematics Through Story Books 2
Years 4 – 6: Teaching Mathematics Through Story Books 3

Foundation – 1: Mathematics and Picture Books in Early Childhood

Students use the vocabulary in things like Barrier Games (receptive and expressive language)

Barrier Games: Prepositions in the context of games.

Mystery Bag Mathematics: Feel and describe with appropriate language and vocabulary.

Students read the words in a sentence (written / reading)

These books feature short sentences that students have to parse with their mathematical literacy.

Get it all with these items and bundles

Next, follow up with:

This is the next immediate step in the Word Problems progression.

Follow up with:

Time to do some solving of problems! Topic-based problems and general Problem Solving are both good next steps.