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Create Math & Science Vocabulary Walls


Mathematics Science Study Skills & Tools All Ages Strategy


Working Memory Verbal Memory Visual Memory

Create Math & Science Vocabulary Walls

If your student often forgets, or is reluctant to use, subject-specific vocabulary in math and science

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will refer to word walls or vocabulary sheets to find subject-specific vocabulary as they encounter it in their reading or problem solving.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: a) Create word walls, an organized wall display of key terms and definitions, (as well as pictures and examples), for students to reference throughout a topic you are teaching. Remind students to look at the word wall to find a term they need. b) Even students who understand concepts well might forget the vocabulary. Teach and quiz math and science vocabulary as you would in ELA to improve automatic recall. c) An alternative to the wall display is giving every student a sheet of terms for easy reference.
  3. Teachers Notes: Sheets can be a better option when students are solving problems that are vocabulary heavy. They might have a good understanding of how to solve the problem if they could just remember what the term means. While you want students to commit key terms to memory, you also do not want to let any missing vocabulary interfere with their ability to understand the concept and problem solve.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

As with all vocabulary words, students need ongoing reinforcement and spaced practice to commit terms to long term memory. Since students often only need to "speak math" in math class, it is essential that teachers reinforce math terminology throughout their lessons and provide students the exercises they need to memorize key terms.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Long-term Memory, Short-Term Memory, Working Memory (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)