Focus on Math

Helping children become mathematicians!

Communication: Using a Frayer Model to Develop Math Vocabulary June 10, 2011

Inherent in the study and learning of mathematics is rich language, and we, as teachers, need to help students make sense of the vocabulary involved. One way to help with this is by using the Frayer Model to have students thoughtfully consider individual vocabulary terms.

This graphic organizer begins in the centre, with the particular term written there. Then around the term are sections in which the student writes the definition (in his own words); facts about and/or characteristics of the term; examples of the term; and non-examples of the term. The box at the bottom of the page allows the student to write any questions he has about the term (and the answers to those questions, once they are discovered). I have used reduced-sized pages of this to have students make personal vocabulary booklets for particular units or strands (such as for fractions, for angles, for measurement, etc.). Having to pay attention to terms is especially useful for ESL or struggling students, but, in fact, all students can benefit from this activity.

Mathematically yours,

PS: Download the full-sized .doc version of the graphic organizer “Frayer Model” here.