Grades 3 - 5 Math
Glossary of Terms
Area – the amount of space inside a flat figure like a square or triangle, measured in square inches, etc.
Base ten blocks – a set of classroom hands-on materials that represent ones, tens and hundreds as small cubes (ones), rods of 10 small cubes combined (tens), and squares of ten rods combined (hundreds).
Circumference – the distance around the outside of a circle.
Decimal numbers – Numbers that use a decimal point, such as 3.45 for 3 and 45 hundredths.
Denominator – the bottom number of a fraction.
Fluency – knowing addition and multiplication facts quickly and accurately, usually from memory. (also: fluently)
Function – a mathematical expression that relates two quantities, such as the distance and time that a car travels.
Graduated series – sorting numbers or objects into increasing or decreasing order
Mean – the average of a set of data
Median – the middle number of a set of data when arranged in numerical order
Negative numbers – numbers that are smaller than zero, such as negative temperatures (e.g. -10 degrees)
Number line – a straight line marked in equal intervals and labeled with consecutive numbers.
Numerator – the top number of a fraction
Parallel lines – lines that never cross
Perimeter– the distance around the outside of a figure. For example, a square where each side is 10 inches has a perimeter of 40 inches.
Perpendicular lines – lines that cross at right angles.
Proof(in geometry) – a formal method of reasoning to support a claim
Proportion or proportional relationship – two quantities that increase or decrease at the same rate.
Pythagorean Theorem – The relationship between the length of the sides of any right triangle. If the sides are labeled a, b and c, where c is the longest side, then the relationship is a2 + b2 = c2.
Quadrilateral – any four-sided figure like a square, rectangle, parallelogram, etc.
Rhombus – a four-sided figure where all sides are the same length (like a square) but the angles are not necessarily right angles.
Rotations, reflections, translations and dilations – ways of moving geometric figures to produce similar figures in different places, orientations or sizes. (also: transformations)
Scatter plot – a way of representing a set of data that has two components, such as the size and cost of cars.
Scientific notation – a method for writing large numbers that uses a power of ten to show how many zeros or places are in the number. For example, 3,000,000 can be written as 3 x 106.
Strategies – Using counting or known math facts to figure out math problems. (also: mental math strategies)
Surface area – the total area of the outside of a three-dimensional object like a box or bottle.
Volume – the amount of space inside a three-dimensional object like a box or bottle.