Vocabulary

Students need to use and apply the vocabulary of mathematics in their written responses on the Pennsylvania Mathematics Assessment. Students demonstrate competency by using the correct vocabulary, i.e., the term "subtraction" instead of "take-away." When the student response is correct in every other way, the use of appropriate vocabulary will enable the student to receive a level 5 score of "Advanced Understanding." In order for students to be comfortable in using math vocabulary, they need daily exposure to it by teachers who model its use in instruction. An extensive glossary of math terms is available in the Mathematics Standards. Although many of the terms listed will not be necessary for written responses, this listing provides a classroom resource for teachers and can be copied.

 Absolute Value A number's distance from zero on a number line. The absolute value of 2 is equal to the absolute value of -2. Algorithm A method of performing an arithmetic operation. Analog time Time displayed on a timepiece having hour and minute hands. Array Arrangement of a series of items according to the values of the items, e.g., largest to smallest. Box-and-whisker plot A graphic method for showing a summary of data using median, quartiles and extremes of data. Capacity The volume of a container given in units of liquid measure. Combination A subset of the elements in a given set, without regard to the order in which those elements are arranged. Composite number Any positive integer exactly divisible by one or more positive integers other than itself and 1.