I did not like vocabulary in math as a kid.  It seemed senseless except for testing fodder, and maybe it was.  However, at GSIS students need to learn two vocabularies in math class:

(1) terms used in mathematics like "product" and "sum" and "Cartesian graph" and "conic section."

(2) students also need to be explicity taught American units used frequently in math like pounds and feet and nickels and gallons and zip code, area code, etc.  This is best taught in context, but should be taught explicitly.  Some of the ESL testing includes this material so students should become familiar with it (regardless how arcane it may be...)

Copyright 2012 Jay Reimer    (You can email me at