Boring bit: vocab makeover

This 3-2-1 summary is a bit different. I’ve been focused on one thing, that was talked about by two people, more than 3 days ago.

What I’m talking about is Justin Aion’s recent post and twitter chat with Tracy Zager on vocab. The major takeaway is that a need must be created for a vocab lesson to stick.


Next week I’m starting number properties and I’d be a fool to not apply what I’ve learned from lurking and eavesdropping. Here’s what I have so far. Your help could make it all the better.

Students will be paired and will receive this Number Properties Partner Password game that has been cut in half hotdog style. Partner A begins by reading problem 1. Partner B does what his partner says in the space provided.


Only one student who took the pre-test could provide an example of any of the properties so I know nearly all my students will have difficulty coming up with the terms commutative, associative, etc. Originally my resource card for commutative referred to passenger trains that move people to and from work, but that’s beyond my kids’ vocabulary, so I resorted to hangman as the resource card.


Now it’s Partner B’s turn for round 2. The partners alternate until the game is finished.


The directions also include using precise math vocabulary. My hope is students will use sum, product, the quantity, etc along with identifying the property in their sentences. I may end up saving that for another lesson because the primary focus is on number properties.

After debriefing, and time permitting, I’ll reinforce with a number talk, maybe start small with 16 x 5 and see where that takes us. Then, when doing number talks, I can make connections to the number properties.

This activity is better than the blank page I started from several days ago, but I truly welcome suggestions.

Others blogging about their 3 – 2 – 1 summary can be found by clicking the link below.



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