Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)

Doodle Buddy


StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View


  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.


StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View


TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.


TypeDrawing Free


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