6th Grade Math Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Understanding math also means understanding the meanings of key words. This lesson provides an overview of the many math words that 6th-graders show know!

Math as a Language

Almost everyone gets scared away by math. There are many reasons for this, but one important reason is a lack of understanding about the language of math. If a student is able to master a new language like Spanish, then they can master the language of math. And just like learning a foreign language requires understanding the definitions of key words, so too does understanding math.

This lesson goes over some important vocabulary words, and their definitions, that 6th-grade math students should know.

6th-Grade Math Vocabulary A-L

Let's start with the absolute value, a positive number that tells us the distance that number is from 0. The absolute value is written as a number between two vertical lines. So the absolute value of 10 is written as |10|. |10| and |-10| are both equal to 10 because both numbers are 10 away from 0.

An acute triangle is a triangle that is devoid of any angles measuring 90 degrees or more. In other words, all three angles are less than 90 degrees. A triangle can be described by its attribute, or characteristic, like its shape, size, or color. Besides shapes like acute triangles, 6th-graders should know what a cube is. This is a solid that is bounded by six equal squares, with each angle between each adjacent square being a right angle (90 degrees).

Many mathematical equations have variables and coefficients. In the expression of 10x - 5, the variable is x but the coefficient is the number placed before the variable. In this case, the coefficient is 10. In this same algebraic expression of 10x - 5, the 5 is the constant. This means its value always stays the same. Some algebraic expressions refer to data, which is oftentimes, but not always, numerical information that is used for some sort of analysis.

Two data points may need to be subtracted from one another. Their difference is the amount that remains after such an operation is performed. Sometimes, data is found in tables and other times it's found in graphs, or visual illustrations of numerical relationships. One kind of specific graph is known as a histogram, where bars are labeled by numerical intervals.

An example of a histogram

Of course, let's not forget the simple stuff, too, like less than, which uses the symbol of '<' to denote one number is smaller than another. For instance, 1 < 5 means that 1 is less than 5, or 1 is smaller than 5.

6th-Grade Math Vocabulary M-Z

Other simple but important words include maximum, which is the largest amount or number, and median, the middle number of a set of numbers arranged from smallest to largest. For example, the median in {1, 4, 7, 9, 10} is 7.

Some numbers are positive numbers, and others are negative numbers. Negative numbers are those that are less than 0 and have a negative sign, '-', in front of them. -1, -6, and -1,873 are all negative numbers.

Some numbers are found on top of other numbers, as per fractions. The numerator in 5/9 is the number above the fraction line. In this example, the numerator is 5. If we were to multiply 5 * 9 instead, we'd get a product, or the outcome of multiplication. The product of 5 * 9 is 45. If we were to add 5 + 9 instead, we'd get the sum, or the result of two numbers added to one another. The sum of 5 + 9 is 14.

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