Practicing Ordered Pairs and Math Vocabulary

§111.17. Mathematics, Grade 5.(9) Geometry and spatial reasoning. The student recognizes the connection between ordered pairs of numbers and locations of points on a plane. The student is expected to locate and name points on a coordinate grid using ordered pairs of whole numbers.

Use of ordered pairs to locate math vocabulary on a Word Wall is a great way to practice a skill, while quickly reviewing words, and one way to get better use of our most precious resource time.

Beginning of the year:

Put up a graph with intersecting lines, and place 4 x 6 cards with words such as Welcome, grade, new, year, math, 5th, class, learning,to, fun, room, teacher's name, year, and other math terms. Be sure to scatter the words around so that a sentence such as "Welcome to 5th grade, Mrs. Leland thinks math class should be fun while you are learning!" is not immediately apparent.


Early in the first month of school...preferably within the first week, review the use of ordered pairs, and pass out cards with the pairs needed to read the sentence. If you place them in numbered ziploc bags, they can be used in a specific order. Have kids find the words in order, and write them down. When they have finished, pass out some type of math game to reinforce the idea of the connection of fun and learning.

As new vocabulary words are reviewed or introduced, replace the bulletin board words that are non math related. Use 3 sets of pairs per day.

Variation 1: Kids orally say the word at the location they have on their card. First 3 students may also be asked to tell a fact they know about the term, or ask a question about it. Fourth student is asked what the terms have in common, or which one didn't match. For example, dividend, divisor, and quotient name parts of a division problem. dividend, divisor, and sum. In the second set, sum is the answer to an addition problem, so it doesn't belong. Some students might point out that the answer to a check problem with a remainder is a sum. Either way, students are having to listen to the three terms, to decide their connection.

Variation 2: Students could have ordered pair practice as a part of a written warm-up activity. First finding and then explaining connection, or finding the term that didn't belong.


This page was developed through GirlTECH '97, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation-funded Science and Technology Center. Thanks also to the RGK Foundation for its generous support

Updated August 3, 2004 Jo Leland

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