Early Math Counts Glossary


Above—In extended space over and not touching; at a higher level than

Actual—Exist in act or fact; real

Add—Increase in amount or number

After—Behind in position or place; later in time than

Amount—The total or sum

Afternoon—The time from noon or lunchtime to evening

All done—Finished

Altogether—In total

Around—On every side of

Ascending—Arranged from smallest to largest

Attribute—A characteristic like size, shape or color


Balance—To make equal or to be equal

Bar Graph—A graph using parallel bars of varying lengths to demonstrate an amount or quantity

Before—In front of

Behind—At the back of

Big—Of considerable size

Bye bye—An expression used when departing another’s company


Calculate—To determine the amount or number of something

Certain—Inevitable; will definitely happen

Characteristics/Attributes—Qualities or features of someone or something

Circle—A two-dimensional shape made by drawing a curve that is always the same distance from the center

Classify—To arrange a group of people or things items in classes or categories according to shared characteristics and assigning a name to the grouping

Clock—Measures time

Closed—To move from an open position

Clue—A piece of evidence or information used to solve a problem

Collect—To bring together in a group; gather

Compare—To estimate, measure or note the similarity or dissimilarity between two or more things

Conclusion—The end or close; the final decision

Cone—A solid shape with a circular base and a curved surface that tapers to a point

Corresponding—Similar in function and form

Count—To identify the amount of something by number

Crescent—The shape of the visible part of the moon when it is less than half full; a shape that is a single curve that is broad in the center and tapers to a point at each end

Cube—A solid shape that has six square faces all equal in size, eight vertices and twelve equal edges

Cylinder—A solid shape with one curved surface and two identical bases


Data—Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis

Descending order—Arranged from largest to smallest

Diagonal—In a slanted direction

Diamond—A rhombus where all four sides are equal

Difference—The distance between two numbers (subtraction)

Different—Not similar in size, shape, color or other characteristic

Dime—A coin worth 10 cents (a tenth of a dollar)

Direction—The course or path on which something or someone is moving

Distance—The length between two points

Divide—To separate or to be separated into parts

Down—To direct or move to a lower place or position


Edge—The side of a polygon where two faces of a solid figure meet

Eighth—One of eight equal parts of the shape

Equal shares—To divide a whole fairly and equally; fair distribution

Equals—To be the same in number or amount

Estimate—To form an approximate judgment or opinion regarding the amount, worth, size, weight, etc., of; to calculate approximately

Even—Number that is divisible by two; numbers that end in 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8

Evening—The period of time at the end of the day, usually from about six p.m. to bedtime


Face—A flat surface of a three-dimensional shape

Far—Over a large expanse of space or time

Fewest—A small number of, opposite of the term “most”

First—An ordinal number; number one; the beginning one

Flip—To turn over

Fourth—One of four equal parts of the shape

Fraction—Any part of a group

Front of—To locate before or ahead of


Get ready—To prepare for an event or action

Go—To move from place or point to another

Graph—A diagram that exhibits a relationship between two sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by the relationship

Greatest amount—Largest amount; the one with the most

Greater than—More than; shows relationship between numbers

Groups—A number of things or people that are located close together or are classed together

Growing pattern—A pattern that shows an increasing or decreasing sequence and is used to help children analyze mathematical changes


Half—One of two equal parts of the shape

Heart—A shape that is comprised of two circles touching along a horizontal axis and the union of a V shape centered at the bottom of the circles (♥)

Heavier—To have greater weight

Height—The measurement from top to bottom (usually the terms tall, taller, tallest and short, shorter, shortest are used when referring to height)

Hello—An expression used as a greeting when meeting or seeing someone

Hexagon—A shape with six straight sides and six corners

Horizontal—Parallel to the plane of the horizon

How many—The total or sum

Hour—A period of time equal to a twenty-fourth of a day and night and divided into 60 minutes


Identify—Establish or indicate who or what (someone or something) is

Impossible—No chance; will not happen

In common—To share equally

Inch—A unit for measuring length

Increase—To get larger in size or number

Inside—Interior, in something


Label—A descriptive term

Least—To have the smallest quantity or number

Length—The longest extent of anything as measured from end to end

Length of time—The extent or duration

Less—Not as many as

Less than—A value that is smaller in number

Lighter—Having less weight than

Line of Symmetry—To divide an object or design in half so that both sides are the same

Little—Small in size

Longer than—To have an extended duration of time comparatively

Long, Longer, Longest—Comparison words for length


Measure—Use of standard units to find out size or quantity in regard to length, breadth, height, area, mass, weight, volume, capacity, temperature and time

Middle—A point dividing a line segment or group in half

Minute—A period of time equal to sixty seconds or a sixtieth of an hour

More than—A value that is higher or greater in number

More than, Less than, The same—Words used to compare quantity

Morning—The period of time from sunrise to noon

Most—To have the greatest quantity or number


Next to—Beside, along

Near—Close to

Nickel—A coin worth five cents (a fifth of a dollar)

Night—The period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise

Nonstandard—Other than standard

Number—Used to describe quantities or values

Number line—A line marked with numbers

Numeral—The symbol used to represent a number or “how many”

Numerical order—A number sequence that is arranged together in a systematic form


Octagon—A polygon with eight sides (a stop sign is an octagon)

Odd—A number that is not evenly divisible by two; numbers that end in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

On—To position at the upper surface of, touching from above

Open—To move from a closed position

Ordinal numbers—Numbers that show place or position (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Oval—A stretched-out circle shaped like an egg

Over—To extend directly upward from


Pattern—Something that repeats more than once

Penny—One cent

Pentagon—A polygon with five sides

Plus—The addition of

Point—An exact position or location

Polygon—A plane shape having three or more straight sides

Positional words—Words that allow you to follow and give directions and to use language precisely

Possible—A chance that something might happen

Predict—To guess what will happen next

Prism—A solid three-dimensional shape with two identical bases and sides that are parallelograms

Probability—The chance that something is going to happen


Quadrilateral—A polygon with four sides

Quarter—A coin worth 25 cents (a quarter of a dollar)


Recognition of numerals—To identify numbers by word or symbol

Record—To write down or indicate

Rectangle—A four-sided flat shape with straight sides and interior angles that are all right angles (90°); also, opposite sides are parallel and of equal length (a square is a special type of rectangle)

Relative positioning—Where one object is in relation to another object

Remain—Amount left over

Repeating—To do or make again and again

Represents—To show or stand for

Round—To be shaped like a circle


Same—Identical in kind or quantity

Second—An ordinal number; the position after first; a unit of tie

Sequence—An ordered set of numbers, shapes or other mathematical objects arranged according to a rule

Shape—A form or outline

Short, Shorter, Shortest—Comparison words for length

Shorter than—To have less time or length comparatively

Similar—To have like attributes

Skip count—To count forwards or backwards in multiples or intervals of a given number

Slide—To move an item in any direction without rotating it

Small—Decreased in size

Sort—To seperate items according to a given attribute

Sphere—A ball; a three-dimensional solid that is perfectly round

Square—A shape with four straight sides that are the same length or size and four corners

Squarebased pyramid—A pyramid with four triangular faces and one square face

Standard—Something considered by an authority or by general consent a basis of comparison (for example, rulers, cup measurers, scale)

Star—A pointy shape that has four or more pointed parts coming out from a center at equal distances

Subtract—To take one quantity away from another

Survey—A method of collecting data by asking people questions

Symmetry—When two sides of the whole are exactly like one another


Take away—To remove something

Tall, Taller, Tallest—To use to compare stature/height

Tally—To use marks to record counting; to count by fives to arrive at the total

Tetrahedron—A pyramid with four faces that are all triangles

Threedimensional—A shape having three dimensions (length, width and height)

Through—To move in one side and out the other side

Time—The measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues

Timeline—A graphic representation of the passage of time as a line

Total—The complete amount of items counted

Travel—To move from one place to another

Triangle—A pointy shape with three sides and three corners

Turn—To rotate around a point

Twodimensional—A shape having two dimensions (width and length)


Under—In a lower level than

Up—Toward the sky or higher position


Vertical—In an up-down position; upright

Vertice—The corner; the point where the edges of a solid figure meet


Weigh—To measure according to weight

Whole—All the parts; all, everything, total amount

Width—The extent from side to side or thr breadth