I have recently found this great way to assess understanding of concepts and math vocabulary.
Split the class up into groups of 4-6. Each group gets a set of small cards which each have on them one maths related word. The first thing they have to do is write on each card, under the math related word which is at the top, three words that people will not be allowed to use when describing the top word. For example, if the top word is circumference then three words the team could write underneath could be circle, perimeter and length. The idea is to make the describing of the top word as tricky as possible. The words that they can’t use when describing the top words are called Taboo words.
The sets of cards are then passed onto another group and one person in the group gets 1 minute to describe as many of the top words as possible to their group colleagues without using the taboo words. The teams get a point for each correct word they guess. Each team has a go and the scores added up at the end to identify the winning team. You can do a tie-breaker round if necessary.
There are lots of variations you could do of this game and it does seem to really engage the kids and is an excellent way to revise key vocabulary and assess conceptual knowledge. You can create this variation into a Family Feud where different classrooms come up with the next classrooms list for a review game where you have to find object describes the word best. This can be as a class or as small groups like the ones mentioned above. You can find a link to the original article here: http://www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/2010/06/17/taboo-words/#comment-2843
Great Maths Teaching Ideas is a great place to get great teaching ideas for math teachers. Happy Teaching!