7 Ways to Use Math Pennants to Engage Student Learning

7 Ways to Use Math Pennants to Engage Student Learning

When I first started making math pennants it never crossed my mind that teachers would find so many different uses for them. My main reasons for creating them was to make math fun, engaging and accessible. 

systems of equations pennant

One of my favorite photos is this one from my friend Mandy from The Math Dyal. Mandy is also a teacher in Florida and one of her most disengaged students surprised her with this systems of equations masterpiece. 

To me, this is what creativity in math is all about. Do we need to color our math? No. Does the act of coloring lower our students' affective filters and open them up to math they may not have done otherwise? Without a doubt. 

Displaying student work is super motivating. When students see their hard work displayed, they are inspired to keep working hard. 

Over the years teachers have told me that they are using math pennants in a bunch of different ways. Here are 7 of those ways (plus one bonus idea!)

1: Warm ups
Warm ups are so super important in my classes because they get pencils in hands, settle and remind everyone where we left off the day before. Math pennants are an engaging way to start class and get kids ready to learn. 

Exponent Rules Pennant

2: Centers
Centers are great for allowing groups of students to work independently while others get the extra help they need. Math pennants keep students engaged while they are working on their own. 

3: Team building group work
I really liked this tip from Rebecca about using Math pennants with groups in her class. Teams of students worked together to complete, check and initial each pennant. Grading always gets pushed to the end of my to-do list so it's always good when kids can get that immediate feedback that is so important.

Rounding Pennant

4: Exit tickets
You know those last few minutes of class where binders suddenly disappear and students' knees seem to lose the ability to bend? Math pennants work great as a way to keep students engaged right up to the bell and, most importantly, keep them in their seats. Karen used my Exponents Rules pennant as a post-quiz activity.

Exponent Rules Pennant

5: Homework
I go back and forth on homework and, at this point in time, I give a small assignment once or twice a week. Math pennants are a fun and engaging way to practice the day's lesson. Plus, part of the assignment is coloring and that's always fun!

Geometric Transformations Pennant

6: Extra credit
We're not talking about the kid who asks for extra credit after riding a 47% all term. That kid takes the F. For everyone else, Math pennants are a fun way to boost that B+ to an A-.

Linear Equations Ornaments

7: Class decor
This is the main reason I created Math pennants. Here is an amazing photo of my linear equations ornaments from Instagrammer @atrickythingI love how classrooms look when they are all decked out.

Math pennants make a high-engagement addition to your emergency sub folder. Print a few copies of the activity and leave directions for the sub to pass out a stack of pennants and crayons to each group for a worry-free day away.

Math Pennants Growing Bundle

And you can check out all of the pennants I have created so far here.

Math Pennants | Scaffolded Math and Science
See more Math Pennants

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