For a year between teaching mainstream high school math and teaching special education high school math, I tried teaching middle school math. My husband and I had moved further out from the city, the job was listed as an 8th grade Algebra position, I love Algebra, it was closer to my new apartment, what could go wrong?

Everything. Everything could go wrong. I got eaten alive.

You middle school teachers-- hats off to you. The math was familiar, everything else was like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Kids were arguing about stolen pencils (with grins on their faces, of course), this girl made fun of this other girl's boot liners (an intervention was called). I felt I was pausing class every 10 minutes to catch a confused kid up to speed. I was low woman on the 8th grade math team so nothing I said held any weight. All in all, it was a miserably eye-opening experience for me. My brother teaches middle school math. I don't know how he does it.

Ms. Baily's middle school math word wall |

This was a year before I made the decision to decorate my classroom with math word walls. Looking back, I know they would have helped curb some of the interruptions and boost the confidence of the kids who felt confused.

Teacher Rhonda getting her 6th grade math word wall ready |

Some time after sharing photos of my my math word walls on social media, a teacher emailed asking if I could make her an 8th grade math word wall. Soon after, another teacher asked for one for 7th grade, then 6th grade, then even 5th grade.

In this post I want to show photos of the word walls I have made for you marvelous middle school teachers with the most impossible jobs in teaching!

**UPDATE:**All math word walls in this post are now also available as digital word walls, built in Google Slides. The digital versions are completely interactive and are linked inside the printable PDFs so that you have access to both the printable and digital versions.

Clicking on the images brings up larger versions of the images. Students then click the "back to class" button to go back to the main "classroom". The digital versions are nice references for students working at home and a support for parents. I wrote a post explaining how to share the digital word walls with students here.

Now I'd like to show you some of the pieces of the word walls I have made for middle school math. The photos in this post show the black & white word walls that I colored by hand. Since taking these photos, I have added color versions to each of the word walls.

I made this 8th grade math word wall with thoughts of my former 8th graders in mind. These are the references I would hang on my walls were it possible to go back in time for a do-over. Above are references for systems of equations with proportional and not proportional shown in context.

Scatter plots even come up in our 10th grade state exit exam here in Massachusetts. This reference shows a positive correlation, outlier, cluster and line of fit. I just added Spanish translations of the vocabulary words that can be hung alongside their English counterparts.

Here is a reference section for function vs. not a function.

Geometric transformations.

And triangle sums.

There are way more representations of slope that I had ever imagined before making this word wall for 7th grade! Constant of proportionality, unit rate, scale factor... Wowza!

And integers.

Data, data, data! Topics like box plot, histogram, mean median, mode, and range are all topics covered in this 6th grade math word wall.

Here is a box and whiskers reference.

Multiplying and dividing fractions.

And nets. In 6th grade I was happily practicing my long division and doodling on my worksheets. That was the 1980s. Things have changed a lot since then!

Here is a video showing a little of the 6th grade word wall's digital version.

Though not for middle school topics, the references in this 5th grade math word wall may help some students link back to previous learning. Above are references for graphing with additive and multiplicative patterns.

In my special ed Algebra 2 classroom we have Algebra 1 references that we refer to pretty regularly so I know how many kids we see can be a year or two behind.

References for improper and proper fractions.

Adding fractions.

And quadrilaterals.

All of the word wall references in this post (and a lot more) are included in this Math Word Walls bundle. Every word wall inside comes in color, black and white and interactive digital in Google Slides. All updates are always free.

Math Word Wall Bundle |

I also put together smaller 4-grade bundles that can be mixed and matched, including these for grades 5-8 and grades 6-9.

Each word wall is also available individually.

**More posts:**

Hello!

ReplyDeleteI teach 6&8 grade. I was looking at your word walls and can use pieces of all the grade levels. Do you have that sort of bundle?

Hi Samantha, Thank you for your comment. I don't have any sort of larger bundle at this time.

DeleteIs there a way to buy just 1 grade level of the word wall?

ReplyDeleteThank you for asking. They are all available separately. If you click on any of the bundle images above, it will bring you to where you can click on each individually.

DeleteI love your work. I was wondering if you created one for slope. We are teaching that in class.

ReplyDeleteThank you! Slope is part of the algebra word wall.

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