"We are all math people!" Growth mindset poster

We are all math people! In this post is a free How to be a Math Person poster to help instill a growth mindset in your math classroom. Also includes a “How to be a Maths Person” version for teachers outside of the US.

"How to be a Math Person" poster


If you've ever figured out how much a shirt cost from the 30% off rack, you are a math person.

If you've ever estimated how much water you drank in a day, you are a math person.

If you've ever made any sort of budget of any kind, you are a math person.

If you've ever calculated exactly what time you'd need to get out of bed to still get to work on time, you are a math person.

We are all math people! 

We are all math people! In this post is a free How to be a Math Person poster to help instill a growth mindset in your math classroom. Also includes a “How to be a Maths Person” version for international teachers.
free How to be a Math Person poster

Something happened when I hit middle school and math stopped being easy. My self-esteem took a hit, which was furthered by the disappointed look on my dad's face as he helped me with my homework. I didn't get it. It was really hard and abstract and weird. My little concrete brain wasn't ready for the impact of conceptual math and my whole world was rocked. 

Fast forward to a few years into my teaching career when the 5-year-you-better-have-at-least-started-your-Master's-degree-program-it-you-want-to-continue-being-a-Massachusetts-public-school-teacher deadline was looming and a Master's in Biology was going to be too expensive. I enrolled in - of all things - a math graduate program, never expecting it to become anything more than the required check in a box.

My health - both psychological and physical - took a major hit as I went through those 5 years teaching full-time during the day and having my rear end handed to me at night in these math classes. As every problem set and extra help session ate more and more into my sleep, there were times I questioned if it was worth it. But I had the luxury of not having another option. Sometimes those "life ultimatums" are blessings in disguise.

5 years later, I did it. I graduated. And as it turns out, I am a math person. We are all math people. My biggest takeaway from those years was a new, firsthand knowledge of how my struggling learners feel. I didn't feel like a "math person" in graduate school, but I did it. And so can my students. 

I love decorating my math classroom. There are more photos of the math references that hang on my wall in the post Math classroom decoration ideas

In that post are photos of visual math word walls, which completely changed everything about the way my students access math vocabulary.

Math classroom decoration ideas

You can find the "How to be a Math Person" poster for free here. It serves as a reminder that we are ALL math people!

If you are not on TpT, you can also find the free poster here.

How to be a Math Person poster pfd enlarged to print on multiple pages. We are all math people! In this post is a free How to be a Math Person poster to help instill a growth mindset in your math classroom. Also includes a “How to be a Maths Person” version for international teachers.

I recently wrote a post on how to enlarge a pdf into a multi-page poster for free. This poster above was made by following the 3 simple steps in the post.

How to be a Maths Person poster

UPDATE: I added a "Maths" version for those of you outside the US.

We are all Math People growth Mindset t-shirt

I also made the image into a t-shirt. Here is a free png image file if you'd also like to make a shirt (or cut some vinyl for a bulletin board).

I used this Vistaprint link to get that t-shirt printed.

Scaffolded Math and Science home



23 comments:

  1. Thank you! I always get excited when your emails arrive! :)

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    1. I'm so happy to hear this! Thank you Mrs. Bowerman! :)

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  2. paula ragerJune 12, 2018

    Thank you for your wit, your humor, your creativity, your knowledge and for the kindness you show to others! I greatly appreciate you!!

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    1. What an awesome comment to read, Paula. Thank you so much! It really makes me happy writing this blog ad even happier knowing that others may benefit. I hope you have an amazing year!

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  3. I love this so much! Printing the poster and ordered a shirt! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. I'm not currently teaching math, but I LOVE this poster and agree 100%. I saw your picture on Pinterest and looked for it on this blog just to make this comment. Great message!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm on a short break from teaching myself but this idea of growth mindset has helped me in so many areas of my life, even outside of teaching. It really is empowering knowing we can do anything we set our hearts and minds to do! I appreciate you making that extra effort to find this post and comment!

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  5. Gosh I wish I was a fly on the wall in your classroom!!!! I am likely the one of few teachers on my team that see an importance for word walls and mind change that can be used to engage students. I will buy a shirt to support all you do and get a few smiles in each day I wear it.

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    1. The shirt is free! Well, the graphic is (that PNG image linked above). And it wasn't all that expensive to get made. I hope your team comes around. Math word walls are so great for so many reasons. I hope you have a great year!

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  6. I just moved to middle school from elementary and I am teaching Math and Science. I truly wanted to go to ELA for this year in elementary; however I love my new school. I kinda feel like you did in your master's program as the standards change up a little bit and it's handing my butt to me b/c I have to relearn some of the math. I enjoy your blog and love seeing your emails come into my inbox. THANKS!

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    1. I know how you feel Melanie! It’s so uncomfortable at first, but in the end it’s so interesting and awesome how life works out. People can learn anything, even us as adults! Thank you for sticking it out even though you’d rather be in ELA. My husband is an ELA teacher and this year has one co-taught algebra class, so it must be going around:) I know your students are pretty lucky to have a teacher so willing to learn new things. I hope you have a wonderful year!

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  7. I am way into midlife and due to the weirdness of life situations, I just started a job in my hubs' hometown so I could finally (banish 86 mile daily round trip driving in order to) walk to work with our dog chasing away armadillos, skunks, opossums, deer, raccoons, etc as I leave home at 6 am to start getting ready for my five math preps for grades 7,8,9,10. It's always refreshing to see folks share. Thanks for sharing. It's good to see young whippersnappers carry on the zeal. I still love teaching and the variety my thirty-five years have provided from ESL to ELA to lots of Spanish to finally what I left Taiwan to do: math. Your hard work preparing your materials helps those of us who truly do not have enough hours each day to create. THANK YOU. And Math On!

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    1. You are awesome! 35 years! WOW! Amazing. And I am SO HAPPY to hear that your commute has lessened. I am sure 86 miles a day took its toll. Thank you for your comment and all the luck and happiness in your newest life endeavor!

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  8. Hi, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate on so many levels and your poster is perfect! It sums everything up. Do you have any recommendations for the best way to print the poster? Thanks so much!

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    1. A printing blog post is on my to-do list! I used a free Adobe reader to print a 4-page, enlarged version and just need to blog about it. It's pretty simple. You download Adobe reader and print with their poster setting. If you'd like the file that I made, I can send. My email is shana@scaffoldedmath.com.

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    2. Hi again! I wrote the post about printing the pdf as a multi-page poster and wanted to link you to it: https://www.scaffoldedmath.com/2019/07/how-to-enlarge-pdf-to-print-on-multiple-pages.html

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  9. OMG, I love the shirt!!!! The link for the shirt file goes to tpt for the pdf file. How do I use that for the shirt?

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know this. I updated links on the post last week and edited out that one, too. It is all fixed now and goes to the PNG image file in my dropbox. Right underneath that link in the post is a Vistaprint link. That is where I had gotten my short printed.

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  10. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all that you do for our corner of elementary. I am trying to tell my students that math isn't scary, and I promise I won't let them "not get it." Thank you! I can't wait to use these resources. I don't know how to stop being "second grade soup." I'm now "Fourth Grade Fabulous!"

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    1. You are awesome! And the switch from 2nd to 4th must have been a big one! I love that you are communicating to your kids that you are there for them through their learning. What a huge difference you are making in their lives!

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