"We are all math people!" Growth mindset poster

How to Be a Math Person Poster - Scaffolded Math and Science

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! growth mindset poster for a math classroom

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!

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 top posts

math word wall ideas


14 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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    1. Thank you! I wear my shirt a lot!

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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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