Math classroom decoration ideas

In this post are ideas for decorating your math classroom to make it a welcoming and helpful space for your students. I include links to posters to boost math confidence and math word walls to support math vocabulary. There are ideas here for decorating elementary, middle and high school math classrooms.

I've written a lot about math classroom décor, math word walls, inspirational math posters and the benefits I've seen from hanging student work on the wall, but I didn't always have my classroom walls covered. It wasn't until years after my first year teaching that I hung my first math anchor chart. Here's my hand-drawn Quadratic Formula poster from my first year adding décor to my walls. 

hand-drawn Quadratic Formula anchor chart, since replaced with a printed version

As the years went on, I started swapping out my hand-drawn classroom décor with printable versions. This way I didn't have to worry if a reference fell off the wall and was stepped on, or drawn on by a student's younger sibling, like this radical functions anchor chart that has seen much better days:

hand-drawn radical functions anchor chart, since replaced with a printed version

Here is an updated printable Quadratic Formula reference:

Quadratic Formula reference in an algebra word wall

And an update of the radical functions reference:

radical functions anchor chart on an algebra 2 word wall

There was a change in my classroom once I started adding décor to the walls. 

It's hard to say if this change came from my students, from me as I added more years to my teaching experience or some combination of the two, but it felt like my students became more invested. Here is "The Fridge" where my students hang their graded papers. Most of the time even my juniors and seniors choose to hang their papers instead of bringing them home. I also like having their papers displayed. On tough days, days that my students feel they "can't", I can point to their wonderful work on the wall and say, "Yes you can!": 

Displaying Student Work on "The Fridge" wall of student math success
Our classroom "Fridge"

This post is a collection of math classroom decoration ideas, some from my own classroom, some printables I've made for teachers, and photos that teachers have sent to me of their own math classroom décor. 

To me, math confidence is everything. When students are confident, they can push through that tough math topic or at least be more willing to try. That confidence can be tough to build and comes from more than just classroom décor. But I do believe that the decorations we hang in our classrooms can help.

Are you looking for math classroom decor ideas? In this post there are ideas for decorating elementary, middle and high school math classrooms. Includes links to free pdf posters, math word walls and other fun ideas to add to your math classroom decor.

Here is a photo of my math classroom's first math word wall, complete with hand-painted factoring references, a few printed posters and some math vocabulary cards. 

Since taking this photo, I have majorly updated my math word wall, along with every other I've made for 2nd grade through algebra 2. You can see photos of them all here.

Geometry word wall | parallel lines cut by a transversal before the poster was updated (this one is made from cut paper)

For a couple years I taught Geometry and the anchor charts above became part of our geometry word wall. The parallel lines cut by a transversal poster is made with cut paper and marker on cardstock. It faded over time, so I updated with this print version:

Parallel Lines Cut by a Transversal Poster and Coloring Page updated pdf version

The divisibility rules pennant from above and this order of operations mobile are both part of my blog's free math resource library. There are letters included to make GEMDAS, GEMS and a few other acronyms.

Whenever anything related to PEMDAS comes up on Facebook, I learn of another acronym for the order of operations. The mobile has since been updated with an "Order of Operations" card for the top of the mobile.

linear equations and slope on an algebra word wall

The summer I made this linear equations reference came after a school year spent drawing linear graphs on the board over and over again in my algebra 2 classes. My students needed reminders of the x-intercepts and zeros they learned in algebra 1 as we were learning about nonlinear functions. We reference this section of our word wall almost daily. This is a photo of the updated version.

Classroom math word wall photos shared by Teachers! This one is from Ms. Koehler.
Photo sent from Ms. Koehler of her geometry word wall

Teachers have sent me so many great photos of their classrooms and seeing them all has made me so happy. This one was sent over by Ms. Koehler of her geometry word wall.

Classroom math word wall photos shared by Teachers! This one is from Ms. Paulus.
Photo sent from Ms. Paulus of her math word wall

And this is a photo of Ms. Paulus's 5th grade math word wall. 

Mr. Urzua's math word wall
Photo sent from Mr. Urzua of his math word wall

Mr. Urzua shared a photo of his math word wall on Instagram. I love the black background. 

Ms. Woodworth brought her math classroom décor outside and hung hundreds of matholution math pennants in her school's courtyard.

“How to be a Math Person” - inspirational math classroom decor

How many times have you heard, "I'm just not a math person" from students when they get stuck? No way. We are all math people. This "How to be a Math Person" poster reminds all students that math is for all of us. There are directions inside the download to make this larger 4-page poster. I also made a virtual version.

Ms. Lyons's classroom mural

How cute is Ms. Lyons's How to be a Math Person mural? Her friend painted it on her classroom wall and totally nailed it! 

“I KNOW I CAN” Poster - inspirational math classroom decor 3 Ratings  Show preview image 1  Show preview image 2  Show preview image 3    Grade Levels Not Grade Specific Subjects Math, Classroom Community Resource Type Printables, Bulletin Board Ideas, Posters Formats Included PDF Pages 5 pages FREE Edit Download PDF (267 KB) Share this resource Report this resource to TpT

Here is an "I Know I Can" motivational classroom poster with words from Nas. I heard from a bunch of teachers that their students thought the words were from Lil Nas X. Nothing makes a person feel older, lol. There are directions to enlarge this and any PDF for free at home in this post.

Slope Cartoon Poster

Can a person be both 3 feet tall and 5 feet tall? No way! This silly math cartoon shows students the difference between undefined and zero slope. On page 2 of the PDF is an identical cartoon for function vs not a function. You can get this cartoon in my Google Drive here.

Back to School math pennant and glyph activity with a Golden Spiral theme
Back to school math pennant and glyph - print and digital

This back to school math pennant with a Golden Spiral theme helps students get to know each other at the beginning of the year. It comes with a short lesson on the Golden Ratio and optional glyph directions for students to color based on get-to-know-you questions.

Back to School Math Activity and Glyph

My friend Mandy from Math Dyal sent this photo of her students' back to school math pennants. How about that wood paneling?

This slope tree is a fun way for students to show off their understanding of slope between two points while also decorating their classroom. It can be found in this post about slope.

free slope poster download

This slope poster is a nice reminder to students of the 4 types of slope.

I love classroom décor that is functional and that makes a classroom an inviting and low-stress place to learn. Knowing the references are always there for them encourages my students to take risks and independently seek help when they get stuck.

Financial Literacy word wall

While I was teaching algebra 2, I was also teaching a consumer math class to seniors. In this class we learned all about budgeting, filing taxes and the importance of keeping a close eye on percents. My students had a lot of questions about credit cards and credit scores and I was happy to answer then all. There's something really powerful about teaching students financial literacy. I put together a financial literacy word wall based on the questions that came up in class. This photo shows some of the pieces included. 

Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions Poster

Fractions are one of those topics that just keep coming up. I made this fractions poster for a teacher who had emailed asking if I had a reference covering this skill. There's a color version included, too.

Complex Numbers Poster - Patterns of i

A poster for the patterns of i.

Functions Skeleton Posters - high school math classroom decor

If you're into Halloween, this is a free set of 12 posters with skeletons posing as algebraic functions

Function Transformations Poster - high school math classroom decor

This function transformations poster helps students remember what absolute value, radical and quadratic functions look like when they transform.

This Success Iceberg poster from Sylvia Duckworth will always be one of my favorite posters of all-time. 

my math classroom decor (photo taken the last day of school)

I hung it on the old television in our classroom.

place value (billions) math word wall reference

I made this billions place value reference for a 4th grade teacher who needed it for her classroom's math word wall. You can grab it from my dropbox here. The number needs a little trimming to fit together, but it's pretty easy to do. This picture is inside the PDF for reference. 

And an Albert Einstein poster to remind us that even geniuses write in their math notebooks.

math pennants are a fun way to show off student work

How do you like to decorate your walls? Do you believe less is better, go all out or are you somewhere in the middle? If you're part of the Visual Math Facebook group, I'd love to see your photos!


Unknown said...

Thank you so it's a wonderful idea i will use it this year ....i wish i can find someone here to share with me ideas about math ....i'm from Algeria.......thanks in advance

Keshab Prasad Parajuli said...

Nice indeed!
I would love to share the walls from my classroom too. We mostly have math formula as students want to remember for solving problems.

ScaffoldedMath said...

Thank you Keshab! I hope you have a wonderful school year!

ScaffoldedMath said...

Algeria! Wow! Thank you for your comment! We have a math group on Facebook called Visual Math where teachers share ideas about teaching math to visual learners. I hope you will join!

Allison Deal said...

I love these a lot! I just finished my first year and only wish I had found this post before. I will be incorporating some of these ideas next year! When you give tests, do you cover over the word walls or leave them up?

ScaffoldedMath said...

Thank you for asking, Allison. I never covered the walls for tests. Anything that I gave in class wasy fair game to use on any assessments I gave. That being said, I had the luxury of creating the curriculum we used in class because there was no self-contained Algebra 2 or Consumer Math curriculum. If the state test was given in my room, the walls would definitely have to be covered though.

Paulina Herrera said...

Thank you for share your ideas!! I really like it! I will do it in my classroom (im a math teacher from the Patagonia Argentina).

Thanks again!

ScaffoldedMath said...

Hello from Massachusetts, US! Thank you for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Elisabeth McWhorter said...

Do you have the parent function people somewhere that I can purchase them or access them elsewhere?

ScaffoldedMath said...

Thanks for asking, Elisabeth. They are a free download on the OK Math website here:

Unknown said...

Thank you so much. I am from Nigeria,hope to learn more from you .