I've written a lot about the benefits I've seen come from hanging student work and math reference materials. But I didn't always have my classroom walls covered. It wasn't until a few years after my first year teaching that I started decorating my classroom. Here's a photo of one of the first anchor charts I made for my students-- a poster for the Quadratic Formula.

That first year, most of my posters were made out of poster board and cut colored paper. As the years went on and the colors began to fade, I started swapping the handmade references 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 during Open House. This radical functions anchor chart had seen much better days by the time it retired:

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!". There are free The Fridge letters for your bulletin board here.

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.

Here is a Practice Makes Better poster to remind students that perfect is overrated. Great things happen when we work hard, get better and stop worrying about being perfect. Making mistakes is important and the way we grow, especially in math class. I hope this poster helps students remember this.

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.

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.

Here is part of a new Unit Circle math word wall. Every math word wall comes in printable color, printable b&w (what I printed out) and digital in Google Slides in the same file.

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:

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.

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.

And this is a photo of Ms. Paulus's 5th grade 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 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. If you need help making a PDF into a multi-page poster, there is a tutorial here.

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!

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.

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.

My friend Karrie from Mrs. E Teaches Math sent this photo of her students' back to school math pennants. How about that wood paneling? There are more math pennants to see here.

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.

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

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

New #sketchnote: The Iceberg Illusion, inspired by @matthewsyed's book "Bounce" cc @ShellTerrell @dougpete #edchat pic.twitter.com/vp3DEV9VDJ

— Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth) July 15, 2015

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

I hung it on the old television in our classroom.

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.

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!

**>Browse all math classroom décor**

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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

ReplyDeleteAlgeria! 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!

DeleteNice indeed!

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

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

DeleteI 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?

ReplyDeleteThank 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.

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

ReplyDeleteThanks again!

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

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

ReplyDeleteThanks for asking, Elisabeth. They are a free download on the OK Math website here: http://okmathteachers.com/algebra-aerobics/

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

ReplyDeleteHello from Massachusetts, US!

DeleteI thought I saw on your blog a wall decoration for a daily or weekly calculation/word problem posting. Do you still have it?

ReplyDeleteI don't think it was here, but I do know that my friend Alex over at Middle School Math Man has a Challenge of the Week: https://www.middleschoolmathman.com/middleschoolmathmanblog/middle-school-math-challenge-of-the-week

Deletewhat font do you use?

ReplyDeleteI use a lot of fonts from Kimberly Geswein. Her fonts are free for personal use on TPT.

Delete