Algebra 1 Word Wall

This algebra 1 word wall started as a way to help my students link nonlinear functions back to what they learned in algebra. Over the years it has morphed into a supplement for an algebra curriculum, showing algebra 1 topics in action through visual examples and pictures. I have heard from so many algebra teachers how presenting the vocabulary this way has been helpful for their visual and English language learners.

One year I found myself drawing algebra 1 topics -- linear graphs and tables, in particular -- on the whiteboard over and over and over again. I needed to in order to make links from the nonlinear graphs we were learning back to the x-intercepts, y-intercepts and slope my students had already learned. I wasted so much time drawing those graphs, so that summer I decided to put together parts of an algebra word wall to cut down on all the drawing. I could hang these reminders in my classroom to point to, saving me time and dry erase markers.

At the time, this algebra word wall only included pieces related to liner equations. I put it up on tpt and went about my life. I remember sitting on the beach with my family and getting a feedback notification that wrecked me. It slammed that word wall for not including more algebra 1 topics.


This algebra 1 word wall started as a way to help my students link nonlinear functions back to what they learned in algebra. Over the years it has morphed into a supplement for an algebra curriculum, showing algebra 1 topics in action through visual examples and pictures. I have heard from so many algebra teachers how presenting the vocabulary this way has been helpful for their visual and English language learners.

In my algebra 2 classroom, linear equations were all I needed. We already had our algebra 2 word wall, but I needed that link back to algebra 1. Slope and linear equations were the only things in algebra 1 that I needed my algebra 2 students to remember, so the word wall worked perfectly well for us. But when I put it on tpt, I unwittingly set in motion something much bigger than I was prepared to handle at the time. After that feedback on the beach, I embraced this responsibility and began adding more topics.

Now it's one of the larger math word walls in my store and includes so many topics, many of which also work for algebra 2. In this post I want to show some of those pieces.

Linear equations on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

Here is part of the linear section I had added to my algebra 2 classroom. It shows the math vocabulary origin, grid, graph, y-intercept and x-intercept. I have always found examples to work really well with my students, especially my visual and English language learners. So this section shows the vocabulary through the example y = 2x - 6. I later added more to this section, including tables, so that students can make deeper connections to the tables we were creating in class.

Equations and expressions on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

Is it a factor, term, expression, equation? This section shows these vocabulary words as well as exponent, constant, coefficient and variable through more examples. I have found examples helpful for students, especially students who struggle with language for any reason. Being able to apply an example to a new problem is a skill that needs to be developing in kids and one that comes in handy during problem solving.

Compound interest on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

Some of the parts of this algebra word wall can also apply to standards covered in algebra 2, which is why I have bundled 4-grade math word walls. We covered compound interest in algebra 2, but it is also covered during an exponential functions unit in algebra 1. Like most of the later additions to this word wall, this section on compound interest was a teacher request. 

Exponential functions on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

The table in this exponential functions section is a lot like the table in the linear section, so it allows students to compare the two functions and how they grow. 

Quadratic functions on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

This quadratic functions section has a lot of math vocabulary going on! With how the word wall is set up you can choose to display everything at once or add pieces as you progress through the unit. 

Difference of Squares on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

I've always loved this graphic for showing difference of squares. Kids get a kick out of it literally being the difference of two squares!

Completing the square and vertex form, standard form and factored form on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

This section shows the links between completing the square and standard, vertex and factored form quadratics and how all three forms can be used to describe the same graph.

Systems of Inequalities visual on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

All of the photos here are hand-colored, but I also added color versions of all the pieces not too long ago. So if you have access to a color printer, everything will print in about the colors I used to color the pieces in these photos.

Systems of Equations through graphing, elimination and substitution on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

Solving systems of equations through graphing and then elimination and substitution with links to their graphs.

Sequences on an Algebra 1 Word Wall

Algebraic and geometric sequences were another more recent addition from  teacher request. 

There is more included in the algebra word wall than shown in these photos. You can find this word wall here: Algebra Word Wall. The color version and black and white version are included in the same file.

Algebra Word Wall | Scaffolded Math and Science
Algebra Word Wall

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-Shana
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