Word Walls

Looking for scaffolded math math word walls? See math word walls for elementary, middle and high school in this post. Includes links to free math word wall cards for a variety of math topics.

"I LOVE this! I am a visual learner, as are many of my students. This resource brings home the concepts taught and is a constant reminder in the room, as I have used it as a bulletin board." - anonymous

"I love these word walls! They are not just typical posters of words, diagrams, and definitions. The layering of arrows, words, and diagrams make the topics pop--the student has to think about connections, rather than just read." - Marcia

part of a 7th grade math word wall

Visual Math Word Walls

Adding math word walls to my classroom has changed everything about the way my students are able to access our math vocabulary and the concepts we cover in class. 

Since starting to add visual references to our classroom walls, our word walls have grown to cover every bulletin board and even cinder block wall space. 

In this post I want to show some of the math word walls I have made for my own classroom and those that came from the requests of teachers looking for word walls for their own classrooms. 

My math word walls show concepts in action, allowing more students to access the math vocabulary. With 15-20% of our kids having reading difficulties (and up to 80% in students with specific learning disabilities) showing the concepts instead of defining them allows more students access to the math. 

nets on a 6th grade math word wall

To me, an effective word wall shows examples and pictures instead of definitions, so I remove all unnecessary words. This increases math confidence and lowers math anxiety in students who struggle to read while still communicating the vocabulary just as effectively. 

triangle sums in an 8th grade math word wall (also added to the Geometry word wall)

With pictures, examples and reminders, math is more accessible to more students. They can find information more independently, which leads greater feelings of confidence and success. In my own classroom, this allows me to focus on the students who need more intense help.

exponential functions parent graph on an algebra 2 word wall

Math word walls have become an extension of my teaching. Whenever a student was confused, I used to stop class and catch that student up. This of course gave a sense of free time to the rest of the class, and reeling everyone back in became time-consuming and pretty frustrating.

I know that when a student is confused, his learning stops. That student won't hear anything else I say until his question is answered, which is why I would stop to explain. 

With visual aids on the walls, I can now point at a reference and get that student over his hurdle a lot faster. This has also been a big help in the classroom management department.

middle school math word wall ideas

Even with lots of encouraging that their voices matter, some of my students wouldn't speak up when they had a question. Adding visual supports to our classroom walls has given all of my students, and maybe especially these students, the tools to help them answer questions on their own. 

Seeking out and finding answers to their questions is empowering to all students. This is one of my favorite things about math word walls.

linear equations references on an Algebra 1 word wall

I've written a lot about math word walls. My first post, High School Math Word Wall Ideas, is a hodgepodge of the word wall references I've made over the years and the new ones I have made more recently.

high school math word wall ideas - here is a photo of our classroom bulletin board with Algebra 2 references

The post 5 Ways Math Word Walls Have Changed My Teaching highlights the 5 major benefits I have seen in my teaching and my students' learning since that first day I put up that first visual math support:

◉ Greater student independence
◉ Keeping the class on track
◉ They make a classroom inviting
◉ Connections to previous topics
◉ Low floor, high ceiling

That last reason is probably the most important change I have seen since adding these visual math word walls to my classroom. Some of the concepts we cover can be pretty intimidating! Allowing all students access into our curriculum bu offering visual supports if needed has allowed more of my students to feel successful in math.

Teachers have asked me to make word walls for their classrooms and it's been fun visiting the standards for the younger grades and seeing how they tie into the topics we teach in high school. I posted photos of these word walls in the post Middle School Math Word Wall Ideas.

We use this reference for quadratics in vertex form daily in Algebra 2.

Having examples on the walls for students to reference has made a big difference in the number of students able to access our curriculum. This quadratics poster is a digital version of one of the first references I added to my Algebra 2 classroom. 

Some of my students needed to refer to this poster every day during our vertex form unit while other students got the concept of vertex shifts on day 1. This is the beauty of math word walls! They are there if the kids need them.

box and whiskers on a 6th grade math word wall

This all word walls bundle contains all of the math word walls I have made (and will make) and is still being updated. Updates are always free. 

All Math Word Walls bundle
All Math Word Walls bundle

Each word wall is available individually and in 4-grade level bundles in my TpT store.

Math word walls:

Area Word Wall
Unit Circle word wall

Math word wall posts:

Free math word walls:

If you'd like to give math word walls a try in your classroom, here are some free pdf resources:

free math word wall reference for prime factoring
free prime factoring visual math word wall

free volume and surface area visual math word wall
free volume and surface area visual math word wall

free PEMDAD or GEMDAS mobile for a math word wall
free PEMDAS (or GEMDAS) mobile

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