Word Walls

In this post are photos of the math word walls I have made for my own math classroom as well as the classrooms of teachers all over the world! To date, I have made math word walls for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade, as well as for algebra, geometry and algebra 2! Phew! All now include printable color, printable black and white and digital math word wall versions. You can see both the printable and digital math word walls in this post.

Back when I was teaching in Boston, my classroom was next door to a Geometry teacher who had covered his classroom bulletin boards and even cinderblock walls with all sorts of Geometry references. As the time, I thought it was a little much. I mean, wasn't this high school? Do teenagers really need a math word wall? A few years later, that teacher went on to become Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and I went on to realize how wrong I had been as soon as I gave math word walls a try in my own classroom. 

The math word walls in my classroom became an extension of my teaching and changed how my students accessed our math vocabulary and curriculum. The big, bright math visuals were a support when students got stuck or when I needed to make a quick connection in the middle of a lesson.

MATH WORD WALLS


"I love these math 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

exponential growth visual on an algebra 2 math word wall
part of an algebra 2 word wall

In this post are photos of some of the classroom math word walls I've made for my own math classroom, for classrooms of teachers all over the world and the digital updates they have all recently gotten. I also included some of the beautiful math word wall photos sent to me by teachers. 

I recently updated every math word wall to include links to digital word walls. The printable math word wall files were updated with these digital links so that students can access their math vocabulary even when not in your classroom.


Digital math word walls? Yes! The digital word wall updates came as a result of distance learning, but have proven useful as classroom tools even during in-person learning. Teachers are projecting them onto their classroom bulletin boards during class to quickly bring up references. The digital versions can be sent to students who need an on-the-go math vocabulary reference. 

digital math word walls - every math word wall has been updated with a link to a digital math word wall version for students working online

You can see how versatile these digital versions are in this digital math word walls post. I built them in GOOGLE Slides from real photos so that students feel like they are in a classroom. In the digital math word walls post, I linked to a video showing how to share these digital word walls with students. 

area formulas word wall
area word wall

To date, I have made math word walls for 2nd Grade through Algebra 2, the Unit Circle and Financial Literacy. Most have come from teacher requests after the original Algebra and Algebra 2 I had made for my own classroom. So I'd like to show some of them here. I'd also like to talk a bit about the benefits of math word walls and the positive impacts I have seen in my own classroom.

This photo shows part of a 7th grade math word wall. It comes separately and also as part of a bundle of middle school math word walls.

Math word walls that show concepts in action, instead of explicit definitions, allow 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 in context instead of defining the terms allows students to make the connections that are critical for conceptual understanding.

This photo shows part of a 2nd grade word wall. It comes separately and also as part of a bundle of math word walls for grade 2 through grade 5.
part of a 2nd grade math word wall

This gives more students access to the math, most importantly our visual learners, students with reading disabilities and ELL students.

nets on a 6th grade math word wall
nets on a 6th grade math word wall

To me, an effective word wall shows examples and pictures, instead of definitions, so that they are accessible. For this reason, I remove all unnecessary words and focus on making the visuals as clear and as descriptive as possible.

6th Grade Math Word Wall | Scaffolded Math and Science
part of a 6th grade math word wall

This increases math confidence and lowers math anxiety in students who struggle to read while still communicating the vocabulary just as effectively, if not better. My students reference our walls during independent work and I reference them during lessons, especially when needing to make a connection back to a previous topic or moving a student past confusion.

graphing systems on an algebra word wall
part of an algebra word wall

With pictures, examples and reminders, math is more accessible to more students.

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

Students can find the information they need more independently, which leads to greater feelings of confidence and success. To me, confidence in math is everything. In my own classroom, I can focus on the students who need more intense help while directing others to use the walls for help.

exponential functions parent graph on an algebra 2 word wall
part of an algebra 2 word wall 

Math word walls have become an extension of my teaching. Whenever a student is 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.

Pythagorean Theorem word wall
Pythagorean Theorem

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
part of a 6th grade math word wall

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.

circles on a Geometry Word Wall
part of a geometry word wall

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
part of an algebra word wall

I've written a lot about math word walls on my blog over the years. 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 adding math word walls to our classroom walls:

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

quadratic graphs on an algebra word wall
part of an algebra word wall

That last reason is probably the most important change that I have seen since adding these visual math word walls to my classroom. Some of the concepts we cover can be pretty intimidating!

Financial Literacy Word Wall | Scaffolded Math and Science
part of a financial literacy word wall

Allowing all students access into our curriculum by offering visual supports has allowed more of my students to feel successful in math. To me this is a huge part of being a math teacher. I need my students to know that math is for everyone.

probability on a 7th Grade Math Word Wall
part of a 7th grade math word wall

Teachers have sent so many photos of their math word walls and every one of the photos has been different, even using the same pieces. You all are so creative.

fraction visuals on a 4th grade math word wall
part of a 4th grade math word wall

In every one of the photos that teachers have sent, the pieces are arranged differently, based on the needs of students and teacher preference. Sometimes teachers choose to display only the current topics. Other times, teachers choose to display their entire math word wall at once. This is really up to you. Here are just a few of the photos teachers have sent.

Ms. Napoli's math word wall
Ms. Napoli's math word wall

I love how Ms. Napoli's math word wall pops with black as a background.

Ms. Davenport's math word wall
Ms. Davenport's math word wall

Look at that yellow! Ms. Davenport's math classroom is such a cheery place to learn with her yellow math word wall background.

Ms. Estrada's box and whisker's plot
Ms. Estrada's box and whisker's plot

Ms. Estrada arranged the pieces of her 6th grade math word wall's box and whiskers plot onto blue paper to make a poster that can easily be taken down and put back up when needed.

part of an algebra 2 word wall - parent graphs for constant functions
part of an algebra 2 word wall (digital version)

Having examples on the walls for students to reference has made a big difference in the number of students able to access our curriculum. I teach Algebra 2, which can be challenging. Our Algebra 2 word wall has been a support that students can count on in our classroom when they get stuck or need a reminder.

part of a unit circle word wall
part of a unit circle word wall

Here is a reference for the Unit Circle.

place value on a 4th grade math word wall
part of a 4th grade math word mall

And place value in a 4th grade math word wall.

box and whiskers on a 6th grade math word wall
part of a 6th grade math word wall

And the ever-present box and whiskers plot.

fractions on  5th grade math word wall
5th grade word wall fractions

All of the grade-level word walls below are included as printable color, printable black and white and interactive digital to meet the needs of distance learning. The digital versions can also be used on a screen in your classroom. It's entirely up to you which version you use. All versions are in the same files so that you have the choice to print or share the digital versions with students.

All of the math word walls seen in this post are available in this big math word walls bundle. Every math word wall comes in both print and digital inside the bundle. Print versions are in both color and black & white.


"This product keeps getting better and better! I colored a lot of them last summer, then the color versions came out! and now the digital versions! This resource has been incredibly helpful to have up and reference and add to during the year. I worked with students who struggled and students who accelerated, this was a great resource for all of them!" -Chelsie S



Math word wall downloads:


Area Word Wall

Unit Circle word wall

Financial Literacy word wall







Free math word wall references:


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


17 comments:

  1. I am starting my nd year teaching 6th grade English in a small bilingual school in Mexico. The pay is small, but I found your Instagram and am so grateful! What you provide is going to change my students to amazing students. Thank you!

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    1. Please send me a message on Instagram, I'd love to follow you too! I hope you have a wonderful year!

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  2. How do you attach these to the wall?

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    1. Hi Mary, in my classroom I used the blue Loctite putty. For heavier posters, teachers have even used a strip of blue painter's tape on the wall then hot glue between the painter's tape and the poster they are hanging. This way the hot glue doesn't come in contact with the wall. Other teachers have used Command Strips, but I haven't given these a try.

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  3. Hi! These would be so wonderful if you would have them in Spanish. They'd be a best seller.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Many of the word walls do have Spanish vocabulary words included.

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  4. Do you have a proofs word wall? I have the Geometry word wall, but I don't see anything much for chapter 2.

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    1. Thank you for asking this. I don't as of now because I'd need to brush up on proofs and have not had the time. When I do add proofs, it will go into the Geometry Word Wall.

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  5. Yay!
    I can't speak for others, but my school starts by proving the solution to an equation using properties of equality. Looking forward to it! ^_^

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  6. What size to you print the words and graphics? I have your word wall packets but have not used them because not knowing how to print in larger size.

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    1. Hi Jolene,

      Everything prints on regular computer paper. If it was before fall when you purchased, you can re-download to get the new color versions. -Shana

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  7. Thank you very much for these. I have been using your materials for a couple of years but have never said thank you. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for coming back to leave a comment! This means a lot. I hope your year is going well!

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  8. You're very talented with such a vast amount of resource knowledge to include in word walls. I will be buying the 6th grade for sure next paycheck...

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