Word Walls

Are you looking for a way to scaffold math vocabulary and concepts and make math more visual? In this post are photos of math word walls for elementary, middle and high school math along with photos of math classroom word walls that teachers have sent to me of their math classroom set up. Included in this post are links to free math word wall cards and discounted printable math word wall bundles 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


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. Not I can easily get students back on track when they are stuck on a concept, saving me time and allowing me to work with individual students.

part of a financial literacy word wall

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. 

area formulas word wall
area word wall

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. 



Are you looking for a way to scaffold math vocabulary and concepts and make math more visual? In this post are photos of math word walls for elementary, middle and high school math along with photos of math classroom word walls that teachers have sent to me of their math classroom set up. Included in this post are links to free math word wall cards and discounted printable math word wall bundles for a variety of math topics.
part of a 3rd grade math word wall

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
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)
part of a 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.

Pythagorean Theorem in 8th Grade Math and Geometry Word Walls
Pythagorean Theorem in 8th grade math and geometry word walls

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. 

part of an algebra 2 word wall

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. 

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. 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

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

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 by offering visual supports if needed has allowed more of my students to feel successful in math.

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. Teachers 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, teachers have arranged their math word wall pieces differently. Here are just a few of the photos teachers have sent. 

Mr. DeVore's math word wall
Mr. DeVore's math word wall

I love the colors that Mr. DeVore used to display his math word wall. The blue and yellow go together so well. At the very top of his bulletin board is a set of proportions math pennants (on tpt). 

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 box and whiskers plot (from this 6th Grade Math Word Wall) onto blue paper to make a poster that can easily be taken down and put back up when needed.

Ms. Ortiz's math word wall window
Ms. Ortiz's math word wall window

I love this addition to Ms. Ortiz's classroom windows. 

We use this reference for quadratics in vertex form daily in Algebra 2.
part of an Algebra 2 word wall

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. 

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

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.

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


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

This math word wall 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
Math Word Wall bundle

Each word wall is also available individually and, because I know that in any classroom there is a range of abilities, in discounted 4-grade level bundles in my tpt store.


Math word walls:

Area Word Wall
◉ Unit Circle word wall
Financial Literacy 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
volume and surface area visual math word wall

free PEMDAD or GEMDAS mobile for a math word wall
PEMDAS (or GEMDAS) mobile
Scaffolded Math and Science home

11 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!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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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    Replies
    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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    Replies
    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! ^_^

    ReplyDelete