Math Word Walls

Math vocabulary word walls for elementary, middle and high school math classrooms to turn your math bulletin board into a teaching tool.

The math word walls you'll find here show math vocabulary and concepts in context through bright visuals and examples, helping more of your students access the curriculum. There are links below to word walls for elementary, middle and high school math, along with inspiring teacher photos. Every math word wall comes in 3 formats -- printable color, printable black & white and interactive digital in Google Slides -- and each includes printable Spanish vocabulary. 

My first introduction to math word walls came from a geometry teacher in a classroom next to mine. He had created a hand-drawn, floor-to-ceiling math word wall covering all of the formulas, vocabulary and concepts his students needed to know for their state test. His bulletin board and walls were completely covered. At the time I thought it was a little much. I mean, do high schoolers really need a math word wall? 

my first math word wall

At the time I thought it was a little much. I mean, do high schoolers really need a math word wall? A few years later, he went on to become Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, and I went on to realize how right he had been after giving math word walls a try in my own classroom. 

algebra word wall
part of an algebra word wall

After 7 years teaching general education high school math, and one year giving middle school math a try, I headed back to high school to teach inclusion algebra 2, geometry and consumer math, and started my first math word wall.




Throughout that school year, I found myself drawing linear graphs over and over again to help my algebra 2 students make links back to what they had learned in algebra 1: y-intercepts, zeros, slope. So the next summer I began making permanent, printable references for my walls, starting with this one for linear equations:

My math word wall quickly became an extension of my teaching and greatly improved my classroom management. I could quickly point to a reference to help one student move past their confusion while keeping the rest of my class on track. During group and independent work, our math word wall helped students work more independently by referencing our wall, allowing me to help more students one-on-one. 

In the years since, as I've posted math word wall photos on social media, teachers have requested them for their own classrooms. On this page you'll find links to every math word wall I've made to date, along with some of the great photos teachers have shared of their own classroom math word walls.

6th Grade Math Word Wall
part of a 6th grade math word wall

"My students are LOVING this word wall! The images and examples, instead of just definitions, really help them to understand the concepts." -Marcie S, 8th Grade Math Word Wall 


"I love this. It is very versatile. I projected the vocabulary word while I taught the lesson and the I later posted a paper copy on the wall. My students actually looked at the words after they were posted. Great Resource!" -Denise H, Grades 6-9 Math Word Wall Bundle 


"The BEST math poster/word wall I could have put up this year. I will keep it up all year for my advanced Geometry and Trig classes." -Sarah M, Unit Circle Word Wall


"I am in love with this resource! My students are struggling learners and this has really been helpful to point to when they have repeated questions or when I am introducing a new topic." -Jennie M, 2nd Grade Math Word Wall 

Algebra Word Wall - print and digital
part of an algebra word wall

To date, I've completed math word walls for 2nd grade through algebra 2, financial literacy, the unit circle and a few extras. 

4th Grade Math Word Wall - print and digital
part of a 4th grade math word wall

Every math word wall comes in printable color, printable black & white and no-prep digital in Google Slides. All 3 versions come together in the same file. 

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

If you are looking for written definitions, they won't be here. I have found that simple graphics and examples of the math vocabulary in action, instead of explicit written definitions, allow more students to access the curriculum.

With 15-20% of our kids having reading difficulties (and up to 80% in students with specific learning disabilities), presenting math vocabulary in context allows more 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, especially our visual learners, students with reading disabilities and English Language Learners.

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

If we are learning about shifting a vertex form function, for example, I can quickly point to our wall to remind students which way the vertex shifts. This has supported my classroom management and has helped my students work more independently. To make each math word wall, I think hard about how to make the visuals as clear and descriptive as possible without unnecessary words.

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

I have found that presenting math vocabulary in this way increases math confidence and lowers math anxiety in students who struggle with reading, while still communicating the vocabulary and concepts we are learning in class. 

area and perimeter on a 3rd grade math word wall
part of a 3rd grade math word wall

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 - 8th grade math word wall
triangle sums on an 8th grade math 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.

scientific notation on an 8th grade math word wall
part of an 8th grade math word wall

Whenever a student was confused, I used to stop class to catch up that student. 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. My math word wall fixed this problem.

Pythagorean Theorem - geometry word wall
part of a geometry word wall

When students are confused their learning stops because they're more focused on their confusion than the lesson. This is why I always stop to answer student questions. With visual aids on the walls, I can now point at a reference and get students over their hurdles faster. 

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 take charge of their education and work more independently.

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

Seeking out and finding answers to their questions on their own by using our classroom visuals is empowering. This is one of my favorite things about math word walls.

Adding a math word wall to my classroom changed my teaching in a few important ways:

◉ 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 impact I have seen since adding a math word wall to our classroom. The supports are there for kids who need them, allowing more students to feel that maybe math is for them after all.

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

Supporting student access to the curriculum through our math word wall has allowed more of my students to feel successful in math. 

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

To me this is a huge part of being a math teacher. I need my students to know that math is for everyone. 

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

Over the years, teachers have sent so many photos of their math word walls. Every teacher arranges their word wall differently, based on student need and personal preference. You can see many of the photos in this post.

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

Ms. Davenport's math classroom is so cheery with her yellow display.

Ms. Estrada's 6th grade math word wall
Ms. Estrada's 6th grade math word wall

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.

Mr. Caruso arranged related pieces onto black poster board before hanging his Geometry Word Wall.
Mr. Caruso's geometry word wall

Mr. Caruso arranged related pieces onto black poster board before hanging his Geometry Word Wall.

Mrs. Shah put a frame around slope to draw her students' attention to their current topic of study.
Mrs. Shah's algebra word wall

Mrs. Shah put a frame around slope to draw her students' attention to their current topic of study.

Ms. LaBrake hung her math word wall on her classroom cabinets.
Ms. LaBrake's math word wall

Ms. LaBrake hung her math word wall on her classroom cabinets.

Instagrammer Falak's algebra 2 parent graphs with some twinkle lights.
Falak's algebra 2 parent graphs

Instagrammer Falak's algebra 2 parent graphs with some twinkle lights.

part of an algebra 2 word wall - parent graphs for constant functions
part of an algebra 2 word wall

Here is a photo of one of the digital word wall references. With the digital word walls, I wanted students to almost feel they were in a real classroom, which is why I chose to make the digital versions with real photographs. You can see how the digital versions work in this video.

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

A reference for the Unit Circle.

place value on a 4th grade math word wall
place value on a 4th grade math word wall

Place value in a 4th grade math word wall.

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

A box and whiskers plot in the 6th grade math word wall.


And fractions on a 5th grade math word wall. 


The word walls have really grown over the years as I have added teacher requested additions. Some teachers choose to display their entire math word wall at once, while other teachers choose to display only some pieces at a time. This is up to you. If you choose to laminate, a quick tip is to spray the lamination with clear, flat spray paint (painting with clear, flat Mod Podge also works). This takes away the lamination shine.



Math word wall downloads:




Math word wall bundle - print and digital math vocabulary
All Math Word Walls Bundle


"These word wall pieces guarantee that my classroom is the second teacher. Students are able to reference their learning with these engaging resources. Thank you!" - Malorey M, Math Word Wall Bundle


"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 Bundle


"Absolutely love this resource. I have been able to highlight key concepts in each unit, by creating posters that are displayed during the time we are discussing those TEKS in class. No longer do I have an overwhelming wall with all things math but a focus wall that changes as we progress through the year." - Ashley W, Math Word Wall Bundle

 

"This is so great! My students refer to these walls all the time! I have been putting them up as I go through each unit. I love that there is Spanish words included also for my Spanish speaking students!" - Rose P, Math Word Wall Bundle

 

"These are the perfect word wall for classroom display! They give students a succinct visual reference when they are completing seatwork in class. The posters are eye-catching and easy to read, so all students in the class are able to see. I also appreciate having the digital versions as well - this gives students an at-home reference for when they are completing homework. Thank you SO much! One of my favorite all-time resources." - Jennifer C





24 comments:

  1. How do you attach these to the wall?

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming back to update that every word wall will now include Spanish vocabulary by August 2021.

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  3. 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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    Replies
    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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  4. 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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  5. I love these. I am about to put some of the 8-11 grade math word wall pictures in my classroom. There is one thing I can’t find though. In the Algebra Word Wall, I can’t find the words “coefficient and “exponent” for the term, expression, and equation section. Is it in there somewhere. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, coefficient and exponent are on page 37. I squeezed them in there instead of adding another page to the word wall, so they're a little hard to find.

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  6. Do you have any plans to include the Statistics standards for 7th grade?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Denise, there are stats references in the 6th grade word wall. I try not to have any overlap between the word walls, so they'll probably stay in 6th grade only. But if there's a reference you need, please send me an email. shana@scaffoldedmath.com

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  7. AnonymousMay 17, 2022

    I love your word wall and plan on purchasing it for next year. For your high school level walls do you allow your students to use the wall during tests? I know there are some topics that I teach with my honors classes that they are expected to memorize. I also know that in the real world they will have access to look up any questions they have. What are your opinions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always allowed my students to use our word wall along with their notes. That being said, I taught applied Algebra 2 and Consumer Math to students with some learning difficulties and by then they were past our last state test. So I wasn't under the same pressure as a 9th or 10th grade teacher is under.

      If you are allowed to make this decision yourself and do not have to base it on a school rule, I'd say allow them to use your word wall. One huge benefit I saw from allowing them to use it (and their notes) was that I had that leverage to say, "It's in your notes" or "You can use the wall". With the word wall and notes in front of them, it forced my students to seek out answers on their own without my help, strengthening their researching skills and independence.

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  8. I just purchased the math word wall bundle! I am SO excited...it's absolutely amazing! Do you have one for science as well? My buddy across the hall is so eager to know after seeing me work on my math one this afternoon!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lacy. They really mean a lot. Unfortunately I don't have a word wall for science. Maybe someday.

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  9. I am planning to purchase your geometry word wall for my son who is homeschooling. Is there a simple way to scale it down so that we can make a notebook instead of putting them on a wall. We unfortunately do not have a wall to dedicate to math vocabulary.

    Thank you,
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Debbie, if your son will have access to a computer, each now comes digitally in Google Slides. The link to the digital version will be inside the PDF. For a notebook, you can choose to print 2 or 4 per page to make them smaller, or you can scale down to an exact size you'd like. I really like the free program Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for this.

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  10. AnonymousJune 24, 2022

    Do you have ant set notation items in your word walls? Or the symbols for the set of real numbers, rational numbers, etc.?
    I love your word walls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inside the 8th grade math word wall there is a set of references for number classification that includes natural, whole, integers, irrational, rational and Reals. There's also a little bubble to the side for imaginary numbers that you can decide to display if your students are ready.

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  11. Hello from Namibia. Do you have these perhaps for preschool (grade R)

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    Replies
    1. Hello from Massachusetts, US! Thank you for your comment and question. The youngest math word wall now is 2nd grade.

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  12. Hi Shana! Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful resource with a comprehensive rationale for its use. As a first-year teacher I am very much appreciative. Do you have a specific flat clear spray paint you would recommend? I am overwhelmed with the options. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Any should work, but I know Krylon makes a clear flat spray paint that will take the shine off the lamination. I used the Testors brand because my husband had it for his hobby. If I had to buy one, I'd aim for the cheapest one!

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