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Inspiring Math Classroom Decorations

I took plenty of inspiration from the math classroom decorations at #edcampTULSA, too!  If you’ve been following along with my last few posts, you know that I took some time to photograph pictures of inspiring ideas I found in the classrooms at EdCamp.   

Calculus Projects

I found these projects posted in a calculus classroom.  I’m not sure exactly what the assignment was, though.  But, I was inspired by the color, neatness, and organization of the work.  If anyone knows what these students were solving for, please share! 

math classroom decorations
math classroom decorations

Unit Circle

Since I’m going to be teaching trigonometry and pre-calculus next year for the first time ever, I love that these students constructed their own unit circles instead of simply filling in the values.  

unit circle


Who wants to bet on whether this teacher plays trashketball with his students?  


Whiteboard Presentation

I’m totally jealous of this whiteboard presentation.  When I write on the whiteboard it looks SLOPPY.  

calculus whiteboard

Bulletin Board for Organization

I also like this use of a bulletin board to organize papers.  If I only had one prep, this would be perfect.  But, I don’t think I could justify using three bulletin boards for my three preps.  Still, I’m always on the lookout for ways to become more organized.  Trust me; I need it! 

math bulletin board organization
math bulletin board organization

Mini Math Art Posters

I think these two mini posters are beautiful!  It would be fun to have students create one of these at the end of the year with all the things they deemed important from that course.  Then, you could post them at the beginning of the next year to show students all that they were going to learn!  

mini math art poster
mini math art poster


In one classroom, the teacher had taken quotes and wrapped them around the ENTIRE room.  I only took pictures of two of the quotes, but they covered the other walls as well.  

classroom quote
classroom quote

Insπre Wall Hanging

Making an Insπre poster or wall-hanging for my classroom is definitely going on my summer to-do list!  One of the perks of working in an ancient building is that we have really high ceilings.  So, I’m thinking I want to orient the words vertically.  

(I also probably need to designate a lost and found place in my classroom as well!)

math classroom decorations

My favorite part was probably the pi symbol that featured the first so many digits of pi. This will go perfectly with my pi filing cabinet! 

math classroom decorations

Radians and Degrees Beach Ball

This ball with radian and angle measurements will definitely be making an appearance in my trig class next year!  I can only guess what the teacher used it for.  I’m picturing my students in a circle.  They toss the ball from one to another.  If their right thumb lands on a radian measurement, they must convert it to degrees.  If their right thumb lands on a measurement in degrees, they must convert it to radians.  If they cannot do it correctly in the allotted time, they are out.  I could also see tossing the ball around the room to generate random trig problems.

Does anybody use something like this in their classroom?  I’d love to hear about it! 

radians and degrees beach ball trigonometry

Paper Plate Unit Circles

I also can’t wait to make paper plate unit circles in trig next year!  Can you tell that I’m super excited about teaching trig?!?  

paper plate unit circle

Classroom Parking Lot

My first experience with a parking lot in the classroom was at an OGAP conference last summer.  Every table was given pads of sticky notes.  And, we were told that we could post any questions, comments, or concerns that we had on the parking lot.  And, the coordinators would make sure that they were covered or taken care of.  I don’t think anybody used it at all.  That doesn’t make it a good idea at all.

classroom parking lot

Procedures Poster

One of my main goals for this summer is to work on my classroom management strategies.  I’m going to be really honest.  Classroom management is probably my weakest area in the classroom.  I need to make some major changes.  I went into teaching assuming that high school students were capable of knowing when it was appropriate and inappropriate to do certain things.  For example, when I’m working a problem out on the SMART Board, it is inappropriate to have a conversation with your neighbor.  But, you wouldn’t know that by looking at my students.  I’m getting sick and tired of hearing myself say “You should not be talking right now.  You should not be talking right now.”  After two years, I’ve learned that going in without a plan does not lend to a well-managed classroom.  So, next year is going to be different.  I’m finally seeing the importance of procedures and everything else that I read about before I started teaching.

I’m thinking that if I can train my students to use the parking lot from the very beginning of the school year, it could be very beneficial.  It’s going to take training and practice, though.

If I am going to have more procedures, I am going to need to find a way to communicate those procedures to my students.  I liked this procedure sign that I found in one classroom.

classroom procedures poster

Book / Brain / Beyond Posters

I liked these Book / Brain / Beyond posters that I saw posted in several classrooms.  I know I need to ask my students to do a lot more tasks involving #2 and #3.  

book brain beyond posters

Using Dry Erase Pockets for Organization

I have a box of these clear plastic dry erase pockets in my cabinet.  I used them a lot last year, but this year I’ve been using double sided dry erase boards that my school purchased for me.  I liked the idea of storing papers in these pockets for student access.  This teacher used the pocket to hold talent show applications.  But, I could store anything in them.  Since they are see-through, students could easily see what they were accessing.

dry erase pocket

Inviting Questions About College

Outside one classroom, the teacher had a frame that invited students to ask them about their college experiences at Oklahoma State University and The University of Tulsa.  As a Tulsa grad myself, I was excited to see someone else repping the Golden Hurricanes.  It made me realize, though, that I’m not quite sure I’ve ever asked my students to ask me about my college experience.  I’ve got a couple of TU flags hanging my classroom, and I’ll gladly answer questions.  But, I’ve never really sought out their questions.  I teach in a community where the majority of our students do not go on to higher education.  Some do, and hopefully more will in the future.  In the mean time, I need to make sure that my students know that I am more than willing to sit down with them and talk about what college is like.

oklahoma state university of tulsa

Displaying Senior Pictures

In one classroom, I saw a teacher use baseball card holder pages to display senior pictures.  I thought this was a brilliant idea!  Of course, it’s not quite feasible for my classroom and situation.  In two years of teaching, I’ve been given one senior picture.  ONE.  Maybe I’ll be able to collect this many senior pictures by the time I retire…

displaying senior pictures

Turn In Trays

For the past two years, I’ve had all of my students turn their papers into the same tray.  Next year, I think I’m finally going to make trays for each class.  This should save me time and frustration in grading.  Now, I just have to find a place in my classroom to put six different trays.  This should be interesting…

classroom turn in trays

I’m also in love with this turn in tray.  It’s just a cardboard cover for a stacking paper tray.  But, it prevents students from retrieving papers after turning them in or looking at other people’s papers.  Plus, I love that the make-up papers have to go in a separate tray.  I’m thinking about changing my policy on late work for next year, so having a dedicated tray for that would be especially useful!

classroom turn in trays

Dry Erase Grid

I’m also starting to think about how I want to grid my dry erase board next year.  I’ve taught for two years and done it two different ways so far.  I kind of like the idea of showing a whole week at once.  But, I’ve never done it this way.  And, I’m not sure if it would make it harder or easier to maintain.

dry erase whiteboard grid

Bulletin Board to Highlight Students

Isn’t this bulletin board adorable?  The teacher took a picture of each class period that she teaches.  Every week, she selects a student from each class to fill out a survey about themselves.  Their answers are displayed next to the picture of that class inside a picture frame.  The board is labeled as Gents and Ladies.  I’m thinking of doing this next year to replace my Star Students Board.

bulletin board

Reading Poster

Outside of each classroom, each teacher posts what book they are reading, what book they just read, and what book they want to read.  I would love to see this happen at my school.  What would happen if I just made these signs and hung them up outside each classroom?  Do you think teachers would just start using them?  It couldn’t hurt, right???

reading poster

Time to Be Kind

I saw these “Time to be Kind” clocks in several classrooms.  One of these clocks was distributed to every teacher to post in their classroom.  I’m thinking that this could be a student council initiative next year.  We could have a week that focused on random acts of kindness.  And, these could be posted around the school as a reminder.

time to be kind


Sunday 6th of April 2014

I love the trig art/calc art, and really like your idea of having the kids do these at the end of the year to use as a preview for next year's students. These would be great to display during Meet the Teacher Night.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Nice! Thanks for sharing. I will keep this in mind for the next time I teach trig. I love hands-on activities like this!


Monday 9th of March 2015

Here's a cool way to introduce trig. Have kids cut out a right triangle, measure the sides, calculate the ratios, cut it down to make a similar triangle, repeat... see the ratios are the same. Point out they would change if the angle were to change. Name the ratio as a trig function based on one angle, and a different trig function based on the other angle in the triangle.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

I love the idea of posting these for Meet the Teacher Night!

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