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As I start to think about how to decorate my classroom for the upcoming school year, I am reflecting on last year’s classroom design. What was useful? What was cute but ended up being a waste of time? Today I want to share the top ten classroom decorations that my students actually used and referenced on a regular basis. In a sense, these are classroom must-haves. These are the decorations that made my students started complaining when I took them down during the last week of school!
Math Symbols Posters
The most referenced symbols on these posters are greater than, greater than or equal to, less than, and less than or equal to. My students know that these are always on the wall to reference whenever they aren’t quite sure what symbol they are dealing with.
I actually made more of these math symbols posters than will fit on my wall. So, I choose which ones to hang up each year based on which classes I am teaching.
Prime Number Banner
My students are frequently asking if a certain number is prime. So, a few years ago I made a prime number banner that goes from 2 to 107. We use this all the time. I even find myself using it! My students have a prime number chart in their notebooks, but it’s often quicker for them to just glance at the wall. This poster gets used an extra amount when we are working through our unit on radicals!
Horizontal and Vertical Number Lines
I love number lines. And, my students really love number lines. I actually have three number line posters hanging up in my room. I have two vertical number lines that are hung on opposite walls.
My horizontal number line gets the most use from students. I frequently see them with their pencils in the air as they count off spaces on the number line. This number line was printed from a PDF file created by Frank Tapson. This past year, I added positive and negative infinity signs for the first time.
Perfect Squares and Cubes
These perfect squares and cubes posters were inspired by Clarissa Grandi. Clarissa used pre-cut numbers to make hers, but I didn’t have the patience to track any of that down. So I ended up just creating my own version in Publisher so I could type the numbers on top. I love the color that these add to my classroom. My only complaint is that my students often needed to see if a number much higher than 100 was a perfect square. I made a More Perfect Squares Poster to fix this.
Order of Operations
Even though my high school students have been learning about the order of operations since elementary school, I find that they still need a reminder. They are also used to pretty much only seeing problems involving parentheses. So, the fact that we actually do all grouping symbols which include crazy things like absolute value bars, radicals, and vinculums seems crazy to them. This order of operations display tries to help with that.
I printed these posters on 11 x 17 cardstock.
There is something about the words horizontal and vertical that tricks up my students every year. I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to put the words horizontal and vertical up on the wall with the proper orientation. I could have used pre-cut lettering for this, but I decided to just pick a fun font and print out the letters.
Some of my students also struggle with left versus right. So I hang up a reminder on the wall every year in the form of these left and right posters so it’s there for them if they need it.
Greek Alphabet and Place Value Posters
I’m not sure what it is, but my students are intensely curious about the Greek Alphabet. I put this Greek Alphabet poster up every time I teach trig since we deal with theta so much. It’s also great for showing students where the delta symbol in the slope formula comes from in Algebra 1. I frequently find students just studying the letters randomly. They love to try and pronounce the names of the different letters.
Some of my students have trouble reading numbers aloud, so the place value posters help with that. I even find myself referencing it sometimes!
Includes vs. Excludes Reminder Posters
I made these posters to assist my students with graphing inequalities in Algebra 1. My students didn’t reference them much at all when we were working on one-variable inequalities. But, they used the includes vs excludes posters ALL. THE. TIME. when we were working with two-variable inequalities. I had a student retaking a quiz on two-variable inequalities during the last week of school. I had already taken these posters down, and the student made sure to let me know how displeased she was with my actions!
Four Types of Slope (Adventures of Slope Dude)
I adore teaching my ninth graders about slope every year. I also adore Slope Dude! I made this poster as a fun reminder of the video and a visual reminder of the four types of slope with this set of Adventures of Slope Dude posters.
I taught a trigonometry class this past year. We often found ourselves in the scenario where we needed to do the pythagorean theorem to find a missing side. It was nice to be able to check the pythagorean triples posters and see if we could find the answer without actually having to do the pythagorean theorem.
I look forward to incorporating even more math into my classroom decorations in the future!
Monday 17th of August 2020
Your classroom is excellent.. You give me great ideas. I download the mistake poster. Thank you for sharing !Good luck at school!
Tuesday 26th of June 2018
Very well displayed.
Saturday 23rd of June 2018
Love your stuff!
Wednesday 15th of November 2017
Your classroom is very nice.I am from Romania. You give me great ideas. I download the mistake poster.Thank you for sharing !Good luck at school!
High School Math Teacher
Monday 6th of November 2017
Thank you for sharing this! This is great!