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Parent Function Posters

Decorate your classroom with this collection of printable parent function posters. Your students will appreciate being able to reference this visual reminder of 13 of the different functions they will learn about in their algebra and precalculus courses.

The History of These Posters

The first iteration of these parent function posters was created by my husband and math teacher extraordinare, Shaun Carter. He created a free printable set of letter-sized parent function posters when he was teaching Algebra 2.

parent function posters hanging in high school math classroom.

When my husband started grad school back in 2018 and I landed my current job (I was teaching Algebra 2 and Precalculus at the time), Shaun let me borrow his pretty set of laminated parent function posters to hang in my classroom.

I had these hanging in my classroom for several years, and I tried various different places to hang them. Some years, they were next to my dry erase board. One year I even taped them on top of a nonworking SMARTboard.

I kept running into an issue, though. I wanted all of my students to reference them, but they were kinda hard to see from certain parts of the room.

This year, I decided to take Shaun’s files for the parent function posters and put my own spin on them. Instead of making letter-sized posters, I opted to print my posters on 11 x 17 cardstock. By doubling the size of the posters, you can now easily see them no matter where you are sitting in my classroom.

They do take up more space, but I actually LOVE the effect they have had on my classroom decor. My wall of parent functions really does make me smile.

So I have to give a very special shout-out to my amazing husband. These posters were made possible thanks to his doing the difficult work of recreating the graphs of each of the functions back when he created the original letter-sized version of the posters.

Printing and Prepping the Posters

These posters are designed to print on ledger sized paper (11 inches x 17 inches). Your computer/printer may also refer to this as tabloid sized paper.

For my non-North American readers, you should be able to print the PDF file for these posters on A3 paper if you allow your pdf reader to scale the images slightly to fit.

parent function poster - closeup of constant poster

I printed the posters on 11 x 17 cardstock. For years, this has been my go-to size for creating my own posters for my classroom. I really wish my school had a poster printer to create larger posters, but that is sadly not our reality…

To add a pop of color to the posters and make them stand out against the white walls of my classroom, I reprinted the names of each parent function on colored paper and glued it to the poster before running it through the laminator.

parent function posters in math classroom.

I was lucky to receive a grant this year for quite a few different classroom supplies including a 13 inch laminator and a box of 11 x 17 matte laminating pouches. Matte laminating pouches are significantly pricier than your typical laminating pouches, but they look so much nicer hanging on the wall because the fluorescent lights in my classroom ceiling cause an awful glare on regular lamination. These do look the tiniest bit cloudy when you are super close-up, but they look great from a normal distance away.

Don’t want to worry about cutting and pasting the parent function titles on in a different color? That’s totally okay. There is a plain version of the poster files available at the bottom of this post that require absolutely no cutting and pasting!

Classroom Display Ideas

After laminating the parent function posters, I created a classroom display with them by hanging them in a long line along one of the walls of my classroom. I hung them between the ceiling and a dry erase board.

long row of parent function posters for Algebra 2 or Precalculus.

I just can’t get over how perfect they look on the wall of my high school math classroom.

parent function posters hanging along edge of ceiling in high school math classroom.

What Parent Functions are Included?

13 Parent Functions are included in the downloadable file. If your specific course or curriculum needs other parent functions, you should be able to download the editable PPT file and add additional parent functions to the posters as needed.

parent function posters: constant, linear, absolute value.
parent function posters: quadratic and cubic.
parent function posters: quartic and quintic.
parent function posters with square root and cube root.
parent function posters of rational functions 1/x and 1/x^2.
parent function posters of exponential and logarithmic functions.

Here are the included parent functions:

  • Constant
  • Linear
  • Absolute Value
  • Quadratic (Parabola)
  • Cubic
  • Quartic
  • Quintic
  • Square Root
  • Cube Root
  • Rational (Hyperbola)
  • Rational (Truncus)
  • Exponential
  • Logarithmic
parent function posters hanging above dry erase board in high school classroom.

Other Parent Function Posters

I also created a set of parent function posters for the 12 Basic Functions specified in the Demana & Waits Precalculus textbook.

12 basic functions parent functions poster for cosine function.