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Truth Signs

I learned about Truth Signs while reading Inspiring Active Learning by Merrill Harmin and Melanie Toth. 

According to the authors:

Truth Signs are not the usual signs posted in classrooms. They do not tell students what to do (“Think before you act” or “Respect the rights of others”). They do nor moralize. Nor do they threaten (“One infraction = 10 minutes off free time”). Instead, these signs remind students of important truths about living and learning.

Inspiring Active Learning: A Complete Handbook for Today’s Teachers by Harmin and Toth

The book recommends five truth signs which are adapted from Grace Pilon who calls them “philosophy signs.”

  • Everyone needs time to think and learn.
  • We each learn in our own ways, by our own time clocks.
  • It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s the way we learn.
  • It’s intelligent to ask for help. No one needs to do it all alone.
  • We can do more and learn more when we’re willing to take a risk.
Truth Signs Bulletin Board

I decided to take these five statements and turn them into a set of classroom posters. I’ve hung these as a bulletin board and on a cabinet before.

Truth Signs Posters hanging on cabinet in math classroom.
Truth Signs Title Poster .
Truth Sign: Everyone needs time to think and learn.
Truth Signs Poster: We each learn in our own ways, by our own time clocks.
Truth Signs Poster: It's ok to make mistakes. That's the way we learn.
Truth Sign Poster: It's intelligent to ask for help. No one needs to do it all alone.
Truth Signs Poster: We can do more and learn more when we're willing to take a risk.

Free Download of Truth Signs Posters

Truth Signs (PDF) (1136 downloads )

Want more printable posters? Check out my posters page!


Thursday 6th of June 2013

Seriously.. I can't even begin to express how much "nerd glee" abounds in me when I look through your blog. I've been reading your blog regularly since April and it's one of my "go-to" resources now. I am a special ed teacher that specializes in teaching math at the high school level (fancy way of saying I teach Algebra, Algebra II and Geometry). Next year will be my 10th year as a teacher and after reading your blog, I finally have the confidence and resources to use interactive notebooks in my math classes. In one of your posts you mentioned that interactive notebooks are not something you can "wing" and I have taken that advice to heart. I'm 20 pages in to my model interactive notebook for my Algebra I kids and I absolutely cannot wait to get started with them in the fall. Thank you so very much for being so open with your resources. I am eternally grateful that I do not have to reinvent the wheel. You've also inspired me to try my hand at blogging about my experiences in the classroom. Now if only I could decide on a blog name. (Actually....I think that's more of an excuse to hide from the real reason I haven't started my blog---I'm terrified of putting myself out there). Anyway, thank you once again for all of your support, resources, and inspiration. I look forward to more and more of your posts!

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