I started working on a new math wall with my student’s needs in the front of my mind. I teach in an inclusion setting, with a high population of ELLs, so I really wanted to make the vocabulary as accessible as possible!
This was my Math Word Wall this past year in second grade:
It has accomplished all of my Math Word Wall goals!
- Clean and Easy-To-Read Lettering
- Include Visual aides
- Colorful (if it’s going to be up on my wall all year, it needs to be pleasing to the eye!)
- Concise definitions when needed
- Allow the words themselves to carry a visual when possible (see Fractions, Even, Odd, Equation…)
I now love my math wall and it has become a great focus wall and point of reference for my students. Mind you, this is how it looked at the end of the year. It looked nothing like this at the beginning!
Just like our ELA word wall, we start the year off empty (it doesn’t make sense to put up a bunch of words that mean nothing to them yet!) Even though I would love our classroom to look finished on the first day of school, it’s important to introduce things slowly, and give students ownership over the information that goes up in their classroom.
Each time we came across a new term in a lesson, I pulled out a new math card. Since my math word wall is on a magnetic white board, I use magnetic tape (or cut up the magnetic business card stickers from Staples) to hold them up. This also means that I place them on our Meeting Area easel during the introduction, and later move them to their permanent place on the Math Word Wall.
I like to keep my words organized, and this year I decided to organize them by Common Core strand. This created a natural “categorization” to help my students easily navigate the wall. I tried labeling them for you in the photo above (the strands aren’t actually present on my math wall).