Math Motivation Classroom Posters – Made 4 Math

I love Pinterest and have been pinning great posters and quotes every since I joined.  But, there is nothing I hate more than clicking on a link that doesn’t take me to the pinned item or WORSE, takes me to the dreaded Teachers Pay Teachers site.  Ugh.

So, since I just bought my very own laminator, I decided to make my own posters and post them here AND on Pinterest, for FREE, in PDF form.  These are not fancy posters, as I do not have fun borders.  But, they are the things I want to say in my classroom.

As part of my first day (or first week) activities, I am going to have my student read all of my posters, pick their favorite one, and then write why it is their favorite poster and what they think it means.  I don’t want the kids to not notice or even think about these posters on my wall.  They are here for a reason.

Without further ado…

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Made for Math Monday – Math Reference Books

I teach middle school, so by the end of the trimester, student’s spiral bound math notebooks are pretty beaten up at best, and downright nasty at worse.  So, at the beginning of each trimester I have students start a brand new notebook for my class.  At the end of the year they each have 3 beaten up, spiral math notebooks.

I did not want my student to just take these notebooks home – as I knew they would probably end up thrown out!  So, I decided to have them use their three notebooks to make make ONE Math Reference Books.

They went through each of their three notebooks and tore out what they felt was the most important pages (keeping the pages in date order).  Then, they compiled these pages to make on concise Math Reference Book.  They used the back cover of two of their old notebooks to make a new front and back cover for the new reference book.  Then, they tied them all together with yarn and decorated the cover.

I had the students make a pocket for the inside of the notebooks as well so they could keep any chapter or study guides we had made.  It was very interesting to see what pages most students decided to keep.  Almost all students selected the pages with foldables on them.  One student ONLY kept pages that were foldables!

I kept their Math Reference Books in my room and will give them back next year to use in class when they have questions or get stuck on review problems.  I will also let struggling students take theirs home when they need more work or remediation.

I am hopeful that this will be a resource that will help jog their memory when they forget a concept or procedure (since it contains notes that they took in their own handwriting).  I would also like for them to see the value of taking good notes through these reference books.  I also like the fact that all of their hard work from the year before is not thrown away and forgotten, but used as we go forward and built upon previous concepts.

Math For Math Mondays – Adhesive Tape Measures

As a middle school math teacher, I have been having the students take their body measurements for the past two years.  They usually stand up against a post, use a whiteboard and sidewalk chalk to mark their height, and then measure themselves.  Every month when they measure each other, I have a LEAST one student who exclaims with much dismay, “Oh my GOSH!  I SHRUNK – BY TWO INCHES!!”  Of course they didn’t shrink, but trying to convince an “eager to grow” middle school student of this fact, especially after they were SO proud the month before of how much they had grown, is almost impossible.  And of course, they had charted their imaginary grown spurt the month before – in PEN no less.

There are several errors they make when measuring their height.  One, they don’t hold the whiteboard straight, ever.  Two, my tape measures are only 60″ long, so they have to hold their finger at 60″, measure the remaining distance, and add the two measures together.  Also, their accuracy will depend on whether or not they are standing up against a flat surface.  Many times students stand against the whiteboard and measure themselves, then let the tape measure loop around the eraser tray but don’t take off that extra couple of inches gained.

Luckily, I found these very cool Komelon flat shell measuring tapes with adhesive backs at Amazon.comThere are a couple of different brands out there, but these had the best reviews.  THEY ARE FABULOUS.  They are STEEL, so they can withstand middle school students and will resist pencil markings.  They were CRAZY sticky, so they will NOT come off.  They were 12 feet high so they went up my entire 8 foot wall!  And, they were only about $4 each.  I ordered five of them, and hung them on the walls today.  I cut off the first 4″ so that I could install them over the baseboards for greater accuracy.

Hopefully, I won’t have any (or at least not MANY) distressed, shrinking middle school students this year!  🙂


On a side note, I woke up to another amazing measurement solution on Pam’s Blog.  I had never thought of buying the vinyl ones and hanging them.  She is much craftier than I.  I love that we both picked the same week to blog about the same thing.  I’ll say it again, Twitter blogging math teachers are AMAZING!