Thursday, March 9, 2017

More Meaningful Math Visual Displays...

Allow me to share with you a few more excellent visual displays I have encountered in my recent travels.

Math displays can be tricky.  Sometimes there is too much information, and it gets ignored.  Other times it's great information, but difficult to read or see.

What IS great information to display in math?  How do I make sure my students utilize visual displays for math?

Think about strategies that your students are frequently practicing, and consider constructing a strategy wall for your classroom.  Here are a few nice ones that have caught my eye:

I like this 3rd grade strategy wall (above) because it is designed as a work in progress (note the added strategies below) and it is displayed LOW to the ground, and big enough to read, so it can function as a teaching tool.  It is also on display near a table where small groups assemble to do work with the teacher.  Multiplication fact strategies... so, so important.

Here's another 3rd grade strategy wall that's completely different.  It is displayed high, but it is clear enough to see from student seats and is also at the front of the room, making it easy to refer to as an instructional tool.  Very clear and easy to read. 

Look at all the great stuff on this 4th grade word wall!  It is big and colorful and takes up a whole bulletin board... Who devotes an ENTIRE bulletin board to math?? A GREAT TEACHER, that's who!!  ;^)

This one might be my favorite of all.  Can I make my explanation stronger?  YES!  I love the one star, two star, three star system.  I love the base ten notation included at the top.  This is displayed in a FIRST GRADE classroom.  It's never too early to develop great persuasive writing and mathematical thinking habits.

Here's another one from a first grade classroom.  Number sentences have symbols, numbers, and an answer!  Such a simple, crucial message, and students in this class can't ignore it.  

This is from a sixth grade classroom.  I love the message here, and the white boards placed exclusively for the purpose of posting learning targets.  It makes it a lot easier to get into the habit of posting learning targets when they have their very own white boards.

Here's another display from a 6th grade classroom.  Each component is laminated and kept on file so a unit's essential question can be on display for any period of time, and quickly replaced with ease.  Essential questions are great things to display, since they remind students of the overall mission.  I asked a student in this class to tell me what his class had been working on, and he referred to this display.  "Ratios," he said, "and how they compare and stuff."

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