The math word walls you'll find here show math vocabulary and concepts in action and in the context of related words. Presenting the vocabulary in this way allows more students access, especially students with reading difficulties or difficulties conceptualizing the math they are learning.
In my own classroom, my math word wall was an extension of my teaching. I pointed to our word wall as reminders and to answer student questions without stopping class. My students also learned to use our word wall independently during classwork, allowing me more time to work with students who needed extra support.
Over the years, I've build math word walls for 2nd grade through algebra 2 that are all included in the Math Word Wall Bundle linked below. There are also some extras in there, including a word wall for financial literacy.
Should I display everything at once?
This is entirely up to you. I liked having everything displayed because it allowed me to point back to make connections, and even to point forward to connect what we were currently learning to later units.
However, the word walls have grown larger and larger over the years, which may make this impossible. I have added so many teacher requested references to the word walls that it may not be possible to hang everything at once anymore.
Keeping things simple by displaying only some parts at a time may work best for you and your students. The word walls work however you'd like them to work.
What about during tests?
I had the luxury of running my classroom the way I thought was best, so we had open-notebook and "open word wall" assessments. However, for most of my years teaching I did not teach a state exam year.
Allowing my students to use references on their assessments put the ownership on them for keeping a nice notebook, keeping track of their papers and asking questions in class. Math anxiety was also a constant for my students, so removing the need to memorize was helpful.
But I know my situation is not typical and standardized assessments across a school is more the usual. To cover their word walls, teachers have used newspaper and plastic table cloths from the dollar store.
I don't have my own classroom, how can I have a word wall?
Teachers have used that rigid foam poster board to make posters out of the pieces. The posters can be propped up on the front board and then stored away.
Should I laminate my word wall?
Laminating will allow you to reuse your word wall year after year. If you are worried about glare, spraying the lamination with clear, flat spray paint eliminates the shine. Matte Mod Podge also works.
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