Welcome to Maths – a new display for our Maths corridor
I’ve always loved putting up classroom displays. A lot of people think they’re a waste of time, or are generally unimportant, or otherwise don’t add anything of real value to the learning experience. But for me, I’ve always thought a good display shows pride in my classroom and attention to detail, a way of showing students I care about their work and their environment. I also have learnt that for me, it’s best that I get displays up early in the year, long before the long days and weeks take their toll and I feel like I don’t have the time. Any displays I put up tend to last the majority of the year so I like to get them right over summer if I can.
Now that I’m a Head of Department, I’ve taken this one step further into developing a nurture for the displays presented in the entrance to the maths department. I teach in an Academy in Bolton, and I’m lucky to be teaching in a beautiful new building with clean flat walls and good symmetry that makes my OCD brain happy. The drawback being that new buildings can sometimes lack character or quirk, and so I wanted to brighten up the main entrance to our department with colour. I’m new to the school, and the maths department will have an almost entirely new team come September, and so branding the main corridor was a way of signalling a new start.
I’ve always been a huge fan of twitter and follow lots and lots of accounts to get as many ideas as I can about how other teachers do things, and I stumbled across Sarah Carter’s blog (@mathequalslove) and had a good read over the beginning of the summer. If you’re a fan of display ideas for classrooms, you should definitely check out her blog. Sarah had found an idea on using symbols to create the word ‘welcome’ to her classroom and blogged about it. I loved the idea, and downloaded her printable to put up in the maths corridor. After I’d put it up though, it wasn’t big enough for the space and I realised I wanted it to say ‘Welcome to maths’. I got to adding in some letters and put a picture of the finished version on twitter, which got a great response and quite a few people asked if there was an alphabet available, so I put one together the next day.
The great thing about twitter is the sharing of resources that goes on – Sarah originally got the idea from someone who used symbols as letters for badges, I then used Sarah’s idea to create the alphabet, and it all gets shared round for free to anyone who wants to use it.
The full alphabet is available on TES as an editable publisher file. I’ll add in a PDF version soon too for anyone who can’t access publisher. I’d love to see any photos of how this is used across maths departments.