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Math Focus Walls Add up to Success in the Classroom.


Math Focus WallsFocus walls are a common resource in many elementary school classrooms… especially for language arts.  But have you considered adding a place for a math focus wall? 

Using a math focus wall is a great way for teachers to help their students organize their understandings during math units.

Located at the front of my classroom, our math wall has a 100 chart, addition and subtraction key word charts, odd and even table, and a sign to help spell numbers up to one billion!

The center of the display is a pocket chart where I put vocabulary words for our current study. Each vocabulary word is accompanied by a picture of the word to help students make connections between our math knowledge and the math in the world around them.

The pocket chart also becomes a place where I can display learning targets (in kid-friendly language of course!) for my students. I teach a first and second grade split class and math is about the only thing that we do separately. Half of the pocket chart holds first grade vocabulary cards and a sentence strip with the unit learning target and the other half is designated for my second graders.

I like the math wall because it allows my students to be successful in accessing thinking tools as they develop a deeper understanding of our math concepts. They like using it because our thinking tools are in a clearly defined, organized space that they can rely on to confirm their thoughts.

Christina BainbridgeChristina Bainbridge is a seven-year teacher who currently teaches a first and second grade split class at Central Elementary in White Pigeon, Michigan. She earned her Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) from Marygrove College in 2009 and has incorporated her master-level teaching practices into an award-winning website: Mrs. Bainbridge’s Class. Her site is a treasure-trove of tips and advice for educators and parents alike. Also check out Bainbridge’s blog at www.bainbridgeclass.blogspot.com.


I just wanted to let you know that you have encouraged and helped me SO MUCH! I have really enjoyed your resources and ideas! I am looking to start my own class website and would love some tips if you have any.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 09, 2011 8:52 PM by Amanda
I've used Christina's ideas in my class since my first year of teaching! She has really helped me stay excited about teaching in a sometimes bureaucratic job (in my district). Congrats on your new blog post!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 09, 2011 9:13 PM by Lacie Harris
I also have a Math focus wall. We use it everyday. It started when I was teaching 1st grade. I wanted to incorporate a daily math review. Everyday we :count to 100 by 2s, 5s, 10s, go over place value, even and odd,the date, a graph, count money, and tell time. Then we transition into our Math lesson. It has really helped reinforce concpets. Good Luck!
Posted @ Thursday, August 11, 2011 8:33 AM by Grace Weyant
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