Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sneak Peek of My Math Focus Wall

Here is a little teaser photo of my Math Focus Wall.  It is obviously still under construction, but believe me the most difficult part is over.  This past Monday I went into school to see if I could get started on the wall so I don't have to worry about it during my first days back, (as luck would have it our school has Open House the first day back this year).   I can obsess about the most frivolous things, like what color paper should I use for the background and what color should the borders be.  I mean life altering decisions for a somewhat compulsive classroom decorator as I can be.  Well as luck would have it when I went into the staff lounge for the paper roll my choices were lime green, light pink, (too light), two different shades of light blue (and neither of them worked), or white (that would have been too much white), and other random colors that do not mesh with the lime, pink, blue color scheme I've got going on.  Fortunately there was no black paper to paralyze me with indecision, so lime green it was!  Sometimes the Gods of fate smile down on me.

The background of my Math Focus Wall
I am so thrilled with how it turned out and want to tell you that it only took 1.5 days of blood, sweat, and tears.  OK there was no blood, but I did fall off the wobbly ladder that I spent WAY too much time standing on and there was a bruised left buttcheek as well as ego (although if a teacher falls off a ladder, and there is no one in the classroom to witness it, did she really fall and why would her ego be bruised if no one saw said fall?).  Let me just add that I was holding a stapler in my right hand as I fell and all I was worried about was not hitting the SMARTBoard with the stapler.  Like a mother who would take a bullet for her child, I took the fall for the safety of my SMARTBoard.  There were also no tears, but plenty of sweat and I do believe I deserve a massage after this project as my back and shoulder muscles were overused in the making of this focus wall.

The evil ladder lurking on the left.

I also spent WAY too much time cutting out laminate borders.  Why oh why did I decide to do a triple border?    I guess I just like to torture myself.  I went with pink, zebra, black.  As I was finishing this up under the gun Friday (the custodians kindly asked me to be sure to be out by 4 PM), I wanted to get the Vista Print poster and banner up so I do not have to spend more time on the dreaded ladder.  I put the banner up and then at about 3:52 had the brilliant idea to put the letters on the banner.  That was a complete last minute thought.  I am not thrilled with letters themselves and they are not even laminated, but I put them up to get a feel for it and they most likely will stay.  Someday when I have some free time I may fancy up the letters and change them, but at this point I think they will probably do.  My phone rang at 3:55 while I was up on the ladder and I did not recognize the number.  It was my aunt calling and I had to explain that I would call her back in five minutes, because I always have a fear that I will leave too late and set off the alarm.  Nothing like pressure to motivate!

I started planning the idea of a math focus wall at the end of the last school year.  I have thought long and hard about all the components I want to include.  I was not sure where to put the focus wall because my classroom really has minimal bulletin board space.  I decided to frame the SMARTBoard because we use it all the time and it really is the focal point of everything we do. 

My plan is to finish up the wall next week.  I am hoping to get myself into school Monday to continue on it, but first I have make some the needed items and laminate them.  It will be a busy Sunday for me.  Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek and hopefully you will see the finished product soon!


  1. Whatall is going on your focal wall? Math vocab? Love this idea, I am teaching 7th grade math this year and so excited! I am even more excited that I found your blog! I was planning to do a math vocab wall, I like the idea of it being around the smart board. Thanks!
    Blair Keeley

  2. I too am wondering what is going on your math wall. I've been looking into doing a math word wall (with pictures too) but feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start.

  3. Nice setup! As part of Standards-Based Classroom, we're supposed to have word walls. Mine sucks, so looking at yours has inspired me to spice it up a little bit. :)

  4. Wow I love the placement of your math wall. We aren't allowed to have anything that is less than 19 inches from the ceiling at our schools because of the fire marshal, so I'm jealous of your use of space.

  5. I love how hard you worked on this! I love the triple border and I think you will to as the year goes on each time you look at how pretty it is. I have the crazy idea of doing a double-ruffle border with streamers on my two bulletin boards. Let's see how that goes.

  6. The triple border is so sharp looking! I can't imagine cutting all that out though... you are a rockstar!

  7. I love this idea!! Hope you don't mind, but I would like to use it in my own classroom.

    1. Just promise to show me your finished product when done! :)

  8. Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I am hoping to have the math focus wall finished by next Monday. I have some printables to make tonight and then I need to laminate them at school tomorrow. I will cut them out at home over the weekend and then put the focus wall together Mon.

    These are the labels I plan on making: CC standard, Topic, lesson, objective, Vocabulary, Real World Math, Tech-Connect, Multiple Representations.

    I will also have Problem Solving strategies and a standards for Mathematical practices poster on the top left and right. (Those will be up all year and not change).

    I might do a Challenge of the week and guess the number of the week. I have found that their is not as much usable space that I can reach for changing things daily. I am hoping to have a post with the finished board sometime Monday afternoon or evening.

    And thanks ladies for validating my efforts on the triple border! The zebra border was shorter than the pink and black so it was an extra PITA to have to tape an extra piece to match up the length of the other borders.


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Feel free to email me at with any questions you have.