This post originally appeared on the blog Scaffolded Math and Science.
When my students feel good about themselves, they try harder. And when they try harder, they do even better! To me, Math is all about confidence. When my students feel confident in their abilities, it makes my job a whole lot easier. This is why I feel so strongly about displaying student work in my classroom. It acts as a constant reminder to my students that Yes, you Can do it!
The great thing about Math pennants is that they boost student confidence while also adding to classroom decor! And students don’t even know they are working hard. They’re a lot of fun without being at all intimidating. (That one up there is a free one covering Order of Operations and that one down there is a Christmas fractions pennant. I’ve been making a whole bunch and more every week. If you’d like to check out more pennants, you can find more here.
How about a Pi Day Pennant to celebrate this great Math holiday?
In my classroom, we have a designated area called The Fridge where students proudly display their graded papers. This area becomes even more important because Math disabilities can sometimes make these good grades very hard-earned. To find success, and be able to show it off, is a very big deal.
I like incorporating student work right into the classroom decor itself because it’s a win-win for teachers and students. Teachers use pennants to keep engagement high.
“Great activity. The students loved it and so did I. Kept them engaged and learning! Thank you!”
Just recently, a teacher sent me some great photographs from her classroom after her students completed a set of pennants for 2-step equations.
I absolutely LOVE how much care they took in coloring them after solving the equations. The teacher who sent this photo to me asked if I wanted a “better” photo with a cleaner whiteboard in the background. No way! If you look close, you can make out “Community” in the upper left. I love this because building community is what this is all about!
Pennants are a great way to celebrate holidays with students while not losing a day of Math. Some are specific to holidays (Pi Day and Valentine’s Day), others are specific to Math topics and work to celebrate any holiday.
My students worked really hard during our domain and range unit this year. This pennant comes in an Algebra Pennants Bundle to celebrate slope, factoring, solving equations and domain and range. What better way to show off their hard work that with some fun Algebraic classroom decor? 🙂
And what 6th grader wouldn’t LOVE a chance to color? In this pennant, students practice finding volumes and surface areas, as well as areas of irregular shapes (gardens and apartments).
I’ve been a public high school Math teacher in Massachusetts since 2004 and can’t possibly believe it’s been THAT long! I love what I do. Every day is different and exciting and keeps me wanting to be better. My husband is also a teacher and together we have a little girl who is the center of our lives.
For the last few years, I have taught Special Education Math in a large, diverse high school while managing a caseload of 20 students. Making the jump to Special Ed was hard at first, but I have learned so much about the way kids learn and where they have difficulty accessing Algebra. Right now I teach Algebra 2 and Consumer Math to juniors and seniors. I love my job and the students I teach. People always say, “Wow, that must be hard!” and at times they are right. But I am beyond lucky to work in a school with a fun, supportive staff where everyone is respected and students are put first.