What’s on My Classroom Walls

I think the state of a classroom can say a lot about a teacher. And what’s on the walls of the classroom can give us insight into what the teacher finds important enough to emphasize. When I was teaching grade 3/4/5 math to ELD students last year I had a lot of hand-written chart paper on the walls with drawings, keywords, and examples that we would write out together as a group. I’ve heard it said many times that anchor charts are more effective if co-constructed with your class.

This year, the posters on my walls are less about specific topics from our courses, and more about general frameworks for our courses. Let’s have a look at what I’ve posted:

The Mathematical Processes:
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I want to focus more on the Mathematical Processes this year; especially when we’re consolidating our group work on vertical non-permanent surfaces for our various activities. It’s something that Bruce McLaurin & Al Overwijk inspired me to think more about as they talked at EdCamp about playing with ways to assess & evaluate students using the 7 processes. So I put these posters up for my students benefit but also as a reminder to me to incorporate these into our consolidation/debrief discussions.
My Mathematical Processes posters here.

MPM2D Overall Expectations:
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This wall shows the overall expectations for the MPM2D course; Grade 10 Academic Math. My MPM2D posters here.

“For Grades 1 to 12, all curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction and assessment, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations.”                  –Growing Success

This wall also has some key ASL phrases as I have a deaf student in one of my classes this semester and I am hoping that these posters will help the hearing students communicate with my deaf student without always having to go through the interpreter.
My ASL key phrases posters here.

MFM2P Overall Expectations, Testing Keywords & ASL numbers:
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This wall has my MFM2P overall expectations for grade 10 applied math, available here.
It also has a list of keywords used on the board-wide exam and the grade 9 EQAO that I’ve compiled over the years. That set is available here.

ASL finger-spelling alphabet:
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This wall has the ASL finger-spelling alphabet. The ASL alphabet & numbers posters are available here.

So, what’s on your classroom walls and what does that say about you as a teacher? Does the look of your classroom reflect the way that you teach? Share with us!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

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DOING the curriculum

I attended Christine Suurtamm‘s talk at yesterday’s Math Subject Council PD Day here in the OCDSB. A comment Chris made about the action verbs in our Math curriculum really resonated with me:

So I decided to take a little time to pull out the verbs from the curriculum documents for the 2 courses I teach this semester. I think I will make these into posters to put up on the walls of our classroom too.

MPM2D: Grade 10 Academic MathMPM2D Curriculum Keywords

MFM2P: Grade 10 Applied MathMFM2P Curriculum Keywords

Do the verbs used surprise you?
How does what you & your students DO in your classroom line up with these action verbs?

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)