Friday, August 10, 2012

Classroom Posters

So it should come as no surprise that I like things to look nice.  I have a lot of posters and signs in my room and I like them to look nice, but also be meaningful.  To keep my spending down I make as many of these posters as possible myself.  That way I can make them exactly how I want and not have to spend $20 on a poster which is crazy to me.  Last summer I discovered FedEx Office enlargements and was obsessed.  I can make something, print it out on a normal sheet of paper and enlarge it to like 3 feet tall for only $4 or so.

I use Photoshop for pretty much everything that I make just because I've been using it forever (I have a background in graphic arts..I actually started college majoring in art) but you could easily do any of these in something like PowerPoint and have them look just as great.  I've started laminating most of them at a teacher store around me (for something like $0.25 a foot) to make sure that they last.

I'll be sure to share pictures of what these look like actually hung up on the wall, but these are some of the posters I've made that I use in my room and some new ones that I plan to make.  

Word Problems
These posters give the steps I use to solve word problems.  Each poster (7 in total) just gets printed on it's own sheet of paper and I hang them in a row.

Open-Ended Scoring Rubric
The school I came from was very big on us having the 3 point open ended scoring rubric on our walls. Just printing it out and taping it up somewhere would have been sufficient, but it wouldn't have meant anything.  I opted for a kid friendly version modified off something I found online (no idea where it came from, too long ago)

These are all in parts, so I just cut and arrange them after they are printed.  So on the wall all together would be the number, description, and explanation.  I think this may be confusing like this, I'm sure I'll take a picture when it actually goes up on the wall.

These are printed two numbers on each sheets of paper and cut apart.

These are printed two on each sheet also cut apart.

And lastly, these are each printed on a separate sheet of paper.  This all corresponds to a handout that the kids keep in their open ended writing folders.

I found this graphic online and it printed pretty large (full sheet of paper).  It goes along with one of my beginning of school activities so I'd like to enlarge this one into a poster.

Bell Schedule
This one was new for last year and was such a time saver.  I printed this all together and then enlarged it so that it's like three feet tall (the height of my bulletin board/whiteboard).  But the key is that I made 3 different copies with the delayed and early dismissal bell schedules.  Laminated them all (individually), punched holes in the top and hung them on a hook.  That way I never had to write the day's schedule on the board, all I had to do was flip to the correct one.

Classroom Expectations
I've already shared these before, but they fall under the category of self made poster.  Another one printed on a full sheet of paper and enlarged.

Word Cloud
I just came across this one, I had actually forgotten about it.  I took the standards (took out a couple words that were not math related and repeated a lot) and used wordle to create this.  I think that it looks nice, but also I think it's awesome how it's clear what the big pre-algebra topics are.  My only problem with this one was getting it to print big enough to be able to enlarge.  I'm going to try to solve this problem and create one for algebra. [update: solved the problem! this one will be getting made into a big poster for sure]

I love quotes.  In addition to mathy type stuff, I also have a collection of good quotes that I've come across.  These ones I had printed at Costco photo center, they are 10"x10" each on photo paper.

Random story:
The first time I went to enlarge something I asked the girl if she happened to know what percentage to use to enlarge my sheet of paper so that it filled the 24"x36" paper they had.  She told me the only way to really figure that out was to try a couple numbers until you get it the size you want.  Seriously?? Admittedly I messed up some enlargements recently, but still...I certainly wasn't just guessing.


  1. I would LOVE to know more about your SMART goals activity. I just don't know how to set them with kids and have them be meaningful to them. Any help here would be great. THanks...and I LOVE your blog!

    1. I will definitely be posting about it when I get it worked out. This is my first time trying it though so I'm not sure how much advice I can offer on whether or not it will be successful. I'm just going to try to help them understand why a smart goal is more specific and has a better chance of being successful.

  2. Thanks for sharing the posters. I usually try to make my own also and will try FedEx for enlarging. Usually I just print pieces in large font, cut and tape, then laminate. Also love the Wordle. I guess we are neighbors...I teach in NJ in Monmouth County.

    1. Thanks! That's actually what I ended up doing for the wordle (taping pages together and laminating) because enlarging something in color was crazy expensive at fedex. And yes we are neighbors, I'm in middlesex county!

  3. Thanks for these great ideas! How did you solve your printing issue? I would love to enlarge a wordle and print in color. Thanks!

    1. My issue was that I couldn't get it to print last year any bigger than like 3 inches which was too small for enlarging, but I actually clicked print on the wordle website and it just printed the size of a full sheet of paper. But what I ended up doing was using photoshop to have it print on 15 sheets of paper (5 across and 3 down) and then taped them together and laminated.

  4. OMG. I couldn't even finish reading your post when I read "I have a background in graphic arts. I started college majoring in art."
    I did the exact same thing and I have a Math degree (just math and science, not teaching, although I teach Math as an assistant.)
    Do you ever have people ask you how you have two things that are so different? Math and art go together in MY brain. :) Not sure why they don't to other people.
    Just found your site the other day, now that I have my own room and wanted to add some specific things. Love it, have it bookmarked. :)
    Thanks for combining the math and the pretty things. I'm right there with you! My step daughter and I do "the pretty things" on the side...You can see our esty shop at No math there! :) Do you sell any of your poster graphics there for other people to enlarge? If not, check it out!

    1. You aren't the only one to see math and art together. I've been teaching math for for 15 years and am always told that I don't "look" like a math teacher. Most students think I'm one or the art teachers. My room definitely doesn't have the appearance of a "math class." I like pretty things and my room reflects that. After all, I spend my entire work day there, I have to want to be there.

  5. What font is the bell schedule "period" and time? Thanks!

    1. The numbers are Appleberry and the periods are Hobbes

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