Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Back to school soon? A new academic year means a great time to redesign your classroom space to keep you, and your students, organised and informed. Some teachers prefer for students to be involved in the creation of classroom decor, others stick to standardised products from the IB. Regardless of if you want to handle the wall displays yourself or get the students involved, look through the list below and ensure the following are easily accessible (by you and the students) throughout the year. If you have limited wall space you will need to narrow down what makes it to your room, what can be in a shared department space in the corridor, what stays in a folder (digital or physical) and what students will need to keep in their books. Be flexible; be responsive to what your class needs and feel free to switch it up throughout the school year.
1. The Learner Profile - make sure all 10 words are displayed. Include a definition, give an example of how students can demonstrate the trait in maths or link them to mathematicians who embodied the trait in some way. (link to display product)
2. ATL Skills - there are 5 ATL skills with 10 sub-branches. NOTE: with research, you need the extras of how you expect students to reference and your academic honesty policy. (link to FREE display product)
3. Global Contexts - list all 6 alongside a brief statement. E.g. ‘Identities and relationships - Who we are’. Alternatively, a few exploration ideas may add clarification. E.g. ‘Globalization and Sustainability; conserving the environment, population diversity, developments in business’. (link to display product)
4. Command Terms - include at least the ones that appear in the subject guide but be aware that the command terms from other subjects appear in the e-assessment so pupils must be comfortable with their definitions. (link to display product)
5. Key and Related Concepts - there are three key concepts in mathematics (logic, form and relationships) and 12 related concepts. You may choose to also include the key concepts from other subjects (as these may crop up in units) however it is probably better if they are less pronounced in the display. (link to display product)
6. Objectives/Assessment Criteria - the four criteria as well as the breakdown appropriate to the year groups taught (corresponding to end of year 1, 3 or 5). It can be helpful to have example assessments and student responses up for reference (perhaps from a formative). (link to display product)
7. Current Unit - or your whole subject group overview if you’re happy with students knowing what is coming up. For each class include the unit title, global context, key and related concepts, statement of inquiry, inquiry questions, content (knowledge, concept and skills) and relevant prior knowledge.
8. Inquiry Cycle - inquiry, action, reflection. An example of student work corresponding to this could be a beneficial reinforcement.
9. School Specific Requirements - maybe your school has additional core values, or are big on promoting a growth mindset or mindfulness. Be sure to see what other teachers are doing in case you missed the memo!
10. Key Dates/Schedule/Calendar - your timetable, the room timetable (if used by other subjects or for extra-curricular) home learning schedule, assessment dates, parent/student/teacher conferences, competitions for students to enter.
11. Student Evidence of Learning - somewhere where students’ work can be celebrated. Maybe you have internal competitions or you photocopy impressive work from their books. You can have a specific task from a previous unit, a group project, rotate independent work monthly - whatever you want to do.
12. Essential Agreements - this may be your expectations for how work should be laid out, equipment to be brought, attitude in class etc. It is a good idea to create this with your students so that they are aware of the agreements and it also gives you all an opportunity to discuss why they are important.
13. Service as Action - ideas that could link to recent units, opportunities to get involved, celebration of activities/past projects that students carried out which were related to maths.
14. Key Skills - this will depend on the needs of your class and may change frequently. It may include a number line for negative numbers, calculator skills, a fraction wall, measurement conversions, square/cube numbers, multiplication table, key formulae, a mathematical glossary.
15. International Mindedness - The IB is all about promoting global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding. Some ideas of this are: connecting current events to mathematics; highlighting a key word in different languages; showing the cultural diversity of mathematicians past and present etc.
16. Pathways - show that there is a shift in MYP4 to standard/extended and maybe show your school requirements to be selected for extended. Showing the DP pathways and summarising the differences to Analysis and Approaches vs. Applications and Interpretations.
17. The Four Branches - numerical and abstract reasoning, thinking with models, spatial reasoning, reasoning with data. Remember these have just recently changed so pupils will need clarification.
18. Aims of Mathematics - There are 13 of these and they are quite wordy so it might be wise to highlight one each month, just display some key words or reference an aim when it is relevant to a specific task or unit.
19. Enrichment - information for competitions, links to external resources, opportunities for application beyond the classroom, next steps, STEM opportunities, additional exploration etc.
20. Teacher Notice Board - seating plans, birthdays, key dates, last minute bulletins, pupil support (you need to be subtle about this, maybe colour code or keep in a folder) - language needs, students with IEPs, gifted, social/emotional etc.
If your room is also a tutor base, be aware that you will also need to dedicate some space to those students. Just to reiterate, it is still YOUR classroom and no one knows the students in your class better than YOU, so be mindful that you will need to adapt the list of what to include for you and the students in your room.
If you have any links to printable classroom displays related to those listed above, feel free to share them in the comments below!