All About Math Focus Walls


Teachers have been using focus walls in their classrooms for a very long time. But, if you are anything like me, all of the choices that exist out there are so overwhelming. How do you decide? What guidance or parameters are there? Well, for the last question, less may be more; after all, they are called focus walls! So, let’s talk Math Focus Walls today. We have narrowed it down, and here is our take on All About Math Focus Walls.

So, why Math Focus Walls? Math Focus Walls are a great way to reinforce your students’ fundamentals and retain the new information you are teaching. Focus walls will also help promote independence in your students as they can look to a key place in your room to answer questions on their own!

Math Focus Wall: Calendar

A calendar focus wall is a fantastic way to cover lots of math topics at one time. It also allows kids to refer back to the calendar wall and the other information included throughout the school day.

So, what can you include on your calendar focus wall?

  • The Number of the Day: writing it in number form, word form, or expanded form, modeling it with base ten blocks, adding one more, ten more, or one hundred more, subtracting one less, ten less, and one hundred less, and so on!
  • The Day of the Week
  • Today’s Date
  • Money
  • Time
  • Common Core Standards
  • I Can statements

Looking for a great item that you can include with your calendar wall AND have in student binders for individual references? Look no further! Check out this CORE Binder!

Math Focus Walls: Strategies

I love having visual cues in my classroom that cover what I am teaching and those things that I have already taught. Strategy posters can act as a constant resource for the students. Strategy posters can also serve as a great teaching tool for both whole group and small group learning.

  • Include appropriate strategies for what you are currently teaching.
  • Include past math application strategies that you know your students may still need.
  • Leave up strategies and Common Core Standards so that visitors see what you are teaching.
  • Switch out strategies to keep your focus wall fresh and current to what is happening in your classroom.

An excellent resource for Math Posters is ETTC’s Math Strategies Posters! With colorful graphics and engaging layouts, these 68 posters will serve your poster needs for counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Math Focus Walls: Standards and I Can Statements

Since the onset of Common Core, many schools have required teachers to have a focus wall that shows what standards teachers are teaching currently and ‘I can’ statements for the students. Why ‘I can’ statements?

  • It helps students to understand what the lesson is teaching.
  • It helps students to know what they will be expected to learn.
  • Shows the importance of what is being taught.
  • Shows students and families precisely what the end expectation from the lessons will be for them.
  • It breaks down very wordy standards into more straightforward text for understanding.
  • ‘I can’ statements are essentially learning targets tied directly to the Common Core standards.

Math Focus Walls: Math Vocabulary

Having a stellar math vocabulary is an integral part of learning mathematics! There are several reasons why having math vocabulary on your Math Focus Wall will help your students learn math.

  • To complete math problems, students need to know what math problems are asking of them.
  • To explain how they completed math problems, students need to have the correct math vocabulary.
  • Some math words may have different meanings if used in everyday communication.
  • To support students’ learning of math concepts.
  • Builds confidence for students in math if they have the correct math vocabulary.
  • Check out this Math Word Wall vocabulary packet from ETTC:

Math Focus Walls: Numbers and Counting

Why should teachers have numbers, counting, number charts, and number lines on their walls?

  • Students sometimes need visual cues to numbers and number order.
  • Assists students in visually seeing how numbers look when they are writing them.
  • Lets students have cues for what number comes before and after numbers.
  • It reminds students of one-to-one correspondence.
  • It helps students retain the number concepts for counting and cardinality that you have already taught.

So, I have included several things that you can use for your math focus walls. Depending on your wall space, grade level, and school’s requirements, all of the above are great choices to make math a central focus on your walls right next to your ELA boards and your themed boards, and of course, your great work displays. Are you looking for something else as well? Let me remind you that the CORE Binder is comprehensive and will have many resources for your students and you. You will want to check it out!


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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.