Math = Love: Inspiration from Science Class

Friday, April 4, 2014

Inspiration from Science Class

Even though I don't teach science, I was still inspired by a lot of the decorations I found in the science classrooms at #edcampTULSA.  I'm not sure if I ever told you this, but if I wasn't a math teacher, I think I would want to be a chemistry teacher.  Chemistry was the only science class that I ever truly enjoyed.  And, I'm pretty sure the reason I'm so enamored with chemistry is that it's just math in disguise.  Equations to balance.  Polyatomic ions.  Valence electrons.  What's not to love?!? 

Several of the science classrooms featured periodic tables of the elements.  Each student was assigned a different element to research.  Their research was summarized on a small rectangle of paper, and the pieces of paper were joined to form the entire periodic table. 

Periodic Table of the Elements

Close-Up of Periodic Table

Another Close-Up of Periodic Table

A third close-up of the periodic table
I'm not quite sure how to make this into a math project, but I'm thinking about it.  Maybe I could have students make posters over different mathematical properties???  Then, they could research one property and present it to the class.  The posters could be posted on the wall as a reminder for the remainder of the school year.    

Science Timelines
 I found a bulletin board of science timelines in one classroom that I LOVED.  I would love to adapt this idea and have students make timelines of major mathematical discoveries.

One thing that struck me was that the thing I was drawn to the most in these classrooms was student work.  Yet, I have a classroom where no student work is displayed.  This needs to change.  When an outsider walks in my classroom, they need to see more than just cute posters.  They need to be able to see evidence of student learning.  I have two small spaces of wall that were left blank this year in my classroom.  Last year, they held word walls for Algebra 1 and 2.  I planned on redesigning my word walls this year, but that never happened.  They just stayed empty.  Next year, I want to dedicate that space to displaying work.

When I took chemistry in high school, the most important day of the year was October 23rd.  Why?  It was Mole Day.  Math teachers celebrate Pi Day.  Chemistry teachers celebrate Mole Day.  Inspired by these Mole Day decorations, I want my students to design their own Pi Day decorations next year.

Enjoy the pictures!     
Mole Day Bulletin Board
Mole Day Bulletin Board

Mole Day Bulletin Board

Question vs Inquiry Bulletin Board with Mole Day Decorations

Mole Day Poster

Mole Day Signage

How Big is a Mole?

Scientific Element Posters


  1. I love the "homemade" periodic table as well. Chemistry wasn't my favoring Science, but that is a great project. If you wanted to keep the idea of a word wall, have the students create their own "math word" posters, and put them together into units like the periodic table. Each student could sign up to research a word, phrase, formula, mathematician, etc that goes with future units ... so this would be an ongoing project ... and you could probably come up with enough stuff so that each of your students would get something different. Just a thought! :)

    BTW ... I love your blog and am slowly becoming obsessed with idea of interactive notebooks. I didn't know what they were until about 3 months ago. I'm going to try them next year with my classes! Have a Happy Friday!

    1. Ooooh! I like the idea of making it an ongoing project. I kinda picture it as wall-papering my classroom with math!

      And, thanks for your kind words about my blog. I'm excited that you are trying out interactive notebooks next year. If you need any help, let me know!

  2. Wow! I totally didn't know about Mole Day and its fun association with Avogadro's constant. What a fun way to remember things! Also, loved your "coffee" mnemonic for remembering Pi (another discovery for me). You know, I loved mathematics but could never pursue it formally, so, reading your blogs make me feel as if I've gone back to school. Keep up with the love!

    1. Glad I could teach you something! You are truly a life-long learner!