Math = Love: Printable Vertical Number Line Posters

Monday, July 25, 2016

Printable Vertical Number Line Posters

Bad news.  I printed off a bunch of new posters, drove up to school to hang them up/take pictures for my blog, and had to turn around and go back home because the custodians have waxed the floors.  We aren't allowed back in the building until August 1st, and I just can't wait that long to share all my new posters.  So, I apologize that these posts will be lacking photos of them in action.

Once my classroom is decorated and ready-to-go for the new school year, I'll be sure to take pictures and come back and update these posts with pictures.

Today, I want to share a vertical number line I made for my classroom.  I've wanted one of these for ages.  Years ago, I made a horizontal number line from a free download I found on a British book publisher's website.  (Blog post here.)  And, don't worry.  I'm keeping the horizontal number line, too.  I want my students to be able to choose which tool works best for them since I have students which prefer each.  It also means I can have number lines on multiple walls of my classroom!

As you can tell from these pictures, my classroom decor has changed from year to year.  :)

I mentioned that I would love a vertical version, and Kathryn Belmonte made one and blogged about it here.  I had a student aide cut it out and try putting it together, and we couldn't figure out how to get it to line up exactly.  That project fell by the wayside.

This summer, I decided to set out to make a vertical number line in the same style as the horizontal number line I'd made several years ago.  

Here's what the horizontal number line files looked like:


To put together the number line, I had to print each page of the file, laminate each page, cut each page in half, and finally cut off the left-hand edge of each strip.  This allowed each strip to overlap, creating as seamless of an image as possible.  If you didn't choose to laminate each page, you could actually use a glue stick to attach each strip to the next.  But, being a teacher, I laminate EVERYTHING.

I liked how the horizontal number line was well spaced with 3 numbers to a strip.  However, I quickly realized that for a vertical number line to have more than a few numbers on it, the numbers would have to be smaller and more closely spaced.

I settled on putting six numbers to a strip.


The problem with having six numbers on each strip is that it was impossible to center 0 on a strip.  :(

I'm okay with it, though, because you shouldn't be able to tell once it's actually hanging up on the wall.  The negatives will have one more number than the positives if I hang up strips in the entirety, but I can fix that by just bumping the arrow that points to negative infinity up to cover that number.

I made the number line go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy higher (and lower!) than I have room to actually hang in my classroom.  (I'm excited to be in a much newer building this year, but I am a tiny bit sad to lose my high ceilings.  It's okay.  I actually have storage in my new classroom!)  Maybe you have super tall ceilings and can use more numbers than I can?  Or maybe you want to build a giant vertical number line that you can lay down in the hall?

You'll have to decide whether you want to cut off the bottom edge or the top edge from each strip.  If you cut off the bottom edge, you'll want to start constructing your number line from the bottom to the top.  If you cut off the top edge, you'll want to start constructing your number line from the top to the bottom.

Since I can't show you what the number line looks like in my classroom, you'll have to settle for a picture of the number line laying in the floor of our living room.  They haven't been taped together yet because I'm still not sure what range of numbers will fit on my wall.  So, please forgive the fact that they are just laying on top of one another and kinda crooked in places...

Since my printer isn't perfect, they are a mm or two off in places from matching up perfectly.  I plan to tape them so that the line matches up perfectly.  I can trim the sides a bit if it bothers me, but I noticed when I was hanging up my horizontal number line that it has the same issue.  And, I've never even noticed it before....

I'll need to trim this top arrow a bit so there won't be a gap between where the numbers end and the arrow begins.

This last picture shows the tiny bit of offset you get when you line up the lines on each strip.  Enough to notice at a close distance, but I figure I have enough decorations going on in my room that there's plenty to look at without noticing tiny imperfections.  :)

I've uploaded the file for the vertical number line here as an editable Publisher file and a non-editable PDF file.  Here's the link!

Other Number Line Goodies:

Printable Horizontal Number Line Poster

Horizontal Number Line for Interactive Notebooks (file only!  - see post below for more details)

Vertical Number Line for Interactive Notebooks

-20 to 20 Number Line Desk Tape (Pack of 36) - Another MTBoSer shared this tool, and I'm debating whether I want to invest in it or not since I plan on having my students put a number line in their INBs.  Decisions, decisions, decisions...  Full Disclosure: This is an affiliate link.


  1. I am curious why you are going to all the trouble to create the vertical number line. Couldn't you just use a thermometer that has positive and negative on it? You could cut off the ends and add arrows. Instant vertical number line! Just my opinion.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! My students last year LOVED the INB version so it will be great to have a big one in the classroom too.

  3. Thanks for this!! I'll definitely be using it this year.

  4. Thank you for the great resource! It has been very helpful!