In the bustling world of teaching, I often marvel at the dedication of educators who draw detailed anchor charts. I admit I’ve fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole many times. I can’t tell you the countless ideas I have pinned only to forget about them when the unit comes around. Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. When I do recall math anchor chart ideas, a wave of stress crashes over me as I think about the time-consuming process. First, you have to prep before class, then the pacing during the lesson, and then there is the potential repetition for multiple classes. The struggle is real.
It was during one late-night brainstorming session, the kind that strikes at 3 AM, that I experienced my “a-ha!” moment. What if, instead of reinventing the math anchor chart wheel each time, I could streamline the process? The solution was simple yet transformative. I decided to enlarge my math wheels into poster size! Now, my students and I have matching note-taking graphic organizers, ensuring they can easily follow along during the lessons. They also serve as a reference tool on our bulletin board, ready to guide us through each unit.
What are the Math Wheels I Am Using for Math Anchor Charts?
Math wheels will become your new favorite way to jazz up math notes in upper elementary and middle school! It can be disheartening to see our students tuning out during note time. Making everything engaging can be a struggle, though. I’ve been in your shoes many times, and that’s why I created Math Wheels!
Using Math Wheels is a unique note-taking method that adds excitement to your teaching toolkit. These math wheels let students write notes, add visuals and color, and apply their notes immediately to the practice problems. No more snooze-worthy math notes!
My students actually don’t mind taking notes anymore because these math wheels chunk the math concept into manageable pieces. They see that math can be approachable and achievable, which encourages them to take risks. Having the chance to add a visual or color helps them to retain and retrieve the steps or information more easily.
Because my students have enjoyed having these reference visual aids in the binders, it made all the sense to me to enlarge them into math anchor charts to fill out with them at the moment! In the end, they have a copy in their binders and have a larger version on our math bulletin board.
Learn more about the specifics of math wheels for note-taking by reading Transform Your Upper Elementary or Middle School Math Class With This Unique Note-Taking Method!
How to Enlarge the Math Wheels into Math Anchor Charts
You might be thinking this sounds like a great idea, but how can I make these math anchor charts? When figuring out the printing, I ran to the person in the building who had a solution and answer to everything. My school secretary! Maybe for you in your building, it’s the teacher down the hall, admin, or tech person. But here are my tips for 2 ways you can enlarge the math wheel into a poster.
The Copy Machine
First, you’ll want to select the math wheel that suits your current lesson or unit. Make sure to visit my TPT store for pages of math wheels that cover all types of topics! Once you’ve got the perfect wheel in hand, head over to the copier. Most copiers allow you to enlarge documents. Simply adjust the settings to blow up your math wheel to the desired poster size. You may have to do some experimenting to get the sizing correct based on the copier you have at school. But once you have it figured out, you can use the same settings again and again.
If you don’t want to try your hand at the copier, then try printing the math wheel as a poster directly from Adobe. When you open the Math Wheel pdf in Adobe you have a variety of printing options right at your fingertips. Go to FILE and choose Print. When the print dialogue box opens you will want to select the page number that you want to print. Then select Poster. Below this, you will be able to adjust the scale of the image from 100% upward. I have found that 250% makes a nice sized poster for the classroom.
Assembling the Poster
Once your math wheel has been enlarged onto multiple pieces of paper, lay out the pieces to create the math wheel. Once all the pieces are in the correct spot, flip them over to tape on the back. I avoid taping on the front because It’s a tad disheartening for this Type A teacher when in the zone taking notes for the tape to smear the writing! After you take notes with your kiddos, I highly recommend laminating the math anchor charts. I have found that it makes the anchor chart hold up better over a longer period of time. I tend to move from our main board, to a bulletin board, to the wall over time.
How to Use Math Wheels as Math Anchor Charts
Now that we’ve enlarged the math anchor charts let me share how to integrate these visual aids into your teaching practices. Several of my kiddos have come up to me, sharing how easy it is to follow along when I use the enlarged version of their math wheels. It really got me thinking of the times my peers and I struggled to keep track of where our teachers were going with notes. After chatting with my students, I knew I was onto something with these math anchor charts!
As you guide your class through the lesson, the enlarged math anchor charts become helpful visual aids to introduce and reinforce key concepts. I post my enlarged math wheel on my whiteboard. Then, I distribute individual math wheel copies on computer-sized paper to my students. This gives them an opportunity to actively participate in note-taking while creating an interactive approach for them to gain a sense of ownership!
We complete each section together. As we go through, my students see exactly where I am filling out the notes. They can also see the steps to our practice problems. This cuts back on wait time for them to complete the section because they know exactly where we are and what we are writing down. Let’s say that I need more space or one of my students asks a question that we want to pursue with another example. These are two great reasons why I post my enlarged math wheel on my whiteboard because then I have space to work through the problem to the side if needed. Once the wheel is finished, I keep it on my math bulletin board!
Math Anchor Charts on Bulletin Boards
Now that we have our completed math anchor chart, it’s time to laminate and figure out where the best location will be for it. You don’t want it out of sight, and you don’t want it somewhere overcrowded that it could be missed. I have a couple of different ways I have displayed these math anchor charts in my own classroom! Keep in mind that you want them to be engaging visual elements that integrate with your teaching environment.
Consider presenting the laminated math wheels as standalone posters strategically placed around the room. This allows students the freedom to refer to them individually, creating personalized learning moments as they navigate through the lesson. The vibrant visuals and key concepts become easily accessible, which serve as constant reminders and reinforcing understanding. I use this option for more short-term placement for the duration of the unit or until the next math anchor chart is begun!
When it comes to math anchor charts from previous units, I want to create a sense of continuity. So, I have a designated math bulletin board that is home to ‘I can statements’ for the unit, standards being studied, and our math anchor charts. Your arrangement is going to depend on the size of your bulletin board. No matter the size, you want to create an organized layout for your math anchor charts. This way, it’s inviting for your students to come up to the bulletin board and use the anchor charts as reference tools. This dynamic bulletin board evolves with each new unit, becoming a living visual timeline of the mathematical journey undertaken by your class.
Engage Your Students with Math Anchor Charts
As educators, we often find ourselves immersed in the tug-of-war between creating detailed anchor charts and not having enough time or energy. We learned today a simple solution to this by taking our math wheels, no matter the topic, and creating vibrant, enlarged anchor charts.
This approach not only simplifies the note-taking process but also adds a touch of creativity to our teaching toolkit. Whether showcased as standalone posters or integrated into bulletin boards, these visual aids become beneficial anchors that make math approachable for our students. So, here’s to simplifying the complex to transform our classrooms into hubs of interactive learning and exploration!
Test Out Math Wheels in Your Classroom
Before diving completely into math wheel note-taking, take advantage of testing one out for free! This Fraction Operations Wheel will have your students brushing up on or being introduced to the different operations. Test run enlarging this math wheel into a math anchor chart to see if this method fits your teaching style even! Simply type in your email, and you’ll also receive three blank templates that you can use to create your own wheels around your own topics to take notes on.
Additional Resources on Math Wheels
Interested in learning more about math wheels and how to incorporate them into your classroom? Make sure to explore the resources below for more information on this innovative note-taking method!
- Math Intervention Made Easy with Math Wheels
- Using Doodle Wheel Graphic Organizers for Math and ELA
- Math Wheels: Ultimate Companion for Math Notes in 4th Grade
- 5th Grade Math Success with Math Wheels
- 6th Grade Math: Mastering Through the Magic of Math Doodle Wheels
- 7th Grade Math Magic: Unlocking Potential with Math Wheels
Save for Later
Remember to save this post to your favorite math Pinterest board for when you need math anchor chart ideas!