Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Creative Activities to Practice the Coordinate Plane


The coordinate plane can be a difficult concept for students to grasp.  I am always looking for new and creative ways to help make this concept more easily understood.
Last summer, I made this coordinate plane bulletin board for my 6th grade math classroom, with great intentions for its use….but…I didn’t use it as much as I thought I would.
This year, however, that is going to change. This is something my 6th grade students will need to use, for the following concepts:

  • finding area
  • finding perimeter
  • finding distance between points
  • for the meaning of absolute value, etc.

Since it is such an important tool I decided to give it a try again this year.  But. . . this year I am being more intentional and strategic in using it.  And I think I am off to a good start!

Problem of the Week

coordinate plane bulletin board for problem of the week

I decided to start using the bulletin board to start a problem of the week display. Each week I will post a new problem on the board.  The students will have all week to work on it, and we will discuss it each Friday.
My hope is that with the continued practice using the coordinate plane, their understanding will quickly improve.
The first question I put on the board is an area question. I put five points on the board with thumbtacks and labeled the points. Then I used yarn and placed it around the tacks to form the figure.

Students will work on this problem throughout the week as they finish classwork, and then on Friday, we’ll discuss the problem as a group.

How else can the coordinate plan be used on a regular basis in middle school math?

Make the Coordinate Plane Easy to Understand

Need a unique way to discuss and take notes about the coordinate plane? Check out the Math Wheels for 5th and 6th grades by selecting the images below! Each of these math wheels is designed to engage your students in the note-taking process.  Students are able to refer back to the math wheel as needed throughout the year.

5th grade math coordinate plane math wheel

6th grade math coordinate plane math wheel

Another great way to help students learn to use the coordinate plane is through math games. And. . . I just happen to have a free one!  Check out the free online Coordinate Plane activity on the Cognitive Cardio Games site.


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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