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My Classroom 2015/2016

September 26, 2015

My Classroom 2015/2016

After many years of “hot-rooming,” I’ve finally got my own classroom! To say I am a little excited, is an understatement.

Once I found out in April that I would be getting a room… I was straight onto Pinterest and Twitter. Here is my Pinterest board of “maths displays”

Also I have found many blogs useful in my planning. This post by a math(s) teacher in America, Sarah Hagan, has been a big influence. As she states, this is somewhere that I will be spending 9/10 hours a day, so I want to be happy there. Also, given “new build” schools can lack character and colour… I, like Sarah, am going for a fun, bright classroom.

Another blog post I have used as an influence is this post by Paul Collins, (@mrprcollins). He is someone who I have followed on Twitter since the “early days” of Corbettmaths and this is just one of the many blog posts/resources that he has created that has helped me out.

Before I get started with the tour, let me show you the classroom as it was last year. The teacher who used to teach in HU21, @mathsmarch has gone onto pastures new, in his new role as Head of Department (and a few extras thrown in!). I hope he doesn’t mind my total “refurb” of his room.

HU21 before my arrival

HU21 before my arrival

HU21 has always been one of my favourite classrooms in school for many reasons:

  • It is the closest room to the maths office
  • It has lots of natural sunlight
  • It is upstairs, so quieter during break/lunch when delivering extra sessions
  • It has a Smart board and one whiteboard beside it.

The things I wanted to improve about HU21:

  • Firstly, the “double U” had to go! Fine for subjects with lots of discussion, but not for maths in my opinion.
  • Colour – add lots of it.
  • Make use of the blank wall.

Finally, I wanted my classroom to create a sense of “awe” amongst the students.

So here is how I am getting on… more of a work in progress as there are so many things I still want to add, but here’s the tour anyway.

Front View 1

This is a view towards the front of the classroom. Firstly you will notice I have opted for the 4 x 4 separated tables.

I wanted to be able to get to see each student quickly if needed and have access to their exercise book to check their work.

Here are some of the things you can see in this photo, each will be explained in more detail later:

  • Equipment pots on the tables
  • Photo frames attached to the tables (thanks to @RJS2212 for the idea)
  • Decorative paper balls attached to the ceiling
  • The Corbettmaths Challenge Board
  • Maths vocab bunting by (@Just_maths) click here for their files
  • Number line at the top of the front wall (just visible)
  • Mathematical Mr.Men by Solve My Maths… click here

Front 2

This is another view towards the front of the classroom.

Here you can see I added extra whiteboards to the side wall. There is one very large whiteboard that only cost me £54 from Amazon and two smaller boards (one each side). The large board has proved invaluable for having extra example/exercise space. The smaller board on the left is the current homework for each class and the smaller board on the right (out of sight) is used as a board students write puzzles/maths questions on that they discover to be considered by their peers.

Above the boards is “Practice Makes Permanent” make from wooden letters and painted pinkish red. This really stands out against the white wall.

Also above the door, using the clock as the O, is “FOCUS.” I originally found this idea from Twitter some time (no pun intended!) ago, but cannot remember where or from who. Since then some others have opted for it as well… see here

Also there in this picture is a square root clock.

Back corner

This is the back corner of the classroom. I have opted for a Growth Mindset display, copied from the amazing Sarah Hagan. Already the students are using the responses to each other!

In the corner is my paper shelves… so useful to have graph paper, tracing paper, coloured paper etc so easily accessible without having to go to the store cupboard.

The class cupboard is full of my equipment and also my mathematical treasures from home that my wife has told me took up too much space… so they are now in class and actually being used!


Next is my revision display with a mathematical Mario (inspired by this post by Paul Collins). I am going to add revision posters such as this Corbettmaths Circle Theorems one around the outside. On the individual post-its will go key facts and information that my Year 11 class need to remember for their GCSEs. They will write it onto the laminated post-its with a sharpie when needed.

Back corner

Finally, this is the back corner of my classroom. I absolutely love the Superstar Work board. The backing paper and border were bought from Amazon and were very good value.

I have put up some of the fantastic achievements from the students last year in their examinations… which I have referred to several times to my current classes to help them aim high!

Also I have photocopied some excellent homeworks from the beginning of term to demonstrate to the class what great work looks like. Beside each homework is the students’ name. I made sure to include the two Year 10’s who handed me in their homework and said it was the first homework they have completed in two years… so far they have completed all 4 maths homeworks set this year!

Equipment pot

On each desk, I have a photo frame which currently has examples of ideal presentation (thanks to @mathszest) which serves as a visual reminded to the students each lesson.

This week I am about to change the picture to a fact sheet with square numbers, cube numbers, square roots and cube roots as two of my classes could do with a reminder of this.

The following week, I will add the circle theorems in for my Year 11’s as they found it hard remembering what to call them in a recent geometric proof question.

Also I have place Equipment Pots. Currently I have placed two green pens, one pair of scissors, one glue stick and one ruler. I expect all students to have pens, pencils, calculators etc, so these will not be going in there. I really should take out the ruler, but I shudder at the thought of any graph/diagram drawn without a ruler, so I have included one!

I will be adding in a second glue stick to each pot over the next week, as occasionally one runs out and then neither student can use one.

After hot rooming for so long, it is amazing to have the green pens within easy reach for the students – it has transformed the quality of self-marking within the exercises books.

I have bought these ones, 50 for £3.98!


This is my classroom door – I have stuck up a selection of maths jokes and it has been fantastic hearing the students talking (and believe it or not…laughing!) about this. Again all of them have been found on Twitter or Pinterest (here is my jokes board on Pinterest)

The second bottom one is my favourite, with the cow saying “mu!” What is great about that one, I have the Greek Alphabet on the other side of the room and often students (and even staff) will figure it out for themselves!


Here you can see the Greek Alphabet (thanks to Sarah Hagan… again! This is really just a copy of her classroom but in England!)

Also I have the common marking codes for the Corbettmaths Videos stuck next to my desk to help with instant support when marking. I use these when marking the students work to direct them to the relevant video of me explaining each topic.

I have also stuck up my timetable and some Thank You cards… just in case I need cheering up!!


Here is a better picture of the Mathematical Mr.Men by (@solvemymaths) and the number line by (@just_maths)

Also I have displayed a clay Pi that was glazed and had the digits of Pi written on it by one of my ex-students.


This is a better view of the Corbettmaths Challenge board (not quite finished) where the students can come up and take their 5-a-days when finished the current task (gives a little more time to the other students) or on their way out of the lesson. Beneath the board is a ballot box, where the completed 5-a-days go into a prize draw fortnightly. The more 5-a-days completed…the greater the chance of winning!

The Plastic Files that are attached to wall contain the Numeracy, Foundation and Higher 5-a-day. I am also considering buying 5 more to stick to the wall near my desk to hold the resources for each lesson each day. So when I leave work on a particular evening, all the resources for lessons 1-5 will be in the appropriate file and I do not need to search on my desk for the sheets at the beginning of each lesson.


Here is the Square root clock and Focus display.

Please avoid the mistake my colleague made and buy the version of the clock with “Root 1” at the top… easily done I suppose 😛


Here is a better view of the boards. Having this extra board space has been fantastic this year.

I had considered painting the wall with whiteboard paint, but since the large board was only £53, it worked out a lot cheaper to put up an actual board.


Here is a close-up of the bunting… I have A-M at the front of the room and N-Z at the back.

I made sure to print on both sides of the card before laminating and then hole punching them to thread through the string.

And that’s it… until I spot something else on Twitter/Pinterest

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