In eighth-grade math classes, students typically learn basic algebra, geometry and probability as well as giving factors and integer amounts for numbers. To generate excitement about these subjects, teachers can decorate their classrooms to pique student interest and create a welcoming learning environment. Even older students like eighth graders will appreciate a decorated classroom.
Decorate the bulletin boards in your room. Most classrooms have one or more bulletin boards on which teachers can post materials. (If your room does not have a bulletin board, contact your administrator to see if you can mount a tack board onto your wall.) Cover the board with a bright colored paper and line the board with a border. If you like, you can purchase a border with a mathematical theme, like numbers or math symbols. Then add decorations onto your boards. For geometry, you can cut out geometrical shapes or draw a picture of the Cartesian plane. For algebra, you can staple examples of axioms and properties onto the board. Also, you can staple a couple of folders onto the board and leave extra handouts in them for students to take. (See Resources for bulletin board ideas and activities.)
Hang a large calendar in the room. Consider hanging a calendar in your classroom (either on a bulletin board or on a wall) to remind your students of due dates and tests. You can also highlight student birthdays as well as the birthdays of famous mathematicians.
Post pictures of famous mathematicians on your walls. Locate posters of famous mathematicians (for example, Euclid or Diophantus) and hang them in your classroom to provide a human element to your lessons. You may print off some biographical information and tape them next to the poster. When you teach your lessons, point to the posters to show your students about the men and women who helped develop the formulas and theories they are learning about.
Create posters of various careers that use mathematics. Show students how they can use what they are learning in the classroom for applications in the real world. You can make posters to highlight different jobs that utilize algebra, geometry or probability on a daily basis, such as: engineers, construction workers, architects, astronomers and even clothing designers. Paste pictures of these workers onto a poster and then provide a brief list of how they use math in their jobs. You may also want to paste clippings from newspapers or magazines that profile these type of careers.
Enlist the help of your students. At the beginning of the year, have your students do a math-related art project and then tape the projects onto your walls. Since you will be teaching basic geometry, you can have your students cut out geometrical shapes and paste the shapes onto paper to create a piece of art. If you do not have enough room in your class to hang everyone's artwork, you can have the students work in small groups. This project will brighten your room and bring your students' creativity to the class.
Get feedback from your students. Ask your students what decorations they like the most or find the most helpful. You can take their advice and add more decorations catered to them.