Using Color in the Math Classroom
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COLOR IN THE CLASSROOM
I LOVE to color code in math. Why? Because it’s a way to enhance visual representation. In layman’s terms that means it’s easier to remember. Don’t believe me? Advertisers know that color, when strategically used, sells. Think of UPS. Coca-Cola. Starbucks. McDonald’s. Facebook. Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness. So I decided to apply this great marketing strategy to math,most recently with fractions.
COLOR FOR FRACTION COMPREHENSION
I recently described in Mastering Fractions how I use color when teaching fractions.
The Numerator and Denominator are always color coded. Here I represented the fraction one fourth as a traditional fraction, in a bar, as one of a group, and on a number line.
COLOR FOR ORGANIZATION
I also color code my classes by subject. Last year I taught Geometry, Algebra II, Algebra IA and College Readiness. This year I also have Liberal Arts. My class schedule is on the wall, and students can easily find their class based on name AND color. We use online curriculum, but I print out physical copies of Teacher Notes and Answer Keys. I use colored binders that match the colors for each of my classes. Amazon offers a great high-quality Mead 4-pack. Now don’t skimp on quality, and buy cheap ones. It costs more up front, but these have shown no wear-and-tear after a year.
I can’t wait to purchase fun binder clips. I mean, who can resist these!?! Students are CONSTANTLY handing me papers. So far I have used Post-it notes to write down which class they belong to. No more! Now I’ll just clip them with these.
And of course I can’t forget colored dry erase markers for my board(s). Have I ever mentioned that I have five, 5 HUGE dry erase boards in my classroom? Anyway, there’s no point in color coding lessons if I have to write everything in black on my boards. Now don’t go buying cheap ones. I did, and the colors weren’t as vibrant, and they dried out quickly. Be sure to purchase EXPO dry erase markers.
ELEMENTARY TEACHER AT HEART
Elementary teachers get all the fun; they have beautiful, colorful, fun classrooms. Well, no more! Come join me as I continue my journey to bring Color to the Math Classroom. Please subscribe to Mr and Mrs Math, and email me pictures of how you are organizing and transforming your classroom using color.