Huge Class Posters on the Cheap!

So I had this huge bare patch on the wall.

Problem is: it’s such a sappy, feel-good market for teacher posters. Anyone else feel me on that?

I mean, if you’re looking for something totally insulting – Mary Lou Retton smiling broadly next to the quadratic formula captioned with “MATH IS A PERFECT TEN” – you’re in luck. Otherwise, you’re out of it.

That was me. I wanted something risky. Something out there on the edge. You want that, I figured, you’ve gotta do it yourself.

So I pulled something from Google Images (being intentionally vague here) and worked it over in Photoshop, though if I didn’t have that, Fauxto woulda probably done me fine.

Then I loaded it into Rasterbator. Here’s hoping your district hasn’t installed a rhyming module for its filtering software.

You decide how many pages tall and wide you want the final productFor this reason, in Photoshop, I cropped the original photo to the dimensions of an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper (I chose 5×5 but it can get huge) and then let ‘er go. It spat out 25 pages of rasterized goodness.

The result is everything a teacher poster oughtta be. Edgy, unpredictable, dangerous. I only regret not taking this even larger.

I realize everyone’s gonna want one so here’s the original.

Update: Eric adds:

If your district does block the rastorbator, does basically the same thing. And you can tell your students the name of the site without feeling dirty.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Thanks. You find the coolest stuff.
    Btw, I stole your syllabus idea and a bunch of other teachers are using it too. Good luck getting back into the rhythm of things.

  2. Ahh yes, I’ve rasterbated for more than a year now – it’s a great online tool. We did a giant poster of my 8th grade Pre-algebra class last year, only to determine that it was too large to fit on my wall!

    But I can’t leave without noting, Dan, that Mary Lou Retton won her gold medals when you were but a wee lad! Now personally, I’d be looking for some groovy Nadia Comaneci posters. Sadly, though, my administrators probably wouldn’t let me keep any more contemporary beach volleyball posters up…

  3. If you really wanted something ‘risky’, ‘out there’, and ‘on the edge’, you should have made a really large poster for Rasterbator.

    There are a few flaws with your poster, dark and foreboding and uplifting as it is:

    1. Vader’s mathematical skill’s are less than extraordinary. He never once hit Luke’s X-Wing fighter.

    2. He totally ‘mis-calculated’ what Luke would do during the hand-lopping fight in the heart of Cloud City. Did he really think Luke would pull himself up, put his one remaining hand around his father, and embark on a malevolent quest to rule the Galaxy? Unlikely.

    3. No Ewoks

    How about a poster that promotes math w/ the under-rated, but far more sinister Skeksis?

    I really enjoy your blog; which is to say I enjoy your ability to transfer your thoughts into words and present them in a stylized and informative manner.

  4. Ken, thanks for stopping by and dropping off some fan-fic for the rest of us.

    For whatever it’s worth, Han Solo was my first pick but Google Images was unforthcoming. I just loved the idea of some long-past-his-or-her-prime icon endorsing math in a generic-enough way that if you swapped math for any other subject or for “Domestically Produced Automobiles,” for that matter, it’d work just as well. Or as poorly, depending on your perspective.

    Yeah, just to head that question off, it is for my enjoyment more than anyone else’s.

    Scott, got an eMac for work and a PC right next to it just to keep up appearances. You know how it is sometimes.

  5. I absolutely love this! The problem I keep running into for this project and in making powerpoints is finding images with a high enough resolution. Everything on the web is designed for the web and to be light so the pages load faster (understandably).

    Any tips of finding images? Google images has yielded very little in my quests. After a post from a while back I broke out the digital camera which helped, am thinking about trying to rip and scan from magazines, even did a couple flickr searches.

  6. Yeah, Google Images is totally hit or miss, totally on a case-by-case basis. You in the market for anything in particular? Good place to check out aside from GI is the Stock Exchange. Or, yeah, in times of extreme despereation, I’m not above taking my 8MP point-and-shoot out and shooting something I need.

  7. I really wanted to find a way to life some of these banners

    but technically it was a no go.

    In the meantime Darth is on the wall and I would like to add “Do The Math” but have not come up with a concept yet. I was also hunting for an image of Martin Luther King to go with the quote character plus intelligence = true education, or KRS-One with his title of “The teacher/teacha”, or some graffiti preferably with “Bronx” in it (where I teach). But I’ve decorated with other stuff in the meantime.

    It is an ongoing problem for the semi-skilled such as myself. Back when you posted some slides with images of the Pentagon I went hunting for some simple things like the cookie monster and was disappointed with the lack of results.

    Thanks for the stock exchnage tip.

  8. Bummer. I assume you’re talking about the website headers there, which are pretty hot. I wonder what would happen if you e-mailed the webmaster for some high-res copies.

  9. I feel like I just struck gold.

    I’m a brand new math teacher. School starts in week. I’m still not sure what courses I’ll be teaching, in title, though from the reports of other teachers I’ll be lucky if the students have a background in pre-algebra.

    I was taking a break from some of the other prep work and trying to think about room decorations. Googled “posters for math class” in the hopes of finding some inspiration that I’d be able to rasterbate. And that led me here.

    The only problem is that now I’m spending time in your archives and on a variety of your links doing more passive prep instead of the actual hammering out details of my class. Thank you!

  10. Heh. My bad. Passive prep is pretty much my favorite thing to do ever, though, the reason why a lesson that oughtta take ninety minutes to plan takes two hours. Dumb Internet.

  11. Ya know, I really like to go to the extreme with the sarcasm and I have a Demotivators calendar in my office. I’m tempted to get one of their big posters to put on my wall. Something like this: