Top 10 Math Facebook Posts (+ a few extra)

“I saw this and thought of you.”

This post is just for fun.  My guess is if you are reading this than there is a HIGH probability you are also a math teacher or connected to the math teacher community in some way.  If so, than there is also a huge probability that since the emergence of social media platforms you have have been tagged numerous times with anything and everything related to mathematics by your friends not in the math business.  Often their tag line with the photos/comics/videos/articles come with the following line: “I saw this and thought of you.”  In honor of all the posts I’ve been tagged in over the years, here is my personal top 11 (or more) things you may have been tagged in if you are a math teacher.  Enjoy and feel free to tweet me @saravdwerf or email me at with items I may have missed. Without further ado, in no particular order.

#11 Weapons of Math Instruction.

I think this is the one where it all started for me.  Well before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other social media platforms, this little ditty was emailed to me hundreds of times.  I smiled and laughed the first few times, but it has been harder to fake my amusement when it is the hundredth time I’ve seen it, though I try to do so because for whomever sent this it is often their first time seeing it.

weapons of math instruction

#10  The most frequent thing I’m tagged in on Facebook.

Yep, in case your wondering.  I’ve seen this one.  Haha.

here it is

#9 I bet you don’t know the Order of Operations.

I can not count the number of these posts on Facebook I’ve been tagged in.  They all say something like “90% of the people get this problem wrong” (I always wonder how this is calculated and what the sample size was or if it is a made up statistic) OR “I bet you can’t get this problem correct”.  Here are a few examples.  All of these posts come with hundreds of comments with peoples guesses.  It always surprises me how many people do get this problem incorrect.  Don’t they have a calculator on their phone?  Calculators now days know the order of operations.

73 percent failed this

A couple of my teacher friends tag me on things like this.  This example came from a teacher who could not wait for my Facebook response so she would text me the question.

ellens math question     ellens math question 2

#8 Pi Humor

I could post so many of these.  So many.  Here are just a few.

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Don’t even get me started on Pi Day, 2015.  The posts were endless.

pi day of century

I can’t say much on this type of math post ’cause I hosted a 3.14 mile Pi Day walk with my friend Sonja Krasean.  We had matching Tshirts.  100-200 people came to walk around a nearby lake that is 3.1 miles in circumference.  The local news media covered it (we are pictured with the newscasters below) and our school band teacher composed a piece of music written using the digits of pi.  Our students (Pi’d Pipers) brought their instruments in the cold and played with enthusiasm.  We had a parade of digits of pi on meter sticks and a great big pi day countdown of the century.  Check out the 30 second video of the event here.

pi day 2015pi day lake 4pi day lake 3pi day lake 2pi day at lake

#7 Math Puns

I think some people think the only way to make math more fun is to include math puns everywhere we can.  Here are a few that have been shared with me.  Enjoy.

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Here is a video of 30 bad math puns in 2 minutes if you need more.

#6 Using math to say inappropriate things at school.

I’d like to dedicate #6 to my grade school boy classmates who found this extremely funny.


15 years ago a kind of crazy social studies teacher walked into my room in the middle of a lesson and started yelling at a student.  Yelling.  Loudly. I approached the teacher and whispered, why don’t you take this into the hallway.  He continued to yell.  I don’t remember what he was yelling about, but I do remember I yelled loudly at him (those of you who know me know how loud my voice is) “Mr. X, you have a lot in common with Pi right now”.  He stopped, looked at me, and walked out of my classroom.  I am pretty sure he had no idea I had just told him he was being irrational.  My students laughed because some of them caught what I was trying to say.  The rest of the year I would catch them telling people they had a lot in common with Pi.  That year I also taught them acceptable ways to swear in my classroom.  For example I said they could tell me that they wanted to kick my Angle, Side, Side.  On Facebook and on other platforms I find people like to push the boundaries of what is appropriate using mathematics.  Here are a few.

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One more.  This one seems to fit this category in 2015.  Just Sayin.

cos b

#5 Holiday Math

Most holiday’s can be made more fun with a mathy pun.  Here is the pic that inspired this post.  It was shared with me on THANKSGIVING day.

i over ate eight

Here is one for the 4th of July.

american pi

Valentines Day (this is what I sent my mother – thanks Desmos)

math valentine to mom


And don’t forget Christmas.

merry christmas eequationfa la la119-12-days-of-christmasho ho ho This one kind of bugs me because shouldn’t it be HOOO not HO HO HO.  I like this one better.

ho better

#4 Stop using an EQUAL SIGN like this.

This one is like nails on a chalk board for me.  Thanks to Terry Wyberg showing me problems like 17 + 8 = ____ + 9 fifteen+ years ago and telling me how many students say the missing value is 25 because they see the equal sign as an operation to do what is to the left of the equals sign, I’ve banned using the word ‘equals’ in my classroom and instead we say ‘is the same as’.  I started reading everything I could get my hands on related to relational thinking.  I’ve led staff development on this topic numerous times.  What I really dislike is when facebook posts use the equal sign symbol in appropriately.  I do appreciate having people notice patterns, but seriously, can they do this without using the equal sign this way.  Nails. On. A. Chalkboard.  Stop the madness.

bad use of equal signbad use of equal sign 2

Attaching things like this to a Big Bang screenshot does not improve anything for me, it makes it somewhat worse.  In addition, why do we taunt people with the statistics that say they will get this wrong?  #

bad use of equal sign big bang

#3 Common Core exponential increased the number of posts I am tagged in.

First, Minnesota is not a common core math state.  Second, That does not stop people from tagging me in common core math posts.  Third, the MN math standards are not that different than the common core math standards.  (people think MN is better because we are not part of the ‘evil’ common core). Fourth, If common core went away tomorrow, the math you rant against would still be around.  OK, I’m done’  Here are a couple of the classics.

dear jack common core picold new way common corecommon core check

Most of the time I stay silent on these things.  I will often repost what wise people like Christopher Danielson say to these posts (buy his book on this topic.  It is good) , but I often stay quiet.  Here is one time I did not stay silent.

common core question from joancommon core response from me

Lastly, a lot of you know how much I loved the new Math On-a-stick booth at the Minnesota State Fair this year.  We hope to see you out at our booth end of summer 2016 for year 2.  Even Math-On-a-Stick could not avoid common core.   Check out what was shared with me on Facebook a month after the fair was complete. 543 shares on Facebook!  543!  Check out the last comment in the 2nd picture.  Must be common core.

worst thing on stick evercommon core no doubt

#2.5 A kitten Dies

I started out with my top 11.  I have more.  So rather than renumber the ones I’ve done, I am going to just add some non-integer categories.  Why?  Cause I can.

I kind of like all the posts with math errors.  Here are two.

If you like the dead kitten one.  You can find lot’s more of ones like this one at this link and read more here.  Enjoy.

#2.25 Math Fails

A lot of you know I have a Math Wall of Shame in my classroom.  I get tagged in a ton of posts related to math fails out there in the real world.  Here are just 2.

Side note: If you want a collection of the ones I use in my classroom, download these 2 word docs.



#2 I have to admit.  I kind of like these ones.

A math pun a la Dr. Suess.

dr seuss

Love this one for limits.


I would totally do this one if I was allowed.

protracter door

And I kind of want to make this sandwich.  Don’t judge.

probability lunch

#1 Clever T-shirts & Sweatshirts

Again.  Way too many math t-shirts and sweatshirts posted.  Here are just a few.

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Again, I can’t say much because this is what I made and sent out as part of one of my Christmas cards a few years ago. It is a double-sided spinney thing with 14 different geeky math tshirt options for one and all to admire. I know.  I know.  I am a geek. (BTW, this is not even the most geeky math Christmas card I’ve sent.  Sometime I should do a post of just my Christmas cards from the years)



Here are 2 pics I’ve been tagged in that don’t fit any category above.  I liked them, so I thought I’d add them.  By the way, I’ve been known to do some graph dancing with my students.

Last comment of this post.  I hope people on Facebook know more about me than that I am a math geek.  Sometimes I think this is all they know me for.  Look for part 2 of this post when I include videos and GIFs.  This post was purely for pictures.





Sara VanDerWerf

I am Sara Van Der Werf, a 24-year mathematics teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. I have taught math in grades 7-12 as well as spent several years leading mathematics at the district office. I currently teach Advanced Algebra at South High School and I'm also the current President of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM). I am passionate about encouraging and connecting with mathematics teachers. I'd love to connect via twitter.  Join the community.  Tweet me @saravdwerf.

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