Business Cards, Stickers, and Cards: Oh my!

There has recently been this awesome arts & crafts trend that has been happening with math teachers on blogs. Lots of talk about hobby lobby and the container store and puff paints and spray paint chalkboards. I used to be crafty, but no more. I’m too manly to be crafty. [1] But I do feel like I have a fairly good sense of design. So I figured I’d join in with my first installment of Made 4 Math Monday.

I should probably preface this by saying this is not math specific.

I went to one of those personalization stationary websites, and ordered a lot of stuff.

My favorite of the things I ordered were specially designed business cards. I ordered some fun ones for me to use when I’m out on the town, but I also designed some for me to carry around the school, in the classroom or outside the classroom. It’s definitely a novelty thing that will wear off, but I’m amused by them. Can you imagine being a kid and having a teacher sort of flick you a card as you’re leaving?  Or just hand you one in the hallway? Or if you were being funny bad (but not seriously bad), have someone hand you one of these? The first card is more like a motto I want to instill in my kids, especially because I’m doing standards based grading.

In order to get free shipping, I had to order more. So I designed stickers (I’m getting 24 of each sticker). I should say I had limited time to design them so they aren’t exactly the best things I could have come up with. But they’re good enough.

Now that I’m looking at these, I’m wondering if I couldn’t make better stickers which weren’t all about achievement. But maybe a sticker for someone who just bombed something… something to make them smile, and feel encouraged. Or for someone who clearly put a ton of effort into something even if they didn’t do superduper. Anyway, thoughts for the future.

I still had a little more money to spend for my free shipping, so I also ordered 10 cards (the outside, then the inside).

The card is not my favorite, because I could have done a much better job and come up with a much better concept if I had more time. But here’s the thing. I always keep blank fancy cards at my desk to write thank you notes to people who have helped me out in small and large ways. Unfortunately, I forget I have them, so it hasn’t become normalized behavior. But since I will have fancy personalized cards, I think I will be more excited to use them and so I have high hopes this could become a thing that I do, instead of just intend on doing.

I hate having to wait to see how all this merchandise looks (it’s going to take up to two weeks to get to me!), but I’m uber excited about it.

As for costs, I had a groupon that cost $20 for $80 worth of merchandise. But for some reason, I had $10 off my groupon. I also had to order an extra $25 for free shipping. So for all of this (I ordered eleven different business cards, even though I only showed a few here), I only ended up paying $35.

And with that, my first Made 4 Math Monday is out.

[1] False.



  1. mistakes and seal of approval – my favorites. will have to check this out! thanks for joining in! and i love that you do your own thing…aka m4mfriday!

  2. I’ve toyed with a “Good Fail!” badge for a while, but haven’t found any general language or art that put it beyond the nihilistic sarcasm of middle school students. For electronics work, the Adafruit “Blue Smoke Monster” badge gets across the (domain-specific) message.

  3. I’ve tried variations on this before, but the Atari aesthetic only works if you’re really really old.


  4. I love the randomness of the Mathletes card. I remember in the past I’ve imagined a whale hole becoming a golf hole, and here I can see it materialize.

  5. Love it. Definitely a fun thing to do. I’ve seen stickers made where it’s a picture of he teacher doing a face palm (reserved for those special moments).

    While I do love it… Just a lingering thought… Is it possible to promote some sort of critical thinking or mathematical thinking with these business cards or stickers? Of course, it could just be a fun thing to do. Of course, if you throw something that requires more than 5 minute of thought, then these might lose their appeal… But I wonder… I think I will experiment with some ideas of my own next semester!

    Btw this marks my first attempt on replying and attempting to inch myself into this wonderful online professional learning community that I’ve watched from afar for a long time :)

    1. Hihi! Sorry for the delayed response. I love the idea of promoting critical or mathematical thinking with these cards, but I don’t know exactly how that would look! Do you have an example (even if it’s stupid or not well-fleshed out) in mind? Are you talking about cards with little puzzles on them, which you can randomly hand out and when they solve them (not in class) and return it to you they get some sort of prize (candy)? Or something else?

      Also, CONGRATS on replying and dipping your toe in! Welcome!

      1. I don’t actually have many ideas yet… I was thinking of cards with puzzles on them like you said – maybe on the back? It’s hard to think of something meaningful to put on there. I used to give some logic puzzles to start the class with. The logic puzzles didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the content of the day, but it was a great way to get the kids started thinking. Maybe that’s what these cards can have, as you anticipated? I am still trying to think of varieties though. puzzles with reward being candy might be good. I am leaning towards not giving them a reward like candy though. It’s nice to give students candy (because they still love it even when they’re in grade 12), but sometimes it takes away the joy they hopefully should be getting from solving the problem itself. Another Idea I had was maybe something like a single number to replace in a variable in a written assessment? hmm… but then every student would need one, and it defeats the purpose of having spontaneous business cards… well I’m not sure. I’ll probably keep thinking about alternatives. I like the puzzle idea, but I want more.

        Thanks for the welcome! I signed up for the blogger initiation thing, so hopefully that will be fun! My wife and I will be going on our honeymoon (long over due!) in about a day, so hopefully I will be able to keep up these blogging things while travelling!

    1. Yeah, I can’t decide if I can bring myself to hand those out yet either. We’ll see how my rapport with my kids develops. It’s fun in theory, anyway.

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