Focus Walls

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by vsimpkins, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    Oct 24, 2008

    Does anyone use a focus wall in their classroom? I'm looking for some easy ideas that don't take up a lot of room. I was thinking of making a 18 x 24 construction paper with something about each story, stating the theme, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, standards, writing, etc?
     
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  3. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2008

    What are focus walls? I haven't heard of that before, but it sounds like a good idea.
     
  4. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2008

    It can be put together many different ways, large on a wall or smaller. It states the theme, the title of the story, author, genre, Comprehension strategy, comprehension skill, comprehension review, phonics, spelling words, vocabulary words with definitions, grammar and writing.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 31, 2008

    My Houghton-Mifflin Focus Wall

    Here's my focus wall (scroll to the right to see the entire wall):
    [​IMG]
     
  6. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    Nov 1, 2008

    YoungTeacherGuy:
    Your focus wall looks great!
    I work with ELD students, so I need a lot of pictures that show the cover of the book, definitions of vocabulary words, etc.
     
  7. caliteach78

    caliteach78 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2008

    I have to do a focus wall because I am in "reading First" through Houghton Mifflin and it is great. If I didn't have to, I would still do it. The vocabulary is right in front of them, the HFWs and the spelling is good, becuase they look at it all day and start to memorize. I figure if they zone out, they can stare at the focus wall. I cover my board in material for each theme. Our last theme was "Nature Walk" So the material I bought was pinecones. I hung some pics of nature (old greeting cards) and hang the rest. I usually use all different color sentence strips so the board is attractive, i.e., spelling words in pink, HFW green, vocab yellow and story info in anotehr color. I like having because I can refer to it whenever I need to, and what's great is I will teaching and the kids will say, "Hey you just said one of our vocabulary words". I have a picute, but I can't find it. Good Luck!
     
  8. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2008

    YoungTeacherGuy- do you do Houghton Mifflin? I am pretty sure that was our second theme... :) I think this is a great idea that I would like to use. Thanks for the thread!
     
  9. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2008

  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2008

    Yes, my district uses Houghton-Mifflin. We're up for a new textbook adoption pretty soon, though!
     
  11. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2008

    Do you like HM? We just "upgraded" to the new version and I am trying to figure it all out! This is my first year in second grade.

    Do you have any major likes/dislikes/suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 25, 2008

    My Two Cents...

    1. Likes: I like the Weekly Pacing Guide. It balances everything out fairly well, and since this is your first year in second grade, you'll find it very useful. I like the ancillary materials that come with HM (i.e., English Learner Handbook and Extra Support Handbook). I'm also a fan of the Reteach section at the end of the TE. Furthermore, the phonics sections are very strong, and overall, I feel that HM is a good program.

    2. Dislikes: I do not like the writing portion that's offered in HM. I do not use it, and neither do most teachers in my district. It's very weak. Instead, I teach Writer's Workshop with another program.

    3. Suggestions: Do not feel the need to assign each and every practice book page that they suggest completing. There are far too many than necessary. Pick and choose the ones that you feel will benefit your kids most. Also, I find that the weekly spelling words are much too easy for my students. Thus, HM has a website that offers lots of extra resources (such as lists of extra spelling words) that I use very often. The website is http://eduplace.com

    Another website that you may find useful is http://www.smbsd.org/page.cfm?p=899

    Anyway, I hope I've answered some of your questions. Let me know if you have any others!!! This is only my third year using the program, though I think I've got a strong handle on how to navigate it well. :thumb:
     

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