4th Grade Word Wall

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by ericamarie, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. ericamarie

    ericamarie Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I'm going to be going into my first year teaching and would like a word wall...except I have no idea what words need to be on there! Also, I would like to categorize them on the wall somehow...like with a color code indicating what words are verbs, adjectives, etc. Is that too confusing for them or unnecessary?
    Another thing is that I want to do spelling tests but our master schedule doesn't have a slot for spelling so should I do it during reading or writing? Plus, I'm not sure what's more important at this age how to spell the word or what it means. I've seen some fourth grade teachers that have the children learn the words correct spelling and definition...then come test time they read the definition aloud and the children have to write the correct word. Once again, am I way in over my head here with that one...is that too high of an expectation for them to learn the spelling AND definition?
    Sorry for all these questions but I wake up every morning so stressed because all these thoughts and questions keep popping into my head. If anyone can help ease my mind with some helpful advice I'd surely appreciate it. :)

    Erica Marie
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2006

    Welcome to AtoZ, ericamarie. Will you have a spelling curriculum with a workbook? There are many ways to use a word wall. I wouldn't make it too complicated the first year. The vocab use might be too much. I wouldn't categorize them by part of speech, either.

    You can have basic intermediate words up for use in their writing. You can buy a set. You can add words to it from their reading and use them for vocab and spelling. Also, when you find words in their writing that are commonly misspelled, you can add them.

    Find out if there is a spelling curriculum. There will be lists of all the words in the back, a dictionary, common misspellings, etc. Then go through their reading curriculum and get an idea of the level of words. Choose vocab words from the reading and work with them separately from the word wall - a pocket chart or tablet would work.
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Jul 13, 2006

    One thing that I've found to be very common in 4th grade classrooms is a math word wall. Everytime a new vocabulary word is discussed in math it is put up on the wall.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I have used a math and science word wall with my grade 4, 5, and 6s--I grouped the words by topic (e.g. all 2D geometry words together). I found that having the correct vocabulary posted ensured that the students used it more frequently.

    I'm trying to decide how I will use a word wall in my Special Ed classroom next year. The students will need access to correct spelling of common words, but, because I will be having students from Grades 4-8 I don't want it to seem to "babyish" for the older ones.
     
  6. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I've always been told that word walls were primarily put up to help students spell frequently misspelled words. (irregular verbs, etc.) Students just glance up at the word wall when they are unsure of how to spell a word wall word. (Word wall words are words that the students are "responsible" for.)

    My word wall for 3rd grade (frequently used but most comonly misspelled words): http://www.valerie.ferrellweb.com/teachers/tools/worksheets/wordwall.gif

    I introduce 3 or 4 a week (for a total of 110) throughout the whole school year. The word wall could get pretty cluttery pretty fast, so I would not suggest including vocabulary words (unless of course they were frequently misspelled) on the word wall (since it's for spelling purposes), BUT if you're interested in that...I've seen some blank dictionaries that students use to write in their vocabulary words & definitions.

    Site with 4th grade "frequently misspelled word lists"
    http://www.teachers.net/4blocks/goodies.html

    I personally liked the "nifty thrifty fifty" by Ella Frazier:
    (challenging words, but not as frequently used)
    http://www.teachers.net/4blocks/frazierNiftyThriftyFifty.pdf
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I knew someone would have these handy web addresses!
     
  8. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I teach 4th grade, and our spelling is part of our reading curriculum (Open Court) so we do spelling during reading time. Our students are respsonsible for learning the definitions for some of their words. When they get the list, the words in bold type (usually just under half) are the ones they need to learn the definitions for. Then, when they take the test, they do it on a special worksheet my partner teacher made up. It has spaces at the top for how to spell each word, as it is said aloud, then below that, is a list of definitions. The students need to match the number of the word up above with its definition. The only thing to be careful of is that when I'm giving the test, I always say the word, use it in a sentence, and say it again. Often, if I'm not careful, my sentence could give the definition away.

    As for parts of speach on the word wall, in my experience, parts of speach is a big part of the language curriculum in 4th grade, so I would say go for it. I like the idea of different color cards, perhaps with a key off to the side. The added exposure to what types of words are nouns, verbs, etc can only help. (Although there are a lot of words which can be used as more than one part of speech, and without a sentence, it is impossible to know which one you mean, so I guess that could be a complication also.)
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2006

    I go over syllables, definitions, and parts of speech for every word when I introduce the new spelling list.
     

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