word walls

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 20, 2009

    I am trying to come up with a better way to do my word wall. Truthfully, I don't think the word wall is a necessity. Every year that I have had one, I don't think my students actually use it for any thing merit worthy. My students last year refered to it only when I told them to check the word wall for something. Otherwise, they did not independently go to it to look at the words. I am thinking about having the kids do a personal word word on a folder where they write the words on it and then take the folder out when they need it. I think this might be part of thier mini offices. I do not have a lot of wall space and I can think of better things to put on the wall that will likely be more useful. I only have one and a half walls that I can put stuff on because I have one wall of windows and another wall with the white board on it that takes up the whole wall. I am required to have a data display, student word display, rules, creed, and behaviour chart amoung other things.

    So my question is, has anyone tried this? Does anyone have a better idea?
     
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  3. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    In my school, we are required to have a word wall. As far as using your word wall this year, maybe you could do centers or a lesson a week involving a word wall. I know that teachers in my school refer to their word wall often and is a central part of the classroom. Maybe you just need some more interactive activities?

    But I do like your idea about the folders too. As long as they kids use it and it is a good resource for them, I think it could work. But I would still suggest making it an interactive part of your class, something you base lessons on every now and then and encourage its use often.

    In a few of the classrooms in my school, teachers have made mini-dictionaries to supplement their word wall. Basically, their is a letter per page in the book. Each page has a typed list of the high frequency words. There isnt enough dictionaries for each kid, but maybe 10 or 12 per class. The kids can come and borrow one to take back to their seat. The teachers do activities in the first few days of school with these dictionaries so that the kids familiarize themselves with them and learn to use them whenever they need to.

    Good luck!
     
  4. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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  5. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    My kids referred to the word wall all year...everyday. The words were magnetic, and were in the reach of the kids. When writing, the kids would walk up and grab the word they needed. I also had small word walls in plastic sign holders on each table where they kids could refer to the words.
     
  6. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Word Wall Activities for a center
    -choose 10 words to alphabetize
    -Choose 5 words from the word wall, and find a synonym/antonym
    -Choose 10 words and make a word search
    -Make a list of words with suffixes
    -Sort words by type-adjective/noun/verb
    -code words-make a code the class can use. Then they can choose 5 or 10 words from the wall.
     
  7. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    THANK YOU LITTLE317!!!:D
     
  8. dbcteacher

    dbcteacher Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2009

    Julie in GA,
    How often do you model using the word wall? This is still a very important thing to do with 3rd graders. Instead of having the students go look on the word wall, take time to model and do "think alouds" for them.

    Use the word wall during transition time. Who can tell me 3 verbs, adjectives, nouns from the word wall? How many proper nouns are on our word wall? I am thinking of a word... then give clues for the word like it has 4 letters, it has 3 consonants, etc.

    I think if you choose a lot of different short activities with your word wall and do a lot of modeling during some whole group writing, you will find your students will begin to use the wall on their own. When demonstrating how to write sentences with quotation marks, for example, while you are writing the sentence, stop on a word that you don't know how to spell and do a "think aloud" about using the word wall to help with the spelling. Frequent modeling is really important when it comes to the students knowing how to use the word wall. They won't use it if they don't know how.

    Personal word walls are an alternative, but you will still have to be very diligent with your modeling.

    Good luck with whatever way you choose.
     
  9. natelukesmom

    natelukesmom Companion

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    The word wall is one of the most important things in my classroom, then again I am teaching 1st grade. However, even when I taught 3rd grade I made sure to model how to use the word wall. We used it every day. Having literacy rich walls are very important to me. Of course we know, the more we "see" something the better we will remember it. If students see frequently misspelled words on the wall every day spelled correctly, they will eventually remember them.
    It is my opinion that you should integrate your word wall into your daily spelling/reading instruction. It doesn't have to take long, in first grade it is usally 15-20 min a day, but 3rd grade could be 5min.
    I think the suggestions mentioned by others are great for making the wall more interactive.

    I also bought this book:
    [​IMG]
    I highly recommend it - there are many good ideas! I saw it on amazon.com for around $10
     
  10. JoviHawk

    JoviHawk Rookie

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  11. little317

    little317 Groupie

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  12. intern09

    intern09 Rookie

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    I just bought a word wall kit and in the kit it told me not to laminate the words because they can have a glare on them... but I want the world wall to stay in good condition. Do you laminate your words?
     
  13. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I chose to laminate the word cards for greater durability. I put magnetic tape on the back of the cards too, so that the kids could take them to their seats when needed.
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I agree. Putting magnetic tape on the backs of items for review is VERY useful! :)
     
  15. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    You the woman, bff! :hugs: (There, I found an excuse to post the virtual hug emoticon!)

    As for my answer about word walls, I have always had one for Math. Mrs. Renz's fourth grade website offers a printable word wall- you may have to type "printable word wall" into Google, and I also uploaded her resource to my resources website (math section) so I'd always have it. Besides that, I had a dry/erase word wall three years ago with the particle board you can get cut up at Lowe's. A letter sticker is on each board. It was a good way to keep the vocabulary organized and refresh the boards every once in a while by erasing them. Besides that, the kids could easily write the words on the little boards with dry/erase markers.

    For the intermediate kids too, you can definitely introduce higher-level vocabulary for science and social studies. That makes word walls more relevant for our age groups. :)
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I made a personal word wall out of cardstock, index cards, and tape. The index cards were put upside down so that the red line was showing, and taped inside the cardstock to make a flip book. We added the words that were on the whole group word wall, but also added words each child needed during writing workshop. They used their word books constantly for assignments. They wrote on both sides of the index card for some letters.
     
  17. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    in order for students to naturally use the word wall, it has to hold a special importance in your class. Kids will model you. If you don't make it important, it won't be important to the kids.
    If you play games and model use, they WILL use it religiously!
     
  18. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Love all of the ideas! Wonderful school site too!

    I'm thinking of hanging my words on strips of ribbon, since I don't have a lot of wall space. By doing this, I can add the words as the students learn them and rearrange/add/delete as needed. To make the words stick, I could laminate them and then add velcro.
     

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