Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Word Wall Rebel

So if you have read my blog before you probably know that I'm a bit of a rebel sometimes. I believe in doing what is best for my students, regardless of what others do. Word walls are one of those examples. I think a word wall should be organized based on what you are using it for. Many Kinder classrooms have walls that are alphabetical with many, many sight words up on them by the end of the year. I am not one of those people. I do not judge those who do it that way at I said depending on your purpose and your students. However for me, my word walls are interactive and I use them so students can take the words off the wall and use them in their writing or for workstation activities like alphabetization. My wall guidelines:

1)  mostly vocabulary words as well as commonly misspelled words like "friend" or "because". 
2)  also include pictures so they can find the words they want. If they do not know the word they are looking     for, how do they find it otherwise? That's one of the reasons I don't do sight words-if they don't know           how to spell the, they aren't going to use the word wall to spell it.
3) limited to maybe 15 words at a time. When a word is rotated out I keep it in a container nearby, so they can find it if they want to. Some people just build on their word walls all year, I think that's too much overload for the little ones.
4) random order-there were times I separated for example math and science vocabulary, but otherwise no pattern to it.
5) I give them many adjectives that they can start incorporating in their writing

Here are a few examples of past walls (most pics I have I took the 1st weeks before we really started using them):

Now, I am by no means telling you how to do a word wall....however, I did want to show that everyone does not have to follow the "rules" of the experts and can still have students with a successful word wall experience! :) I was at several trainings this summer where people asked what the right way was; personally I believe the right way is the way that works for you. Don't be afraid to stray from the herd sometimes!

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  1. Great ideas! I "want" to have a word wall, but I don't want it to take over my wall space. #issues, I know.
    The Meek Moose

    1. Yeah, I have the same problem-that's why mine is usually small. We have this huge bulletin board but you have to climb up on a ledge to change anything. I can't put it up there. :)

  2. You present great ideas for me to mull over. It never even occurred to me that you could do a word wall in a different way. I especially love your panda word wall. Thanks for sharing. Maria

  3. That's a really cool way to do a word wall. Our school requires us to have a word wall with sight words. You can do it how you want. Mine is interactive so the kids can take the words down and the kids can see the words at all times.
    Rambling About Reading

    1. I think the kids really enjoy being able to get involved with it hands-on!. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I've been thinking long and hard about changing my wall, too. I'm thinking of calling my sight words dozers and only having five to ten up at any one time. As soon as everyone is spelling them correctly I'll rotate them out. Hope it works:). Love that you're a rule breaker!

  5. The important thing is that you know the "why" of what you're doing. You don't just do what you do because everyone else is doing it. It's easy to get stuck in that mode. You encourage us to break out of it!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. Absolutely. I've always been that questioner! :) Probably the student that made teachers' hair grey!