Saturday, November 19, 2016

Problem Solved: A Word Wall Your Kids Will Use!

The success of any word wall depends on kids actually using it.  Yep.  Sounds simple.  But it's not.  At least it wasn't for me!

Personal Word Walls have proven to be most effective for my class.

DID YOU KNOW: An estimated 65-75% of all words we read are made up of the 220 sight words on the Dolch list? Knowing that, I'm sure we all agree that quick mastery of sight words is a must.

When I first started teaching, my wall was up too high and on the closet doors...way back in the room.  Too far away for the kids to really see it and use it.  Looking back now, I sum it up as ACCESS DENIED! Too high.  Too far away.  Kids would crowd around it and jockey for position.  A time waster.  Result: rarely used.

Then I moved on to a much smaller version under the chalkboard.  Pretty much the same problems. Too many kids gathered around it.  Not an idea place to see it yet alone use it, etc.  ACCESS DENIED!

Moved on to "Portable Walls."  Had words on a ring and kids could borrow the ring, go back to seats, write word down, and, then put it back.

A time suck for my class.  Some kids spent more time up and down out of seats than writing.

So maybe, I thought, I could give each kid their OWN ring.  I know a teacher who uses this method flawlessly and I bow down to her.  I just couldn't keep up with making sure words were added to ALL rings.  

I finally made Personal Word Walls and I'm not looking back. I used the Dolch Lists, added about ten more words I knew we'd need, and printed two-sided.  Results?  BINGO! 


Kids highlight our weekly words so they can spot those first.  I debated allowing them to add more words.  They can if they want BUT I want to encourage them to tap out the words which they are really adept at doing! 

If you've been frustrated with your word and it's not being used, try a Personal Word Wall that can be kept in their writing folder and be taken out quickly when needed.  I think you may just like it and find it as useful as I do.

You can easily make one for your class.  If you rather have a pre-made one, just click on picture above.

If you make one, I'd love to see a picture of it!  Good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's chat!