First of all, let me explain that my room is in disarray, and my word walls are dismantled. I have begun putting things up for August, but there is still so much to do!
It is interesting you are hosting this linky regarding word walls 🙂 I have thought about it a lot since May 23rd (last day of school). I really love how my word wall “worked” out last year! I added the words after our week’s worth of study each week. It was easy for students to read the words, but they could also take words to their seats if needed, and I they loved being able to use them that way. However, I love the idea one of the 2nd grade bloggers had (I think Mrs. M) of having sight word pockets with multiples of sight words available. I plan to do that this year with my sight word fish…which brings me to my other sight word wall…The Focus Wall with our current “Treasure Words”. Having decided not to use the net for my original idea–having my bear hold “This Week’s Catch” in a net–I opted for a treasure chest to display our fish on. The fish will be color coded for each of the five SF Reading Street units, and students will learn that the words on the fish, not the fish, are the treasure! These words are the ones that will be added to the magnetic word wall. The cubbies and shelving under the whale/bear in the pic will not be there after the room is cleaned so the whole wall space below will be available.
In a pocket chart below the whale will be our names and photos (photos are coded with student names to help match them to the name cards–one of our work stations). I have done this for several years with good results. I change up the order of names in the pocket chart after the first month, but for the first month I give students their own photo to match to their own name in the chart. Mixing up the names makes them really know what their name looks like as they match the picture to it. Students will match classmates’ names for the work station activity, then move on to name practice pages for letter formation practice. Here is a pic of a pocket chart name station–will be similar on next year’s wall (photos are with students waiting to match). Another way we use word walls is to emphasize other things that begin like a person’s name. I use some elements of No More Letter of the Week to help students make connections. On the wall under our manuscript alphabet set (over our smartboard) we will put a student’s photo with something they brought to share that begins like their name. I did the NMLOTW display for two years, but people!!!, I just don’t have that kind of space! 🙂
Our Amazing Words for the week will be posted on our pirate bear’s shirt, then move to the area just to the right of our Treasure Word Wall. The unit cards are color coded to match the fish (high frequency words) from that unit. In addition to word wall activities which are reviewed during calendar, writing, and reading focus lessons, we have read the room activities that utilize…yes, you know….the Word Wall! All in all I am quite happy with the plan! What do you think? How would you change it? I believe one should never stop looking for newer, more effective teaching practices, so any ideas you offer will be considered, but more important, they will be valued!
Now, I am anxious for the next linky participant to post on their use of word walls!!! Go for it! Mrs. M is hosting this linky party.
by It’s Me…Maggie