Friday, February 24, 2012

My Word Wall Evolution

Well I can honestly say that my personal style of implementing a USEFUL word wall has really changed over the years! When I first began teaching I would have my class help make a list of words for whatever letter of the alphabet we were working on. These were written on large sheets of chart paper and strung across the wall on a clothesline hanging from the ceiling. It seemed like just about any Kindergarten or first grade room I went into had something similar to this.  I rarely found the kids referring to these charts when working on their own writing and honestly they were a pain to hang up! So it was on to phase two...thematic word charts. These charts would again be class generated and include words and illustrations pertaining to whatever theme we were working on. I would hang them in various spots around the room, but usually around our writing center. I did encourage the kids to use the words in their writing. For the most part they did while we were working on that theme but once we moved on to something else they forgot about using the previous chart as any sort of reference. After a few weeks the older charts would be taken down and replaced with new ones.
  Phase three introduced popcorn words!
New words being introduced stay on my large group easel until the kids are familiar with them and then they move to the popcorn wall.
 I jumped on the traditional sight word wall wagon and attempted to have a designated spot in the room to display our sight words. At first this was just a list of our words and eventually I moved on to sorting them alphabetically.  During this phase of mainly using a sight word wall I missed my focus on thematic words. I felt as if my kids were not as creative in their writing. Something was missing and  I figured there had to be an organized way of implementing both without being too visually overwhelming.  Onto phase four which is what I am currently using in my room. My seasonal/thematic word wall in addition to a traditional sight word wall.  My sight word wall is in a spot that can easily be seen from our large group area and our writing and reading centers. Our thematic word wall takes up the top section of one entire wall in my room.

 I begin in the Fall with our thematic charts and as the year continues I just add the new charts but LEAVE up the old ones.  I'm always encouraging the kids to use these charts to help them with their writing.

I've just added the February and Dinosaur words to our wall. There is still 1/3 of the wall left for our remaing topics this year.  It is amazing how often the kids use words from various charts to help them with their writing about other topics. The other day I had a student writing about a skeleton (from our dino words) and the skeleton was wearing winter clothing that the student found on one of our charts made in January. I love to see their creativity flourish as a result of using the wall as a reference in their writing!  We've just begun our outer space word chart complete with pictures of space items that the kids illustrated themselves. Can't wait to share with you! Have a great weekend!

19 comments:

  1. I tend to run out of wall space for everything I would like to put up! Thanks for sharing your ideas on how you are working your word wall! I am now following you. :)
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for following! =) I have lots of cabinets, white boards in windows in my room so I tend to run out of wall space as well. Had to get creative. I can't wait to check out your blog soon!
      Bobbie/ "Mrs. M"

      Delete
  2. So cool - I love it! I'm your newest follower...found you over at TBA!!!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you stopped by and THANKS for following! I've actually heard about your blog and can't wait to check it out for myself!

    Bobbie

    ReplyDelete
  4. So glad I found your blog through the linky party. I enjoyed reading about how you do word walls. We moved to a new building last year and only got 3 days to work in our room before students arrived, so I have't even had one going this year. These linky blogs are inspiring me to get busy! :-)

    I'm your newest follower and look forward to reading more.

    Cynthia
    2nd Grade Pad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for following! I just followed your blog and you have some great ideas! I can't imagine moving into a building 3 days before school starting. I hope this next year goes smoother for you! =)

      Delete
  5. I love your word wall! It looks like your kids can totally use them everyday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I would like to unify the look next year so it's not so busy, but it is used every single day by the kiddos! I'm playing with a few ideas that I'd like to try to get ready over the summer =)

      Delete
  6. Your word wall looks yummy! I love how you have a thematic word wall, too. I'd like to try that next year.

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having two word walls has worked GREAT for me! The thematic wall has been a great resource for them during writing activities.
      Bobbie

      Delete
  7. Love the thematic charts. Looks great! I just linked up and have two giveaways. When you get a chance come enter.
    www.missnelsonsgotthecamera.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On my way! I love the name of your blog =)

      Delete
  8. Thanks for linking up your word wall! I am your newest follower!

    April
    Wolfelicious

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great! Thank you...I love your blog! =)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the great pictures and detailed explanation. I've been hooked lately on doing a thematic word wall too. I hope to link up to this party soon and post pictures (as soon as I can figure out how). I'm now following your blog.
    Stacy

    http://simpsonsuperstars.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome! Love your blog! I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm here...and with a freebie! Come by and pick it up when you get a chance! Maybe there is something there that you can use with your K's!

    Blessings,
    Rebecca

    The Teacher's Chatterbox

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice Word Wall! Found you through the Linky Party! I'm your newest follower. Come stop by ;)

    Summyr

    http://theteachaholic.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this idea but I agree wall space is at a premium and you tend to run out of space after awhile. What about creating either individual or class theme books? You could print it on stationary and then your words could still be easily accessible by all if need but still allow wall space. I am thinking this might be great in my interactive notebook. hmmmmm

    Thanks for sharing!
    misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've used word rings with my kiddos too. I haven't put up every word list we made. There is just not enough space. At times the kids would copy their favorite thematic words into their own word rings. I do like the idea of the class themed books that could be kept in our writing center. Thanks for the idea! =) I have some changes in mind for my word wall next year....I can't wait to see how it turns out. Thanks again!

      Delete

I love reading your comments! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...