Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Word Books Vs. Word Walls

Our Writing Center with our new word books
I'm trying something new this year. I've always been a HUGE fan of word walls. Huge fan....
However, for some reason this year the visual clutter in my room was driving me crazy. I even had made my thematic word wall lists color coordinated to avoid this problem. 
Also, for the first time in a LONG time I have a class that doesn't seem to want to use the word wall as a resource. I've always had a popcorn word wall and a thematic word wall.   Even though we referred to these quite frequently during whole group and small group lessons, they just didn't seem to remember to use them on their own during individual writing times.
Soooo....I decided to try something new and create thematic word books to keep in our writing center.  I simply took all of the word lists that we had on our thematic word wall and condensed them onto one page to keep in a word book. The word books are housed in our writing center. 
Here's just a few examples of our thematic books. 
So after I put the words in the front of the word book the children are free to add their own thematic writing to the book.  This is really encouraging the children to write about topics that we haven't discussed for a while.  I love that they can revisit these topics and write about them in more details than what they were able to do last fall. 
Another plus of using the books instead of a word wall.....they are PORTABLE! The kiddos not only love using them in the writing center but can also take them to their individual writing spots during writing workshop time.  So far we haven't had issues with multiple kids wanting the same thematic book at one time. They've also been very good about returning the books to the proper shelf once they are finished with them! :) 
When we first began using the books I still found it important to introduce new word lists to the class in a larger format. So we are using a word wall list just for our NEWEST words.  Once the children are familiar with them I'm then transferring them into a word book.  Below you can see our current fish word list that is housed in our reading center with some of our most recent popcorn words.
Here's a peek at the inside of some of our books and the writing that the kids have begun to add to them.

But what about the popcorn word wall?
Well since our thematic word books were such a big hit I decided to make a popcorn word book.  They LOVE using this as a resource! I find them using the book much more frequently then when we just had the wall. I am keeping some of the popcorn words on a chart in the reading center for quick reference....just not all of them.   In the future I plan to make several popcorn word books....they are a such a hit I need several for the whole class. 

So far I am loving this new system for a writing resource for my kids. An added bonus is open wall space for displaying their writing and art.  Have a great week!
                                                                                              Mrs. M


  1. I love that idea!!! My word wall is so crammmed you can hardly even use it! I'm going to implement that right away.

    1. I hope this works for you...let me know how it goes! =)


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