Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Teaching Tips - Word Wall

Word Walls are intended to be dynamic . . . ever changing.  Right?

Ever feel like yours is . .  .stagnant?

Several years ago I realized that I didn't really use my entire whiteboard.  I was blessed to have a very large magnetic whiteboard that runs the length of an entire wall.  As lovely as it is I used only a portion of my board, so I decided to use half of it for my Word Wall!

Up until this point I kept my Word Wall on my bulletin board.  This meant I needed to write new words on sentence strips, cut them, and staple them onto the board.  Not such a big deal, but that little bit of effort combined with the little bit of effort required for the long list of other things I needed to do seemed to result in a Word Wall that rarely changed.

When I moved my Word Wall onto my whiteboard I made little signs for each letter and posted them up with a magnet stuck to the back of each sign.  When I needed to add a new word all I needed to do was write it under the corresponding letter.  I even used different colored dry erase markers to color code words on my Word Wall for different subjects.  (I coordinated the colors with my Essential Questions which I also wrote in one corner of my whiteboard.)  The Word Wall can even become interactive for different activities.  Sometimes we did class activities using sentence strips that we posted up with magnetic tape after cutting out the shape of the word (to emphasize small, tall, and fall letters).  If my Word Wall become too crowded or we wanted to remove a more "seasonal" word, all we needed to do was erase!

Making my Word Wall more accessible on the whiteboard brought new life to my Word Wall.  The "final" perk of a whiteboard Word Wall comes at the end of the year when all you do is erase!  No need to tediously pry out all those staples from the bulletin board any more!  Yeah . . . it's the little things!  =P

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