I think over the years, using a word wall has been one of my favorite tools for students. We chose to use an entire wall, which allowed for easy organization, an extensive list of words, and a naturally print rich environment.
I've just updated my word wall set, and am giving one away, so make sure to read on!
There are a zillon ways to prepare, organize, and use word walls. Here are a few tips from my personal experience:
Train Your Students!
Take some time at the beginning of the school year to train your students on proper procedures for using the word wall.
We allowed our students to access the wall whenever they needed, without asking. The rule was they could get up and go see the wall, but they needed to go straight to the wall and come straight back without lingering. We practiced taking the tools we needed with us to the wall to copy down the word we are looking for. Students were also allowed to ask another student for help if they were struggling with locating the word.
We also practiced thinking about the word, determining the beginning sound, and using the alphabet at the top of the wall to guide us. Our wall was pretty extensive, so this is an important step! Use a set of alphabet letters that match your classroom theme, or grab this cute set from my store! [This set is also included in the giveaway below!]
Use Your Word Wall in Lessons
Make sure you are taking opportunities to familiarize your students with the word wall. The more you model and encourage using it, the more valuable of a resource it will become! At the beginning of the year, we play a lot of games with our word wall. Then we randomly incorporate it into specific lessons or when we have a few extra minutes to fill. The fly swatter game and "I Spy" are my favorites!
You'll also want to make sure to model use of the word wall as you model writing. Allowing students to help you identify a word as you compose a sample writing peice is a great way to keep them engaged!
Make Your Word Wall Accessible & Practical
Use as large of a font as possible. I personally really love this fonts with the words on the lines. It's clean and simple and really helps students with handwriting & forming letters properly.
Hanging the wall at eye level with the students makes it more accessible as well. Copying down words from a large display of words is much easier if the students can get up close.
Consider a “Personal Word Wall”
These personal word walls are perfect to keep in their student folders, possibly even in a page protector. Grab this printable for FREE in my store!
Add words that individual students use often in their writing, but are not practical for word walls. For example, some students may tend to write about dinosaurs or princesses. “Dinosaur” and “Princess” would be appropriate words for a personal word wall. They may also want to add family member names, their favorite television show or soccer player, favorite food or hobby, etc.
I just never get tired of Creative Clip's adorable clip art. I made this freebie with both a little boy and a little girl on the front page to add a bit more personalization for the kiddos!
How do you use word walls in your classroom? Have you found any inspiration here? Connect with me on Facebook & Instagram so I can see your wall in action!
And now for our GIVEAWAY! Interested in winning my Mega Word Wall Bundle + Polkadot Frame ABC Cards? Enter below for your chance to win! :)