Strategy of the Week

March 4, 2016

Word Walls


Welcome back for another installment of Strategy of the Week!

One of the strategies that we have discussed repeatedly are word walls and yet we see few of them walking through classrooms. When I ask why, the most popular answers are:

*I just haven't gotten to it.

*Where am I going to put it?

*I had one, but it wasn't updated.

**I just don't have time!!!

So...why use a word wall? Why take the time?

-Word walls support literacy! They help improve vocabulary skills and encourage higher order thinking.

-They reinforce content specific vocabulary.

-They provide young students with access to high frequency words and are great for

spelling and writing support.

-They help improve spelling and assist students with using content specific vocabulary

when writing.

Key Tips and Strategies for Word Walls

*Make sure that your word wall is placed where all students can see it. Make sure your color choices and word size are easy to read as well.

*Be sure to change out your content words as frequently as you change out your units/lessons. It only works if the vocabulary on the wall is connected to what students are learning.

*The first three people to respond to this email but saying "I would love for you to come and help me get mine up and running" will get just that - a personal assistant to get your word wall up and running!

*Refer to your word wall while teaching. Reference it so that students learn to look there naturally to find the information they need. For example, when you are teaching math content point to the math word on the wall. When students are writing to content tell them to use a certain number of words from the word wall.

Tara Millette

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