Word walls


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  • Some writers begin with images, others begin with emotion.
    Either way, the writer MUST use words to communicate the story/image/emotion.
  • My experience with word walls
    when students encounter familiar words with unfamiliar spellings, and when we build concept related words or topical categories,
  • “A word wall is a place on which important words are posted as references for reading and writing.
    Regie Routman, “Conversations: Strategies for Teaching Learning, and Evaluating”, 2000
  • Provides a visual that helps students remember connections between words.
    Serves as an important tool for helping students learn to read and spell new words.
    Holds students accountable for spelling specific words correctly at all times.
    Develop a growing core of words that become part of a reading and writing vocabulary
  • Using a word processor,
    Print, cut out in the configuration of each word, glue to colored index cards (size 6x3) and laminate. Be sure to use different colors of index cards for most often-confused words.
    Choose a location in the room where every student can see all the words. Put the alphabet headings, A-Z, at the top of the wall or bulletin board.
    Starting at beginning of list, add 5 words to the Word Wall each week. Words are place alphabetically on the wall by 1st letter.
    Do practice and review activities so that words are read and spelled instantly and automatically.
  • wPractice those words by chanting and writing them
    Do a variety of review activities using words
    riting them in big, black letters, and using a variety of background colors so that the most often-confused words (there, their; what, when) are different colors
    ,imiting additions to those really common words which children use a lot in writing
    wordsto provide enough practice so that words are read and spelled instantly and automatically
  • High frequency words - Research has shown that reading skills improve with the growth of a readers sight word vocabulary.  These are words that a reader instantly knows without having to decode or figure out the words.  The  following lists are the most important or frequently used words in written language.  Children need to know these words at a quick glance.  If a reader can quickly identify these words he/she can focus their attention toward unknown words and comprehension.
     Phonograms (Word families)
    Theme Vocabulary
    Personal Word Walls
    Any other words that will help your students become better at reading and writing
    Homophone – words that sound the same, but are spelled differently
  • If you see the a student copying the word, remind him/her of the process.
  • Guess the Covered Word
  • Have students listen and repeat.
  • Word walls

    1. 1. Word Walls Debbie Alli La Porte I.S.D College Park Elementary
    2. 2. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Objectives   (4) Listening/speaking/communication. The student communicates clearly by putting thoughts and feelings into spoken words. The student is expected to: (A) use vocabulary to describe clearly ideas, feelings, and experiences (K-3);
    3. 3. Research “Words remain the most important tool the writer has to work with”. Ralph Fletcher, (1993), What A Writer Needs, (p. 32).
    4. 4. Research  “Words are absolutely essential in our classrooms. As teachers and students work through texts together, we need to have words in full view, so the students can see them and use them in their writing.”  Janet Allen, (1999) Words, Words, Words Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12. (p. 75).
    5. 5. What is a Word Wall?  “A word wall is a systematically organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a wall or other large display place in the classroom. It is a tool to use, not just display. Word walls are designed to promote group learning and be shared by a classroom of children.” McCarrier, Pinnell & Fontas (2000): Interactive Writing: How Language & Literacy Come Together, K-2. (p. 46).
    6. 6. Word Wall - Uses  Support the teaching of important principles about words and how they work  Foster reading and writing  Promote independence of young students as they work with words in writing and reading
    7. 7. Word Wall Arrangement  Choose a location in the room where every student can see all the words. Put the alphabet headings, A-Z, at the top of the wall or bulletin board.  Write the words on cards in large print with black ink  Starting at beginning of list
    8. 8. Word Wall - Guidelines  Add words gradually, five a week  Make words very accessible  Be selective about what words go on the wall
    9. 9. Word Wall - Guidelines  space efficient  useful  memorable  hands-on  interactive  Janiel Wagstaff (1999), Teaching Reading and Writing with Word Walls (p. 65).
    10. 10. Word Wall - Example
    11. 11. Word Wall - Categories  High frequency words  Contractions  Antonyms  Synonyms  Homophones Irene C.Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell, (1999): Voices on Word Matters (p. 104).
    12. 12. Word Wall - Instruction      Look at the word and study it. Make a mental picture of it. Write it down Check it. If you forget a word, look up at the word wall. Lucy Calkins and Natalie Louis (2003), Writing for Readers: Teaching Skills and Strategies: (p127).
    13. 13. Word Wall Assessment  Make Sentences  Rhyming  Be a Mind Reader  Word Sorts  Joan P. Carroll (2001). Survival Words (p. 23).
    14. 14. Word Wall - Activity Comics Captions  Procedure: 1. Read through the comics section of the newspaper and select your favorite series. 2. Cut out three sequential frames from the comic strip you like best, and glue the frames, in order, onto the boxes on the reproducible. 3. Re-write the captions/dialogue for each phrase using as many high frequency words. 4. Students will share their creative endeavors.
    15. 15. Word Wall Modifications ESL Students:  Write words in English with their Spanish translation.
    16. 16. Differentiating Auditory Learners: Have students record themselves on cassette tape, reading the words and their meanings or translations. Kinesthetic Learners:  Allow students to play games that use their entire body or allow movement.
    17. 17. Word Walls – Differentiating Instruction GT Learners:  Allow students to research historical origins of words, creating a of their record derivations Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell (2001), Guiding Readers and Writers, Grades 3-6 (p. 28). Joan P. Carroll (2001). Survival Words, (p. 93).
    18. 18. Bibliography        Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell: “Voices on Word Matters” Ralph Fletcher: “What a Writer Needs” Patricia M.Cunningham & Richard L. Allington: “Classrooms That Work” Andrea McCarrier, Gay Su Pinnell & Irene C. Fountas: “Interactive Writing-How Language & Literacy Come Together, K-2” Janet Allen, (1999) Words, Words, Words Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12. (p. 75). Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell: Guiding Readers and Writers, Grades 3-6” Lucy Calkins & Natalie Louis: “Writing for Readers: Teaching Skills and Strategies”