I have a word wall posted in my classroom all year long, and I talk all year long with my students about how they can use it as a tool to help them while they write. But, it is always around this point in the year when I really begin to notice my students using it during writing time, unprompted and without needing my direction to do so.
One of my littles, in particular, was really using the word wall to his advantage last week, and it made me think that this word wall tip might help some of your littles too.
My word wall has evolved so much over time. I have a chalkboard in my classroom that went unused for so long. I knew that it would be perfect for my word wall, but I didn't know exactly how to set it up until I visited my bestie Abby's classroom and saw how she had used tape to create boxes. I used black electrical tape which is super easy to work with. It's been up like this for almost two years, and has been awesome!
Then, I got the tip to use different colors for my words at Kim Adsit's "DI for the Little Guy" conference that I went to last Spring. It was a tip that she mentioned really quickly, but it was such a great take-away for me that day. I worked over the summer to divide my word wall words into separate pages so that I could copy them onto different colors.
The idea is that, for those sweeties that need a little more of a visual, they can remember each word by it's color. "Of" is green, "one" is yellow, etc. Just one more layer of support in case your kids need it. From my experience this year, this has been super helpful! It's even so nice for me to use if my students ask me how to spell a word....I can point them to the word wall and remind them that "look" is the purple word in the Ll box or that "from" is the pink word in the Ff box. You get the idea. :)
I laminated the word sheets and cut out all the words at the beginning of the school year. As we've covered each word in class, I've added magnets to them and put them up on the word wall. I love the look of a full word wall! We've done LOTS of learning this year!
After years of being dissatisfied with my word wall and not being able to figure out the way to make it work best for my students, I have just loved it this year. And when I see my students choose writing spots close to the word wall so that they can use it while they work, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!
I posted about it briefly back in November. You can check out that post HERE.
If you'd like the PDF file of the words I use (they mostly align to our Scott Foresman reading curriculum), click HERE to grab it from Google Drive!
I would love to hear how you make your word wall work for you and your students!! Please share in the comments!