At the end of the summer teachers begin setting up their classrooms for the upcoming year. So much effort is put forth. Everything needs to be, has to be perfect, down to the last detail. Where should my math area go? What about reading? Wait, I need a writing area. Every teacher puts such careful thought into decorating their classroom. Now that you have the set up done, it’s on to decorating. Where should that poster go? Should I move the behavior chart to a new area? Where should I hang finished work? Will the children even see this from their seats? So much goes into classroom set up and decorations.
Here is a picture of my word wall before the transformation:
This year, I put a lot of thought into my word wall. I decided that it was time for a makeover, a re-vamping. Now don’t laugh, but I made the area itself smaller. I bet you’re thinking, “Why smaller?” Well, let me explain.
I loved my word wall. I loved each polka dotted word and letter. I loved how it matched the rest of the polka dots in the classroom. I loved how it was right in the front of the room next to the board. Now you might be saying, “Why did you bother to change it?”
I changed the word wall in my classroom, I made it smaller, but I did so for a great reason! I made my word wall into a moving word wall, that’s right moving! “A moving word wall? What’s that?” Let me take a minute to explain. I took my word wall and created a way to put the words directly into the hands of my students!
Here's what my word wall looks like now:
Transforming the old word wall into the new was super easy too! Each letter is on a magnet, just below the magnet is an adhesive hook. Each set of words coordinates with the letter. I just used a hole punch to make a hole in each of the words from the old word wall. I put each set of words on a ring and hung them on the hook. Voila! A moving word wall! Now when a student is wondering how to spell a word, all they have to do is walk over to the wall, grab the set they need, and take it back to their seat.
Each letter has colored and black and white words. The colored words are words that are used often or they are words that have been used in class. The black and white words are Dolch words.
My students love being able to help themselves instead of asking how to spell different words. It makes such a huge difference throughout the day. I think that transforming my word wall has significantly helped my students, but it has also made them that much more independent!
I would love to hear your thoughts on word walls and how they are used in your classroom! Leave a comment and let me know!