Building a better word wall needs students’ participation, teachers’ help, and using less commercially printed models. When the students are involved in preparing the word charts, display models having different words that they come across while reading the chapter, or simply want to add difficult words to the model, they glance at the word wall and discuss with each other and hear each other, read loud those words, etc. It is believed that words are retained well when the students discuss the words, with them on charts while creating those, and look at them, checking their meanings while reading sessions and comparing.
A word wall is kind of a display literacy aid that is stacked on a wall, board, or any other visible surface for the children, that has a collection of the frequent words in the visible letters(bolded form), their connection, examples, patterns to building interactions, phonics and correct spelling knowledge in them.
Follow these steps on how to make a word wall that actually work:
Smart ways to building a better word wall
- Choose a perfect spot in the classroom: Ask your students which wall and spot n the wall they want words, do the polling, examine yourself. This spot should be easily accessible for the young readers to see them, read them, and touch them even. Students can tell their friends, interact in groups while showing words putting fingers on words. So a well-laminated sheet is a requirement here, good colors well-distinguished background would help a lot to grab their attention multiple times.
- For building a working word wall, this step is really important, deciding the words for the word wall. Teachers should seek the help of the students in learning what words they commonly read, write and also for designing the word posters. Include those words that are frequently seen in the reading texts, in an alphabetical manner, create links and also gradually keep adding words not more than 5 words in a week. Word Wall shouldn’t be too congested, rather well-spaced, and easily visible to the kids.
- Use the word wall on daily basis, while teaching them, reading, making references, or modeled writing, in order to produce a habit in the students. Reading words aloud, writing them aloud on the board, pointing words on the chart, these will keep students fresh and attentive with much fun in the class. You can also add some strategies to make students familiar with the vocabulary so that they can guess the meaning of the word, word type even before reading it. Strategies that you can incorporate can be chanting, word guessing games, songs, snapping, writing competition, etc.
- It is important to make word wall collaborating with the students, using the words that are content-related and touching the areas that are feed-in their books instead of having a random set of words. Students should be able to understand the words located in the books, read on the word wall, and make references. This can only happen if you refer them to read word wall, they will follow your instructions so it’s important to be mindful to do such and add more relevant new words to the word wall.
- Use the words on the word wall as much as possible in the speech. Try to use words in the questions and ask them often, to feed them in their subconscious.
- Use fun, colorful elements to the word wall to make it more interactive with the pictures, big fonts, sticky tags, adding short definitions in form of pockets beneath the word, funny descriptions, etc.
Wrapping up: There is nothing like a perfect word wall but making it better is a possibility in case you follow all the points and read them well. Building a word wall and what words to include depends on the needs of students, classroom, and the stage of school (kindergarten, middle and high school). You can also create an alphabet wall for the kindergarten classroom highlighting alphabets in the students’ names. Chances are students can spell the words wrong from a word wall, you can guide them with the spelling, connecting the words and their meaning. When students read the word wall, you get to know their weak points, spelling incorrectly, and what should be the next words on the wall.