Making Word Walls Work

I’ve understood the value of word walls for quite some time, but always had trouble implementing them in my own classroom. I would start with good intentions, setting up a poster labeled with the letters of the alphabet and writing the words my students were learning in big letters on the poster. However, after a few weeks I would start forgetting to add words to the poster, or I would have so many words in certain parts of the alphabet that my word wall would begin to look lopsided.

I recently found a solution that is working for me. Rather than create a poster, I’ve settled on pinning words written on 4×6 note cards to my bulletin board instead. I keep colored markers (these are my favorite for the classroom) and push pins in the top drawer of my desk. When I want to add new terms to the word wall I can quickly grab cards, write the words on the card, and pin them to the wall in under a minute, often during class while students are working on writing sentences or interacting in some other way with the new words. The speed with which I can do this has reduced my resistance and forgetfulness in adding words to my wall.

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