Word Walls take up a lot of space. If you are like most teachers, you value bulletin boards, so you're not about to waste this precious real estate on something that isn't going to be functional. Some would say that we are even willing to sacrifice a bit of "fashion" for an increase in function!
When I taught kindergarten, I used an alphabetical word wall. But, once I switched to fourth grade, it didn't seem to make much sense. With 26 letters to contend with, the word wall took up a lot of space, and wasn't the most functional part of the classroom. Students relied more on personal dictionaries or inventive spelling while writing. A word wall at the fourth grade level became a never-ending albatross that was mostly unused and only added a moderate aesthetic value. So, I stopped putting one up.
|The fourth grade word wall in September.|
THE BIG SWITCH
A couple of years ago I attended some training and was introduced to the concept of a word wall organized by parts of speech. A huge light bulb went off and it's been glowing ever since.
I now arrange my WORD WALL by parts of speech into four categories:
*NOUNS *VERBS *ADJ/ADV *OTHER
|The white cards were added by students based|
on a text they were reading.
The four categories help the students better understand parts of speech and the concept that a combination of a noun and a verb are needed to create complete sentences.
I add words to the wall when we begin new units of study. The students use it during various activities such as making and breaking words or building sentences. Additionally, words on the wall are in their "simplest form". Ex: nouns are singular and simple verbs are present tense.
|Three units of study on display.|