You can grab a printable copy of this post for FREE ~HERE~ at my new TPT store.
In my class, we love our word wall. No, really. We love our word wall. In the sneaky way that only teachers can do, I’ve convinced my class of how important our Word Wall, Word Study Words & Word Families are.
After reading this, I realize you’ll think I’m loco (crazy in Spanish) but I promise it’s worth going a little loco to get the kiddos on board.
Each week I introduce 5 new sight words on our “Word Study”. This is the hook. These pesky words “talk” to me ALL day looong. Or so that’s what I tell the children J Obviously, words don’t talk, but my children think that they do. What are they talking about? Well, they want to go home. Their home is our classroom Word Wall. The problem is, they are not allowed to go home until my students learn them.
So all week long, we use these words in every way possible so that at the end of the week we can take our test and send them home. This is where I take it to the extreme. At random times during the day, I will talk back to the word wall words. Yep! All by myself I carry on a one sided conversation. I act frustrated as I tell them “Yes, yes, I know we’re working on you…yes, we will let you go home…no, hush so I can teach!” Or maybe I will suddenly stop teaching, point at the Word Study and say “That’s enough from you “want” (calling out a specific word) please be quiet!”
The children will tell you that they hear the words too. Just nod in sympathy and say “I know they are pesky words which one is the loudest?” Then they have to tell you the word (thus having to actually know the word (tricky I know). Have some children go touch that word when you ask.
As if all of the above isn’t enough, I take it a little further. The words want to go home and I pretend that sometimes they are trying to escape. I will randomly loosen the tape on one of the words so it will fall off the board during the day. When this happens, the children think it’s hilarious that a word is trying to “escape” and go home before we’ve learned it! We of course use that word by name as we tape it back up. Occasionally, I will take all the words off the Word Study and tape them in a path to the word wall (on the floor, student desk etc). The children walk in and have to tape the words back to our Word Study since they were trying to escape (reading them as they do). We take our test on Friday and then start the whole silly process over again on Monday.
To make the connection to our Word Families, I have the Carson Dellosa posters on another wall. Since “in” lives on our Word Wall, its family lives on our Word Family wall (pin, fin, sin etc). I tell them this so they can begin to see the words inside of words as it all comes together in their brains. The best part of our Word Family wall is that I’ve taught the kids to point to our Word Family wall and sing “We are family…” (Yes, you know you’re singing it in your head now) as they point and do a little bouncy move I made up to go with it.
I always talk about the words in our room and how helpful they are and how much I love them. This encourages the children to love them too. I have the children actually hug our word wall in appreciation because it’s so helpful to us. After completing a writing assignment where a child has used the word wall to spell, I will say “Just go give the Word Wall a big hug. It helped you so much on this paper!”
In conclusion, if you’ve entertained me this long, this process really doesn’t take any extra time in my day, it’s something that can easily be thrown in and bridges the gap between words we study each week, where they go from there and why we have word families. I would love to hear thoughts and feedback.
RandiGrab your FREE printable copy ~HERE~ at my new TPT store. Also check out my new word family lesson ~We Are Family~