I had never been a fan of word walls. In second and third grade, I liked personal dictionaries much better. They seemed more useful.
Maybe I just didn't know how to use them. I bought them, I put them up, but they just sat there on my wall taking up space.
I started with my scratched, dirty, shower-board homemade white board that the teacher who had my room before me had screwed into the chalkboard. I wanted it to have a fresh new look, so bring on white board paint. My sweet hubby said he would paint it for me, but why don't we try the magnetic paint as a base coat? So two magnetic coats later and it's sill not very magnetic. See the letters slide. Give up on the magnetic paint and just go with the very sticky white board paint. I love the white board paint! It works great.
Next I used blue painters tape to make my boxes. Punch out letters for each box and I was ready to go! Now how to use it?
I can be, well, lazy. I had lots of great ideas...but could never settled on just one. When it came time to add a sight word to the wall I did not have anything fancy or clever or cute prepared...so I just wrote the word with a dry erase marker. Of course I had my kiddos tell me how to spell it, and we made a really big deal of putting it on wall. Now that it is on the wall we should know it, and use it in our writing, and read it...you know the drill. We are smart now!
They loved it! I loved it! But there should be even more.
Hadar Moar from Miss Kindergarten uses word wall songs in her classroom routines. She shared them during the Everythings's Kindergarten Expo. We love them, but I can't remember them...so, finally a use for the magnetic qualities of my wall. I have the song stuck to the wall with a little button magnet. As I go over to point at the word we are going use in our song, I have my little cheat sheet right there, ready to use.
I'd like to know ....
How do you use your word wall?
Where do you have your word wall...is it on a bulletin board, above a bulletin board, on a file folder, just on a wall?
Do you put all the words on at once, or does your wall grow as the year progresses?