Word Wall

When I was in the classroom, I made it a point to list terms my students were studying on the board. These words stayed on the board for a few days or an entire week, depending on their complexity.

I didn’t put a lot up at once because I really wanted students to focus on each word. I wanted them to know that these words were not going to be used just once and then they would never see them again; these were important terms to know and to understand the concepts behind them.

In younger grades, many teachers use word walls to expose their students to the vocabulary words they will be learning about. I wanted to start doing something similar with Oster. Of course I am not expecting him to start working on his phonemic awareness skills just yet. I just want to expose him to word recognition.

I started Oster’s word wall with the letter “B” for the sole reason of his love for books, balls, and birds.  I purchased a poster-sized foam board and Velcro for this “wall”. I printed and laminated the three words along with its associated pictures and placed the Velcro on the back of each laminated piece and on the poster board.

Sometimes I prop it up against the wall or against a piece of furniture. Other times, Oster plays with it on the floor. He likes “ripping” the laminated pieces off and handing them to me. I talk about the photos and sound out the letters for him. I show him tangible objects in and outside of the house that he can touch (although, I won’t let him touch a real bird).

Although he tries so hard to put the laminated pieces back onto the board, he just can’t seem to line up the Velcro just yet.

16 thoughts on “Word Wall

  1. This a great idea, thanks for sharing. The basic concept can also be used for so many other things, like learning colors, numbers, and so much more. Very nice.

  2. I could only learn this from a teacher :). I love that you can keep changing it and how interactive it is. I am always trying to figure out different ways to introduce vocabulary. Now I know what project I have for the weekend.

  3. Magnetic white board. Use magnets you can cut out from michaels. This might solve your Velcro problem. Gabe still has a white board he uses for multiplication tables. Just a thought.

    • Good idea. I’ll wait until he’s a little older for the magnets, especially since he puts everything in his mouth. For now, the velcro stays on with no problem.I’m afraid the magnet may fall off (of course, I just got done reading an article about what to keep away from your toddler…so I’m a little paranoid).

  4. That’s pretty darn cool! I did something similar (er, lazier) and printed out words and taped them on the actual thing, so “table” was on the coffee table, “door” was on the door, etc. He got into it for a while! Of course I got even lazier and didn’t print any more to keep his interest going (mom fail!).

    • I love that idea! You could literally label every single thing in the house.

      I wouldn’t call not keeping up with it lazy, just busy; I share your same talent…the letter “B” was up for a month before I finally changed it.

      • We’ve been labeling furniture and items in the family room with handmade bilingual cards (English and French). My husband is even picking up some nouns in French now!

        Your post is nudging me to take it further now–like maybe adjectives (especially colors and quantities) on other cards that my four-year-old can attach to describe the labeled objects (and then move around when he wants to)! What else could I try?

      • Have you been labeling the furniture bilingual for a long time with your four-year-old? I wasn’t sure if I should start doing that now with Oster or if I should only stick with English now. Let me know what you think.

        That’s great that your husband is picking up some nouns too! It will be great for your four-year-old to hear his daddy speak it too.

        Yes, adjectives are a fantastic idea. You could print the text color with the actual color spelling it out. Love the quantity idea too. Your toddler can really put any objects together to count any amount you put on the notecard.

        You could try emotions (happy, sad, tired,etc), weather (windy,sunny,rainy), and sizes (small,medium,large).

        Talking about all of these is getting me so excited for when Oster gets to be that age 🙂

  5. What did you teach before Oster came along?

    When I taught adult ESL, we had an Affix Wall in the classroom–the students would add the prefixes and suffixes that we came across in the reading. (It will be quite a while before Griffin is ready for that!)

    Do you still have access to a laminator? If not, what do you find is the best way to laminate stuff for use at home? I’ve seen page-sized adhesive plastic sheets that are quite pricy. Ugh. Copy shops, maybe?

    • I taught English and Business. And in my business classes, I still taught English. I love Reading Comprehension and Vocab strategies.

      I am always looking to incorporate new literacy strategies into Oster’s day. I found some stuff from The Mailbox company that I’m going to start using soon.

      I love the Affix Wall you created. That’s really a great way to help with the complexities of prefixes and suffixes. Great idea!

      I do have access to a laminator (one that fits an 8 1/2 x 11 page), so I am fortunate that I don’t have to go to a copy store or office supply store to laminate. I haven’t used the adhesive plastic sheets yet but that sounds like it could be a great alternative. I change his board once a month, so right now I’m not going through a lot of the lamination pages. Plus, as he gets a little older and I’ll be changing it more often, I plan to print things on heavy card stock with magnets. I’m just waiting for his “put everything in the mouth” stage to end before I do that.

  6. Pingback: Happy 29 month Birthday!! « The Lucas Life

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