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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Interactive Student Word Wall

I have always wanted a low-to-the-ground Word Wall that students could use independently.  Unfortunately, I never had any wall space that wasn't covered with cabinets, built-ins, or shelving.  My classroom was renovated this summer (YIPPEEEE!) and I have so much new wall space, including a section that will work fabulously for a student word wall!  (I am still going to have my "main" large Word Wall hanging up higher on a large wall space, but have added this extra one for my students to use.)

I first put up the student Word Wall using some old fabric I had from IKEA.  It was a neon yellow and orange ombre.  After looking at it for 2 days, I ripped it down.  The fabric was just too bright and I didn't like the ombre effect for this type of bulletin board.  Here is a picture after I had already ripped off the border.
I also wasn't a fan of the last row of letters - 8 crammed together while the other rows only had 6 each.  (I might have had a momentarily lapse in brain power that resulted in me thinking there were 24 letters in the alphabet... I know, I know, and I teach Kindergarten.)

After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I replaced the fabric with some solid orange broadcloth.  And I planned and measured for my letters using 26 for the calculations...
I made a pennant banner for the title, which matches all of my other many Word Walls around the room (stay tuned for that post soon).  The word cards I will be using for this wall are ones I've had since my first year teaching when my Word Wall was on a magnetic white board.  So since they already have magnets on the back, I'm using washers to attach the words to the wall, rather than the popular Velco method.

After a few trials-and-errors, it was permanent mounting squares that did the trick to get the washers to stay attached to the fabric.
It will actually be awesome to have them on magnets, because in addition to students removing the words to take to their seats, we can transfer the words to the white board and make sentences, put them in ABC order, graph and sort them, etc.

Do you have an interactive Word Wall in your classroom?  Feel free to share any tips or tricks and how your students manage its use!

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