ETA Hand2Mind

You Can Count on Rekenreks

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday Motivation, Word Walls

I am joining Jen over at Teacher by the Beach (click button below to join) for a fun weekly link-up.  
Teacher by the Beach
This week is all about word walls.  I missed last week's post on center management.  I may go back and write about that later as I have a lot to say about stations/centers.  That is basically how I teach all day long.

Word Walls:
Well, I read a couple of the blogs that posted on this too and feel similarly about it.  I found that my word wall can be a waste of space.  There are always a good chunk of kids that use it consistently but it takes up such a large space and doesn't feel really useful.

Then, similar to A Teeny Tiny Teacher, I found that I was not proactive about getting the words up on the wall as we were learning them.  The word wall above is on the right...and it is January!!!  We knew way more words than the above by January.  
I work at a STEM Magnet elementary school and this year we are integrating more than we have before.  So, my word wall plan is changing.  I still need to teach the "trick" or sight words from Fundations that our district uses.  I still will have the kids write their words in their "dictionaries."
Related image
The change will come in how I organize the wall area/words and how I will integrate it into our STEM learning. 
During our math block, I will be using STEAM stations.  Each letter stands for a center rotation.  Stem bins (from Brooke Brown), Tech time, Enrichment (hands-on games), At your seat (interactive notebooks), and Meet with the teacher (differentiated lessons from the curriculum that is required of us).  During the STEM bins time, the kids have a science notebook that they will be using to complete an activity or job.  They will need to use the sight/trick words from their dictionary in their writing. 
Image result for stem bins brooke brown
I will also have a small area to post on the wall, just a few of the words that we are learning (maybe a 2-3 week's worth of words) as a resource.  They will need to highlight those words with highlighter (that's the part that will make doing that fun) in their notebooks.   
I will also have a STEM vocabulary area that I will need to organize.  I already have a math vocabulary wall section too!  Phew.  Too much.  I will need to rethink all of those to make them less busy and overwhelming.

Sidenote- I have been purging my house this whole summer.  I'm going through my home, room by room and trying to get rid of as much clutter and unused things as I can to simplify our life at home...because it is really overwhelming for much of the school year.  I am feeling the need to do the same thing at school.  I always have lots of things on the walls and stuff set up in the room to make it "cute" and coordinated.  I am now trying to change that to be more purposeful than ever before.  I want my classroom to feel calm, spacious, and homey.  I need it to be easy to navigate and for everything to have a very specific purpose, use and place...or it needs to go!!!  

Link up with Jen and tell us about your word wall(s).  Maybe it will help people like me who are always looking for new ideas.  


  1. I loved your post and would love to hear how you run centers and what grade you teach! Thanks-Chris

    1. Thanks, Chris. I teach 1st. I hope to do the centers post but it may take some time. :)