Due to the severity of the weather, school has been cancelled and winter break has been extended additional days. Despite my love of sleeping in, drinking coffee in my pajamas until noon, and “trying” all of my pinned Pinterest recipes this break, I can’t handle another day of cabin fever or the polar vortex temperatures of -34 degrees!
Currently I’m brainstorming ways to make my word wall more interactive and awesome. Actually, I think my word wall is pretty fantastic compared to previous years due to the color coding and student friendly illustrations. I find my students turning to the word wall more frequently during assessments, writing, and Daily 5 reading to activate prior knowledge and refresh their memory. Word wall challenges include my limited wall space and lots of words for three grade levels learning different science content (life science, earth science, and physical science).
When doing a quick search on science interactive word walls, I came across a Science Scope article outlining the good, better, and best criteria for interactive word walls. The link to the article is listed below…couldn’t find the edition number for my citation. Criteria for the best interactive word wall includes:
- Academic vocab. posted
- Vocab. aligned to the curriculum
- Words visible at a distance
- Words arranged to illustrate relationships/organize learning
- Student generated material
- Visual supports such as colored illustrations, photos, and actual items
Jackson, J., Tripp, S. & Cox, C. (2011). Interactive word walls: Transforming content vocabulary instruction. Science Scope, 45-49.
How can I enhance my word wall? Student created material!
1. Word Wizards: I’ve decided to select a word wizard everyday to create 5 clues to describe one vocabulary on our word wall. Students will use the Socrative app to turn in their response to the word wizard’s clues at the end of class. (I’m obsessed with this app and use it daily for formative and summative assessments!!!)
2. Frayer Model: My students are pros at completing a Frayer Model to demonstrate mastery of a concept. Frayer Models are 4 squares that include meaning, characteristics, examples, and non-examples of concepts or vocabulary. Why not have students post their Frayer Model on chart paper or large chart paper to teach/reteach a vocabulary word?
3. Science Pouches: I found a couple sites and pinterest links with pouches and ziplock bags with objects, facts, etc. with words. I might try this as well.