Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Portable Word Walls & Vocab Freebies!

This week marks the third week of school for me and my kiddos... and man, times seems to have flown by. So much so, not only have I NOT blogged, I haven't even been READING blogs! That's how you KNOW you have been busy! I don't especially have a large amount of time tonight as I'm also planning a special someone's Dora the Explorer party on Saturday, but I wanted to share with you a couple things that I'm loving right now!

First of all, I'm LOVIN' the portable word walls my students are using! To be honest, I never have/make time to actually add words to the classroom word wall. We think of words together, I tend to write them on the white board, and that's where they live until they are erased. And ultimately, that's where they die. This year I have a fabulous parent volunteer who put together a class set of **portable** student word walls for me! They're basically manila folders that have alphabet boxes for students to write words they misspell.

Here's how it works:
1. Any word I correct when we edit together, they write on their word wall.
2. Any word they ask me how to spell, they add to their word wall.
3. Any word we discuss as a class as being "difficult," they add.
4. Whenever we write anything (ya know, like all day!), the word walls on their desks.
5. Word wall words are now NO EXCUSE words... meaning they have no excuse to spell them incorrectly!

Ya see that? This beauty is adding a MATH word because she wanted to be sure to spell "estimate" correctly, because she knows good math students estimate to ensure their answers are reasonable. She even did this on her own... so I took a picture! :)

In my TpT store I sell commonly misspelled word wall words that include sentences to teach them with and the basic outlines for these portable word walls. Click {here} if you'd like to see!

Now, the second thing I'm LOVIN'! Vocabulary has always been a huge part of my instruction in almost all subjects. It's just THAT important! This year I'm trying something a little new with the vocabulary words before we discuss what the words mean. Students first record the word in their reading journal, and then RATE the word using the following scale:

1. I have never even heard the word!
2. I have heard the word, but I don't know what it means.
3. I have heard the word, and I *think* I know what it means.
4. I definitely know that word!

How simply, but awesome is that? A friend from school shared this with me, and I automatically LOVED the idea because it requires students to activate prior knowledge and make connections to words. Man, I love it! Here's a quick picture of what a sample notebook might look like.

Aaaaaand here are some freebie posters I made for you to hang in your room if you would like for your kids to this! Just click on any of the pictures to download the file. The awesome backgrounds are from the 3AM teacher... who is also awesome. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!

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  1. Love the rating scale idea for new vocabulary! Thanks for sharing your file :)

  2. I've used something similar to this in the past, but I called it fist to 5. It was a great way to quickly assess what my students knew before and after a lesson.


    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  3. Hey Mandy! Just wanted to let you know I shared about your inference task cards in my Five For Friday today! My kids loved it! :)
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  4. I love your blog! I found you through Caffeine and Lesson Plans grade link up. I taught third grade for the past six years and now I'm teaching 4th grade. Excited to get some new ideas. I love your vocabulary activities. I need to start implementing that in my classroom!

    I'd love for you to check out my blog, :)