By Renee Sunder (Pittsburgh teacher)
A teacher must "do" the word wall, rather than just "have" a word wall.
There are many types of word walls. For young children, using a word wall made of high-frequency words aids reading and writing.
Most teachers add 5 new words to the word wall a week.
If using a word wall made of high frequency words, use a grade-appropriate sight word list. These are available from many sources.
It is essential that you do many different types of activities with words of the week for the children to be able to spell, read and write them well.
Begin the word wall each year with names of the students in your classroom. Discuss the patterns, talk about the consonant sounds and vowels, etc.
Students should be expected to spell and write the word wall words correctly.
Word wall word activities should be multi-sensory experiences.
Word wall cards should be cut according to their word shape.
If using high-frequency words, you can display other words such as thematic words or word families on their charts.
All students should be able to see the word wall. However, if this is not possible, students should be able to move their seats/desks in order to see the word wall when needed.
Write a grant to obtain funds needed to implement sight word centers.