Friday, August 28, 2015

Interactive Word Wall

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I started setting up my classroom at my new school this week, and was excited to find a place for my word wall in my pint-size, shared room! I almost didn't bring it with me from my old school, but I'm so glad I did.  

This word "wall" is actually a huge piece of laminated bulletin board paper with velcro strips on it. At my old school, I taped it onto the back of two bookshelves that served as dividers. In my new room, as you can see, it's taped along the air conditioning ledge. You could of course apply the same concept to a bulletin board, but the nice thing about this word wall is that you can put it anywhere and bring it anywhere! 

The first thing you need to do is laminate a long length of bulletin board paper (luckily I did this last year because my new school doesn't have a functioning laminator-- the horror!). Next, you'll need to figure out how you want to lay out your adhesive velcro. In my case, I did 12 vertical strips. If you're working with a narrower, but longer space you could do 26 short strips. Then, you'll need to add your letters of the alphabet. There are tons of word wall headers on TPT that you can just print and laminate. You can permanently affix your letters if you're sure of placement, or you can use velcro, as I did. Then just add velcro dots to the back of any words you want to add! The ones up on my wall are pre-primer words, and I'll add the rest of the Dolch words as the year goes on. I love having the velcro because I can easily switch out words. Kids can also pull of words to reference for spelling. I sometimes do sight word practice with it by asking students to pull of a certain word. Students can also practice recognizing initial letters by putting the words back on after they've been removed.

Here's a (badly lit) close-up of a portion of my word wall:


Let me know if you have any questions!




Monday, August 24, 2015

New Product: Wilson Reading Alphabet Cards!

I am SO excited to have listed these Wilson Reading Alphabet Cards! I love Wilson Reading System, but not having a classroom alphabet that matches the keywords drives me crazy (and more importantly, is confusing for the kids!). I always paste in pictures of the keywords in the student notebooks, and in the past I've used a hodgepodge of clip art and my own drawings.  Some of the keywords are really hard to find as decent clip art, but I've finally tracked all of them down or made my own.  Check out the images for E, I, L, N, and T-- I made them myself in Keynote (the mac version of powerpoint). The image for "itch" was the hardest, but I'm most proud of the spinning top. 

I really hope other teachers find this as useful as I know I'm going to! You can find it here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Projects Update

I blogged about my personal summer projects a month or so ago, so I'm back to report on my progress since the summer's almost over.

1. Sweater = complete. I have to agree with my new husband that it looks a bit like a high-end snuggie. You can find the pattern here if you too want a giant knitted cocoon.



2. Scrapbook = also complete! I was almost too embarrassed to put it out at the wedding, but previously mentioned husband insisted.  



3. A Song of Fire and Ice reread = almost complete.  I'm actually kind of sad about being on the last few chapters of the last (for now) book.


I can't get into my new classroom until next week, so I'm keeping busy with tutoring and setting up my new apartment until then!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Recommended Listening: The Problem We All Live With


I'm a regular This American Life listener, and I think they do a really excellent job covering education topics.  This past week, the show tackled current day school segregation with an episode called "The Problem We All Live With."  So many people are under the false impression that segregation ended in the 1960's.  Some realize that it exists, but think it's accidental or unavoidable.  It is neither.  Please give the episode a listen! You can stream it here, or download it from your podcasts app.