An Unconventional Kindergarten Word Wall

7/28/2016 / Leave a Comment

When I found out 3 years ago that I was headed to Kindergarten I had an idea. I knew that I wanted my students to have access to all the words that would help them to decode and write with ease.

I also wanted these signs to be in one central area where they could gather during reading and writing times. I didn't want them to have to wander the room in order to find the sign that they needed.

















I was lucky enough to have two, 16 foot bulletin boards on each side of the room and a 12 foot board on another. I decided to dedicate one 16 foot board to all the words I wanted them to become familiarized with.
At first I thought I would make a traditional alphabetical word wall. No matter how I tried, I could not include all of the content I wanted to display.

I wanted to have the typical signs, posters and vocabulary - but streamlined into one area with clear and easy to read fonts and clipart.

I started with the math vocabulary - 2D shapes and 3D shapes.
In the beginning of the year we read these signs during morning meeting, starting with what they know and working onwards from there. 
By the time we got to our shape unit, the majority of students were able to recognize the shapes as well as read and write their names.

Next on the wall is the ten frame numbers for 0-20.
This wall helps my students to learn numbers, their names as well as understand what a ten frame is. I have the star student of the day point to a few during morning meeting. They then choose a student to name the numbers. It is a great way to let each student have a chance to play teacher and interact with their peers.
In the beginning of the year many students need to count the poster before they can name it. As the year progresses, more of the class is able to subitize. My class last year loved to use the pointer to quiz each other on both the shapes and numbers!

Next on the wall is the color words.
This display is very helpful during independent work in reading, writing and math. Whenever they come to a color word they don't know, they head over to the wall to problem solve what it is!
The second half of the word wall is a big component of our morning meeting, it includes:
Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Seasons of the Year
In the beginning of the year we practicing reading all these signs during morning meeting. They love to quiz each other on these during transition times as well!

The star post-its are something I added in the second half of the year that I loved. I will be starting it right away this fall. 

We place a star next to the day of the week, this helps us to quickly review what yesterday was and what tomorrow will be.

Then we check the month and the seasons. These two areas generate a lot of discussion about how much time has to pass before we get to change the star to the next poster.
Next comes my TV (you can read about how I incorporate this here), and below that is our calendar and weather station.

Our calendar features patterns that increase in difficulty as the year progresses. We start by reading the numbers, then we read the pictures and lastly the star student names the pattern and writes it on the whiteboard. 
September has a simple AB pattern featuring a notebook and scissors.
October has an AAB pattern of pumpkins and witch hats.
 November has an ABC pattern of different leaf types.
By May we were up to an ABABC. My students love to predict what will appear in the following days. This daily activity helped my students master predicting, reading and creating patterns due to the repetition of adding to a pattern each morning.
For the weather station, the star student chooses a card in the envelope to the right to display the weather. (The lower envelope contains the calendar numbers.) Then we use our Apple TV to check the temperature on Google. We like to check out the recess temperature too, so we know how to dress that day.

The last corner features our alphabet.
It is arranged according to the Fundations layout to connect it with our Word Study program. This is another area where they play teacher a lot. They name a letters, sound or word and their partner has to find it. A lot of my students use these words in their writing early in the year.
This wall is my favorite part of my room, and the favorite of my students as well. They love to grab their scoop rockers and a clipboard and work here during readers, writers or any independent time.
One of their favorite activities is using it for "write the room." They find a partner and point to words along the word wall and have their friend write them down. They beg to do this everyday during readers, and sometimes even during indoor recess!

I love how it has become a natural meeting place for my students and I really feel it helps to foster independence. I do not believe in spelling words for my students. I will stretch them out, but that is it. Especially if the word is on the word wall. They know that is a word that I will never help them with!

If you are interested in any of these resources, click the links below!


How do you set up your posters and word walls? Let me know in the comments below!

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