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Active Vocabulary Walls

I recently visited several schools in Florida to observe Spring Board in action.  I was impressed with the curriculum, but beyond that I was impressed with the level of engagement of the students.  Students and teachers utilized some great strategies in the classroom.  I was also very impressed with the consistency among the schools across the district.  Every classroom I visited had an active vocabulary wall.  I have never been successful with vocabulary walls.  I would try and hang words on the wall, but I never did anything else with them.  This changed my mind.

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(These cards are attached to a ribbon and have the definition on one side and word on the other)

All teacher are required to have academic vocabulary (Tier 3) posted on the wall.  Every teacher has a unique twist to their word wall.  The definition is always included and students are encouraged to get up and use the wall during class if they need to refresh their memory.  One teacher even moved words to the “Mastered” wall after the class demonstrated a thorough knowledge and understanding of the word.  The teachers would cycle the words according to the unit of study.  I absolutely loved that the words had the definitions hidden, but accessible to students.  If I was still in the classroom, I would find space for this on my wall.


Categories: Common Core
  1. Betsy
    January 10, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I started a vocabulary board last semester for the new common core vocab. I am working on it slowly because I am adding illustrations. I hope to have it finished by next year. I am also making flash cards to use in group work. I just thought it ironic that I started mine and now you have this on your blog. Mine is different but I really like the one here but I am not changing now!

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