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August 9, 2009

Posted by Nora in Uncategorized.

Tip #12: Create a Word Wall

 Setting up a word wall at home is super easy and yields amazing results.  For years, teachers have dedicated space in their rooms for word wall displays, so why not try it at home!  The purpose of a word wall is to help your child recognize sight words.  These are words that appear often in their reading and are typically not spelled phonetically.  Having a large repertoire of words that your child can easily read by sight will greatly improve his reading fluency. 

Here are some easy steps to getting a “word wall” started:

  • Decide on a space in a room that you and your child spend a lot of time in.
  • Use a medium sized bulletin board or magnetic board and hang it in the designated space. You can also lean the board against a wall.  (Or, if you don’t have a board or the wall space…use your refrigerator for the word wall; or simply use the back of a closet door!
  • Focus on a few words at time.  With beginning readers, choose 3 – 5 words a week for the word wall.  Write them on index cards or cut paper and hang them on the board or wall.  Then, over time, introduce new words on the word wall.  I have found it most successful to add one or two new words each week.  This makes the task manageable and fun, and keeps your child wanting “more”.  (Of course, the number and frequency of adding new words will depend on your child’s individual interest and reading level!)  Just make sure he can easily recognize and read the words already on the board before adding any new ones!  Sight words are very important for developing readers too.  If you have two or more children, just divide the wall and label the sections with their names.
  • Here comes the fun:  Every day, or as often as possible, have your child read you the words.  Or, say one of the words and have your child point to it.  The best part is, by having the words up on a wall where your child frequently sits or plays, he will notice those words and they will soon become a natural part of his daily routine.

 In my house, we have a family room/play room where we spend 95% of our time!  This has been the perfect spot for our word wall. The boys see the words constantly and the minute or few minutes it takes to review the words is little to no effort at all.  What’s more, because the words are so accessible, they end up reading them to themselves or asking me to “test” their knowledge. 

 One more thought:  There are SO many activities and games that are fun and EASY to do with sight words!  Look for lots of word games and ideas coming soon!!



1. Mary Ann - August 21, 2009

what a fun idea! I’m going to share this with readers of my blog. It reminds me of how my 10 year old creates a nest in the closet, with blankets and pillows, curling up with her favorite book and a flashlight. thanks!

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