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    word walls...put one up!!!
    By KatydidAW

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    I agree that you should be able to decorate your room however you want, BUT...I think a word wall is essential, especially in second grade. You should have it up on day one (except with no words). Adding the names of your children could be the first words you add, and then as you introduce important, high-frequency words, you add those. But you also have to use the word wall everyday. I know teachers who put them up and then never refer to them again, so of course their students don't use them. There are so many activities you can do with word walls--just do a search on this site and you'll find tons.

    I'm also going to go against most people here and say that you should have other educational aides up as well. It doesn't mean you have to start the year out with them, but as you study a new skill, develop a chart with the children and put it up. If the children help you develop them, they will be more likely to use them. Take down charts you're done with, that way your walls won't be too busy.

    The key is modeling how to use these teaching aides...if you don't, they will just be decorations. Too more things I think are important are content-specific word banks (math, social studies, science) and a word family (spelling pattern) wall.

    And one more thing...although I think it's great that you have so much space to put student work up in the hall, I think it's vital that you put it in the room, too. It's important for children to feel a sense of ownership--afterall, it's really their room.

    It sounds like you have your room set up great for the beginning of the year--experts say it should be kind of a "blank slate." But don't be afraid to change it/add to it as the year progresses!

    Good luck and have a great year!

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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