Friday, December 8, 2017

Word Wallets

At a recent professional development, teachers were given the opportunity to REFLECT on what they had learned, brainstorm a list of actions they could CHOOSE based on those reflections and then pick one and ACT on it.

One kindergarten teacher collaborated with a colleague to use Word Wallets as a way to track student progress and to celebrate the successful learning of sight words. Using these wallets also builds confidence and encourages students to continue to push themselves.

Being able to read sight words is an important reading skill. In the PYP, reading is categorized as a communication skill, one of the five sets of approaches to learning necessary for students to become life-long learners.

The teacher took a folder, cut about two thirds the way down the fold, rounded off the tops of both the sides and folded the tops down. She labeled one side "working on" and the other side "done ☺"

Students are working on learning sight words, five at a time. When they've mastered a word, they celebrate by coloring in the box.

When all five words are colored, they celebrate and move the words over to the "done ☺" side. The students continue to practice the sight words even when they're on the "done ☺" side.

Once students have mastered several strips of words, the teacher plans to make a Sight Word Crown so that students can prominently and proudly display the words they've worked so hard to learn.

When students are reading books appropriate for their developmental and skill level, they'll have an easier time identifying these sight words in context, because they have build up their knowledge of these words and their confidence in their ability to read them.

Word Wallets can, of course, be used to track progress and celebrate successes with other kinds of learning. How might you use these wallets in your classroom? How do you track students' progress and celebrate students' efforts in other ways?

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting idea that can be used in many other ways. For example, I could see kids using this for words instead of "said", for example. Maybe they could have a list of 5 - 10 words, depending on the developmental level or interest of the child, on the "working on" side (I guess it could be called something else) and the child would commit to using these words in their writing. I could see kids collecting words on one side with the goal of using them as they write. So, maybe after they use each word once, they could then put the list on the "done" side, or whatever is appropriate to call it, and then they'd have a new list to work on for a different word, topic, etc.