Friday, February 27, 2009

Word Walls - for students with disabilities

I've mentioned before that I'm pretty much a geek (and yes I'm OK with it!), so my blog definitely takes a more technological edge, but AT does not have to be high-tech. There are many examples of low-tech ways to increase student participation, and interest. One such way that I use in my classroom is the Word Wall.

Word Walls are a great low-tech way to increase literacy and sight word recognition for all students. I've found that students with disabilities actually enjoy many of the activities associated with working with word walls. The action of spelling words in different ways, the games you can play and the thrill of "reading" a book for possibly the first time.

Creating a word wall for students with disabilities does require some work. Just like any word wall you need to prepare the words. I prefer to print out the words, cut around them, and paste onto construction paper. I like the way it highlights the different parts of the words, but you can create them any way you would like.

I also include a picture from Boardmaker on each of the words. Many of the words you can't find in Boardmaker, so I found the closest idea. Here's a Boardmaker file of the words that I use in my word wall lessons: Word Wall Words & Word Wall Words 01. The words are based off the ReadingA-Z websites high frequency word books.

There is one final modification that I do to make sure students have an opportunity to show understanding. In creating pictures that represent the words, it's easy to see what students know and understand. I can show students the word if they pick the correct picture it shows they can "read" the word. It allows students to read a sentence by picking the correct pictures. I've even created folders for students to store their learned words.

Here are some links to lesson ideas for creating activities for word wall. And it is very easy to find activities on Google.

Word Wall Ideas

More Word Wall Ideas

Please feel free to share any of your word wall ideas in the comments!


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