Word walls make great references for students as they’re writing. I especially appreciate that students can solve spelling problems independently.
They’re functional as anchor chart reference posters, and students quickly learn to refer to them during class. I also refer to them frequently during intervention time.
With my struggling students, I typically introduce five to seven high-frequency sight words at a time, and we talk about them as I add them to the word wall. We then spend the week working with those words quite a bit until I feel like students can comfortably spell them.
We break down sounds and discuss methods that students can use to remember how to spell the words correctly, such as clapping syllables. We practice using more kinesthetic methods, such as tapping out the letters down our arms, and spelling the words using sand, sandpaper, or felt squares.
We also look for small words within the larger word, chunking letters in the word, and spelling the words while walking around the classroom or marching in place.
High-Frequency Sight Words – Now Editable!
To develop my word wall, I studied word lists, like Fry and Dolch, and irregularly spelled words, but they didn’t focus on the words that my students needed on a daily basis.
In the end, I developed my own set of irregularly spelled words based on Fry, Dolch, and Vaughn and Linan-Thompson’s word lists. It’s a list of 100 irregularly spelled words that came from the most frequently used words from children’s literature.
This word wall is now EDITABLE (by PowerPoint), and the directions are included. I used the “Century Gothic” font, which is available with PowerPoint, so you can edit and add words using the same font. Directions are included:
All of the above colors come together in the same word wall kit, so you can change up the colors from year to year based on your colors or theme. This kit was designed to provide you with several different choices. There’s a set of small-sized cards and also a set of larger word cards.
Blank word cards can be edited by using PowerPoint or written on by hand, so you can add words unique to your class or differentiate for your class or individual students.
I frequently send a set of word rings (above) home with students who need additional practice with these irregularly spelled sight words. I make the word rings by printing a set of small word wall words, laminating, hole punching in the upper left-hand corner, and using a book binder ring to fasten them together. The number of words and the words themselves can be differentiated for each student depending on each student’s needs.
Title cards allow you to make different sets in different sizes. Blank title cards are included (now editable) that allow you to write students’ names on them or any other title that you want. If you prefer to save ink, a set of flashcards is included. Each student could receive his/her own set to practice with at home or at school.