Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Word Walls in Third Grade

I'm wondering how other third grade teachers handle all the words we teach. I have multiple word walls up in my room. I like the idea of my content words being grouped according to unit or theme. I think this helps students connect certain words. Here is my social studies words to know board. I have it set up like a tree map with topic specific words falling under each branch.
We play "Search and Find" or "Twenty Questions" with these words as you would with any word wall. Kids have to know these words to do well on state tests so we refer to them as often as we can.

Here are my "No Excuse" words for writing. They are the trouble makers as we like to call them. My kids are taught to use this reference to check spellings. If I find these words misspelled on papers, it goes right back to the writer with NE written in the margin by the line that includes the mistake. It's about accountability, kids!

This final poster of words are our "JUICY" words. We follow CAFE and are always on the look out for pizzazzy words when we read. This poster is pinned to my blinds and is right next to my reading chair - hey, I use any space I can get! We gather here for shared reading or read alouds. I like to have them up close to me. The sheet of paper has been blocked into squares for each letter of the alphabet. When we get to a great word, we write it on the post it along with a kid friendly definition and stick it onto the appropriate square. My kids really used this poster during writing time to make their sentences sparkle!
So how do you handle word walls in your room? I'd love to hear!!


  1. I basically do the same thing. I have a word wall for spelling words specifically, and I use an anchor charts to display vocabulary from reading and the content areas. I have a math word wall on my cabinets that I switch out as needed. I also have a "WOW Word Wall" that showcases growing vocabularies. It sounds like we're pretty similar.


  2. Hi there! I have my main word wall for vocabulary words (Reading). For math - my vocab goes on my anchor charts as well as their math journal. For science and SS I snagged this idea from another teacher. There just wasn't room in the classroom for other word walls. Instead the kids have personal word walls in their desk for these 2 subjects. You take a file folder and glue library pockets on the inside for each topic. Then the students create vocabulary cards on index cards. On one side of the card students draws a picture, the other side the definition and the word in a sentence. Then the student stores the cards in the library pockets. They are called briefcases. Here is a ppt about it (I apologize it was the only picture I could find - the briefcase idea starts on slide 33.)
    Science Vocabulary Briefcase

    ~The Sweet Life of Third Grade

  3. Hey! I just found your blog and am a new follower :). I just posted today questioning how other people do it. I too do a content area vocab walls, but was wondering about the "high frequency words" that they come across in their writing (and often spell wrong). I like the idea of putting them all on a board and call it "no excuse" :). Thanks!

  4. Could u send me a copy of the vocab strategy poster u have near your word wall?

  5. Do you have all of these posters/displays up all of the time? I like the idea of grouping the words by content. Excellent!

    Your newest follower,
    Teaching in Room 6

  6. We don't do anything...but now I am going to have a No Excuse word wall in my room... the kids are always asking me to spell the exact same words over and over again!