A Mini Word Wall

August 16, 2011

A Mini Word Wall

August 16, 2011

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Hi everyone! It’s Ms. M from Ms. M’s blog. I am here on the 3rd day of Kristen’s Printables Paradise week long giveaway. 

I am happy to be coming to you today from one of my favoriteteacher’s blog, Ladybug Teacher Files. 🙂 I am super excited and honored to be blogging along such fabulous bloggers.
If you follow my blog, Ms. M’s Blog AKA Ms. K/1 ELL thispost might look familiar. However, I the teacher blog community has grown so much that I thought it was worth re-posting. There is also a new freebie attached so you mightwant to reread. 😉
On my blog this post is titled “Said is Dead” because aspart of our Writing curriculum we try to get the students to use synonyms for“said” in their writing. So we use “Said is Dead” or “Put Said to Bed.” Thestudents just LOVE this! However, the lessons don’t always reach my ELLstudents. SO as an ELL teacher I take this lesson as an opportunity to not justto teach synonyms and antonyms, but to use “fancy” words. Essentially I make amini, interactive word wall that the students use to enhance their writing and vocabulary. The best part is that it is done in a compact way! How do Ido it? Just read on.

With out further adieu, here is a rewrite of “Said is Dead”
Part of ourWriting curriculum has students think of more precise words, aka WOW words. Thelessons included have always fallen short, at least for my ELL students. Theyjust sit there with a puzzled look, starting at me like “I” am crazy.So for some time now I have been looking for other ways to teach this concept. My students do like the catch phrase “Said is Dead”, but that isas far as it goes. They don’t transfer what they learned to other words. Now Iknow that part of my job as an ELL teacher is to teach them about synonyms and antonyms, but I don’t really get to that until later in the year.Basically I’ve been stuck. I’ve hated teaching these lessons because I feellike I fail my students as a teacher.

One day I was trying to catch up on all the blogs I follow, when I found Ms.During’s blog, Second Grade is Splendid! In her post she has, onher door, Fancy Nancy’s Fancy Words. I fell in love with this idea. Now ifyou’ve read my post about my old classroom, you know I don’t have a lot ofroom. So I had to tweaked it a bit and here is what I got.

I just adore it.
I wanted tomake it portable so that if I have to move it around, and / or put it away Ican. Which I will most likely do because I don’t want my kinder kids to gettheir curious little hands on it. Here is how I made it.
First, I got a project board &cut it in half.
 Next, I covered it in blackpaper, to make the color pop.
After, I got out my pre-laminatedlibrary pockets, (I LOVE to have things handy), printed up labels for our tiredwords and labeled each one.
Here is an important note. Lay yourpockets on the board before you start pasting and or taping them on. Youdon’t want to have to rip up your paper and start over if you don’t leaveenough room.
Next, you make a fancy sign, with acute font & clipart. Then you can paste and or tape everything down.

I made the words to go in each pocket long enough so they stick out enough thatmy students don’t have to jam their little fingers in the pockets and tear themoff. Check out the “nice” pocket for a visual.
As I was making it, the kids kept asking me what it was. I told themit was a surprise. I did give them a clue. I told them that it would make thembetter writers. I introduced the board on a Monday. Then we took several days to sort the words into the corresponding pockets. We also talked about words that mean the samething and words that mean the opposite, synonyms and antonyms! I feel likemy life just got a little bit easier.
I recently won some fantastic fancy pockets from Tommie’s Tools. I got the new Dots on Turquoise pockets and I am going to use them to make me another board for my 2nd graders.
Want to make your own?
Here are your freebies:
I also made a generic “Fancy Words”sign, so you could use it at any grade!
If you try this in your room, Iwould love to see how yours turns out.

Don’t forget to stop by my blog, Ms. M’s Blog, to see what other goodies I have.



  • Keys4Education August 16, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I love your fonts. What are they and where did you get them? :o)

    Love your freebies!

  • Kitty W August 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I really love this idea and the portability of it. We are often at a loss for wall space. Did you laminate the word strips for durability? I wonder if popsicle sticks would fit in the pocket? You could play some fun games with this. P.S. I'm glad you are super excited to be blogging along such fabulous bloggers! 🙂
    The Write Handed Teacher

  • Ms.M August 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Keys4Education, the fonts I used are Smiley Monster & Pea Stacy Fancy and I got them both from Kevin & Amanda. If you Google Smiley monster it should be one of the first links in your search.

    Kitty, I did laminate the word strips. Yes, you could also use Popsicle sticks. They are a perfect size and you don't have to do all that cutting. I was just afraid of the ink bleeding and wanted the words to be clear for my ELL kids. However, you could also print the words on labels and stick them on to your sticks.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  • Melissa August 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I love this idea. We have "retired words" in my classroom and I post a list of "spicier" words for students to use. I like the idea of little slips so that students can take them to their desks to help them spell. I may have to rethink my retired words now!

  • Ms.M August 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm


    I think it is the same things just with different titles. You could do the retired words on the pockets and the spicier words in the pockets.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  • Sarah Adams August 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I am definitely making this. I will post picks on my blog when it's finished! I also have limited wall space and will be making a portable one! Thanks for the FREEBIES!



  • Kim Balek August 17, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I was planning on using this idea also this year. I saw it somewhere on Pinterest. But I had not yet made the labels for the tired words and fancy words. I'm so excited you shared yours. That's one less project for me to do.
    Thank you!
    Freedom in First

  • Linda Romana August 17, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing! I def want to put some of these words to bed!

  • Nicole Chatz August 17, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for sharing. I have some extra Dots on Chocolate library pockets that I really want to use up! I think I am going to stick the labels on popsicle sticks and glue the pockets to a cupboard door. Ooh, I am excited to have another project for tomorrow!


  • Grade ONEderful August 17, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Hi Kristen,
    You had a tutorial about adding speech bubbles to your comments and now I can't find it. I have the bubbles (thank you!) but now I want to change the colour and can't remember how.
    Do you mind emailing me with a link or instructions?
    Thank you!

    Grade ONEderful

  • Jennifer August 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I just love this idea! We start school in two weeks and I think I will get my board going so it will be there when they arrive! What a great idea! Many, many thanks!

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