Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Word Walls

Posted on January 15, 2011. Filed under: Classroom environment, Elementary math, Math is a Language, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , |

1. Where do the words come from?

A variety of places.  Check your state and district’s math word list.  Check the current unit of study. Check old state tests.  Also think about the high frequency math words that keep coming back!  Often students fail math tests because of these culprits…words we assume they know.

2. Do I put all the words from forever up?

Absolutely not!  Only use the words from the current unit of study.  But, be sure to keep those other words alive and well through a variety of games like charades, concentration and bingo.

3.  Do I put all the words up at once or as I introduce them?

As you introduce them!  They should all make sense and be put up within a specific context.

4. ABC-123 Should I put them in ABC order?

Absolutely not! *Dr. Wahlstrom suggests clustering them by topic.

5.    Are they really that important?

Absolutely!  The immediate words of the unit serve as visual resource in the classroom. The pictures should reinforce the words. Remember to speak a language you need to know the vocabulary!

***Be sure to search and see the other vocabulary and word wall posts in this blog!


Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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2 Responses to “Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Word Walls”

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Hi Dr. Nicki,
Your word wall posts are fantastic. The article will be the feature at our next grade level team meetings. Our School Improvement Plan has a vocabulary focus in our Language Arts goal, now I can justify the importance of the math word wall for the teachers and administration. I need to get some info on the Common Core of Standards because I will be writing new curriculum this spring for Grade 1 in our district. Any specific sources, or should I go to state website?

Use the common core standards as your guide and then look up activities on this blog! I am actually doing workshops on implementing the common core. I will be posting many resources throughout the next few months.

Dr. Nicki

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