One of the biggest reasons that I love the beginning of the school year is organizing materials. I love organizing. I am not a whiz at keeping things organized, but I love the process of organizing all my stuff.
We recently moved to a new house and I have been given the opportunity to organize more than I ever dreamed! Here is a classic example of my real life organization. Here is a picture of one of the cabinets in my craft room. I have bins and boxes that I very carefully organized and will eventually label. I felt really good about my organizational skills.
Now, I'll show you the whole picture. While the middle of the cabinet is nicely organized, I failed to find places for some things and they ended up in a pile right around my nicely organized bins.
The reason that I'm showing you this is to show you the type of person that I am. I need a fully thought out organizational plan. If I don't calculate a space for every item in a room, I tend to make piles. Then, half of my stuff may end up unused, because I can't find it in the piles.
This is what has happened in the past every time I tried to use some type of portable word wall. I started with the best intentions, but I didn't create an organizational system for myself or for my students. Cards, binders, and file folders, with wonderful word wall potential, sat unused in the piles around my room.
I've been trying to create a portable word wall system that would work for me. I love the idea of kids being able to grab a set of thematic words and use it in their writing. I want the thematic words to get their brains churning with tons of great writing ideas! And I love that portable word walls can move with the children.
So.... Here is my portable word wall system that will grow and change with me! My first edition is a "School Edition" to coincide with the beginning of school.
Within the school theme, I wanted more specific categories. The school words contain these smaller categories: School Supplies, Places at School, People at School, Transportation at School, and Technology at School.
I've included small and large cards that can be used in a variety of ways. One way to use these words is to attach small hooks on the wall (I used Command hooks) and added the labels above the hooks. This ensures that my kids (and I!) always put the cards back in the correct place. As an added bonus, the kids are constantly sorting and categorizing. The "Grab and Go" word rings always have a home. As I change the theme, I just add the new labels above the hooks.
You can teach kids to use these words rings like a word wall, but the same cards can be used in a bunch of other ways. They can be used in sorting activities in centers and whole group. These cards can be truly interactive! By using the cards in a variety of ways, kids will begin to see that they can manipulate words in so many ways!
Another component of the pack is the little books. I love little books that kids can create and take home. This allows them to take ownership of the book and information and to practice reading and using the little books at home. I created a set of little books that go with the portable word wall.
I am in the process of creating some sight word books that will complement the portable word walls. This will make it easy to differentiate for all your students.
I am so excited about this system! I wanted to share a piece of the School Edition, so that you can see how it will work for you, too! Click here to get your "Grab and Go" Freebie!
You can read more about the "Grab and Go" system on my blog, Differentiation Station Creations.
I will be creating many more editions to the "Grab and Go" Portable Word Walls. Don't hesitate to let me know what you need in your classroom.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my newest passion! I would love to hear how you keep yourself organized, too!