Tag Archives: Literacy

Pre-K Word Wall

14 Jan

During one of our most recent staff meetings, we were asked to go around to see a classroom from each grade level.  The purpose was to get ideas for our own classroom.  Another pre-k teacher and I walked around together.  One thing that stood out in most of the rooms were the word walls.  This gave us the idea to try and create a pre-k appropriate word wall.  We both agreed pictures were a must.

At the beginning of the year my pre-k word wall will only have pictures of the students with their names under their corresponding letter.  As the year progresses, we will add more pictures that they come up with.  Today, when I was writing a student’s name on the board, I stopped after the first letter and asked “Who’s name do you think I am writing?”  One of my students said her brother’s name.  They also said the name of the student I was writing.  Yet another student said zebra.  I would like to be able to say something like, “those all start with Z, we should add them to the word wall.”  I want them to come up with the words and have ownership of the wall.  This might be something I use in my classroom this year as authentic literacy, but I know it will be more effective when it is started right at the beginning of the year.

Making the Web Work for Me

7 Dec

Inspiration came to me today in the form of my sister, Lissa.  While at the PEAK conference today, I attended Lissa’s presentation titled “Making the Web Work for You.”  She helped me remember why I keep this blog.  I want to reflect on my teaching and learning while also connecting with other teachers.  If I’m never posting on my blog, how am I supposed to achieve this?  One thing Lissa said to me after the presentation was “It takes a little extra time now, but the time it will save in the future is worth it.”  So now I am taking that time.

My school has each teacher set a goal to help us grow as professionals.  A colleague and I set the same goal for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is that we both had interest in the same topic.  The second reason is we wanted to help keep each other accountable.  Our goal is to incorporate inquiry-based strategies for literacy through centers, daily plans, and weekly plans.  We want our teaching of literacy to be more authentic and natural.  We do not want letter of the week or other phonic programs because we do not feel it is authentic.

My current understanding of authentic inquiry-based literacy learning is that it is student driven.  When students start asking questions about letters and sounds is when it should be introduced and talked about in the class.  It should not be introduced in alphabetical order, but rather based on student interest and connections to other topics being discussed in the class.  One strategy is by looking at the first letter of each of their names.  My understanding is that students will start to notice letters and the sounds words make and naturally want to know and learn how to make these letters.

Our plan to learn more about this goal is to do personal professional development and observe other teachers that we know already have this in place in their classrooms.  Lissa has also inspired me to reach out in the twitter world to find others that can help me reach my goal.  Now that the inspiration has come, I will do my best to continue to reflect as I learn.