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5 Effective Ways to Use Personal Word Walls With Elementary Students

Personal word walls are the solution to the question, “How do you spell ______ ?” This simple-to-make and customizable tool is one of my favorite resources for my young writers.

personal word walls are an effective writing tool

Personal Word Walls During Writing Workshop

I love that my young writers are eager to spell correctly. They are no longer satisfied with using inventive spelling. However, their young age makes using a dictionary quite intimidating. So using personal word walls is how I was able to support conventional spelling during writing time.

Whenever students would like to know how to spell a word, they bring up their personal word walls. Either you or the child writes the word in the appropriate section. You can use this as a teachable phonemic awareness activity if the word is decodable. As the word collection increases, the child can refer to their folder during writing time.

Build Academic Vocabulary With Personal Word Walls

Use the folder to collect words that support your academic topics. Math terms such as how to spell geometric shapes and numbers. Include science or social studies vocabulary that might need to be used to answer questions. Their personal word wall is easy to access and store inside their desk or binder.

Record Frequently Misspelled Words

We all have them… words that are tricky for us to spell. You know which word a student often misspells. So, add it to their personal word wall. Have the student refer to their folder as a way to proofread their work. If you notice the word misspelled on a paper, you can mark it and then add it to their folder, too.

How to Make Personal Word Walls

Making personal word walls are easy! All you need is large construction paper or file folders.

Just print two pages like this and glue them into a file folder or folded piece of 12″x 18″ construction paper. Add the child’s name to the tab, and you’re done!!

You can download a bunch of different themes from The Literacy Garden store. Just click on the style you prefer.

So, are you ready to try this with your class?

  • Thank you for all you do!

  • Alison Monk

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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  • […] more functional than a traditional word wall and your kids will actually be able to see the words! Check out this article to learn more about […]

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    Hi! I'm Alison

    My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist with over 30 years teaching in elementary classrooms. My goal is to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement and academically sound. You can expect to find teaching tips to boost your confidence and grow your learners. You don't have to do this alone! I'm the support you've been looking for. I'm so glad you are here!

    About the Literacy Garden

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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