Made4Math - Digital Word Walls

I've really missed blogging and participating in #Made4Math, so after reading so many wonderful ideas over the past few months, I'm happy to be able to contribute to this week's collection.


Several years ago, we jumped on the "Word Wall" bandwagon, and teachers in all content areas learned the importance of vocabulary building, displaying vocabulary, and actively using their word walls.

Had to throw in an English teacher's example, too! 

Fast forward several years, and we're now in the digital age.  One of our junior high teachers, Omar P., who teaches at a technology magnet school and who has created this fantastic informational site, led us into the 21st century with his idea of digital word walls.  (His site includes informational videos, app reviews, and presentations, and his work is helping our entire district!)

At a recent staff development, Omar shared his ideas and how he used his digital word walls, so I created one for my class and wanted to share this great strategy.

Instead of posting words/pictures/diagrams on a bulletin board, the same types of images are stored in folders on your iPad or computer.  Using the slideshow option, you can project the pictures as students are entering the classroom, while they're working on an activity, or during tutoring time.

I created my pictures using screen shots of handwritten notes, of Keynote slides, and of slides using a presentation app called Haiku deck.  I also plan to take pictures of the students' work and add those slides to the folder.  Omar has more iPads in his classroom, so he has had students create word walls using Keynote.  You could also find free images online for additional pictures or backgrounds.
Made using the Haiku deck app



I also included a few slides that were quotes or reminders about strategies for working these problems.



Our test is this week, so for the next few days, I plan to have these slides showing as the students enter the room.  (If you want to see the other slides, my trig identity folder is here.  I just noticed that the Haiku deck app provided a background that misspelled "adjacent," so I'm not too happy about that, but other than that, the slides were pretty and the app was easy to use.)  

I love the fact that these folders of pictures can be saved, changed, and shared.  Teachers and students could collaborate on unit folders, share photos, and update the words/images each year.  As we're reviewing for finals and preparing for other tests, we'll have these folders of pictures easily available and ready to go.  If you would like more information, Omar has a video explanation here about how he has used the digital word wall in his classroom.

Do you have a word wall in your classroom?  How do you use your word wall?  How do you reinforce vocabulary in your classroom?
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About Kathryn Laster

I love teaching, learning, and sharing!
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