A third opportunity the children have to use environmental print is our Expand Vocabulary wall. This is a wall that doesn't get up and running right away at the beginning of the school year, but once we've established the goal of expanding vocabulary and introduced a variety of strategies for that goal whether it's to start with noticed, new and interesting words or whether it's to use a dictionary. When the students, who are using those strategies to reach their reading goal find a new word or look up a new word in the dictionary, then they put the word on a sticky note, which is signal to me that, in fact, there is a new word ready to go up and at the end of that Daily 5 rotation students will share with their peers what the word is. I check the spelling of it, and then the students record it onto our Expand Vocabulary wall, which then the students can go to as a whole group when we're writing poetry or if they're writing words and they knew that they heard a really new and interesting word that they'd like to know how to spell and perhaps it's a little bit more advanced than they'd typically use. This is the place in the classroom where they can find that word. So we have our Heart Words, simple words that we're expected to all know just by heart, and then the interactive Word Wall, which are words that are perhaps more familiar to the students, more common words, and then the Expand Vocabulary wall, are those words that perhaps are new and interesting and will provide their writing with a little bit more creative flare.
The goal of Expand Vocabulary Wall: Introducing New and Interesting Words (Virtual Tour) is to explicitly teach word meanings and providing opportunities for exposure to and use of a variety of new and interesting words.
- Ensure that the vocabulary wall is accessible to all students by displaying it at the students' eye level.
- Encourage students to listen for new and interesting words during shared reading and read alouds.