Friday, January 28, 2011

Said is Dead!

Part of our Writing curriculum has students think of more precise words, aka WOW words. The lessons included have always fallen short, at least for my ELL students. They just sit there with a puzzled look, starting at me like "I" am crazy. So for some time now I have been looking for other ways to teach this concept. So my students do like the catch phrase "Said is Dead", but that is as far as it goes. They don't transfer what they learned to other words. Now I know that part of my job as an ELL teacher is to teach them about synonyms & antonyms, but I don't really get to that until later in the year. Basicly I've been stuck. I've hated teaching these lessons because I feel like I fail my students as a teacher.

On Monday I was trying to catch up on all the blogs I follow when I found Ms. During's blog, Second Grade is Splendid! In her post she has, on her door, Fancy Nancy's Fancy Words. I fell in love with this idea. Now if you've read my post about my classroom, you know I don't have a lot of room. So I had to tweaked it a bit and here is what I got.
I just adore it.
I wanted to make it portable so that if I have to move it around, and / or put it away I can. Which I will most likely do because I don't want my kinder kids to get their curious little hands on it. Here is how I made it.

First, I got a project board & cut it in half.
 Next, I covered it in black paper, to make the color pop.

Then, I got out my pre-laminated library pockets, (I LOVE to have things handy), printed up labels for our tired words & labeled each one.

Here is an important note. Lay your pockets on the board before you start pasting &/ or taping them on. You don't want to have to rip up your paper & start over if you don't leave enough room.
Next, you make a fancy sign, with a cute font & clipart. Then you can paste &/ or tape everything down.
Click here for Fancy Sign
I am working on the words to go in each pocket. I want to make sure they stick out enough that my students don't have to jam their little fingers in the pockets and tear them off. Once I get them done I think I will post them for you all to use, if you like.
Edit: Done!
Click here for tired words.
 I can't wait to try it with my students. As I was making it, the kids kept asking me what it was. I told them it was a surprise. I did give them a clue, I told them that it would make them better writers. On Monday I will introduce the board. We will sort the words in to the corresponding pocket. We will also talk about words that mean the same thing & words that mean the opposite, synonyms & antonyms! I feel like my life just got a little bit easier.

If you try this in your room, could you let me know. I would love to see how yours turns out.



  1. Wow, what a great idea! I love the space-saving aspect (I don't have a ton of wall space). Will you leave it out for kids to pull out the words when writing in the future?

    Very beautiful and functional!

  2. LOVE IT! We just charted tons of better words for said...but I love this display!

  3. We do this too....EXCEPT....your idea of the library pockets is a JACKPOT! :) love it!

  4. I LOVE it! Awesome idea!


  5. We've been doing circle maps but this takes up less space and is so darling. Love it!


  6. Thank you for the wonderful comments.

    Ladybug Teacher, yes I will leave it up during my first graders class. I am however putting it away during my kindergarten classes.

    I wanted to make a generic sign for you you all because I know you don't all teach first grade. However, I can't think of something clever for the title. If you can think of something let me know. I'll make it and post it on Monday.

    Ms. M

  7. Following the Daily 5 theme, I use their Expand your vocabulary lesson in Cafe and we do something simillar. I have to use the back of the door as well. We also have a display that encourages children to find new words. Each word they get a point. The move up the "word finder" board. I found the concept from a printable in the D5 files. At the bottom you are word watcher, word worker, word winner, word whirlwind, word wildcat, and finally a word wizard. They will get a post-it note with their name on it. I have a blog post coming soon with photos :)


  8. Came out great!!

  9. Meant to ask.. did you laminate the pockets your self (if so, how?) or did you buy them (if so, where?) ?

  10. I did laminate them myself. I put them through the laminator & cut them out. Then I, very lightly went over the opening with a pair of scissors, to open the pocket. The inside is not laminated and they do eventualy rip but laminating them does make them last a lot longer.

    Ms. M

  11. I LOVE this! Can’t wait to make it for my own class! Thanks! :)

  12. SUPER CUTE!!!
    I am so glad you played along.
    I will be sharing this with my teacher friends at school. THANKS.

  13. Very cute.
    If you have kids that are really understand the concept, I knew a teacher who had students use paint swatches (the ones with four/five similar colors on one swatch) to do the same thing. They started with the boring/tired word and then in each square came up with a WOW word. I think they even tried to get "WOWier" as the color got brighter on the swatch.

  14. That's a great idea. I think I will suggest it to some of the teachers I work with that have a bit higher level kids.

    Ms. M

  15. I think this portable word wall is a wonderful idea. I would love to try it out, but I'm a little confused as to what goes inside the envelopes??? Thank you for sharing your ideas!!

  16. Mrs. Hoany,

    What goes in the pockets ate the synonyms, aka the tired words. You can download them above in the post.

    Ms. M


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