Saturday, January 03, 2015

Merging Word Walls

  The AP Language and Composition word wall;
following updates since this pic was
taken in October.
Prior to the start of the current school year, I shared some plans for my classroom word walls. My primary objective was to transition from a traditional word wall ("a systematically organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a wall or other large display") as used in many elementary schools,  to a more sophisticated graphic organizer of Tier 3 vocabulary for use with my secondary Regents level and Advanced Placement courses.

The framework as designed by
Prof. Jollieffe.
The graphic organizer I chose as a structure on which to hang these concepts was developed by University of Arkansas professor David A. Jollieffe. My hope was (and remains) to craft a concrete representation of the abstract process for literary analysis. Though this initial adjustment has proven fairly successful, I continue needing to remind myself, and students, to return to the process in a way that meaningfully reinforces the concepts rather than emphasizing just the rote memorization of the terms. (I have attempted to establish our word wall in class as "the framework.")

Now, nearly halfway through the year, and after adding a few terms and concepts to each individual board, I am plotting to kick-off our return from break with a merger of both the Regents and AP level walls into a singular entity, and to re-assert the necessity of the Big 27 terms necessary (in my estimation) to handle to current Regents exam they will all be taking in a few weeks. Because the AP framework is simply the Regents one with additional concepts of import to the student of language and composition, this represents for them a slight tweaking of what each class currently has and a clarification of that which are "Need to Know."
The significantly less cumbersome Regents
word wall, which currently has 37 terms,
27 of which are "need to Know."

My intent is to take down the Regents wall, and coding those terms I've deemed the "Big 27" terms (remember they appear in both) with small red dots, and then the balance of vocabulary such as the three appeals, that I've shared with both classes with blue dots. To further reinforce this shift, I am also combining (and coding) the Tier 3 pages on my class blog to reflect the changes in the classroom version.

As of this morning, I am ready to start my day early Monday, before classes resume for me second period. By then my plan (but as Burns reminds, "the best laid plans...") is to roll out this updated board with a focus on preparedness for success on both the standardized assessment and the course work beyond...

The "new" word wall combining both previously independent leveled walls.

No comments: