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Differentiating Everything; Why your Word Wall NEEDS to change

Every time I walk by a classroom or view a room in the media, I notice a huge discrepancy between the classroom word wall and the anchor charts and content posters. Recently, this piqued my interest when I thought about the word Equity. Now I know we have all seen the pictures about the differences between equity and equality. I’m not here to beat a dead horse. But are we really being equitable when the majority of our supplies don’t match our student’s needs?

As teachers we all know we need to differentiate our lessons so that every student has the opportunity to succeed. Then why aren’t we differentiating what we put up in our classrooms to help the students who need it most? Teachers are great at putting up anchor charts with deep concepts and mind maps with various images, yet I never see a word wall beyond the kindergarten classrooms that have images with their words on their word walls.

Many times our kids come to us not knowing the vocabulary that ends up on the word wall. It’s their first encounter with the word or concept. Why not anchor that word or concept into an image? Better yet, why not add in some frames of reference, like say, an example sentence or phrase?

Does it take up more space? Of course. But this will help you be more judicious with the vocabulary you choose to post for the kids to use.

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