Logic of English Word Walls
An Idea for Helping Students Master High-Frequency Sight Words
Yesterday I visited with a first grade public school teacher at Riverside Public School who is teaching the spelling rules and phonograms to her first grade students.
Since October Mrs. Neher has been creating a word wall in her classroom that places each of the three hundred sight words required by her district in a logical order. Now rather than teaching these words solely by sight, she is explaining to her students the why behind each word. She has begun to introduce students to the multiple reasons for a silent E; to teach all the sounds for S, the vowels, and multi-letter phonograms; and to teach vital rules such as a vowel says its long sound at the end of a syllable.
Mrs. Neher expressed how the rules and phonograms provide answers to students' questions that she used to answer, "just because." She said that the kids are sensing her excitement as new words lead to new questions and a search for answers.
Mrs. Neher's enthusiasm for the difference the Logic of English is making in her classroom is contagious. It was exciting to see her applying the information to the materials they already have and to see her joy in learning.
Notice in the pictures that there are sheets of paper hanging under various rules. These are the students' spelling lists. Since they are using a spelling program that teaches word families, Mrs. Neher first explains to the students the rule that is demonstrated in each list and then incorporates the list into her word wall!
Some further ideas for creating a word wall include:
- Adding phonograms with words that use each one.
- Adding a High-Frequency Word list that includes the schwa sound. I now like to call this the Lazy Vowel!
- Create a crazy word list that includes words that the students ask about in the classroom.
If you have been implementing Logic of English in your classroom, tutoring center, or homeschool and would like to share your ideas, please contact us through our website.
* Mrs. Neher attended a three-hour training called The Logic of English for Elementary Teachers at the fall district-wide inservice for Rochester Public Schools. It is exciting to see how she has implemented the ideas presented in the workshop in her classroom and the difference it is making in the lives of her students.
For more information about how to teach high-frequency words see: Sounding out the Sight Words.