If you recall, I've mentioned a few times that my oldest child has ADHD. He's completely brilliant and his teachers are always asking me how he knows so many things and have often joked that my son could have taught one of the lessons they had discussed that day. When you have ADHD, even though it may be difficult to focus on some tasks- especially those you don't like, you can focus a great deal on something that you do like and it's something that the child or adult is going to retain pretty much forever.
(Funny example of remembering something forever: When my son was three, his cousin who had just turned three a month later, had a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. After the big giant mouse came out to sing and dance to "Happy Birthday" with us, we all stopped to take pictures. My son had accidentally got knocked over by the mouse and then when the mouse tried to help him back up, he got bumped in the eye by Chuck-e's nose. From this day, my son still remembers it and will tell us whenever we drive by, "You can never trust a mouse". So maybe he remembers that because it was a little traumatic, but hey, he still remembers it and he had just turned three.)
So what did I do? I went to Pinterest and I tried to find some fun games and learning activities to try. I had even made up my own board game with Velcro pieces, but it was too complicated and time consuming for his age to sit down and learn and no one else wanted to play.
So I had to find something that worked and when I did, it was amazing! Have you ever heard of a Word Wall? I hadn't, but it looked like something easy to do so I tried it.
This one has been well used and needs an update. Today I thought I would show you how to make this, how to use this, and tell you why it works.
Why Does This Board Work?
According to what my son's teacher said at curriculum night, studies have shown that repetition is one of the best ways to learn. Practice makes perfect. Have you ever taken the same route to work and back home every day? What happens? There have been times when I get somewhere and I barely remember the trip there because I've driven it so much that my mind and body drives for me. It's called going on auto-pilot. That's why, when you change up that habit, you sometimes miss a turn you were supposed to turn on because you're used to going somewhere else.
When this is applied to learning, your child will see the word, they'll say the word, and then forget the word.... unless you show them again and again and again. One day, or maybe just a few minutes later, that word is remembered. Then you mix up the order and see if they still remember it. For more details and better explanations, you can see what Reading Bright Star has to say about this.
How to Use This Board?
Here is a video on how to use it. You'll have to excuse my breathing, allergens are high in this area and I didn't realize how stuffy I sounded when I was making this video.
For those who can't watch the video:
1. Put all of the cards in slot one.
2. Have your child read it. If they can, put that card in slot two. If they can't put it into slot 1. Do it again tomorrow.
3. Start with slot 2. If your child can read that word, move it to slot 3. If they can't, you can do one of two things. You can keep it in slot two to try tomorrow, or you can move it back a slot. Do it again tomorrow.
4. Now we have some cards in slot three. Start with that slot. If they can read it, put the card into slot 4. If they can't, you can decide to do one of three things. You can put that card back into slot three and they can try tomorrow, you can move it back a slot, or you can have your child start that card all over again.
5. The goal is to have your child read that word from slot 1 to slot 7. I recommend putting a missed word either in the slot before or start right back at slot 1 so they have to read it correctly 7 days in order to have it completely memorized. If they don't know it on day 3, but know it on day 4, they still had a day they missed it. It's up to you.
How to Put It Together:
What you need:
1. Poster Board- I used a black one because I like how it looks with the neon colors. My poster board is also thick and kind of foam like so it is more sturdy.
|This was, unfortunately the best looking board at Walmart. I was sad that it had |
some dents and scrapes on it, but most of it can be covered up.
4 . 4 3/4''x 6 1/2'' envelopes. They don't have to be that exact size, but make sure they are more square then the regular letter size envelopes because it will be hard to fit the index cards in, otherwise.
5. Index cards
Step 1. Title
The first thing you're going to want to do is decide what you want the title of your board to be and then write it.
Don't forget to watch the video, above to learn how to use the word wall. It's really easy to do and this has been the BEST tool that I've used for my son. I hope that this will work for you as well!
What learning tools have you used for your children? Is this something that you think you'd enjoy using? Stay tuned for some learning material in learning to help your child multiply and divide in an upcoming post!