Word walls are SO important in today’s diverse schools.  They make academic vocabulary visible to your students, exposing them daily to the words they need to succeed in class.  Word walls are a necessary component to any classroom, but they can be tedious and difficult to keep up with if you have lots of new vocabulary with each unit, not to mention, printing them, hanging them, referring to them…  it’s a job in and of itself.  Wasting paper, pulling staples, pulling hair out of your head trying to figure out a better way. Whatever your method of building science word walls, we have something to help make your life a little easier.  It’s called FELT and VELCRO.  We know, we know… sounds CRAZY, right?!?!

Our secret is brought to you by Mel’s wonderful sister-in-law, Gwen, who is an outreach program teacher for the soil and water district in her county.  She uses it to teach about The Lorax, but we use it as an easy implementation of our ever-changing word wall.

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Step 1:  Obtain several yards of felt fabric and a package of sticky back Velcro (you only need the hook side) from your local fabric store. Here’s our favorites from Amazon (affiliate links):
Step 2:  Print out, write, draw, create, or even purchase your word wall posters or strips and laminate them so they’re protected for years to come.
Step 3:  Hang the felt on your bulletin board, from your ceiling, or wherever you have space using staples, Velcro, or whatever means necessary. Hang as level as possible but don’t worry about the rough edges of your felt – cover it up with a fun boarder. Swap the border out throughout the year by attaching it with velcro the same as you would use on your vocabulary.
Step 4:  Apply the Rough side of your Velcro to the back of your word wall strips. They usually come in strips or circles – we like to conserve and cut the velcro circles in half. Use multiple pieces of velcro if your words are extra long or if you are hanging up something mounted to foam board.
Word wall construction can be a lifesaver if you know the tricks - Getting Nerdy Science
Step 5:  Stick your word wall strips to your felt wall!  Organize your words in a way they make sense to you and your kids and you’re done! Need to change it?  No problem!  Just pull off your old words and put up new ones.  Wanna make it interactive?  You can!  We use ours all the time to take words or pictures off and talk about them, move them around and make them relate to one another.  Reuse it year after year – it truly is an eco-friendly tool!
WORD to the teacher!

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