Walk into almost any classroom and you will most likely see a word wall of some fashion. It may be a list of sight words, spelling words, labels, challenging words, or vocabulary words. You will most likely see posters with a famous inventor, artist, or leader on it. Alongside the picture will be a paragraph all about who they are and what they did. There can be a lot words in a classroom and it can be overwhelming if not purposeful.
I have been reflecting on classrooms and how inviting they are to students who have difficulty reading and writing. I have not only been thinking about what are on the walls, but what activities and lessons are being taught. Are they using paper and pencil? Their computers? Voice translating devices? Are there rules they have to follow?
I think often times we as teachers feel overwhelmed ourselves with the amount that is expected of us. At least I can say as a new teacher that there are many ways I would like to improve my practice; however, for now I am doing my best with every area I am being pulled. It is easier to lower your expectation of a student than to find the resources to help them engage.
The other day in Dr. K’s class we talked about many resources to students and effective ways to implement them in your classroom. There are many spelling predictor apps or programs, voice technologies, organizers and many others that invite students to write. The end goal is to help students who have difficulties write, so id paper and pencil is too large of a barrier or too stifling, teachers should search for a new avenue to help students grow.
I hope to continuously invest more in my students to teach them in the most effective way with effective practice. I hope to create an environment for them to feel invited and be a part of the learning community.