That will never do!
So, if you are like me, you start trying to do some homework to figure out how the regular folks (classroom teachers) use their word wall.
Here is what I've found so far in my very hairy scary quick searches.
First I went to Pinterest and found this awesome blog called Excuse Me Mrs.C Which as it turns out was a great place to start.
Then I did some basic searches and came across a great site ALL about instructional strategies. This one is a site we should probably all keep in our back pocket when we go to meetings because it is one of those sites that can alleviate a great deal of confusion by providing common definitions to all of those instructional terms and methodologies we throw around at meetings expecting that everyone has the same definition. A site like this can create a shared understanding YAY! It's called Instructional Strategies and wouldn't you know it? They have a page dedicated to word walls and how to use them. At the bottom of the page there is an awesome bibliography. I bet your school already has copies of some of those books referenced in the site that you could take a closer look at.
Here is what I gleaned from my very quick read of these resources.
1. One very basic use of a word wall is to provide a reference point for students as they practice spelling and reading common words.
That is just fine if the words on your word wall are common..... but what if they are uncommon? or content specific words as most musical words are?
So I kept digging.
I came across a study that followed the use of word walls with older students study from the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy This article gives lots of insight in how to help students be meta-cognitive about how they use the word wall. Great Questioning strategies for older kiddos!
And then FINALLY, I found the article I had been seeking! An article about word walls in the music classroom Here it is. It was published in General Music Today , entitled Making Your Word Wall Work by Angela Leonhardt. AND it's AWESOME! VERY useful, VERY practical, and VERY easy to read!
So here are the things that I am going to do now that I am informed about how to use my word wall more effectively.
1. I'm going to take down the words that I haven't introduced.
2. I'm going to use my colorful small pocket charts to sort our current words by grade level. Then as words are introduced I will add them to the big word wall.
3. I'm going to provide an opportunity for students to personalize their word wall. Since my older students have music folders this will probably take the form of a paper added to their folder on which they can add words that we know. Except on their personal chart, we will have the words categorized by theme....i.e. rhythm words, tempo words, etc....With my younger students who don't yet have folders and who need the support, I'll have to be a little more creative. I'm sure that as the idea arrives, I'll share it on this blog....so stay tuned.