February Favorites: Add to the Walls

strategy tips Feb 06, 2023

Favorite Strategy Extension: Add to the Walls

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.  Bright copper kettles and…

Ah, February is a month for favorite things! 

Favorite people. 

Favorite flowers.

And favorite strategy extensions.

A favorite conference presentation for teachers is when we present a strategy with extensions that go beyond the basics.  This year at NABE and WABE we’re focusing on extending Chants above and beyond with various Add to the Walls options.   



Today, we’re focusing on using Add to the Walls with Chants.  But the process works alongside any GLAD® chart: Pictorials, Found Poetry, you name it! 

Once a chant has been processed whole class, it's time for teams, partners and individuals to interact with the vocabulary and content through a variety of menu options called Add to the Walls. This strengthens student vocabulary usage and deepens content depth of knowledge in a differentiated setting.


Our 6 favorite Add to the Walls extensions are (drumroll please):



This is akin to the teacher highlighting the word a student called out when first processing a chart whole class.  Only in this case, the student is the one writing a selected word on a strip of paper and taping it on top of the original word on the chart.  



This is an effective way to promote primary language as well as multi literacy skills.  Students select a vocabulary word from the chart and write it on a strip of paper in another language.  They tape that word above or below the original word on the chart. 

Another option for monolingual students is to find a word and write a synonym for that word.  Tape the synonym above or below the word on the chart. 



We first model doing a word study when we're explicitly teaching vocabulary from our charts to the whole class.  At this point, students select a word, write out a word study on a strip of paper and tape it alongside the original word on the chart.   



Sketching enhances meaning.  Just as we’ve modeled showing pictures and sketches to add comprehensibility whole class, students create sketches on a square piece of paper and tape it alongside a vocabulary word on the chart. 



Our chants are chock full of content and interesting facts.  We might even include QR codes or write out  website links directly on the charts for students to do some additional research. 

In this Add to the Walls extension, students engage with those QR codes and watch the linked video, or article.  Or, they go to a research section in the classroom to further explore a concept presented in the chart. Students write their research discoveries on a square piece of paper, cite the source, and tape it on that section of the chart.



This option applies the content presented on the chart in a new form.  For example, with a math chant about the order of operations, students might demonstrate the order of operations alongside a specific problem and then tape that to the chart.  Or if you're using a chant to teach a letter of the alphabet, students could write/sketch a word beginning with that letter and add tape it on the chant.  


HINT: While we often have students add each of these extensions to the charts on a separate piece of paper, you can also opt for students to write directly on the chart.  


This video snippet explains each of these Add to the Walls extensions as it applies to chants.  The video is taken from Next Steps Acceleration 201: Building Vocabulary and the Next Steps Coaching Membership.  


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