Tori Mazur
English as a Second Language, Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Presentation, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Vocabulary
Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
  • EL Teacher Network
  • ELA
  • ELD
  • ESL
  • Language of Language Arts
  • RL.1
  • el-teacher-network
  • esl
  • language-of-language-arts
  • rl-1
    Public Domain Dedication
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Graphics/Photos

    Education Standards

    At Home Word Walls for Distance Learning

    At Home Word Walls for Distance Learning


    I used the idea of the Virtual Word Wall from the Ready, Set, Coteach team. 

    This blank template is just a Google Slide with a table.  You can customize the numbers of rows or column, as well as anything else when you make your own copy.  

    I like consistency for the user experience, in this case, first grade English Learners.  So the colors stay the same and the format is the same each week.

    While mine focus on supporting our new adoption of HMH Into Reading, a virtual word wall can work in any content area, at any age level.  It could also be in a World Language setting. 


    While supporting ELs during remote learning, I read about the virtual word walls created by the Ready, Set, Coteach team and watched their tutorial video. I noticed our ELs were confused about questions during core instruction related to setting and other academic vocabulary.  

    My team is phenomenal about creating their digital slides ahead of the week's lesson during remote learning so I can see what is coming up.  It gives me an opportunity to consider what will need more support in small groups and also what could be a reinforcer at home.  

    Adapting the virtual word wall, I use icons from The Noun Project  and I took the advice from Allyson, John and Ashley by storing my audio recordings in a folder in Google Drive with permissions set to Anyone With the Link Can View.  

    During small group instruction, I practice using the At Home Word Wall with students.  We look at the icon, often add a hand gesture as we read the word, click on the speaker to hear the word ("to see if we read it correctly"), then cheer when we were right.  Then we discuss what they notice about the icon for that word.  We say the word again.  

    I send a link to the week's At Home Word Wall to families in our messaging system (currently ClassDojo) and encourage them to practice at home with the same steps.  I explain that we normally would have words on the wall in the classroom and learn about them, but they can have their own to talk about and practice reading.  

    This lesson plan template (orginally from Joy McLaughlin) is focused on Setting.  The word wall changes from week to week but the procedures are repetitive so students know what to expect and how to practice at home.   

    As Allyson, John and Ashley state, it's ideal to build this word wall WITH students, but time constraints of remote learning and having something readily available for home support is a challenge.  

    This could easily be adapted for the beginning of the ExC-ELL model (Dr. Margarita Calderón).  I would love to see any remixes of that!