What is a bump it up wall and how does it help students with writing?

What is a bump it up wall and how does it help students with writing?

Have you ever heard of a bump it up wall? It's like a special roadmap that helps students become better writers. Let's dive into what a bump it up wall is and how students can use them to improve their writing skills.

What is a Bump It Up Wall?

A bump it up wall is a visual aid placed on a classroom wall. It features various writing samples, with each sample highlighting the elements included in that particular piece of writing. With each writing sample, more features are progressively included.

Students want to get better at writing. But they don't know what they don't know. They rely on their teachers to give feedback on what they could do to improve their writing. This is where the bump it up wall comes in.

How to teach students to use the bump it up wall

First, you need to explicitly teach students how to use the bump it up wall. I like to sit the class in front of the wall, and show them how to use it.

We talk about the first writing sample, and all the things that have been included in that sample (the I can include statements). 

We then talk about the next writing sample, and discuss what makes it different from the first. We'd keep going along the samples. 

As we review each 'I can include' statement, I highlight the corresponding pictures that represent those success criteria. For example, "Oh look, the picture of the finger represents finger spaces between words. That makes sense". 


Modelling how to use the bump it up wall

Next, I model how to use the wall.

I write a simple sentence, then take my writing to the wall to compare with the writing samples. I say things like, "I've drawn a picture, I've written some words, I've used spaces between words. I think my writing is the same as this example (the yellow one). Hmmm, I want to improve my writing. Let's look at that next sample to see what they have included that I haven't put in mine. Let's see. They started the sentence with a capital letter and ended with a full stop. I can add that to mine! That way I'll improve my writing!" 

Students are encouraged to continually refer to the bump it up wall, to see how they can 'bump' their writing up to the next level. They get up out of their seats and go and interact with the wall. If students don't interact with it, it may as well be wallpaper. So going to the wall is encouraged in my class.

Pro tip: Keep the display low to the ground so students can easily see it. 

What makes this bump it up wall unique?

When I initially searched for a bump it up wall for my students, I couldn't find one that met all my criteria. So I made one.

Here's what I love about this one. 

🌸 It has been made specifically for Prep/Kindergarten students. Many bump it up walls cater for a range of year levels. But like all my other resources, it has been made with Preppies in mind

🌸 It’s full of visuals so even beginner writers can use it. (E.g. they may not be able to read finger spaces but they can ‘read’ the matching visual)

🌸 The growth is simply shown by the flowers becoming higher. The words “good, great, excellent” have no place in a bump it up wall in my opinion! Imagine being a little child who has tried their absolute best, to be told that their work is good. Yet the child next to them is told their is brilliant. How sad would that first child feel.  I think that children should feel like valued writers, no matter what level they're working at. 

🌸 It’s pretty. I know it shouldn’t matter, but the fact that it’s a pretty display whilst also being functional is a lovely bonus!

You can also edit the text to say whatever suits your classroom. E.g. if you say ‘tricky words’ instead of ‘heart words’, you can use the editable PowerPoint to make your adjustments.

Ready to empower your young writers to reach their goals? Give a bump it up wall a try in your classroom.

Check out the bump it up wall here (Prices in AUD)

Prefer the Teachers Pay Teachers link? Click here (Prices in USD)

Want to help your child with reading but unsure where to start?

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