. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: Wordled Bits

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wordled Bits

I had fun yesterday! I was at the Cue Conference in Palm Springs, CA. It's a 3-day conference for teacher nerds just like me who like to use technology in our classrooms. I could only attend one day, but that was more than I could handle as it was.

The place was packed!

(Word must have gotten out somehow that I was going to be there. I'm going to have to talk to my people about that one.)

Thankfully, my throngs of fans graciously acted as if they didn't recognize me...

...at all.

...in any way.

...like I was a nobody.

...even AFTER I asked many of them if they thought I looked like that gifted blogger Edna Lee.

Every one of them spared me the embarrassment of being recognized in public by pretending to be confused by the question.

SooooOOOOOoooo, it was easier for me to focus on all the great information being shared by techie educators from all over.

Thank you fans. I understand [wink] and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

My teaching partners (aka my "security team") and I had several criteria that we used to select which sessions to attend, since there were hundreds to choose from.

1. What we learned had to be about things that are free, meaning cost no dough, to use.

2. We need to be able to implement them with minimal prep time.

3. Our session selections should give us ideas to make our teaching easier not more complicated.

And one that came up in several of the sessions we attended was Wordle. You can make word clouds from documents or web sites. This a Wordle I made in two seconds use the URL to The Bits!

Ok. I was more like two hours, but that's only because I kept playing around with the fonts, layout and colors.

The larger words appear most often in the document used to create the Wordle. Smaller words appear less often.

As you can see, "pencils" are a big deal to me; "organization" not so much.

(No shock there.)

Applications for these little suckers, you ask?

Well, we thought you could use them for
  • Make Wordles using student essays to identify over-used words and encourage variety in word choice.
  • Brainstorm prior knowledge about content areas and focus on words that appear the smallest since those are the ones students know the least about.
  • Create Wordle of adjectives for an administrator or colleague (CAREFUL, now! Don't go getting yourself fired.)
  • Make a Wordle about your blog...
AND there are no restrictions on how you use your Wordle. Put 'em on t-shirts. Make a poster. Use 'em in the school paper.

Those were a few of our ideas, however I'm really more interested in your ideas. How can you see Wordle used in the classroom?

I really learned a lot at this conference. I'll try to share more of it in the coming weeks as I play around with all of it.

Happy Wordling!


Sarah Sary said...

I really appreciate the ideas for way to implement this website for learning. I first heard about this website from my school's art teacher. I love the idea of student pasting in their writing to find over used words! Thanks! I appreciate you sharing your learning from the conference. Sounds like a great experience!

On a Tangent said...

I love love LOVE Wordle! It's the greatest thing ever. However, I am a math teacher so there aren't too many ways that I use it in my classes right now.

Edna Lee said...

Hey On a Tangent!

There is a lot of academic vocabulary in math. You could collect all them in a given topic and Wordle them!

Just an idea.

Mrs. Asher said...

I love Wordle! I like the ideas you listed for how it can be used. At the beginning of each school year, I use Wordle to make my class list and hang it outside my classroom. It's not really an instructional use, but it looks cute. And let's be honest...that's what's important, right?

Edna Lee said...

I LIKE that I idea, Mrs. Asher! Thanks for sharing!

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas said...

My students love this site. They type in their spelling/word work and print their "wordle work of art" to take home!

Edna Lee said...


Fern, you're a genius.

LeeAnn 1229 said...

I like using Wordle for teaching Main Idea. For example you can cut and paste the president's speech and turn it into a Wordle, the "main idea" kind of pops off the page. This can also be done with stories, fairy tales, etc teaching characters for the younger grades.

Edna Lee said...

Hey LeeAnn!

Wordle for teaching Main Idea is a FANRIFFIC (fantastic + terrific) use of it!

Thanks for sharing!

KUStacey said...

Our librarian introduced us to Wordle a few years ago, and we all love it! My favorite project is a state project. They research a state in a particular region and use specific words from their research to create a Wordle. I also used them last year as an end of the year gift to my students with their names and words to describe them...of course, I had to eliminate some descriptions for a few rowdy boys in my room...

Edna Lee said...

Just wanted to share an idea a reader emailed to me. Rubi uses Wordle to make Mother's Day poems.

Thank, Rubi, for another wonderful idea!!