Friday, June 28, 2013

Wordle Fun!

I have been on summer break for a while now, so I won't be blogging about happenings in my classroom because honestly, I want to be able to focus my mind on Summer Fun! Woo-hoo! :) But, there is one idea that I did for my students at the end of the year that they really seemed to enjoy. You may have already heard about Wordles, but if you haven't, you can use them for so many different things in your classroom. I love me some Wordles! What is a Wordle? Well, a Wordle is a grouping of words, a word cloud. The more times a word(s) is entered, the larger the word appears in the Wordle. You do have to have Java script downloaded.

Here is what the page looks like where you enter the word(s).

Use #1- In lieu of KWL chart
The first time I used Wordles in my classroom, we were beginning our unit on Paul Revere. I wanted to see what my students already knew about this historical figure, and my students and I were all over KWL charts. So, I decided to give Worlde a try. I had my students each come up to my computer and type in 1-4 words that they felt described Paul Revere. It could be an adjective to describe him (such as brave), or it could be a word(s) associated with him (such as Boston Tea Party). Usually I don't step in and correct my students' spelling, but I did in this case because the words need to be spelled correctly so Wordle can accurately determine how many of the same words were used (you'll see why this is important in a moment). After all my students had typed in their words, I hit "Go" and the Wordle was created! I printed it out and placed it on our board so students could see it during our unit. After our unit, we created another Wordle, and I must say, this Wordle was a lot different! It was a great way to see what my students remembered about Paul Revere, and they thought it was fun. It was pretty cool to compare the before and after Wordle, too.

Use #2- After/during staff development trainings

I also used Wordles after (or in between sessions) staff development trainings. I would ask each participant to come up and type 1-4 words to describe something we had just learned about, and then I would create a Wordle from that. It helped me to see what they thought was important from the training, so if it differed vastly from what I thought was important, I could adjust accordingly for next time.

Use #3- Bucket Fillers

Another way I used Wordle, and this is my FAV way to use it, was at the end of the year. I passed out a copied page that had all of my students's names on it. I asked my students to write 1-4 words to describe each of their classmates. Positive descriptions only, please! Once they were finished, I collected the pages, and this is the tedious part, I typed to compile all of their descriptions on a Word document. If there was a duplicate word(s), I typed it in how ever many times it appeared. Then I just copied and pasted each description into Wordle and pushed "Go". I could then use different options to change the font, color, layout, etc. to make it just the way I wanted it for each student. I also used "fun" paper to print out each one instead of plain white paper.

Yes, it did take a little bit of time to type up each description and to create each Wordle and play with it until I liked it and print each one out. But it was SO worth it. When each child received his/her Wordle, you could see the smiles grow as they read what their classmates thought about him/her. As I looked at each Wordle, my smile grew, too, because I knew that each child was going to receive something to keep that when they were having a rough day, they could look at and know that they are special. They each had a little bucket-filler in their hand, that they could read whenever they needed a pick-me-up. I had a few parents who said they were going to frame their child's Wordle. Huh, why didn't I think of that? Maybe next time :)

Here are examples of a Wordle. The website has a gallery that you can browse to get an idea of how they can look.

These are just a few uses for Wordle, and I hope you will be able to use Wordle, too. If you have a different way of using Wordle, please let me know. I am always up for new ideas!

Thanks for reading!
2 Brainy Apples


  1. Such creative uses for the Wordle! Love the Bucket Filler idea the best!
    The Puzzle Den

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading! The bucket filler is my fav, too, & the kids' fav :)

  2. Love the idea of using it for important staff development words! Thanks!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

    1. You're welcome! I hope you will be able to use it in that way, too. The teachers actually liked being able to type in what they took away from it because it is immediate feedback for me and they can see what each other thought. It helps to promote discussion for after breaks.

  3. Love WORDLE but have never thought of using it in the ways you suggested. Great post.
    Creating Lifelong Learners

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Wordle is pretty popular, but I love learning new ways to use it :)

  4. I like your first two ideas - nice way to visualize concepts. I do something very similar to your Bucket Filler idea. I have students jot down positive attributes for every student and I create and frame a Wordle for each of them as an end-of-the-year gift. YOu can see how they turned out here:

    1. Don't you think the kids love their Wordles more than any other award? Mine sure do because it is so personal and makes them feel good about themselves :) I can't wait to see how yours turned out !

  5. I love also! I've used it several times throughout the year with my 4th graders. I love how you used it as a KWL and then compared it to the end of the lesson for students to see how much knowledge they gained. I also did something very similar to your Bucket Filler activity too.

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yeah, we were a little tired of KWL...I don't even know why Wordle popped into my head, but I'm glad it did! Enjoy your summer!

  6. These are some great suggestions -- and ones I've never tried before! Thanks so much for sharing. I'll definitely integrate some of these into my lessons next year!
    Eberopolis: Teaching Reading & Writing with Technology

  7. Thanks for sharing such great ideas! I have never used Wordle, but now I am excited to use it next year!

  8. Oh I LOVE the idea of using a Wordle in place of the KWL chart! I'm so doing that next year, thanks! I'm your newest follower!

    Grooving Through Fourth Grade

  9. They are some good recommendations -- as well as types I have in no way attempted prior to! Many thanks a lot with regard to discussing. I will certainly incorporate a few of these in to my personal training following 12 months!
    lol elo boost

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