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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thing 18: Words of Wisdom

Two of my favorite tools featured here as a combined thing 18. 
Wordle is a cloud tool which allows you to take any text and create a cloud.  You can generate a list, cut and paste a text or even write phrases in order to create a beautiful cloud image.

Here is one of our Junkie Blog:

Yes you can even take your blog or RSS feed and turn it into a word cloud!  WOW!

Wordle allows you to print your cloud upon creation but does not have a save feature.  If you want to save you can post to the gallery for all to see.  Warning-there is no search feature!

You can though, take a screen shot of your wordle and then use a cropping tool in a program like Microsoft Picture Manager to create a clean jpeg of your wordle and use it like any other image.

Watch this brief slideshow of classroom applications of wordle:
The second word cloud tool is called tagxedo.  This is very similar to wordle except you are able to shape your cloud.  For example, students would write a Valentine to a friend and then using tagxedo create a cloud in the shape of a heart or write a biography of George Washington and shape their cloud as his profile.
Tech-tivity Week 7 Thing 18:
Option A:

1.  Go to wordle and CREATE a word cloud about wordle applications.
Follow this format-typing enter after each phrase or word:
a.       Type "wordle~in~the~classroom " 3 times [the more you type a word or phrase the bigger it will be in your cloud.]
b.      Type 4 adjectives to describe wordle.
c.       Type 3 two-three word classroom application phrases [you must put a ~ in between words to keep them together]
d.      Type 2 words to describe your feelings about usability of wordle.
2. Now click GO and play around with the design features or RANDOMIZE button.
3. Once you have decided on design you need to SAVE.  Notice there is no save button.  You will need to take a screen shot of your wordle. Here’s how:
            a. Make sure your internet browser is maximized and you are displaying your wordle.
            b. On your teacher county issued laptop, locate the key F11.  You will see PRNT SCRN
in blue writing.  Every keyboard on a PC has a print screen shortcut key.  What this does is take a picture of your screen as you see it and place it on your clipboard.
            c. Hold down FN and press F11.  [If you are using a desktop or your home desktop you
                        may not need to hold down FN.  There is a PRNT SCRN button probably near the
                        upper right of your keyboard.]
e.        Go to START MENU of your computer select ACCESSORIES and find the program PAINT.
f.       Open PAINT and then click EDIT from the MENU BAR and click PASTE.
g.      Your screen shot should appear on the paintboard.
h.      Now you need to SAVE your picture.  When you save make sure you change the file from BIT to JPEG and change the location to your DESKTOP for easy locating.
i.        Now go to your DESKTOP and RIGHT CLICK on the file you saved.  OPEN with MICROSOFT PICTURE MANAGER.  Select PICTURE in the menu bar and select CROP.  Move the black markers around the picture to get rid of the unwanted borders for a clean picture of your wordle.
j.        Now SAVE your file and you have a clean image without the whole screen!!  Seems like a whole lot to steps but it is easy and quick!
4.Post your wordle on your blog as Week 7 Thing 18.


Option B
1.      Go to tagxedo.com and click START NOW to make your word cloud of our Junkie blog.
2.      Click on LOAD.
3.      Type or copy and paste the URL http://technologyjunkiegroup.blogspot.com where it says WEBSITE.  Click SUBMIT.
4.      X out of the load screen and then you can play around with the color features and shapes.
5.      When you are satisified with the shape and color select SAVE.
6.      Copy the html code snippet and embed on to your blog labeled Week 7 Thing 18.
7.  Post any reflections you have about these two tools and how you can use them in the classroom.


Ms. McGinn said...

I had a teacher come in today and we made a tagxedo for Mother's Day. Students had a lot of fun creating and making a word heart for their mom. Complete with similes and all!!

Sharon V said...

The possibilities are unlimited. What a great way for students to create an image of themselves using words to describe things they like and enjoy. They can also use either of these to describe science concepts.

I'm wondering how I could use colors to write synonyms and antonyms or maybe I'm thinking of opposites. I would like synonyms to be one color and antonyms to be another color. The students could put several of each and then print it out. Would it then be possible to have the other students identify which ones go together?

It will just take time to experiment. Students would not hesitate to try and make it work.

K. Michelle said...

I used tagxedo and had a bit of trouble getting the embed code, so I just saved the image as a jpeg and put it on my blog as an image. It still worked, but I need to play with this tool some more! I love all of the different shapes, color groups, and fonts. Fun!

Sue said...

I also had trouble with the embed code on tagxedo and I couldn't seem to copy my image with my print screen when on Wordle. Any suggestions?

Ms. McGinn said...

@Sue: Are you using the district laptop? If so follow the directions above and you will be just fine. Let me know which step you are stumped be specific-so I can target the solution.

stageforlearning said...

Students will love the capability of having the same info, but it taking on a different look. Students this year experimented in wordle with spelling words and key vocabulary. Next year I will have them use this tool during literacy centers.

Señora Sarasua said...

I had troube with Wordle (computer would not allow applications) and Tagxedo was easier but embed code was, at first, confusing, but I finally got it! Students can use these tools for vocabulary practice, key words/concepts, any assignment where they can manipulate words in a creative manner!

Time4Sail said...

I can see my students loving using Wordle for vocabulary words, brainstorming, creating concept maps....and much more. Love the idea of making the wordle into a shape. Thanks for sharing :)

Katy said...

I used Wordle a lot in the media center this year, mostly for spelling words, words related to a unit of study, holiday fun, etc. I liked to create a wordle and display it when introducing a new topic, letting the students get clues to what we'd be studying. At Chritmas I pasted the text to The Night Before Christmas and had the students guess the poem. It was interesting to see which words appeared most often. In the coming school year I'm going to have students use it when brainstorming keywords - they hate this boring research step, but it's so imperative! I'll let them print out the wordle and keep it in their research file. On a personal note, I used Wordle to create my daughter's college graduation party announcement!

mkj said...

I will have to practice some more with Wordle. Tagxedo was so very simple. This could be fun for an All About Me activity when we review vocabulary for personal characteristics, but it could be used for any vocabulary theme.

Late Comer said...

I have seen Wordle used by many students in many classes. In the center, I enjoy making Wordles to create interest about a new book (Sunshine State Books) or use a Wordle to advertise recommended books about a topic or theme. I have students use Wordle and Tagxedo for graphic introductions to research projects as well as book talks.

celliott said...

We used wordle last year as an icebreaker for my preschool student teachers so we could learned more about each other. We then shared the individual posters. The girls also used wordle to design the preschool's t-shirt. I liked being able to make shapes in tagxedo, but could not find the embed code either; however, it worked as an uploaded image.

Mme Augat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andrews3 said...

These 2 tools were fun to use and I can see students using them in many activities. I thought Tagxedo was very simple and loved browsing through the shapes & color menus. I did have trouble with cropping in wordle...well actually, I cropped about 5 times, but when I saved it, it wasn't cropped. And I had trouble embedding the html code in Tagxedo, so I did what other students did and saved it as a jpeg, then uploaded the image. And yes, I am using my school laptop.

christine said...

I have worked with Wordle before but I had not heard of Tagxedo. I liked being able to pick a shape. I can see me creating one for the beginning of the year with things we will be doing in 3rd grade and having it up for meet the teacher day. Also, type in each of your students' names for a door display. (A teacher did that and got alot of comments on it)

Holly said...

I chose to explore tagxedo for this assignment and found it to be really neat. Although, I haven't created anything in wordle I plan to do so ( just need a little break now) I do appreciate the slides on 25 ways to use wordle in the classroom and I love everyones thoughts on how they plan to use it in their own roomsI

Mary Jo said...

I did the wordle, fun - no problems!
I also tried the tagxedo, even more fun but problems with saving.
I click on the save button and then I run into problems. I can't get the embed code. I used the print screen function to copy my steps. I'll send it to you in an e-mail. Thanks!

Mrs. Jacobsen said...

I like using Wordle. I was using it to crete a Word search type of activity. As an example I typed in long vowel a words and short vowel a words. I then had students circle only the long vowel a words that they found. I loved the idea of a classroom polling that can be done right then and there. Wordle in the classroom. I tried Tagxedo during Tech Week. As a person who loves wordgames and word puzzles, these websites appeal to me on so many levels!

cathycity said...

I tried to play with both Wordle and Tagxedo. I couldn't get Wordle to work after trying several times. I kept getting a page of suggestions, but I'll have to be in a more relaxed mood before I "play" with that!

I thought making the tagxedo was very easy, and I enjoyed playing with all the options. I had trouble, as others mentioned also, with copying the html code. Never could get it after many tries and asking for help. I finally saved my image as a jpeg and imported it into my blog that way. Pretty easy -- finaly!

I can see using either of these applications to present theme words when introducing guidance lessons. Worth the time spent on learning about them.

Gizbe said...

As a fourth grade teacher, brainstorming can be very laborious for students, this would be a fun way to begin brainstorming.

Debra said...

I enjoyed both Wordle and Tagxedo programs. Both are great for language arts skills and easy to use. I did have problems saving my snippit code for embedding, but I have learned to just do an internet search with the problem...and came across a "how to" site for embedding Tagxedo. Someone else had the same problem I did and "yes" there is an answer. You would left click on the code, hit Ctrl-A (to select all) and then hit Ctrl-C (to copy). Go to your document and hit Ctrl-V to paste.

Wright's Rippers said...

I found tagxedo tough at first because of finding the code but finally got it. I do love wordle but it was nice to pick the shape. I will use it with my firsties this year.

Cool Beans said...

I loved wordle immediately and enjoyed making some word clouds from my curriculum map. I copied and pasted some Science vocabulary words to create a display. Then I did the same for social studies. I thought it would be a great way for parents to get an idea of upcoming topics of study.
Next I tried tagxedo which seemed even better than wordle. I was so excited to create a door sign featuring my students' names in the shape of a star. I wish they printed out as pretty as they look on the computer screen.