I have always thought that Wordles (or word clouds) were fun and interesting. However, I have never thought of them as “useful” until today when I read Becky’s Wordle Post. Inspired, I scoured the net and found out from Free Technology For Teachers that you can create Wordle-like word clouds inside Google Document Spreadsheets! Google Documents has a “Word Cloud Gadget” that will turn your entire page, or even just select cells, into a word cloud. You can pick any words that you want to exclude and even chose the number of word that you want to use for your word cloud.
I instantly thought of the anonymous student survey that I gave to my 6th grade class. I loved reading their thoughts and meant to summarize their answers but did not get around to it. The Word Cloud was a perfect visual summary of how my students felt about their math class.
Since you can pick any cell in your Google Spreadsheet, I decided to focus on one question, “Please tell me something (or things) that you enjoy that we do in this math class.” Here is the Word Cloud generated from that question.
I enjoyed seeing the words love, math, and projects. The projects jumped right out at me! This is my first time teaching in a project intensive school. This Word Cloud zeros in the fact that students are feeing a love of math in my class, and it is because of the projects that I have created. Since my goal is for all students to love math, I obviously need to get busy and create more projects.
My goal for this summer has been to create interesting projects for each unit. It has been a hectic summer, and I haven’t gotten as far as I would have hoped. However, I am determined to develop at least one interesting project per unit. If you have any great projects from 6th grade – algebra I, please include the link in the comments or email me. After this word cloud, projects are my new number one summer priority.