Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Word Clouds & Word Cloud Generators

A Word Cloud is a graphical representation of word frequency.

A Word Cloud Generator is a tool that can be used to create visualizations from blocks of text. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more often in the text.

Word Clouds can be used to help students vary word choice in their own writing by highlighting words they use frequently. They can also be used to highlight themes in text by giving greater prominence to words that appear most often.

Most Word Cloud Generators allow you to personalize your cloud with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

Below are a couple of Word Cloud Generator options.

For Google Chrome:



For PC:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Graphic Organizers are a wonderful writing tool. Every teacher I know has a favorite way to use and/or teach about Graphic Organizers. I want to throw a new option into the mix.

MindMeister is a multi-platform Graphic Organizer or Mind Mapping tool. It is available on the web: https://www.mindmeister.com/ as well as a free app: https://goo.gl/T5heba. It also allows for creation using a Google Docs Add-On.

MindMeister’s biggest limitation to the Basic (free) subscription is the number of Graphic Organizers you can store. You are limited to 3 Mind Maps at a time. You can delete old ones and add new ones but you are limited to three active, editable maps per subscription, at one time.

MindMeister has a large number of great options. One of my favorite is the variety of templates available. There is a template for Reading Comprehension as well as for Lesson Planning.

There is a great YouTube channel that contains short lessons on using MindMeister. Each clip is under 3 minutes long. Check out the YouTube channel at MindMeister Tutorial Videos.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning is proven to improve the reading abilities of students. Captioning is one way you can provide struggling readers with additional print exposure which is proven to help improve foundational reading skills.

The use of closed captioned television shows and movies is one way in which we can motivate and engage our students to help build and improve phonics, word recognition, and fluency. Closed Captioning is a function of almost every television found in homes across the United States. Closed Captioning, or subtitles, is also a feature required for all educational videos to be considered Accessible for all learners.

“By watching closed-captioned television, students consistently score higher on written tests than students in any other group.”