Tag Archives: printables

Tagxedo — Word Clouds with a Twist!


Many students are visual learners and the benefits of using word clouds and sites such as Wordle are well known.  A student being able to create word clouds and maps to see the relative importance through frequency of words in a document, or their own overuse of words in a paper or essay is a fabulous tool.  But is there a way to allow them to change it up a bit, and perhaps allow a little more customization?  Yes – with Tagxedo!

Tagxedo allows students and you to copy in text from anywhere and customize your shape, font, theme, and size.  Students can upload their own images to use as a template, or choose from the pre-set templates within the program.  The cloud at the top of the post is taken directly from the text on the front page of NJBiblio, and this is the Gettysburg Address:

Try using Tagxedo as you would any other word cloud.  Have students create character summaries of books with a picture of the character or key trait, create a keyword visual of important news events, check their own writing for overused words or phrases, compare two pieces of writing, or even have them use their own picture to create a personality trait map.  All clouds can be saved as images, shared with many common Web 2.0 and social media programs, or printed out.

If you need ideas on how to Tagxedo (or any word cloud program) check out the 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo through Google Docs.

Feel free to post and share any clouds you build, or share how you’ve used them in your program here, on my Facebook, or through my Twitter!

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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PrintFriendly — Make Any Website Printer Friendly


You found a great site with information that you want to use in your class as a reading, a news article, perhaps, but there is no print friendly option!  Those ads and sidebar items are everywhere and don’t even get me started on the 15 pages worth of comments! – What to do??  Try to grab just what you need.

This site is extremely easy to use and can help you cu the clutter that otherwise would appear in a hard copy of a website, or even in a PDF version.  Simply copy and past the URL of the site you want to print into PrintFriendly and be taken instantly to a printer friendly version of the text – no sidebars, no ads, no comments – only the core text!  Are there pieces of the text you would rather not see?  Simply hover your mouse over them and click to delete.  This also works well with pictures that might be unnecessary to you. (I use this site all the time to print out recipes with step-by-step photo instructions and delete those to converse paper.)  There is also the option to save your print friendly version as a PDF or to email it for future use.

If you have the capability, download their extension or hotlink button for your web browser and have PrintFriendly options available with one click.  We’re all being asked to find ways to cut back and save money where possible.  While it’s only pennies per page, an option like this can still help you to do your part to save some funds within your district for more vital materials down the line.

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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Tips & Tricks, Websites


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I love that idea!!


Think of this site as a Pinterest for teachers, without the images, and definitely without all the mouthwatering dinners and baked goods (as tempting as they are).

I Love That Teaching Idea serves as an online collection of teacher created ideas, lessons, topics, and handouts that are free and ready to use in your classroom as soon as you print them out or view them.  Covered is every subject area as well as more general topics such as classroom management, general assessments, and character education among others.  While the suggested grade levels for the materials are generally in the K-6 range, they could be adapted easily for high school students as well.

The ideas presented are submitted by educators for review and have been utilized successfully in other classrooms.  Everything on the site is free for education use, as per their terms and conditions, so feel free to print and run with anything without fear of infringement.

My only criticism of the site is the organization within the subjects.  It appears as though new resources are aded in the ordern in which they were submitted and not by subtopic, or even alphabetically for an easy search or skim through.  However, don’t let that deter you: as you plan this weekend, give I Love That Teaching Idea a peek for a new activity or perhaps an idea for how to tweak your own.

Potential use in the classroom:  As a teacher resource for new activities and plans.

Recommended grade levels:  K-6, lower level middle school and can be adapted for high school.

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Websites


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Graphic Organizers from Vermilion Parish

Graphic Organizers

We all know that some students are better visual learners and that giving any student a way to organize their information is always a benefit.  This site is a great go-to resource for finding just the right graphic organizer for your class and your students.

No matter what the subject area, these ready to print graphic organizers are pretty darned handy!  Some interactive organizers are also available, such as story maps, timelines, and Venn diagrams – perfect for allowing students to work as a group with your projector or independently with their own computers, staying green at the same time.  Can’t find anything you like, try the “Graphic Organizer Generator” to create your own!

While this site isn’t really visually appealing, it makes up for it in the amount of content it will provide you for your class.  Most of the organizers are hosted off site, so make sure you can access them and have the ability to print from the Internet to take full advantage of the site’s offerings.

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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Websites


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