As part of my orientation this week, I talked with my students about the importance of words. No surprise there, I am always calling on them to "wordsmith" and detail their writing. After reading a book about words (Max's Words or The Boy Who Collected Words), and then talking about the kinds of books we like to read, I brought up the website "Wordle" on the Smartboard. (This is one of the sites on AASL's Top 25 websites for Teaching and Learning.) I had each student give me one word to describe the kind of book they liked to read. Once everyone had a turn, we created a word cloud. The kiddos loved it! We followed it up with ideas of ways to use Wordle in class. They had great ideas.
Now that each class has visited, I have 16 word clouds and I am making a quilt of these clouds to show what our students think about reading. In a week, the school board will be having their September meeting in our school, and they will pass this display and the blurb that describes this process of using 21st century tools.
One of my goals this year is to model the teaching and learning websites by using them with students myself, I'm off to a good start!