I thought I'd share my most current uses of Wordle
First - Teacher Planning: I was just assigned a student teacher. To help her comprehend the "big ideas" of our state core, we pasted the sections of the core she will teach into Wordle. When the Wordle was created, the maximum number of words was lowered to 35 from the "Layout menu." This helped her see the main ideas she should spend the most time on during her teaching time in my classroom.
Second - Student Formative Assessment: To determine what my new seventh grade students comprehended about science I asked them to create a list (on paper) of what they thought of when they heard the word "Science." Students were given about four minutes to brainstorm individually. Students then got into groups of two or three. They used the computers to go to Wordle and enter all the words on each person's list. They were reminded if more than one person used the same word (for example if two of three students in a group had the word "frog" on their paper) the word was to be entered in multiple times in Wordle. Students then created and printed out their Wordle to share with the class. I quickly could see what words were common because they were large on each Wordle. (By the way I learned most of my students lack a basic understanding of Science from this activity !)
Third - Student Note Check: Biology students watched a video on "Genetically Modified Foods." During the video, I asked them to write up each word they heard that was related to the concept of "Genetically Modified Foods." They were also informed that if a word was used more than once a "tally mark" should be used to indicate how many times the word was used. Students got into groups of two or three. Using Wordle, these students then entered their combined lists online (we reviewed the basics of copy and paste as some words were used WAY too many times to key them in!) Students were SHOCKED when their Wordle did not have as many words as had been manually entered. Each class had at least one student who identified that words that were used more became much larger in the Wordle. Students then had a smaller list of terms they should understand and be able to use relating to the concept.
Fourth - Helping a Language Arts Teacher: My friend recently had his students write an essay. When the essay was complete, students pasted it into Wordle. As students reviewed their Wordle, they recognized some words were larger than others. My friend used this to help them understand that words used more often are larger than words used less often. He challenged students to look at the words that were largest and decide if these had significant meaning. Several students approached him later and said they did not know how often they used some words in the essay. Their writing dramatically improved as they explored ways to develop language skills through Wordle.
I'm interested in hearing your ideas on how students can use Wordle in ways that motivate and engage them.