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Posts Tagged ‘Tagul’

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Last week I wrote about an idea I had for digital vocabulary using Tagul. I tried the idea with my students this week. I explained that they could use Tagul to make a word cloud about a vocabulary word. I asked them to explore the meaning of the word by using Thesaurus.com to find synonyms. I wrote a model blog post to show my expectations for their writing around the word.

In their writing, I wanted my students to find a way to connect to the word. Then I asked them to choose a favorite synonym and tell why it interested them. By interacting with a vocabulary word, it will become more integrated into their lexicon. The activity also spurred on some interesting class discussions.

This is Kaiden’s response to the word remarkable.

Created in Tagul.com

Created in Tagul.com

I put remarkable because so many things in life are remarkable. Think about it. Dreams, for example are completely extraordinary. We are able to make simulations while our brains are only half functioning . Even the human brains are remarkable. We are capable of so many things. We can travel almost anywhere on earth. We can travel to places miles and miles and miles into the sky, and break the sound barrier.

My favorite word is incredible, because it is INCREDIBLE. It is enthusiastic, but it can also be used in a sad and sarcastic way. Which I guess is me. Some days, I am enthusiastic and jumping all over (Which happens about 2/5 days). Other days, I am grumpy/sarcastic, quiet, and sad. Sometimes separately, sometimes at the same time.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

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I hate to admit it, but I have not been the best at teaching vocabulary.  I’ve tried all kinds of methods from word lists to word walls, but I am still met with groans from kids when I say Vocabulary.  This year I’ve been using a workbook.  This goes against my whole philosophy of teaching, so please don’t tell my students.  This workbook provides an authentic text, so the words are in context.  We also work with synonyms and antonyms and always a writing piece.  But like most work with Vocabulary in the title, my students think drudgery.

It is time for a change.  I have been intrigued by Carol Varsalona’s word clouds.  I tweeted a question to her.  Turns out it was our mutual friend Holly who introduced Tagul to Carol.

This leads me to an idea I will be trying this week with my students (crossing fingers the app works in our network).  I took one of our vocabulary words from last week, essence, and typed it into Thesaurus.com.  I opened Tagul and typed in a dozen synonyms.  Then I looked for a shape that would help define the word.  I chose a water droplet because water is the essence of our bodies.  The image shares common synonyms as well as makes this vocabulary work more motivating.

essence-word-cloud

In what ways are you digitizing vocabulary work?  Share your ideas on your blog and link below.

 

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