Word cloud and mind mapping have long been the popular choice of visual data representation to help students learn better and it’s easy to see why. They are a great way for not just students but for everyone to summarize information in a more cohesive manner. It helps students to get to the center of the issue and information and lets them absorb important ideas and concepts faster. It is of particular importance for visual importance.
Word cloud is really fun to create and with online tools like Wordcloudmaker.com, it has become much easier & Popular, even for kids. It has become a fun way to create engagement among reluctant learners. Word clouds have the potential and help in various ways to improve the learning process in the classroom.
Other than being just for assessment, word clouds can be useful in encouraging visual memory, critical thinking, building relationship and even to encourage the love of learning. Here, I have put together some ideas that will help you use word cloud effectively in your classroom.
Increase Vocabulary via word cloud
We are well aware of the fact that the words are the building blocks of comprehension and cognition. Researchers have found out that students with wide vocabularies perform better on standardized tests and classroom learning that students with limited vocabularies. It’s a great place to start inculcating better learning abilities among students. Teachers can use this word cloud to help students memorize synonyms and antonyms much faster. It can also be used to analyze characters in the books. Students can create a visual thesaurus to memorize words fasters and can also learn their usage in written and spoken languages. It can be used to show synonyms of overused words and how to apply them in real life.
Self Assessment While Writing
Self-assessment in the classroom is of paramount importance. It helps students take responsibility for their learning and encourage engagement and it reflect on their performance. It would be even more beneficial if you use word clouds for the job. Learning new vocabulary is all fine, but extensive use of so many words will make gibberish and flawed.
This is where self-assessment comes in, where students must develop to learn the practical usage of vocabulary. This way they can use words that best fits the purpose. While writing the essay, they can create a word cloud of the essay and see if the ideas do come together to create a wholesome meaning. This way they can actually assess if they were successfully able to present the idea they originally wanted to express.
Increase Class Engagement
It has a big importance in activating strategies to help acknowledge their prior knowledge. Most preferably it helps students to make a better connection of new knowledge with already acquired facts. Because it helps make a better connection and encourage them to brainstorm words, it increases classroom engagement. This way they will be able to grasp new concepts much easier. You could ask your students to write down a group of words they might think is related to the subject or the concept. This will stimulate their thinking ability and can create a word cloud. The resultant cloud can then be revised by the teacher to change or add new words as per the topic.
Better Learn Each Other
At the beginning of the year, students need to know each other, get to know the
ir teachers and describe themselves. This could be a great tool for shy students. Those who might find it easier to describe themselves in the form of word cloud than standing in the class and describe themselves. Things such as what they like, what they did on the summer, things they are good at and such. This can be a great way for students also to exchange these word clouds among themselves. It can really up until the game for student engagement and group communication. Students may also use this to describe their teachers as well.
Better Understanding of Assessments
Understanding assessments and what exactly they have been asked is winning half the battle. This is where word clouds can help them achieve this. Teachers can hand them over a rubric which articulates the expectations and assessment criteria for the students. They can each put a list of words in the form of a cloud and can compare it with the word cloud created by the teacher.