Monday, June 11, 2012

My Big Mess and End of the Year Gift

So, as promised I have just a few pics of my mess. I'm too embarrassed to show the worst ones. Does anyone else feel like messes get bigger before they are organized to perfection?

This is the "leftover" stuff. My basement has an huge pile of my plastic bins FULL of stuff.  As my boyfriend was helping me empty it out of my classroom and take it back to my house, his comment was, "Do you really need all of this stuff? Can't you throw some of it away?"
Uh, NO! I am in no way a hoarder, BUT I do spend a lot of time making nice things to my classroom and there is NO WAY JOSE that I am going to throw it away.

Anyway .. thanks to a WONDERFUL idea from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie I decided to take on another project for the end of the year (and half way into I was wishing I hadn't ...)

It is such a cute idea that extended something I already do with my class. I've always had my class write down words to describe each other as a memory. However, now that Tagul, Tagxedo, Wordle, etc are so popular, a natural next step would be to make word clouds using the words. So, thanks to some Teaching Junkie inspiration, I did that for them this weekend (after packing up and moving my whole classroom and finishing progress reports ... ).

Here is the template I gave to my students: Click on the image to download the PDF. When we began passing around the papers, I outlawed words such as kind, good, nice, fun .. etc. I had them use their character trait lists to come up with thoughtful lists, which seemed to help a lot.

And, by 11:00 PM last night, I had all 54 of my students' papers typed up into nice little word clouds. 

And 1 and a half more days .... it can't come soon enough!


  1. I just did this for my class too! Question, though: how did you get their names right in the center for each one? I tried on the first few ones, but it was taking FOREVER, so their names are now just wherever they ended up! Also, great idea to outlaw those boring words and use character trait words. So many of mine are just nice, good, and fun. I'll definitely outlaw those words next year!

    1. I had trouble with this at first too. I used You have to make an account, but I think this site works best for the purpose (for my kids I like I typed their name into the box first four times. That way the site registered that it was the most important word. Then, when I created it, it automatically put it in the middle (once it put it at the top, but it was still the big size). I hope that helps!