Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation 2013

Since I am the assistant principal, I have been working with my principal to create an awesome teacher appreciation gift for the staff members at our school. We did some covert planning and visited each classroom to have the students write down descriptive words about their teachers. I am in love with subway art (like most people right now) and so I wanted to create something that the teachers would be able to display but also make it personal.

Enter Tagxedo! You need to check out this website. It is a word cloud creator akin to Wordle but so much cooler. You can enter your own text, upload a blog or use any URL. Tagxedo then takes the word frequencies and creates a word cloud - which you can then change to any shape you want. They have some set shapes but you can also upload your own. The possibilities are endless and it is still in BETA testing so everything is FREE! I am planning on using the program with my kiddos next year for some kind of project - if my district takes the block off the site! (Gotta love IT departments and their arbitrary web blocks!)

The finished products can be saved in several formats and then printed as needed (another plus that Wordle does not use). I do have to say that Wordle is a wonderful program and works great, on a basic level, so if that's what you're comfortable with then start there. (It's a great place to start students too!) Tagxedo gives you more options and the ability to personalize to a greater extent, which I love! Don't you?

And to all you wonderful teachers out there, keep doing what you're doing! You are amazing! I am so grateful to all the teachers that have influenced me over the years and the many lessons I have learned (including those not found in a text book!). Happy Teacher Day to All!


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