Posts Tagged graphic organizers

Wallwisher in the Classroom

I started to title this blog post – A New Way to Brainstorm – but then I realized that Wall Wisher offers so much more than that.

Wallwisher is a free internet application that allows you to build a wall that then you or you and others can post notes on.   To build a wall you will need to log in with an email account but an email account is not needed to post notes on that wall.  Good news for those of us working with students under the age of 14.    Privacy levels can be set for each wall and posts can be moderated.

Once a wall is built there are a number of ways to distribute or share your wall.  Walls can be embedded into a webpage, blog or wiki.  You can link directly to the wall for users to go straight there.  It also provides an RSS feed so walls can be monitored through your RSS readers, such as iGoogle.

As I started looking for how others were using this tool I found the ideas fit into a few categories.  (This was easy to do as I took the ideas that were posted on the wall and started moving them around to create the groups!)

  • Brainstorming/ Idea Gathering
  • Homepages – a place to gather resources, post announcements, leave messages, provide homework help, etc.
  • Skill building – note-taking, vocabulary, sorting and summarization work wonderfully on this.
  • Portfolios of Student Work – either as a class or an individual.

I created a wall with all the ideas of classroom use I have found by searching the web and have embedded the wall below.  Please feel free to add to it!

Get Started:

The best way to learn to use this tool is to jump in and get started!

Go to my wallwisher sandbox and make your first post:

Or go to: – log in and build your first wall.

Please share your ideas for wallwisher or the walls you build!

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Glogster – Create an Interactive Poster

Making a poster, creating a model, or drawing a picture all help increase activity in the brain by having students take information in one form and transform it into another. Classroom Instruction that Works indicates that using nonlinguistic representations achieved a 27 percentile gain  As a history teacher I also found those assignments more enjoyable to grade than essays where they students copied information from books and online resources without ever thinking about what they were writing.

So how to make use of this technique using technology?  One way is Glogster.

What is Glogster EDU?

Glogster EDU is the educational version of the Glogster site.  Teachers and students can design interactive posters that incorporate artwork, videos, music, links to other websites, wordles, etc.

Sample Math Glog:

Teachers are given 100 free student accounts to allow students to create their own glogs under the teacher’s account.  User names and passwords are automatically generated and sent to the teacher’s account.

Finished products can be embedded into wikis, webpages, or teacherweb sites using the provided html embed code.  You can also link to the glog itself.

The site provides background templates and frames to get you started in all sorts of themes.

See this glog on Glogster EDU for more info:

(Warning – make sure you are using the EDU version for your students.  Glogs found on the original site may not be suitable for all audiences.)

Getting Started:

If you are ready to try this resource out, go to and register for an account.

For a step by step tutorial check out – Glogster Tutorial Page – by Traci Blazosky

Uses in the Classroom:

  • Create a glog as the homepage for a class project with all the info.
  • Using a projector use the glog as a the home base for your lesson or discussion in class.
  • replace traditional poster board projects with a glog
  • group images together to set the tone for a historical unit or a novel’s setting
  • gather all the notes together for a math concept so the formulas and examples are all in one place.
  • Create a glog to replace a research paper. (If they are copying all the info from online anyway – why not show them how to link to those sources and write a summary that introduces the link?)

Sample Glog for To Kill a Mockingbird:


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A New Look at Wordle

I ran across this and thought I would share.   Using Wordle to create posters and original pieces had never occurred to me!  She also links to other sites and ideas at the end of the presentation as well as includes how she created some of the slides.  It is worth checking out!

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Web Wandering Wednesdays – April 30

Inspiration is a wonderful tool to have students map out ideas, stories, events, etc.  The downside is that Inspiration software is tied to a computer that it is loaded on and students cannot continue their work at home, and it is nearly impossible to work on it as a team.  This week’s WWW are online mapping sites that are free and easy to use:

Bubbl.us – online webbing tool – Create an account and the program will save your webs and allow you to go between your saved files.  You can also share out your online webs so other can just view them, or so everyone has a right to edit them.  Can you see the possibilities of a class web on something that students could add to or learn from at any time and anywhere?

MindMeister – another online mapping tool – From their web site: “Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map – and see each other’s changes as they happen.”


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Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers are a long time tool of teachers.  They are a great tool to be used in any subject area, fit a variety of learning styles and are well researched as to their effectiveness.  Robert Marzano talks about the effectiveness of using Advance Organizers in his book, Classroom Instruction that Works and A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works.   

When the information you are presenting is unfamiliar to students, and when the relationships among pieces of information are complex, you might want to present students with graphic organizers that have much, if not all, of the information already filled in.  Using this tool, students can develop a familiarity with both the information and the relationships among the pieces of information before the initial process begins.  (pg 285)

If you feel students will be able to understand new information on their own, you can provide them with blank organizers.  A blank organizer provides conceptual “hooks” on which students can hang ideas that might seem disconnected without the organizer. (pg 286)

I also like to use them as a note-taking sheet while researching online.  It is so much harder to plaguerize when students have to take short concise notes about what they are reading.

How to make Graphic Organizers? 

Inspiration is a great tool to create graphic organizers.  It has premade templates and can easily be modified to fit the situation needed.  Teachers could even create(or modify) a template and post it in a shared location for students to begin using as a starting point. Inspiration is a great brainstorming tool as a class or as an individual and can be switched from graphic format to an outline form with the click of a button.  I have included a quick start guide for Inspiration 8:   Getting Started Guide to Inspiration 8

 Publisher is another tool to use, but it has to be manipulated more than using Inspiration. Publisher 2002 User Guide

Why do or don’t you use graphic organizers in the classroom? 

On a side note: Listen to an interview conducted by ASCD with Robert Marzano about his new book The Art and Science of Teaching:  


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