Word It Out

If you like using Wordle; another website that allows you to make word clouds is Word It Out.

Simply enter some text and create your word cloud. You can then share your cloud if you want to. It is also possible to embed it on your blog or website.

Note that just as you can with Wordle you can use the tilde (~) character to keep words together. 
A great feature for mathematicians – WordItOut can easily cope with the equals sign, division signs also – see for example this equation.  (It is possible to use the equals sign in Wordle – use Advanced).
It seems other symbols are possible also.

Various options are available, you can change the colours of your words and the background colour, you can also change the size of the font and the variation in size allowed.

Emma made our Year 7 class a poster of the vocabulary needed for our work on shapes and here is a very simple example on Linear Sequences.


Sqworl provides an easy way to list a collection of links and share those using one Sqworl link.

Each link is presented as a thumbnail and it is possible to give brief notes for each as well.
You can also take notes below each Website thumbnail.

For example: see this collection of formulae for Shape, Space and Measure required for the GCSE Mathematics syllabus my students study.

Other applications to provide lists of links include LiveBinders and SimplyBox.


SortFix is a new way to search; search on quadrilaterals for example and note the power words returned.

One or more of these can be added to the search to refine it. For example to return sites on types and properties of quadrilaterals:

It is possible to drag terms to the  remove box to exclude them from the search and any term can be dragged to the dictionary box for a definition.

This seems a great way to introduce students to more advanced searching, certainly worth experimenting with.

The FAQ explain further options – note the advanced user options for example.

This YouTube video from SortFix provides an excellent introduction.

Spelling City

Spelling City  allows Teachers to easily create spelling tests for students, this is free of charge; upgrades are possible but the basic free service is excellent. It is now even more useful as teachers can add their own sentences to define /describe a word. Students could create their own tests, all free and no registration required.

For example – can you spell words associated with triangles and quadrilaterals?

The UK GCSE specifications for teaching from September 2010 include marks for quality of written communication.
Some questions will include marks for this; to quote AQA:

‘Candidates will be expected to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar in any explanations they are asked to provide.’

On the subject of spelling, two of my Year 7 students wrote this story on the vocabulary associated with shapes. More on stories.