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Image Chef

What it is: Image Chef is a great little web tool that takes words and transforms them into a graphical image.  Image Chef is similar in look to Wordle but works a little differently.  In Wordle, the size of the word changes based on how frequently the word was used in the text.  In Image Chef, the word size doesn’t change based on how frequently it is used in the text.  Image Chef takes the words typed in a text box, and displays them in a word mosaic.  Image Chef has a variety of shapes and symbols to choose from.  Any text entered will be displayed in the shape selected.  Registered users can also create their own shapes to display text graphically.  Image Chef has the added bonus of graphically displaying text inside letters.  The look of the image can be changed by adjusting font, text color, background color, and symbol or initial.  Individual words can be highlighted by changing the color and clicking on a word in the mosaic.  Word mosaics can be shared on blogs, emailed, printed, or saved on Image Chef. How to integrate Image Chef into the classroom: Image Chef is a fun web tool for displaying words in new and interesting ways.  My favorite feature of Image Chef is the ability to create word mosaics inside letters.  This feature would be a good way for students to practice phonics.  For example, students could create a letter “a” word mosaic filled with short a words (see my example above).  Students could type blends inside of the blend letters, long and short vowel words, r-conrolled words, etc.  These word mosaics could be printed out and bound into a phonics booklet for students, or displayed on a word wall.  Image Chef mosaics would also be a great way for students to explore synonyms.  Students can type synonyms into the text box and find or create an appropriate symbol to represent the words.  Image Chef would make for a fun first week of school activity.  Students could type in their initials as the shape for the word mosaic.  In the text field, they can type in words that represent them.  Print these out and display on a bulletin board next to student pictures.  For older students, Image Chef could be used to create a large periodic table of elements.  Choose the initials that represent the element on the periodic table and type the name of the element in the text box to fill the initials.  Create a large periodic table for the classroom with the printed elements. Tips: I learned about this awesome web tool from a tweet by @njtechteacher, definitely a teacher to follow this #teachertuesday!  When you click on the Image Chef Link you will be taken to the Image Chef homepage (the site contains much more than just the word mosaic)  To create a word mosaic click on “Word Mosaic” under “Create” in the left column of the website. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Image Chef in your classroom.

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Rewordify: help kids understand what they read

Posted by admin | Posted in Evaluate, Inquiry, Interactive book, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), web tools | Posted on 14-08-2013

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Rewordify-understand what you read iLearn Technology

What it is: Rewordify is a neat online app that helps struggling readers, ESL/ELL students, etc. improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary development.  Students can copy and paste a difficult passage into Rewordify and it instantly transforms the text by highlighting words it has substituted with more common/easily understood, language.  Students can click on the highlighted word to view the original word that was replaced.

Teachers can use Rewordify to create vocabulary activities from any high-interest reading passage, make over 350 classics more accessible, and show students how to surf the web the way a strong reader does.

Settings within Rewordify let students adjust how they interact with difficult passages based on their own preferences and learning needs.

How to integrate Rewordify into your classroom:  Rewordify is a fantastic web app for struggling readers (or any reader!).  Often, non-fiction can be difficult for students to read and understand.  Even strong readers can struggle with the new vocabulary and terms used.  Rewordify simplifies the text so that students can read through it successfully for comprehension.  It doesn’t stop there!  Since all of the words that were reworded are highlighted, students can see new vocabulary in context.  Rewordify can help students build up the ability to recognize context clues and how to use them to increase comprehension.

Anastasis is inquiry based.  We do a LOT of research, even with our youngest students.  The Internet is packed with fantastic resources for learning, but these resources are typically not created with student readers in mind.  As a result, students may struggle through a text and lose out on some of the rich learning in the process.  Rewordify is a great solution for us because students can quickly copy and paste text into Rewordify (works on iPads too!) and instantly read a more student friendly version of the text.

Classic literature is classic for a reason.  This literature holds timeless truths, superior storytelling and enchanting characters.  Students rarely choose to read the classics on their own because the language can add a difficult layer to the reading, causing the story to be lost in the frustration.  Rewordify has more than 350 classics built-in to be read directly on the site.  Students can choose a book to read, modify their settings of how they would like to view the words, and jump right in.  Students can choose to have the words default to the easier, modified word; can ask Rewordify to highlight words that it would have changed so that they can click on the word if they need an alternative; or see both versions of the word in context side by side.

ESL/ELL students will enjoy this site for the way that it allows them autonomy in their reading and vocabulary development.

Rewordify is also a great way for students to learn and practice vocabulary and discovering new synonyms for words.  Any text can be added to Rewordify, high school students could plug-in their own writing to determine if they have used interesting language.  If nothing is highlighted, there could be some work to do on word choice.

If you only have one or two computers available to students in your classroom, why not set up a bookmark to Rewordify that students can visit as needed during research, reading, etc.?  Students will be empowered to read anything they encounter with increased confidence.

Tips: In addition to the classics, you will also see a variety of news websites and articles that work well with Rewordify.  Whole pages of the site are automatically reworded for ease of understanding.

What do you think of Rewordify?  How do you plan to use it in your classroom?

Comments (2)

[…] though, so i’m including a link to an excellent explanation from Kelly Tenkely’s blog. http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=5100 > > > Susan Stephenson > http://www.thebookchook.com > > […]

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