I’m not so good at memes. The procrastinator in me just likes to keep putting them off until too many weeks go by for me to legitimately pick them back up again. But, seeing as I’ve had a few nice Thai holidays thrown into my schedule lately, I really have no excuse.

So, here’s my effort at the Wordle Meme, started by GeekyMomma, and brought to my attention by Silvia Tolisano.

Here are the instructions:

1. Create a Wordle from your blog’s RSS feed.
2. Blog it and describe your reaction. Any surprises?
3. Tag others to do the same.
4. Be sure to link back here and to where you were first tagged.

Silvia, of course, had some additional creative ideas to add to the depth of this meme, suggesting the following:

5. Create different Wordle clouds of your blog’s RSS over a period of time. Do it once a month for the next year.
6. Share other uses (at least one)  you have found for
Wordle (for your students or personally) to your blog post.

I like the idea of documenting your Zeitgeist (spirit of the times) by capturing a Wordle regularly. And, since I have already been procrastinating (just a bit) on this meme, I actually have two months to share here today:

From November 29th:

Blog Wordle November

From December 10th:

Blog Worldle December

They’re not quite a whole month apart, but I happened to be super productive last weekend in a rare spurt of blogging which resulted in a total of 8 posts in 48 hours, usually a month’s worth for me anyway.


I’m actually surprised by how much Wordle must pull from the most recent post in your RSS feed. I can really tell which posts I had just written when I created these two images, and I’m not so sure that those would be entirely accurate reflections of the most frequent topics on this blog.

However, if we look at the Wordles the way Silvia describes, understanding that they will change over time, and can only realistically be a reflection of the moment, I can see how that would be powerful. For example, my most recent post focuses on connecting teachers, and boy, I must have mentioned that word a lot, because just a week and a half before I can barely even find the word “teachers.”

Even with the differences, I definitely am pleased to see that “learning” is at the center, a little surprised to see just how big “technology” is in both screen shots (though obviously that’s a major focus of my job, and therefore this blog), and I like that I can see “literacy” and “team” front and center.

I actually wish I could go back in time and take some screen shots of Wordles from previous years. I think I’ve been thinking about things a little differently of late, and it would sure be interesting to see how this year’s posts compare with last year’s or the year before…

And, just like Silvia, I created a Wordle from my Delicious account:

Delicious Wordle

This one is definitely less surprising as I have a pretty good idea of the tags I use when I bookmark. It is a little surprising to me that I really don’t tag much for personal use, this Wordle seems almost entirely education-related. Maybe I need to spread the bookmarking love.

Using Wordle in the Classroom:

I like the idea of using a Wordle to capture the focus of student writing, to help them see visually what they are really writing about. It’s not easy to tell amidst a pile of words on a page which ones are the most prevelant, but this makes it hard to miss. I wonder if this would be a good tool for English Language Learners, because it could help build their vocabulary by emphasizing the words they use most often and then encourage them to learn new vocab to enhance and improve not only the variety of language but the specificity of meaning. I haven’t used it yet with teachers, but just taking a moment to think about it might be all the prompting I need!

Because I empathize with the procrastinators out there, I’m not going to tag anyone, but should you wish to complete this meme and don’t happen to find yourself tagged at the moment, please consider this your opportunity (not that you need my permission anyway). Wordle Away!

0 thoughts on “A Wordle A Day…

  1. Kim, what a cool idea. I’ve not blogged a lot but being trying to get going thanks for the easy prompt. It certainly provided me with a bit of insight inot my thinking.

    My Post

  2. Hey Kim,
    I was just talking (er, writing) with Clay Burell about this meme. It’s funny that it should be making the rounds now, because I just finished an open-source project that is designed to to just this kind of think, though in a more in-depth way. I like your phrase “documenting your Zeitgeist;” that’s just what I had in mind when I built FeedVis.

    Like Wordle, my FeedVis app makes a tagcloud from word frequencies in feeds. However, it lets you upload a whole opml, not just one feed (pretty much any aggregator will spit out your subscribed feeds as an opml). Then you can actually interact with the tagcloud: select a given day or week on the timeline, and the tagcloud changes to reflect that time period; you also get a custom url that you can visit to see live-updated changes daily. When you see an interesting word, you can click through the posts that use it.

    Feel free to set up an account or download the source and run it yourself.

  3. Hi Kim,
    Thanks for continuing my meme. It’s been really interesting to watch it’s progress throughout the blogosphere. ~Lee

  4. @Dave,

    So glad this got you thinking! I can’t take the credit, though, since it was Lee’s brilliant idea :) Thanks for the link to your post – am heading there now!


    Thanks for the new tool – I was actually checking out FeedVis the other day and ended up getting distracted, now I’ll go back and try a few of my own feeds!


    Thanks for getting it started!

  5. Hi Kim! I’m going to take you up on the offer of considering myself tagged :) This is a such an interesting concept. I like using Wordle for reflective writing assignments that the students do, such as after a field trip. They can compare the Wordles with each other and see what “captured” them.

    Have you read any of Peter Gow’s work on http://admirablefaculties.blogspot.com/ or http://newprogressivism.blogspot.com/ ? He has started writing more again lately, with a focus on what he calls “the new progressivism” I think you might be interested.

  6. I love Wordle! You have a convert and I’m going to share this with my Language Arts peers. They are going to love it as well. I enjoy that it gets students to focus on the main thoughts and ideas in their writing. While I teach Technology and the students do very little formal writing, I am planning on pulling out this site when they get ready to print their journals from the modules. I think the results will be very interesting and they’ll enjoy seeing how their thoughts have progressed over the three weeks they spend in each tech area.

  7. @Sarah,

    Excellent! Thank you so much for the links – I will definitely add Peter to my reader!


    So glad you found a new helpful tool! I love the idea of using Wordle to help students reflect even more deeply on their journals. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  8. Hi Kim – Love your blog! I LOVE Wordle. I used it with my 7th graders this past week. I am a computer teacher in NH. I have the kids write an “I AM” poem about themselves, and what a cool visual representation of their poem! The kids loved using it so much, they told me they all went home to play with it.

  9. @Kim,

    Thank you! What an excellent use of Wordle! I’m not surprised that your students enjoyed using it so much! Thanks for sharing another great use for this tool.

  10. Hello – I just wanted to pop in and say how much I enjoy you blog and especially this post abotu Wordle. I have been a bit stuck with my thinking recently and felt like I was going around and around in circles, so to use Wordle it gave me some really clear information about the dominant themes. Thanks.

  11. @Helen,

    Thank you! I love the idea of using Wordle to reflect on your own thinking – great way to find your own voice on a blog!

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