Sunday, October 11, 2009

Word Magnets - Great Tool for Inclusive Classrooms

Jennifer Dorman (@cliotech) twittered about a resource she discovered today, which sounded intriguing. After spending a few minutes exploring it, I realized I had to share this cool, free online, interactive tool with my readers. Word Magnets is simple to use and perfect for Touch Monitors or Interactive WhiteBoards. How does it work and what does it do?
Word Magnets will take a piece of text and break it into individual magnets which can be moved around the screen, resized, removed, colour coded, grouped, sorted and so on. New magnets can also be added at any point.
You've probably used the low tech version - magnetic letters or words on your refrigerator. Try the new tech version with your students. There's an auditory cue every time you move, add or change the color of a word. Some students will benefit from the multisensory cues Word Magnet provides.

Here are some ideas to get you started in your inclusive elementary classroom.

1. Let your students take daily attendance

2. Categorize or sort - the example below shows sorting by parts of speech

3. Use as a Sequencing

4. Use the Venn diagram background to help students understand relationships
5. Use the separated circles background to help students understand differences.
6. Explore the background options to take the tool to the next level.

I can't wait to recommend Word Magnets and see what ideas other teachers think of. One request for the Word Magnets creators - Please add the ability to save your work. Otherwise, I give this tool two thumbs up!


Judy Jacob said...

I have been following your blog for sometime... though this is my first comment here.

Thought would drop by and send you this site for your opinion before I start using it with my class.

David said...

Hello Karen,

Thanks for taking the time to blog about our resource.

I am really pleased that you are enthusiastic about using 'Word Magnets' and I hope that it is helpful to you in your classroom.

As you say, there isn't an option to save work as yet - however, it is possible to take a screen print and then paste the image into PowerPoint for example. Pressing the 'up' arrow on the keyboard will also add a 'printer friendly' background to the Word Magnet resource.

Thanks again for writing,


Karen Janowski said...


Don't wait for my opinion - try it out and see how it works for your students. Seems like it has potential as a collaborative learning tool. Let me know what you think.

I know screen shots would work but I could see a teacher using this site daily and having to recreate the task every day is time-consuming. For example, taking daily attendance as a student job would be great for students who are learning the names of their peers or who need to increase awareness of who is in their classroom. Teachers loves sites that streamline their day while helping their students accomplish IEP goals and objectives.
Thanks for stopping by.

lifewithl said...

I too just found this site thanks to a twitter link. I think it will be a great tool for the IWB. I am looking forward to trying it out with my vocab lesson, setting up a word splash. Magnetic poetry would be fun too. The owners also have some other fun tools on their web site. A spinner that you can use for random grouping, active reading prompts, etc. Looking forward to the potential for these tools.

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D said...

Hi Karen

Once again thanks for a great resource!


Deven Black said...

Thank you for your blog. It’s good to see that people are still passionate about teaching. I’m glad I found you through Twitter.
Your blog has given me so many ideas and so much inspiration. To that end, I left you a present on my blog – I’ve nominated you for the Lemonade Stand Award. To accept, you must comply with the following conditions:
- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post. You can lift it off my blog (
- Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
Please accept the award. I can’t wait to see and follow the people you give it to.

Miss Hampton said...

I have found the use of technology in my classroom really motivates my students. When something new and exciting is added to the mix, they have a renewed interest in learning. However, I think in addition to using Word Magnets on a class wide level, I would use it in a way where every student would be responsible to interact with the activity. In a classroom where every student had computer access, I would use this tool to informally assess my students or gage prior knowledge. Using click and drag response methods will reduce the demand of writing/copying for my students! Thank you so much for sparking a new idea!

Jeff S said...

This is a great resource! Thank you!

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