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Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Googlized: Words Their Way Word Sorts

In working with some teachers who are going 1:1 with Chromebooks, I've begun to consider how Google tools can make certain curriculum routines more effective/efficient. One routine all of our literacy teachers do is word sorts from the Words Their Way series. Cutting out all of those word cards can become cumbersome and so the question arose: how can technology support this?

Here is a video I created for one of my colleagues on how to use Google Docs - specifically the drawing feature - to do these word sorts. No scissors required.

NOTE: I forgot to add into the video... when your kids open the doc, they need to go to "File" then "Make a Copy" before editing it. That way they won't overwrite each others' work. They need to then share it back with you!


  1. Hi Jennie,

    Are you aware of anyway to do the same thing using an iPad? Problem we found is the iPad doesn't work well using Google Drive for this purpose. Would be interested to hear from you.

  2. Have you tried the app iCardSort? That's what we use for sorts on the iPads here. Hope that helps.

  3. Wow! All this time I've used google and gmail and I never knew about google drive. After reading this blog I started doing some research of my own. Robert, there's actually an app called GoDocs (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/godocs-for-google-docs-google/id348792440?mt=8)

    Jennifer, how do you think using google drive benefits the student? Have you seen an increase in student interest? (If yes, why?)

    What is your favorite form of technology as it relates to education?
    Google Docs
    Smart Board
    Ipad apps (which ones?)

    You seem like an outstanding educator
    Thanks in advance and thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Hello! Here are some posts that might answer some of your questions :)!

      On interactive whiteboards:

      On Google Docs:

      On Apps:

  4. Where is the video located for the Making Words?

    1. It's on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OOAcE9EdQLc

  5. Hey, Jennifer. I'm late to the party, but wanted to express my gratitude for your awesome blog and a most useful post!

    Thank you SO much for the heads-up on creating WTW sorts in Google Drive. The Drawing component works a treat! I've created my first sort and will clone new sorts from the original.

    As luck would have it, I'd already stumbled upon iCardSort for demonstrating sorts to my kids. Only later did I discover that I could use another app I already owned (Doceri) to demonstrate sorts in Google Drive (but what's $5.99 for a good cause, right?). Next year, when we are supposed to go 1:1 with iPads for fourth grade, I'll use iCardSort to circumvent the Google Drive/iOS issue (drawings seem be to view-only, no editing). As I understand it, with iCardSort, you can blast out card decks to an entire classroom of iPads as long as they each have the app. I like the sound of that. :)

    Thanks again!

    1. So glad it's helpful! I love iCardSort and Doceri as well! Good luck next year!

  6. I am going 1:1 this fall and have started looking for a way to do these also. We are going to have the students keep the sort page on their camera roll so that each day they sort they will import that image to Educreations then on the 2nd page type in each word separately so they can move them around under the headings. They will practice spelling the words each day with a "Peek, write, check" and then they will make a short screencast to provide accountability on their sorts. I plan to have them make a very short video after the sorts are done highlighting the headings and then each word under it. Should be less than 30 seconds each. They will log into my student work Educreations account so I can check them quickly that same day.