I thought I would share a simple Word Magnet idea that I used as an introductory activity to a workshop I ran recently.
I began with a ‘Present / Absent’ background and added the name of each participant to the board as a magnet. I was then able to learn a little about each member of the group before moving their magnet across to the ‘Present’ side of the board.
I then changed the background and asked each participant to flip their name over to reveal a word. Their task was to move the revealed word to the correct area of the board. The other members of the group could help them and it was a nice way of introducing the Word Magnet resource and some of its features.
The activity required a little bit of preparation on my part: I had a list of all of the participants and so I was able to use the ‘Load a List’ feature to create the ‘name’ magnets instantly. I then flipped each name over and added text to the back using the ‘Edit’ feature, before flipping all of the magnets back to the name side and saving the activity.
The image at the top of the post demonstrates one way in which this idea could be used: flip over your name to reveal a country and then move it according to the continent it belongs to.
You could flip to reveal a sum which has to be dragged to the correct answer, a word which has to be moved to the correct word class, a trait to be matched to a particular character and so on – the possibilities are endless.
You could also create a similar activity a lot quicker if you left one side of the magnets blank and asked people to choose a magnet at random to flip over and position. The benefit of creating an activity in this way is that it can be used time and time again with different groups – although it does not have the ‘personal’ touch of the name version.
I hope that this is a helpful idea – please let me know if you have a chance to try it!
PS: If you would like to use the background I created for the example above, you can find it here. (It doesn’t look like much, but save it and add it to a magnet board with a dark background and it will show up!)
Another nice idea from the workshops I ran last week – a magnetic register!
Word Magnets is a really flexible resource: it can be used for grouping, ordering, sorting, sequencing, labelling and so on – and it can even be used as a very simple means of taking a register.
Simply load your class list into the resource and arrange all of the magnets under the ‘Absent’ heading. As students enter the room, they simply drag their name to the ‘Present’ side of the board – leaving the teacher free to begin the lesson.
A simple idea – but really effective.
If you would like the background I created for the example above then please click the link below to launch it in Word Magnets:
I shared an idea for a simple starter activity on the site recently and thought I would write a quick blog post about it.
The activity requires students to label an image using the Word Magnet resource – and I have added a competitive, team element to it.
Upload an image as a background to your Word Magnet board and add labels as I have done in the example below:
A student from team one must choose a label and drag it to the correct place on the image. If they do this correctly, they win a point for their team. If they do this incorrectly, the label is returned to the side and the opposing team (or teams) win a point.
The game continues until all of the labels have been positioned correctly.
This is the same as the idea above, but with a twist…
As you can see in the example below, I have flipped the magnets over and so the teams do not know what their label will say until they choose it and flip it over:
This adds a random element to the game and an extra challenge for the students.
Another twist on the original idea – this one requires no preparation at all for the teacher and will really challenge each team!
You begin the game with a blank board and each team must add labels of their own and position them correctly:
If a team is unable to add a label then they are out of the game!
At the end of the game, you should have an image full of labels. You could save the activity at this point and use it again in the future… or publish it for students to access at home and use for revision!
Developing the Idea Further
This simple idea could be developed even further.
For example, in the example below, I have created ‘anagram’ magnets. Students must solve each anagram before they are able to place the magnet – and then flip the magnet to discover if they were correct:
As with all Triptico activities, this idea will work with all languages and in all subjects. For example, in a geography lesson, a map could be uploaded as the image background and labelled. In biology, a diagram of a heart could be used. You can make the activity as simple or as complex as you like.
If you have a chance to try this activity – or if you have any ideas for how it could be developed further – then please let me know.
I have updated a number of resources to allow them to make use of lists that may have been created in a different resource.
So, for example, if you create and save a class list in ‘Student Group’, you can use this exact same list with ‘Word Magnets’ or ‘Flip Selector’ or ‘Text Spinner’.
The image at top of this page shows the extra button I have added to the ‘Options’ panel in ‘Word Magnets’ – here is how you load a list in each resource:
Open the Menu
Click ‘Load a List as Magnets’
Select the list you would like to load
Make any changes that are required (for example, if a student is absent)
Your list will be converted to magnets and you can begin moving them around the screen. This could be an easy way to take a register – ask students to move their magnet to the ‘Present’ side of the board when they enter the classroom:
You could also use a similar idea to put students into groups, to take a class vote, to make choices, to gauge understanding and so on. You could even flip the magnets over and use this resource as a simple selector. Lots of possibilities!
Where it is possible to load lists with other resources: open the menu and you will see an extra button below the ‘Demo’ button.
Click this to load a list and follow the steps above.
So far, the resources that you can open a list file with are:
I hope that this is a helpful new feature – please let me know what you think,
The new ‘Word Magnets’ resource – pictured above – is packed with improvements and new features. This short guide will help to get you started with the basic mode of the resource.
(Note: Subscribers can switch to advanced mode for lots of extra features: resize magnets; colour magnets; add image backgrounds; use the background templates; create image magnets; change the font and so on. In short, there are lots of extra features for subscribers!)
Select one or more of your magnets (by clicking them or by drawing out a rectangle over them).
Open the menu and click the ‘Remove Magnets’ button.
Press the red ‘Remove Selected Magnets’ button to, well, remove the selected magnets from your board.
If you remove a magnet by mistake, you can press the ‘Undo’ button to bring it back to your board.
6. Saving Your Activity
Click the ‘Save’ button to save your activity.
You will be taken to the following page on the Triptico website:
Type a name for your activity in the ‘Filename’ box.
You can add some notes about your activity too if you like. For example, the topic it is related to, the age group that it is aimed at and so on. This can be helpful – particularly if you share the activity with others.
If you want to save the activity in a particular folder then click on it. Otherwise, click the green ‘Save’ button. Your activity is now saved and can be accessed on any computer that you use to sign in to the Triptico website by clicking the ‘My Saves’ tab.
All of your saved activities – as well as any activities that people have shared with you – will be displayed here when you sign in.
You can also save your Word Magnet board as an image on your computer. Click ‘Options’ followed by ‘Save an Image of my Word Magnet Board’. You can save the image for use in, for example, a presentation, document or blog post.
Here is a short (silent) video showing the steps outlined above:
Add the names of your students as magnets and take a register by asking each student to move their name from ‘absent’ to ‘present’ as they enter the room. You can save the ‘name magnets’ to use again in lots of different activities.
Using the name magnets, take a vote by asking students to drag their name to a particular point on the board.
Put students into groups using the same name magnets.
Order a sequence of events.
Order a list of statements.
Display key words.
Colour code key words as they are used during a lesson.
Create a list of plenary questions and flip them over to hide the text (students choose a magnet to flip at the end of the lesson and respond to the question).
Upload a diagram as a background and label it with magnets.
Upload a photograph as a background and challenge students’ vocabulary by asking them to label as many items as they can (in whichever language you choose).
Display a sport team (a football team formation or the fielding positions in cricket, for example – again, an image background could be used effectively here).
Sort words in categories.
Create as many words as possible from a selection of single letter magnets.
Unscramble a series of anagrams.
Demonstrate spelling patterns, word endings, tenses and so on.
Create a Venn diagram (there is a preloaded background to help with this – in fact, there are lots of preloaded backgrounds in the resource for you to take inspiration from).
Use ‘flipped magnets’ to create and save a cloze activity.
Use ‘flipped magnets’ to reveal the words in a spelling test.
Colour the background to reflect how the class is working – for example, red is ‘too noisy’! You could also do something similar by moving a ‘noise level’ magnet up and down the board.
Upload a diagram of the arrangement of tables in your classroom and create your own ‘easy to save and adapt’ seating plan.
Make a board game and use the magnets as counters.
Display a list of words and translations – jumble them and challenge students to match them back up.
Display a set of instructions.
Display your lesson objectives – colour code each as they are met.
Create a mind map of ideas.
Upload a picture of a person (real or fictitious) and surround it with key ideas, vocabulary and quotes.
Arrange fractions or quantities in size order.
Use the pre-loaded A to Z background to create a vocabulary challenge quiz.
Move students or groups up or down the board to illustrate how well they are working.
Display key words and delete each one as it is used in a sentence by a student.
Remove words from a sentence and challenge students to remember what was written – remove more words (or simply flip them over) until none remain! Can they remember the whole sentence with no prompts?
Teach grammar and sentence structure.
Arrange a list of words in alphabetical order.
Create a timeline.
Display a list of facts or statements – delete those which are incorrect.
Display a piece of text with errors – colour code the incorrect parts red.
Keep a check of who has completed a particular task by moving names around the board.
Open the same activity on two different copies of the magnet resource and challenge students to be the first to complete it – you could even use one of the scoreboard resources to keep a record of scores.
Display a list of questions which students should be able to answer by the end of the lesson. Colour code them as they are answered correctly and save them for review at the beginning of the next lesson.
Create lots of number magnets and generate random sums – perhaps use a spinner to decide whether the numbers should be multiplied, added and so on.
Display a group of letters and challenge students to make the longest word.
Create a quick matching game – for example, matching countries to capital cities.
Create an essay plan.
Upload a painting as an image background and use magnets to pick out key features and techniques.
Use the ‘split screen’ background to display the two sides of an argument.
Ask students to drag their name to a position of the board to reflect their view on a topic or confidence in a subject.
Colour code a sentence – giving nouns, verbs, pronouns and so on an individual colour.
Develop vocabulary by using magnets to create a basic sentence and then replacing words with more ‘interesting’ alternatives.
Add a word to the board – and then surround it with words it rhymes with, its synonyms, antonyms and so on.
Jumble and then reconstruct a line from a poem, novel or play.
Create a ‘wall of words’ on a particular topic for students to use in their speech / writing.
The reason I initially created this resource: allow students to experiment with different combinations of words and comment on the imagery, impact and effectiveness. If the words don’t work together, simply drag them apart and try a different combination!
Add a flipped magnet with a key word for each day of the month. At the start of each day, the class can choose a magnet to flip and learn the meaning of the word that is revealed. A simple ‘Word of the Day’ style activity which you can save to use again and again or share with colleagues.
Illustrate which side is winning a debate by moving a magnet left and right across the screen.
Use ‘flipped magnets’ to randomly allocate rewards for good work.
Use a mountain background to illustrate levels of understanding.
Use flipped magnets to hide letters in a series of words – ask students to fill in the blanks and check their answer by flipping the magnets.
Write the numbers from one to ten on magnets (in a different language perhaps) and ask students to put them in the correct order – for a simple starter activity, language teachers could widen the boundaries (writing ten random numbers between one and one hundred perhaps, or one and one thousand).
Display a selection of words or name, for example, and size them according to how important they are to a particular topic.
Use the resource in a staff meeting or training event to keep track of (and sort, rank, group etc) key words and ideas.
Hopefully there will be lots of ideas in the list above which you can use (or adapt slightly) in your own teaching.
If you have some additional ideas of your own, why not add them in the comment section below?
As ever, if you have any questions or feedback then please get in touch.
You can send an email via the contact form or post a message via your activity stream.