A couple of NEW options for Flashcards

We've added the option to flip the flashcards so that the right-hand part of the match is shown first, by selecting the "Switch top & bottom" checkbox.

We've also made the choice of "Original order" vs "Random order" selectable via option boxes.

Both of these can now be included in your fine-tuned urls for links and embedded exercises, and also in a sequence of activities.

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Separate the words (Space) -- NEW feature: choose the number of words affected.

We've made an improvement to the "Space" activity (Separate the words), so that if your text has more than 20 words in it, you can now decide on the number of words to be joined up.

Your options are: All words; 1/2 words; 1/3 words; 1/4 words; 1/5 words

Why do this? Well, for a couple of reasons...

Firstly, for longer texts, the Space activity can be quite long and drawn out. Imagine a 300-word text, requiring a click between every word. It takes a long time to complete. Reducing the number of words joined up means the activity is much quicker. Set at 1/5 words, a 300 word text would only need about 60 clicks to complete.

Secondly, in a strange way it adds an extra element of challenge. You're no longer just starting with a block of text and looking for the end of each word. When the text appears with lots of the spaces and punctuation already there, you have to figure out which bits of text -- which may actually look like words -- are made up of more than one word.

You can fine tune urls when you share a link to a Space activity, and you can stipulate the number of words affected when you include Space as part of a sequence.

Here is an embedded example, about greenhouse gases, in French. 1 in 5 words are affected, so it only requires about 35 clicks to complete it (rather than about 180 previously) but it still requires the student to read the whole text, paying close attention to spellings etc.

(Edit: we've also now added a Hint button, which provides the next space, starting from the beginning of the text, but which affects the student's score.)

New Year's Resolutions, FRENCH (a resource blog)

Some textivate resources for ks3 or ks4 French, based on these TaskMagic resources.

The contents for the resources are:
- Je vais...
- Je ne vais pas...
- J'ai l'intention de...
- Je vais essayer de...
+ a range of infinitive expressions

The resources are appropriate for KS3 or KS4 pupils as a way of practising the simple future within the context of the New Year.

Text activity: Jumbled Words

Jumbled Words splits the text using full stops and line breaks. (Short sentences of fewer than 3 words are combined, and long sentences are split using other punctuation, where possible.) 

Students complete the activity by putting the words of each section of the text into the correct order.

See the embedded example below (the same resource as in the image above):

More options added for non roman-script languages

We've made a further 7 activities available to those making activities with character languages or languages which do not use roman-script...

On the Text side...

Anagrams, Invaders, Snake

You can now make an anagram-text activity (and print a worksheet), or play an invaders or snake game.

This means that the of the 32 text activities, the ones currently not supported for non roman script languages are the 5 "Fill in the letters" activities.

On the Match side...

Anagrams, Invaders, Snake, Maze

On the Match side, you now have the Anagrams activity (and worksheet) as well as the 3 games: Invaders, Snake and Maze.

So of the 30 match activities, the ones currently not supported for non roman script languages are the 5 "Fill in the letters" activities plus Hangman.

Some examples?

Months in Russian (Match: Maze):

Text re-construction activities: split text by sentence vs split text by word count.

You'll see that in the bottom left of the above screen image there are two option buttons: "Words" or "Sentences"

"Words" means that the text is divided in roughly equal-sized chunks based on the number of words. This has been the default setting until now, and it tends to create activities where:

  • each chunk of text is roughly equal in size
  • text chunks pay no attention to full stops or line breaks

Text-reconstruction of this kind forces the reader to look out for context clues such as grammar, word order, verb / adjective agreement, as well as the actual meaning of what they are reading. On the one hand, this type of activity can be challenging because the student has to know how the words fit together grammatically, but on the other hand it could be seen as less challenging in terms of understanding of the flow of the text or story.

"Sentences" means that textivate will attempt to break the text up into chunks which take account of line breaks and full stops, where possible. Of course, many of the activities are constrained by the number of tiles on the screen, so you will find that if your text has fewer sentences than there are tiles on a particular screen, the longer sentences will be divided. Likewise, if your text has more sentences than there are tiles, the smaller sentences will be combined.

This option doesn't make the same demands on students in terms of grammar -- they are not spending as much time in mid-sentence looking for the correct word to continue the sentence. They are spending more of their time looking at the meanings of the sentences and working out their order within the text or story.

Compare:

A tile activity divided by word chunks:

Drop-down boxes to replace +tiles and -tiles buttons

We've made a small change to the way that you navigate between some of the activities on textivate.

The +tiles and -tiles buttons have gone and have been replaced by a drop-down box (see the image below).

This makes it easier to navigate directly to the number of tiles that you want to see in your activity.

These changes have been made to the following screens on the text side:

Tiles (all), Horizontal, Paragraphs, Next Word, 50:50, Initials, Empty, Anagrams

...and the following screens on the Match side:

Shuffle Match, Switch Match, Click Match (all), Memory (all)

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