DO THIS whenever you want to make a new textivate resource...

Textivate can do a lot. 

It can make activities based on a text, on matching items, or both; sequences and challenges; resources with additional parallel text, an image, audio or video... and all of this based on user input. 

All of this user input is introduced into textivate using the "tabbed" front page:

All you need to do is click on the appropriate tab and key in the data or click the options. (What you then see in the "Show all" tab is what the user used to have to key in manually, before we introduced the tabs -- it used to be a LOT more complicated...)

BUT here's the problem:

Unless you delete all of the content from all of the text boxes, there will usually be something left behind that you might not be aware of. This might be the default welcome text (and matching questions and answers), or maybe the text / matching items from the last textivate resource that you opened or viewed on that particular device. If the last resource that you accessed also had a parallel text or video, this will also be stored.

Textivate does this on purpose, so that you can close your browser and next time you open textivate you'll go straight back to the last resource you were working on (or to the default text, if it's your first time on textivate).

So I often come across resources where the text is what the teacher intended to include, but there are also matching items from a previous resource, or the default matching items. Or maybe the teacher intended to create a matching resource, but their resource ends up containing the default text as well, or the text from another resource (very often in a different language!!). I can only imagine the confusion this must cause for students working on those resources...

THE GOOD NEWS is that it's SO-O-O-O easy to prevent this.

Simply click on the "New resource" icon:

This will clear everything: the text tab; the matching tab; any extras; the sequence information; and obviously the "Show all" tab will be empty too.

Get into the habit of doing this whenever you want to make a new resource, BEFORE you do anything else.


Speed Read! (text reading activity against the clock :)

Speed Read is a great way of helping students to memorize a text, and of getting them reading and understanding quickly and accurately.

It's simple: students have 3 "lives". The timer runs across the screen while the students decides the next correct part of the text. If they get it wrong, they lose a chunk of time. If the time runs out, they lose a life. Once all 3 lives are lost, the game is over.

The info at the bottom left of the screen indicates the overall score plus the number of times the complete text has been read.

The challenge is to get a high score, by reading the text several times. (The timer gets faster with each re-read!)

The text chunks alternate between 3-word chunks and 2-word chunks with each re-read.

Here's an embedded example:

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.


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):