NEW in Multiple-choice activities -- you can specify your own WRONG answers

The Multi Match activities or the MATCH side of Textivate (1 in 3, 1 in 4, 1 in 5, 1 in 10) and the Million activity (also on the MATCH side) have always presented the correct answer along with incorrect answers randomly selected from the rest of the answers for your resource.

BUT now you can specify your own incorrect answers! 

In the following way:

Simply add a vertical bar followed by hash |# after the correct answer, then as many incorrect answers as you like each separated by hash #

So you might end up with matching items that look something like this in your finished resource:

a house==une maison |#un appartment #une voiture
je fais ___ planche à voile==de la |#du #de l' #de #la #des
Que fait le garçon après le dîner?==il regarde la télé |#il écoute la radio #il prend le dîner #il se douche
Me ___ bailar==gusta |#quiero #gusto #quieren #gustan

(Now, clearly, it would be a pretty weird resource if all of the above appeared in the same resource...;-)

It doesn't matter how many "wrong" answers you include.

And you don't need to include them for every question. 

If you do include wrong answers, these will be used first (and any extra spaces will be used up with randomly selected answers from other questions in the resource).

You can use this feature along with a parallel text / audio / video to create reading or listening comprehension activities with a bit more of a challenge (i.e. where the answers are too obvious if they are randomly selected from the rest of the resource).

See this example of a listening resource created by adding wrong answers for most of the questions.

Thinking about it, you could even use this new feature to create multiple choice quizzes, grammar activities, all sorts.

(I think I'll be adding more to this later...)

Random order or original order? Why it matters.

Some Match activities have Random order / Original order options.

By default, these activities present the questions in random order.

But it can sometimes be useful to present the items in the original sequence, for example to make a "Find the French" activity simpler by having the questions appear in the same order as the vocab in the text, or to add comprehension questions to a resource which has a parallel text (reading comprehension) or audio or video (listening comprehension).

You can tweak your link urls -- add e1 to the activty url to make it start in the original order and no option to change. (See this blog post on tweaking your textivate urls.)

Here are a few examples:

French, multiple choice reading comprehension. (Questions follow the order of the text.)

French, reading comprehension, fill in the answers. (Word shapes provided. Again, follows the order of the text.)

Spanish, listening comprehension. Multi-choice.

Spanish listening comprehension, fill in the answers. (Initials provided.)

Remember, until this latest update, this sort of exercise would not have been possible on textivate as the questions would have appeared in random order.

Micro Tools for Teachers

This blog post looks at 30+ activity and worksheet generator tools that teachers can use to liven up their lessons.

All of the interactive activities mentioned run in a browser, so you should be able to use them on desktops, laptops, ipads (and other tablets) and reasonably modern smartphones.

Here is what we'll be looking at:

An interactive flashcard generator.
A re-order the words activity generator.
An interactive millionaire activity generator based on Q&A / matching items.
An interactive wordsnake generator.
A pairs / memory card generator.
An interactive match-up exercise generator.
A dominoes generator.
An interactive spelling game generator with various game options.
An interactive SNAP game generator.
An interactive anagrams game generator.
An anagrams worksheet generator.
A put-the-lines-in-order worksheet generator.
An interactive put-the-lines-in-order activity generator.
An interactive fill-in-the-vowels matching activity generator.
An interactive type-all-the-letters matching activity generator.
A printable mini-flashcards generator.
An interactive jigsaw-reading activity generator.
An interactive text-reconstruction activity generator.
An interactive quiz-quiz-trade strip generator.
A printable jigsaw reading generator.
An interactive cloze generator.
An interactive pelmanism / memory pairs game generator.
A cloze worksheet generator.
An interactive whole-text-based millionaire game generator.
An interactive anagram-text generator. 
An interactive dictation generator.
An interactive translation generator.
An interactive Find-the-French (or Spanish, German, etc) generator.
An interactive multiple-choice reading comprehension generator.
An interactive fill in the answer reading comprehension generator.
An interactive multiple-choice listening comprehension generator.
An interactive fill in the answer listening comprehension generator.

Students learning speaking assessments

If you have a textivate Premium or Group subscription, your students get a shared student password which enables them to:

  1. Browse the public resources on textivate.
  2. Modify existing resources and do activities "on the fly".
  3. Create their own activities "on the fly".
  4. Save their own texts in local storage for access on the same device (or on the same user profile if on a school network).
  5. Copy and paste their resources between textivate and other text storage such as word docs, txt files or email messages.

Enhancing "on the fly" resources with extra features

In addition to a text or a list of matching items, students can also add...

  1. A parallel text (containing a translation of the text in English, or containing notes as prompts to reproduce the parallel text)
  2. Text-to-speech! -- with all of the usual caveats regarding the accuracy of text-to-speech, it can be really useful in helping students to learn the correct pronunciation.
  3. A parallel audio or video.

With regard to speaking controlled assessments this means that students can add notes and audio / TTS (text-to-speech) to their practice text, and it's dead easy to do.

Here's what you have to do:

Got TaskMagic3? You'll like this...

With the most recent version of TaskMagic3 (3.2.8 - update available here for those with earlier versions of TM3) you can now copy the content of many of your TaskMagic files straight to textivate!

All you need to do is select the file in the TaskMagicCreate File Viewer (the grey box at bottom right of opening screen), and the content is copied to your clipboard, pre-formatted ready to paste into textivate.

See this video:

This works for the following types of TaskMagic3 files:

  • TextMatch (limit of 200 matching items)
  • GridMatch (converts your grid data to matching items)
  • Mix&Gap - also copies your "Gap-fill" gaps (the original version) to be used as the user-defined gap-fill in textivate; also copies any "Find it!" data as matching items to accompany the text.
  • Dialogues - also copies any "Find it!" data as matching items to accompany the dialogue.

These file types are those based on text only. (For the other file types, the matching data is copied across, but the name of the image or sound file is copied rather than the file itself.)

This is a really quick and easy way of re-using your TaskMagic resources in textivate. 

Watch the video above to see just how easy it is >> Just click the file, then paste into textivate.


Textivate with an interactive whiteboard - Part 1 - Text activities

Textivate works best when used in the one-to-one / one student to one device environment, where each student has access to a computer, laptop or tablet. Unfortunately, however, classes that have access to this sort of set-up are definitely in the minority.

That said, there's plenty that you can do with textivate with the whole class if you have access to an interactive whiteboard. (Not to mention the worksheets, the homework setting, the extra practice and support that can be provided for students outside of regular class time, etc. -- all of those things that do not depend on access to technology within the class.)

This blog post concentrates on using textivate with an interactive whiteboard with the whole class.

Textivate can add all sorts to the languages classroom in terms of starters, fillers, reading practice, memorization, writing focus, simultaneous focus on form and meaning etc.

BUT... as with any tool, so much depends on HOW the teacher decides to use it. 

The teacher knows his or her students and what they are capable of, so should select the most appropriate exercise types depending on...: the context; the level of text input; the type of information being presented; the point they are at in the learning sequence; whether it’s for a starter, a plenary, a presentation or the main element of a lesson; the time available etc. (Also behaviour, age, discipline, hands up or shouting out, etc.)

The sections below provide a few ideas for textivate in a whole-class IWB environment. I'm sure you can think of some more...