tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:/posts The textivate blog 2017-12-01T15:55:06Z . . tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1204488 2017-11-10T17:26:04Z 2017-11-10T17:26:04Z Create Challenges based on Textivate Plus resources

Somebody said it would be nice if they could make Challenges based on Textivate Plus resources. So we added that functionality :)

(What is Textivate Plus? See here.)

The vast majority of Textivate Plus resources are in French at the moment, and are primarily aimed at UK KS3 and KS4.

Note that Textivate Plus resources require a textivate log-in. With this in mind, you may want to make any challenge based on Textivate Plus resources require a password.
(It doesn't really matter whether or not you do this though, to be honest. If they aren't logged in when they land on a Textivate Plus resource, they will be asked to log in anyway.)

Hope you find this a useful addition.


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1204244 2017-11-09T16:37:12Z 2017-11-09T16:40:36Z Parameters for Challenges :)

If you edit an existing Challenge or click to add a new Challenge, you can now set some parameters for the activities within your Challenge.

("What's a Challenge?" you ask? -- see here.)


This affects the Tiles, Horizontal, Gap-fill text activities and the Shuffle match activity, and determines whether or not textivate checks answers as soon as tiles or gaps are dropped into place.
The default setting is "On".
(The default for existing challenges is "not specified".)

Split text by...

This affects the following text activities: Tiles, Horizontal, Multi-choice, Million.
Split by word count means that the words in the text are split into roughly evenly sized chunks.
Split by sentences / chunks means that, where possible, text chunks will be based on sentences and/or line breaks.
The default setting is "not specified".
(The default for existing challenges is "not specified".)

Show word list for gap-fill

This affects the 2 gap-fill activities: random and user-defined.
The default setting is "Yes" (i.e. word list is shown).
(The default for existing challenges is "not specified".)

Order of Match items

This affects the match activities: Multi-match, Jumble, and the Letters activities, and it determines whether or not the items are shown in random order or in their original order.
The default setting is "Random".
(The default for existing challenges is "not specified".)

Switch match order for Letter activities

This affects the match activities: Jumble, Letters, Hangman, Invaders, Snake and Maze.
Our recommendations are:
For match resources with items ordered L1>L2, set this to "No".
For match resources with items ordered L2>L1, set this to "Yes".
This prevents students scoring lots of points on these activities simply by typing in English (L1) words.
(There is also the option to set this to "Do not specify", but this is not recommended.)
The default setting is "No".
(The default for existing challenges is "No".)


Check out the Challenge on the link below, which is set up in the following way:

  • Autocheck on: so all tile activities etc will check scores automatically.
  • Split text by sentences / chunks: this is particularly useful for the resource included in this Challenge, which has been "chunked" as described in this blog post.
  • Show word list for gap-fill = yes: so words can be dragged and dropped into position.
  • Order of match items = random: so each match activity will run through the items in a different order.
  • Switch match order for Letters etc = yes: this is because this resource has matching items listed as L2>L1. By choosing this option, we get the best of both worlds -- matching activities with a comprehension focus and writing activities with an output focus.


Hope you find this a useful addition to Challenges :0)

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1191479 2017-09-15T16:49:31Z 2017-09-15T16:49:31Z Dual-language parallel texts for vocab-in-context activities

Just something I was playing around with today, sort of based on this idea on "Using mini dual texts to present vocab in context in MFL lessons" from the TaskMagic blog.

I thought it would be nice to make both the L2 and the L1 text available at the same time as a parallel text along with vocab activities, as a way of drawing students' attention to how the sentences break down (and, conversely, how the chunks of meaning are fitted together to make sentences).

I'm not entirely sure if the end result is worth the effort. What do you think?

>> Here is the 1 in 10 vocab activity shown in the image above << Here, I've fine-tuned the URL so that the vocab appears in the same order as in the text, making it much easier for students.

Or how about the same thing, but where students need to type in the French, as in the image below?

Here are some live examples. You can specify whether the vocab questions appear in random order or in the original order. Original order is much easier as students simply work their way through the parallel text without having to search each time. The examples below use the original order.

>> Fill in the vowels <<

>> Fill in the consonants <<

>> 50:50 (half the letters missing) <<

>> Initials as clues <<

>> No letters, just word shapes <<

>> Anagrams <<


The 1 in 10 activity plus any one of the above would make for a good flipped sequence.


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1189254 2017-09-06T15:40:20Z 2017-09-07T03:58:37Z Circling questions (just trying something out...)

Just trying something out: activities based on TPRS-style "circling" questions. What do you think? The plan is to make a tool that can help teachers to generate circling questions based on their text, that can be used in the ways shown here. The image (above) includes a parallel text. The circling questions appear in a specific order.

>> Try it here <<

Or try it below as an embedded activity. It's based on this text:

Hay un chico. El chico se llama Juanito. A Juanito le gustan los gatos. Juanito no tiene gato, pero quiere un gato. Quiere un gato rojo.

Click below to access the activity. (Opens in a new window on touch devices.)
Click here to open the above activity in a new window.

Or how about as a football game with random-order questions? (would only work for a short text such as this one...)

>> Try it here <<


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1187609 2017-09-02T09:51:53Z 2017-11-25T18:49:11Z Working with written texts... (inspired by TLTT)

I've just been reading through chapter 10 of the excellent "The Language Teacher Toolkit" by Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti (available here). 

The chapter is called "Working with written texts" and it gives a list of 30 or so different types of activities that can be done with written texts. As I read through the list it occurred to me that many of the activities listed can be automated and can therefore be delivered via textivate. I thought I'd put together some examples :)

The sections below are: 1. Listen and read; 2. Jigsaw reading; 3. Parallel texts; 4. Find the French; 5. Synonyms; 6. Definitions; 7. Question forming; 8. Completing sentences; 9. True, false, not mentioned; 10. Matching tasks; 11. Multiple-choice questions; 12. "Wh" questions; 13. Gap-filling; 14. Changing the point of view; 15. Translation; 16. Dictation; + Other activities.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1184740 2017-08-18T16:36:25Z 2017-08-30T14:29:10Z Working with chunks :)

It was suggested to me recently that it would be really good if textivate could provide text re-build activities based on chunks specified by the teacher. The rationale behind this is that it is better for students to work with words grouped in meaningful chunks rather than in isolation or in randomly generated segments.

Textivate already has re-build activities based on letters, words, sentences and randomly split sections of text, but it occurred to me that there was no way of specifying chunks. 

But then I realised that this actually could already be done, as explained below.

Specifying chunks by line break

If you separate your text into chunks using line breaks as shown in the image above, textivate treats it in the same way as it would treat any text formatted in this way, such as a song or a poem. It treats each new line as a separate section or sentence. So if you then choose the "split by sentence" (rather than by word) option on those activities that have this feature, you sort of end up with what we are looking for: re-build activities based on the teacher-specified chunks of text.

BUT doing this alone has the following drawbacks:

  • Text-to-speech (if used) reads each chunk separately, so there is no way of making activities where a whole sentence is read out and students piece the chunks together based on what they hear.
  • The re-constructed text also appears on separate lines in this way, which is not really ideal... (And the same applies to all of the gap-fill and letters activities.)

Solution?: ###chunked###

Add ###chunked### to the top of your text (as shown above).

This instructs textivate to chunk your text only for those "split by sentence" activities. Note that it removes ALL line breaks from the text, assuming that all line breaks are in fact chunk-separators. Note also that double line breaks are kept in the text, so if you really want your text to appear as paragraphs, simply hit the return key twice between paragraphs.

AND it makes sure that text-to-speech ignores the line breaks too.

The result...

See the embedded examples below.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1171852 2017-07-09T09:10:04Z 2017-11-16T15:42:52Z Manage classes and students for individual student log-ins and sequences which can be completed on multiple devices

The shared student password:

As explained in this blog post, students have always been able to log in to textivate using their teacher's username plus a shared student password. This allowed them to take part in Challenges, Sequences, etc.

One downside of this approach was that a Sequence had to be completed on the same device on which it was started. So a student who didn't finish a Sequence in class time would not be able to finish it at home (unless they took the device they used in class home with them...).

Also, because students were only required to identify themselves at the end of a Sequence, this meant that Sequence scores were only ever submitted for fully completed sequences.

NEW Individual student passwords:

If you click on the "Manage students / classes" icon (as shown in the image above), you'll see a screen which displays a list of all of your classes. You won't have any at first, so just click on the "+ New class" button...

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1166167 2017-06-21T16:52:14Z 2017-12-01T15:55:06Z New optional text activity: Trapdoor :)

If you open a text resource or type in some text in the text tab on the textivate edit screen, you'll see a new "Trapdoor" button. Click this to add a Trapdoor activity to your resource.

A Trapdoor activity is a multiple choice activity where students click their way through the options to (re-)build the text. It is called Trapdoor because if they get a section wrong, they fall through the trapdoor and they have to start again.

Two types of Trapdoor activity: Random & Fixed (Update November 2017)

1. Traditional Trapdoor : Random or "guessing game" mode:

Many language teachers will be familiar with Trapdoor as an activity done in class using a text with several multiple choice options, such that many different versions of the text can be created by selecting from the multiple choice options. In class, this is typically played as follows:

  1. The teacher selects a route through the text, making a note of his / her selected options.
  2. Students take turns to read the text, guessing at the options chosen by the teacher, and they continue until they make a wrong guess, at which point they fall through the trapdoor. It is then another student's turn to start again from the beginning, remembering the progress so far.
  3. The activity requires students to listen carefully, paying close attention to which answers are correct and which are wrong. It is also good speaking (at least pronunciation) practice. 

On textivate Trapdoor is similar when played in the default random (guessing game) mode. It is essentially a guessing game and a memory game combined. Students have to guess their way through a series of equally valid multiple choice options to rebuild a text. If they guess correctly, they proceed to the next option. BUT if they make a wrong guess, they fall through the Trapdoor, which means that they have to start again, remembering their progress so far as well as where they went wrong. They keep on playing until they reach the end of the text.

Each time textivate loads a Trapdoor activity, it picks a different random route through the multiple choice options that you have specified. (So it's important that all options are equally "correct".)

Traditional (guessing game) Trapdoor works best with short, simple texts, consisting essentially of a series of substitution tables, where most of the text has been turned into traps, preferably with no more than 10 or so traps in total. See the embedded example at the bottom of this post - a French "guessing game" trapdoor activity with 8 traps.

2. Fixed or "original text" mode:

In "original text" mode, the game is essentially the same as above, except that the correct answers are ALWAYS the options that come from your original text. This makes the activity a sort of sudden-death gap-fill activity with multiple options, rather than a guessing game, and it tests students' recall of the original text.

Creating "traps" in the text:

Select words in the text on the Trapdoor edit screen to create traps. Traps appear as ||-underlined-|| on the Trapdoor edit screen (and with ||-these symbols-|| around them on the textivate edit screen). Your traps can be based on single words or multiple words. (Click and drag to select multiple words.) 

Once you have made a trap, click on it to add your options (see image above). You need to add 1, 2 or 3 options. Remember that, if making a traditional "guessing game" Trapdoor activity, all options must be equally valid, because textivate selects a random route through your options each time the Trapdoor activity loads.

You need to have a minimum of 3 traps (each with 1 - 3 options) for your Trapdoor activity to be made available. 


1. Random / guessing game:

A short French text. All answers are equally valid. Students guess their way through the text.

Click below to access the activity. (Opens in a new window on touch devices.)
Click here to open the above activity in a new window.

2. Fixed / original text:

The same French text as above, but this time there is only one correct answer for each option. The others are grammatically incorrect or misspelt.

Click below to access the activity. (Opens in a new window on touch devices.)
Click here to open the above activity in a new window.

Additional thoughts...

Trapdoor in "guessing game" mode does not require students to make judgments based on correctness of grammar or vocabulary. It provides lots of repeated exposure to a simple, short text, and it tests students' memory.

In "original text" mode, however, you can choose to make activities where the "wrong" answers are either grammatically or factually incorrect, or which simply deviate from the information in the original text.

Also, in "original text" mode, you have the option of a Trapdoor-translation activity, with the L1 as a parallel text! In "guessing game" mode this is not possible because the "correct" text is different each time. See the screenshot below of a "trapdoor-translation" activity:

(And here is a link to the above activity.)

Let us know what you think.


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1154969 2017-05-18T15:37:22Z 2017-05-18T15:37:23Z New search functionality, plus views and likes

Several small updates and improvements:

  • New search resource type options:
    We've added to the search parameters to include "all with text" (which includes text AND text+match resources) and "all with match" (which includes match AND text+match resources).
    This means it is now possible to search through all resources that have a text, rather than doing a text search and a text+match search separately. Similarly with vocab / matching resources.

  • New search order options:
    We've added views and likes to the search by options. These search by most viewed and most liked respectively. (And then by most recent.)

  • Views and likes:
    We've started counting views and likes.
    Likes are based on logged-in users clicking on the "favourite" icon for a resource.
    Views are based on a resource being accessed by any user. (Repeat views with a 15 minute period are not counted.)
    Users can search by most liked and most viewed. Numbers for views and likes will also appear in the resource info for all resources, accessible via the +i icon, as well as in the Public and My resources lists.
    (Clearly, views and likes are not retrospective. All counts started on 16th May 2017.)

  • Recent and Favourite resources increased to 100:
    Previously, we only stored info for the 10 most recent / favourite resources. We've increased it to 100.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1154956 2017-05-18T14:53:27Z 2017-05-18T16:14:45Z Set and enforce your own team names for scoreboard challenges

New feature as of May 2017

Normally, students are prompted to type in their own "scoreboard names" when they take part in a textivate scoreboard challenge, and they also have the option of using the same scoreboard names so that they can compete together in teams.

(A scoreboard challenge is a way for students to compete individually or in teams, scoring points by completing all sorts of reading, text-reconstruction and vocab activities. See this blog post for more info.)

A recent addition was the facility to select from one of the existing scoreboard names, which makes it easier to return to a challenge on a different device or to join an existing team, without fear of spelling the name wrongly, as explained in this blog post.

What we've now added is a way for the teacher to set the team names. And students can only log in to a challenge using the team names specified by the teacher.

The image above shows the "new challenge" pane. There's now a section at the bottom which you can use to specify the team names that you want your students to use.

Simply type in your team names, separated by a semi-colon ;

If you leave it blank, students can use whichever team name or individual name they like. But if you include two or more semi-colon-separated team names, those names will be enforced, and students will have to pick a team from a dropdown menu, as demonstrated in the image at the top of this post.

Here's an example for you to try: >> French, daily routine, past tense (passé composé) <<

N.B. You can edit your existing challenges and add team names. But note that any scoreboard data that you have not deleted will still be visible on the scoreboard. You can delete scores in the usual way, via the challenge scoreboard page.

Why team challenges?

One of the benefits of a team competition is that all team members can feel that they are contributing to the overall team score, even if they, personally, are not the brightest and would quickly lose heart if they saw that their scores were very low while other students in the class were racing ahead. This would work particularly well if you set up "vertical" teams, where every team has a range of ability, and preferably equal numbers. (Having said that, allowing for varying numbers of team members might also be a good way of redressing the balance between groups of students with different abilities.)

This new feature even makes it possible to set up inter-class competitions!

Here's a quote from a user of textivate (a TPRS teacher) commenting on team challenges on facebook:

"The challenge gets everyone engaged. We do it as teams. My classroom gets so quiet you can hear a pin drop and then there is raucous uproar when someone on a team dumps a chunk of points. The kids get so intense. It is a great wrap up activity after a story has been told and I've done everything I want to with actors and re-tells, etc. this is my final push and we end with a bang!"


See also:

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1153232 2017-05-11T12:06:48Z 2017-07-22T20:29:38Z Exploiting texts

1. Create a new resource

Click on the New Resource icon to clear the contents of all of the text boxes before you start.

>>> Our resource so far: empty home page

2. Click the Text tab and type or paste in a text

You can type or paste in any text of up to 500 words.

There are various sources of texts:

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1149119 2017-04-25T09:25:27Z 2017-04-25T09:25:28Z Configuring match resources based on sentence halves

The key thing to remember when making matching resources based on matching sentence halves is that the matches should be exclusive - i.e. you should make sure that there is only one sentence end that could possibly go with each sentence starter. It's no good making a resource based on the following data:

Je fais partie d'un club >> de foot
Je fais partie d'un club >> de tennis
Je fais partie d'un club >> de rugby

...because any of the ends can match perfectly well with any of the starters.

Instead, you need to do this sort of thing:

Je fais partie d'un club de >> foot
Je fais partie d'un club >> de tennis
Je fais partie d'un >> club de rugby

...so that each match is exclusive.

The screen image above shows a textivate Match resource which has the following characteristics:

  • The matching items are all in L2...
    ...with the first half of the sentence on the left and the second half on the right.
  • No text-to-speech
    Since for most activities TTS would only apply to either the first part or the second part of each match, it's best not to use it at all.
  • Several mostly production focused activities have been removed
    Flashcards, because it would essentially end up as a guessing game for this sort of content;
    All of the memory activities, for the same reason;
    All of the "letters" activities, for the same reason, and because our focus here is on matching the 2 halves, not filling in the last half;
    Hangman, because it doesn't present the first half of the match, so it wouldn't make sense with this content;
    Snake, because I think it's too difficult with this content... (Having said that, I've left in Maze and Invaders because I feel they are more do-able and the letter clues help students to complete the phrases -- best attempted later on in the learning sequence).
    See this blog post about excluding particular activities from the textivate menu.
    The image below shows the activities which have been excluded (via the "Extras" tab):

Here is a link to the resource shown above: >>> French: Je fais partie... <<<

Related posts:

How to make a match resource with an input (understanding) focus

How to make a match resource with a production / output focus


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1146266 2017-04-13T21:14:03Z 2017-04-24T09:05:59Z Access textivate free this weekend (free student access)


Want to try out textivate this weekend? (until Sunday 23rd April 2017)

Go to http://www.textivate.com/?new=1 and click the "Log in / subscribe" button. Select "Log in" and enter the following:

Username: temporary

Password: [leave this empty]

Student password: student1234

This will give you the equivalent of student access to textivate. With this you can:

  • Put your own texts / matching items into textivate and try out the activities that are automatically created based on them.
  • Add data into the extras tab to add video / audio / image / parallel text, as well as text to speech.
  • Save your texts in local storage via local storage icon (the filing cabinet).
  • Try out the ready-made French resources on "Textivate Plus" (see link on the textivate home page).
  • Browse the thousands of resources available via the search icon (the spyglass).

You will not be able to do any of the following (which require teacher access):

Check out the textivate user guides for more info about what textivate can do and how you can do it: 


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1142506 2017-03-30T10:06:07Z 2017-03-30T10:16:51Z How to make vocab resources with a production / output focus

Vocab resources with an output focus ask the question "how do you say ...?" rather than "what does ... mean?"

The focus is on students' productive skills (speaking, writing) rather than on receptive skills (listening, reading), so they are more challenging for students.

The screen image above shows a textivate Match resource which has the following characteristics:

  • The matching items are in the order L1 >>> L2
    This means that the L1 item will be presented first, with students being required to say how that L1 word or phrase is said in the target language.

  • No text-to-speech
    Since adding L2 text to speech would make many of the activities much easier, turning them into dictation-type activities rather than "how do you say" activities.

  • Several mainly input-focused activities have been removed
    Snap because this is more about recognition;
    Shuffle, Switch, Click Match, Memory because these are not really output-focused;
    Hangman because this does not ask the question "how do you say ...?"
    See this blog post about excluding particular activities from the textivate menu.
    The image below shows the activities which have been excluded (via the "Extras" tab):

Here is a link to the resource shown above: French, daily routine, perfect tense

N.B. The most output focused activities are:

  • the Letters activities (Vowels, Consonants, 50:50, Initials, No letters, Anagrams) - which require students to spell the words, with varying levels of support;
  • Invaders, Snake and Maze - which require selective letter filling in game formats;
  • Flashcards - which does not require any writing / spelling, but tests students recall. ( Note that different levels of support can be provided via the "clue" selector at the bottom left.)


Why not set a Challenge each week based on this sort of resource? You could award prizes (according to your school's reward system) for the highest scorers, and you could require all students to score a specified minimum number of points each week (1000? 5000? -- bear in mind that the Letters activities score many more points than the simple matching activities, and Flashcards scores next to nothing because students assess themselves). 

Doing this sort of thing regularly should make a big impact on your students' ability to produce core vocab and expressions.

(See this blog post about Challenges on textivate)


Related posts:

How to make match resources with a receptive focus

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1142077 2017-03-28T10:50:13Z 2017-03-30T10:18:36Z How to make vocab resources with a receptive focus - good for GCSE R/L revision

Vocab resources with a receptive (or input) focus ask the question "what does ... mean?" rather than "how do you say ...?"

The focus is on students' receptive skills (listening, reading) rather than on productive skills (speaking, writing), so they are less challenging for students. We want to know what they can understand rather than what they can produce themselves.

The screen image above shows a textivate Match resource which has the following characteristics:

  • The matching items are listed in the order L2 >>> L1
    This means that the target language item will be presented first, with students tasked with understanding the meaning (and looking for it in L1).

  • Text-to-speech has been added to the L2
    Provided that students make sure that TTS is turned on (which they can do on the activity screens), they will hear as well as see the target language word or phrase. TTS is added to the resource via the "Extras" tab. See this blog post all about TTS on textivate.

  • All output-focused activities have been removed
    This means that all of the activities present the L2 and test students understanding of the L2 word or phrase with reference to the L1. None of the activities require the student to spell anything, or work on re-building words in the L1. See this blog post about excluding particular activities from the textivate menu.
    To exclude all of the output-focused activities, simply select all of the activities listed on the bottom 2 rows in the "Extras" tab, as shown in the image below:

Here is a link to the resource shown above: GCSE French environment - RECEPTIVE


Why not set a Challenge each week based on this sort of resource? You could award prizes (according to your school's reward system) for the highest scorers, and you could require all students to score a specified minimum number of points each week (1000???). Doing this sort of thing regularly should make an impact on your students' receptive understanding of key vocab.

(See this blog post about Challenges on textivate)


Related posts:

How to make match resources with an output focus

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1141109 2017-03-23T22:12:04Z 2017-03-24T16:06:41Z How to exclude activities from the textivate menu

If you click on the "Extras" tab and scroll down to the bottom, you will see a section called "Exclude activities from menu", as shown in the image above.

By default, all textivate activities are available via the menu screen, provided the resource meets the requirements of each activity in terms of number of words etc. (And obviously, text activities are not displayed for match resources and vice versa...)

You can use this "Exclude activities from menu" section to exclude particular activities from the menu screen. 

Simply select the activities that you wish to exclude, and those activities will not be available via the textivate menu screen.

Your list of excluded activities appears in the "Show all" tab, looking something like this:

3x5, 4x4, 3x6, 4x5, 4x6, hz6, hz8, h10, hza, par

Why exclude activities?

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1139255 2017-03-16T17:59:52Z 2017-03-16T17:59:52Z Copy name from scoreboard feature added to challenge login -- good for Team Challenges :)

We've added a new feature allowing users to select from names that are already on the scoreboard when they log in to a challenge.


Well, this makes logging in much easier for Team Challenges, where you want several students to use the same scoreboard name to identify their team. (Previously the log-in box appeared in front of the scoreboard, so it wasn't easy to copy existing names...)

That's all. Just a little tweak to make things smoother. 

(A number of people had asked for this feature...)

>> Check out Team Challenges <<


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1138686 2017-03-14T17:08:02Z 2017-03-14T17:09:22Z GCSE French essays on textivate plus :)

Have you seen the GCSE French essays section on textivate plus?

(Textivate Plus is for those with subscriptions to textivate. More info here.)

Each essay is split into at least 3 parts. 

Click on the essay titles (shown in image above) to see links to resources based on sub-sections of each essay as well as to the full essay. e.g. The sub-categories for "A holiday abroad" are shown below:

Each link then contains up to 59 activities, including vocab matching, reading, comprehension, dictation, translation, jigsaw reading, flashcards, football, millionaire. 

The activities are listed in order of difficulty, easiest to hardest.

Have a look for yourself: http://www.textivate.com/plus/French/KS4_GCSE%20essays_

The plan is to add more content to this section over time.


Related links

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1133892 2017-02-24T11:23:46Z 2017-02-24T18:02:41Z Exploiting songs with textivate

This blog post looks at some of the sorts of activities that you can do with textivate to exploit a song. The song itself can be embedded as a video, or as audio, or students can access it in a separate browser tab or window.

1. Tiles

This is shown in the image at the top of this post and involves dragging the tiles of text so that they are in the correct order. This works particularly well if the number of lines in the song matches the number of tiles on the screen, as in the example in the image above. If this is the case, simply ensure that any link to the activity is set to "split by sentence" (or ask students to navigate to the page and select this option). If this isn't the case, it isn't a problem, but selecting "split by sentence" ensures that the text is broken by either full stops or line breaks, which makes it clearer in my opinion.

>> Try this activity!!

2. Multi-choice

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1131331 2017-02-14T20:08:52Z 2017-04-29T17:30:14Z What's the difference between textivate and TaskMagic?

What's the difference between textivate and TaskMagic?

I get asked this quite a lot, by people who already have / have used TaskMagic.

("What's TaskMagic?", you ask... See this.)

  TaskMagic3    Textivate
Web-based?     No     Yes
Works on...: Windows Everything
Mobile?      No     Yes
Mac?      No     Yes
Linux?      No     Yes
Android?      No     Yes
iOS (iPad / iPhone)?      No     Yes
Windows?     Yes     Yes
Requires installation?     Yes      No
Requires internet connection?      No     Yes
Prints worksheets?     Yes     Yes
Worksheet definition / quality:   Good Variable
Text to speech? (TTS)      No     Yes
Embed video along with activities?      No     Yes
Big picture along with activities?      No     Yes
Audio along with activities? Depends     Yes
Parallel text along with activities?      No     Yes
Translation via parallel text?      No     Yes
Dictation via audio file?     Yes     Yes
Find the French / Spanish etc...?     Yes     Yes
Activities based on a text?     Yes     Yes
Activities based on a dialogue?     Yes     Yes
Activities based on matching text items? (Text Match)     Yes     Yes
Activities based on matching images with text? (Pic Match)     Yes     Yes
Activities based on matching audio with text?     Yes Yes (TTS)
Pic-Sound?     Yes      No
Grid Match?     Yes      No
Matching activities combining text, images and sound?      No     Yes
Text activities and Match activities in the same resource?      No     Yes
Multiple choice quiz?     Yes     Yes
Reading comprehension?     Yes     Yes
Maximum number of gap-fill formats per text?       5       2
Teacher can determine which activities are available for a resource?     Yes     Yes
Teacher-defined activity sequences?      No     Yes
Submit homework / classwork scores?      No     Yes
Gradebook of student sequence scores?      No     Yes
Individual / team scoreboard competitions?      No     Yes
Sharing resources? Yes (files) Yes (URLs)
Embed activities?      No     Yes
Link to specific activity?     Yes     Yes
Define parameters for activities via link?      No     Yes
Switch matching items within a resource?      No     Yes
Perpetual licence?     Yes      No
Annual subscription? Yes (new)     Yes

"What about the price?" I hear you say... Well:

TaskMagic price options

Textivate price options

Hope this helps. I appreciate it will mean very little unless you're reasonably familiar with one of the two.


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1128211 2017-02-02T14:54:42Z 2017-02-02T14:55:59Z New menu screen

We've completely revamped the menu screen (above). 

This new version makes it much easier to read the text / matching items on the menu screen.

It also has words on the menu, rather than images intended to represent each activity.

And many activities that are essentially the same, such as all the tile activities, are now accessed in submenus.

Here's what it used to look like (if you've never used textivate, or if you've forgotten already...):

Here is a link to the menu as shown in the first image above. Have a play with it: http://www.textivate.com/menu-7rfjn1?colscheme=blue

We hope you like the change.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1123907 2017-01-17T17:18:45Z 2017-02-09T14:53:45Z Comment vas-tu à l'école? (French resources based on openclipart...)

A resource blog-post, for a change...

The images in this textivate resource are direct links to images on the openclipart website, https://openclipart.org/

The 26 activities below are in the same order and format as many of the image+text matching resources on the KS3 French section of textivate plus (for textivate subscribers) at http://www.textivate.com/plus/French/KS3_General_

NB: Scroll down to below the interactive activities for some pdf worksheets based on this resource.

The embedded resources below can be accessed by anyone (with or without a subscription):

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/668613 2017-01-11T10:38:26Z 2017-02-09T15:00:16Z Dictée for homework?

Using a combination of embedded video or embedded audio and a single activity textivate sequence, it's easy to create a dictation activity on textivate that your students can complete for homework. (Records their score and time taken too.)

See this French example based on Prévert's "Déjeuner du matin":
(Close the log-in box to have a go at the activity)

Here is the same activity embedded. Close the log-in box to have a go at it. Then click on the video icon to open the activity with the video embedded, so that you can listen to the audio.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1113975 2016-12-08T21:31:44Z 2017-01-07T10:16:37Z Noël en France (parallel text with TTS and vocab)

Short(ish) text suitable for KS3 or KS4

+ parallel English text

+ vocab matching items

+ text-to-speech !

Here is a link to the menu screen:

>> Noël en France <<


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1110791 2016-11-25T11:06:34Z 2017-07-18T16:21:57Z Short texts: resources for GCSE French translation (and much more)

If you are a textivate subscriber, you will be able to access the resources on the textivate plus section of textivate. (If you are not a subscriber, you will be able to see what's there, but you won't be able to open the activities.)

One part of textivate plus is the "Short texts" section for KS4 French. These texts are similar in length (and content?) to the L1>L2 translation texts on the new GCSE specifications. (Higher tier, admittedly, but these are still useful practice resources for Foundation candidates.)

Here is the link to the short texts for GCSE French: http://www.textivate.com/plus/French/KS4_Short%20texts_

Check it out.

Each resource contains over 50 activities (described below, or you could just click the link above and select one of the resources):

  1. Text intro / rebuild: parallel English text to provide meaning, TTS for audio, multiple choice text rebuild.
  2. Flashcards, presenting the vocab in order as it appears in the text, with the parallel French text for reference.
  3. Jigsaw reading / translation: read the English and put the blocks of French in order.
  4. Jigsaw listening: click the speak button to hear the text spoken one sentence at a time; put the blocks of French in order.
  5. Separate the words: with parallel English text, click to separate French words that have been joined together.
  6. Vocab match (1 in 4): listen and read the prompt and select the correct English meaning; parallel French text provided for reference.
  7. Snap: decide whether the English (top line) matches with the French (bottom line), which is also spoken via TTS.
  8. Jigsaw reading / translation (as 3 but with more blocks)
  9. Jigsaw listening (as 4 but with more blocks)
  10. Click & Match: find the matching pairs.
  11. Millionaire reading: rebuild the French text without making any mistakes.
  12. Vocab 3 in a row
  13. Random gap-fill: fill the words in the text; gaps change with each page load.
  14. Key vocab gap-fill.
  15. Memory pairs.
  16. Gap-fill 3 in a row.
  17. Jigsaw reading / translation (as 3 but with more blocks)
  18. Jigsaw listening (as 4 but with more blocks)
  19. Gap-fill football game: a 2 minute game against textivate.
  20. Vocab match (1 in 10): listen and read the prompt and select the correct English meaning; parallel French text provided for reference.
  21. Find the French - initials: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  22. Vocab dictation - vowels: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  23. Jumbled words dictation / translation: listen to the French and put the words in the correct order; parallel English text makes this a translation activity too.
  24. Vocab football.
  25. Vocab jumble - translation: look at the English and put the French words in the correct order.
  26. Word blocks dictation: click the speak button to hear the text spoken one sentence at a time; click the 3-words blocks to rebuild the text.
  27. Word blocks translation: read the parallel English text and click the 3-words blocks to rebuild the text.
  28. Speed read: multi-choice text rebuild with a timer.
  29. Vocab dictation - initials: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  30. Flashcards translation - vowels: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French is provided with vowels missing.
  31. Vocab translation - no vowels: read the English and fill in the missing letters in the French.
  32. Word invaders: click the French words missing from the text in the correct order.
  33. Word snake: listen, read and find the missing letters.
  34. Invaders - vocab dictation.
  35. Find the French - with anagrams: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  36. Flashcards translation - initials: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French word shapes are provided along with initial letters.
  37. Vocab translation - initials: read the English and fill in the missing letters in the French.
  38. Flashcards translation, with word shapes provided + French text for reference; a sort of find-the-French meets flashcards.
  39. Find the French - with word shapes: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  40. Vocab dictation - word shapes: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  41. Letter maze dictation game.
  42. Flashcards translation - word shapes: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French word shapes are provided.
  43. Translation / dictation combined - no vowels.
  44. Dictation - no vowels.
  45. Translation - no vowels.
  46. Translation / dictation combined - with anagrams.
  47. Dictation - with anagrams.
  48. Translation - with anagrams.
  49. Invaders - letter gap-fill game.
  50. Translation / dictation combined - with initial letters.
  51. Dictation - with initial letters.
  52. Translation - with initial letters.
  53. Flashcards translation, without clues: look at the English and see if you know the French.
  54. Translation / dictation combined - with word shapes.
  55. Dictation - with word shapes.
  56. Translation - with word shapes.

The activities are ordered approximately from easier to more difficult. Obviously, nobody would suggest doing every activity. But you have a lot to go at.


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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1106476 2016-11-08T10:16:47Z 2017-02-04T15:58:18Z Textivate Plus

We've created a new section on textivate with ready-made resources. So far it only has resources for French, but we'll be adding to it over the coming months.

We've tried to include plenty of activities with a focus on L1>L2 translation.

Check it out: http://www.textivate.com/plus.php

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/731569 2016-09-25T09:56:21Z 2017-06-19T12:13:03Z Adding an audio file to your textivate resource

Just as you can add a video to your textivate resources, as explained here, or an image (see here), you can now add an audio file to a textivate resource so that students can listen to it as they complete the activities.

As with video and image embedding, there are 2 methods:

1. Via the "Extras" tab

Simply click on the Extras tab and type or paste the link to your audio in the "Audio url" box.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1084357 2016-08-27T16:17:35Z 2016-08-29T14:43:09Z What's been added to TEXTIVATE since the beginning of the last academic year?

New features are being added to textivate all the time. 

To give you an idea, if you've been using textivate for the last 12 months (September 2015 - August 2016), these are all the new features that have been added to textivate in that time. Click on the links for more info:

  1. Challenges (September 2015) - in-class competitions for individuals or teams
  2. Match Jumble (October 2015) - new match activity
  3. Drop-down box navigation (November 2015)
  4. Split by sentence (November 2015)
  5. Improved options for non-roman-script languages (November 2015)
  6. Jumbled words (November 2015) - new text activity
  7. Word invaders (November 2015) - new text activity
  8. Football (January 2016) - new text and match activities
  9. 3 in a row (January 2016) - new text and match activities
  10. Space specifications (January 2016)
  11. Flashcards improvements (January 2016)
  12. Speed read (February 2016) - new text activity
  13. Text to speech (July 2016) - new feature to add speech functionality to almost all your textivities
  14. Switch matching items (July 2016) - improvement for match resources
  15. Flashcards clues options (August 2016) - makes flashcards much more versatile

Challenges are just one of many new features added to textivate in the past 12 months...

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/702547 2016-08-04T20:49:43Z 2017-11-10T17:45:55Z LATEST ADDITIONS

What's new in textivate? New features will be added to the top of this list.

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tag:textivate.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1078497 2016-08-03T15:27:28Z 2017-03-31T10:50:51Z BIG changes to Flashcards with new "Clue" option :0)

Until now, the Flashcards activity has looked like this:

The prompt is presented along with a question mark. The student tries to say the correct answer. They click the question mark and the correct answer is revealed. They then click the green tick if they got it right or the red cross if they got it wrong. (And if they got it wrong, that question was repeated again later.)

Well, most of that is exactly as it was before. The big difference is the option to set a different clue instead of just a question mark. (See the image at the top of the page which shows the option box.) So what you end up with now is all of the following ways of viewing Flashcards (as well as the default question mark option, which is still there):

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