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.

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...

Making text-based resources in textivate.

Textivate takes any text that you type (or paste) into the textivate textbox and turns it into multiple interactive activities (and worksheets).

Here's what you do.

1. Go to the textivate home pagewww.textivate.com

Follow the above link or type the url into a web browser.

You can get to the home page from any of the textivate screens by clicking on the white "textivate.com" that appears at the top left of the screen. From the menu screen you can also click on the "Back to textivate home page" button.

2. Empty the text box.

When you arrive on the homepage, you may see a default "Welcome to textivate..." text, or another text (depending on whether or not you've been there before). To make your own resource, you need to clear this text first. 

How to submit work at the end of a textivate homework sequence

This post explains how to submit your work at the end of a textivate sequence.

(This post relates to textivate sequences, available to users with Premium or Group subscriptions, where students submit their work using the teacher's username plus the shared student password.)

At the end of an activity sequence, exactly what happens (and in what order) depends on whether or not you are already logged in to textivate, and whether or not you are using the shared student password or an individual student password.

Individual student password

Logging in

If you have an individual student password, you should log in as soon as you arrive on a sequence page (if you haven't already).

Log in using your teacher's username, plus your individual student password, which you should type into the "Student password" field, leaving the "Password" field empty, as shown below.

Updating progress

Each time you finish an activity, your progress in the sequence is uploaded to our servers (even if you don't complete the activity successfully). Once your progress has been updated, it is safe to click on the "next" button (or "restart" if you need to do the activity again).

Keep doing this until you have completed all the activities.

Unfinished sequences

If you are unable to finish the sequence in one session (in class, for example), as long as you are logged in using your individual student password, you will be able to pick up the sequence again on a different device.

You should finish the activity that you are on, allow the progress to be updated, and then LOG OUT.

Resuming a sequence on a different device

Use the sequence url provided by your teacher. As soon as you arrive at the sequence page or first activity, LOG IN using your individual student password. This will download from our servers any progress you have made on a particular sequence and move you on to the next un-completed activity.

Using individual student passwords makes the whole process work much better, and it is so easy for teachers to set up passwords for students. See this blog post for more information.

Shared student password

N.B. You should avoid using the shared student password if at all possible. Set up classes of students and assign them their own passwords as described on this blog post. But if you are still using the shared student password, please read on...


If you are not logged in to textivate, you will see this screen:

You should click on the link. Then you will see this screen:

Fill in the teacher's username and the student password, and then click "Submit log in data". You are now logged in as a student. See below.

If you are logged in as a student, you will see this screen:

Fill in your name, your group (this is optional - you can leave it empty) and click "Submit". You should then see this message:

That's it. Your work has been submitted.

What if I close the first notification box? What can I do?

Don't panic! You can get the box back by clicking the rosette icon at the top of the screen:

You can also log in or out using the "log in" / "log out" icons at the top of the screen, then click the rosette to get the box that allows you to submit your data.

Just make sure you don't leave the page if you want to submit your work... (If you do this, you'll have to start the sequence again!!)

What if I don't get any of the above notifications?

This will be because you are already logged in, but not as a student.

If you are logged in as a teacher (maybe you are testing how the sequence works...?) you will just see a message that you have completed the sequence. If you want to test out the work submission thing, here's what you shoud do:

  1. Close the "All activities completed" notification.
  2. Click "Log out" at the top of the screen.
  3. Then click "Log in" and enter the username and student password (remember, you can only submit work if logged in as a student).
  4. Click the rosette icon, enter your name, and Submit.

Hope all of this helps. Please contact us via the textivate website if you have any question, doubts etc.

See this video, too:

Related posts:

Introducing Sequences on textivate

More on textivate sequences

LIGHT - an embedded KS3 Science sequence of 10 activities

Chez moi (a textivate sequence = a substantial bit of homework)

Resource preview option.

"Protected" resources.

Sequences based on activities from more than one resource