EDIT: NEW with Textivate: Student passwords. Students can now save progress on sequences and continue on other devices, or at a later date.
I LOVE Textivate! Textivate is a website that allows students to manipulate texts in various ways. And it's SO easy to use. You paste in your text, hit "textivate" and you have 20+ activities ready made to give your students repetition in reading, but in interesting ways. It has a few subscription options, but I strongly suggest getting the pro. It ends up being about $50 for a year and you'll get your money's worth quickly.
Here's a short list of how I use/plan to use Textivate, and then I'll get into some details.
- Review a class story
- Differentiate instruction
- Practice textbook vocab that I don't want to use in class
- First person (singular and plural) practice
- Sub-work/homework (when we go 1:1)
- Easy bail out move
1. After reading a story with the class, set up a story for students to review on their own, or maybe you aren't feeling hot one day so you paste the story, send out the link, and let students go! There are a couple different ways to have students review stories. You can set up a challenge where students do different activities for different amount of points. Or you can set up a sequence where you decide which activities students do. Currently, sequences are all or nothing. Either you get it done, or you don't. Unfortunately students didn't always have enough time to get through a sequence in a class period. It could work well for homework, but if I'm using textivate in class, I'm going to go with a Challenge.
2. BUZZ WORD ALERT. Differentiation! There are so many ways to support students at varying levels with Textivate. From adding alternate texts, to images, to videos. There is so much that you can add along side your primary text to support comprehension. When you do challenges, and allow students to pick the activities that they want to do, they will pick which activity is useful to them!
3. When you have a textbook, how do you include every single low-frequency word that they give you? You put it into a Textivate match activity and let the students go! I have a hard time fitting "Ferris Wheel" into enough context so that students can acquire it. BUT I can give them these lists where they can practice the absurd vocabulary that a textbook manufacturer thinks my students should know.
4. This is one of those things that I'm GOING to start doing more of. I started messing around with Textivate PLUS (Textivate's pre-made French Units) to learn a little French. I feel comfortable enough trying to talk about myself in French because of the reading and listening I've done with first person texts. I have a rough time fitting in person in my classes so I'm excited to see what this can potentially do for my students!
5. When we go 1:1 next year my line up for Sub Work is going to include Sr. Wooly and Textivate. Didn't finish a sequence in class? Oh, well just take it home and finish it there! Your parents want me to give you more homework? Ok have a sequence! Your parent wants you "practicing more" Spanish? Have a sequence! I'm so excited for this!
6. Class story fall flat? Project Textivate in front of the class and go to town! Although it's not super Comprehension based, a great bail out is to have students spell out a story using Textivate. Or if I've recently given a vocab matching activity, we can do that as a class. Just gotta make sure you already have something in Textivate and you can bail yourself out of almost anything!
So once again, I LOVE Textivate. Go check it out!