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  • Did you know? – Painting in Clicker 7

    The Paint feature within Clicker 7 is highly versatile and offers fun ways for users to illustrate their ideas.

    Did you know you can paint over other pictures?

    Once you’ve added a picture to a Document or Clicker Set, you can paint over it! This is especially fun to do with photos taken with a webcam.

    To paint over a picture in a Document:

    1. In the Document ribbon tab, Click the Picture icon and choose Browse or Photo to add a picture to the Document.
    2. Select the picture.
    3. In the Document ribbon tab, click the Picture icon and choose Paint.

    To paint over a picture in an open Sentence Set:

    1. In the Clicker Set ribbon tab, click Edit.
    2. Click the Browse (magnifying glass folder) icon or the Photo icon to add a picture to the current grid.
    3. Click the Paint icon beside the added picture.

    To paint over a picture in an open Connect Set:

    1. In the Clicker Set ribbon tab, click Edit.
    2. Click the desired cell until it’s outlined in red.
    3. Click the Browse (magnifying glass folder) icon or the Photo icon to add a picture to the cell.
    4. Click the Paint icon beside the added picture.

    To paint over a picture in an open Clicker Board:

    1. Select a cell, or select nothing if you want to change the Board’s background.
    2. Click the Picture icon in the left sidebar, and then click the Browse (magnifying glass folder) icon or the Photo icon to add a picture.
    3. If you added the picture to a cell, select it. Otherwise, select nothing.
    4. Click the Picture icon in the left sidebar and then click the Paint icon.

    To paint over a picture in an open Clicker Book:

    1. Click Edit in the top-left corner.
    2. Click the red icon on the left to add a Picture Box to the page.
    3. Select the Picture Box and then click the Browse (magnifying glass folder) icon or the Photo icon at the top to add a picture.
    4. Select the Picture Box and then click the Paint icon at the top.

    Did you know you can choose which tools, stamps, and colors appear?

    In Custom Sets, you can set up a custom Paint activity that contains only the tools, stamps, and colors that you specify.  This helps to keep the activity focused and removes distractions.

    To create a custom Paint activity:

    1. Create or open a Custom Set.
    2. In the Clicker Set ribbon tab, click Edit.
    3. Open the Objects tab in the left sidebar and drag a cell onto the current grid/page.
    4. Select the cell, and then open the Open tab in the Editing Toolbar above.
    5. Click Choose and choose Open Paint.
    6. Click More Options on the right.
    7. Click the Tools or Colors tab.

    Click the tools/color palettes along the top to enable/disable them. 

    Each enabled tool/color palette has a corresponding tab below. Items in the left list will be hidden; items in the right list will be shown. To move an item from one list to another, click the item, and then click an arrow button. The tool’s default settings can be changed on the right.

    To learn more about creating a custom Paint activity: click Help in the Help ribbon tab, click Search at the top and search for custom paint.

    Did you know you can save a Document painting as a file?

    Once you’ve added a painting to your Document, you can save the painting as a picture file so it can be used in other programs and shared with other people.

    To do this, right-click the painting and choose Save Picture.

  • The Presidential Election

    With the presidential election fast approaching, it is a perfect time to use Clicker and WriteOnline resources to help your students explore the election. Students can use the word banks such as Elections A – Z in WriteOnline or Becoming the President in Clicker to write about the election process and issues that are important to them.


    You can also use Clicker’s fast and easy tools to create your own resources. Create a Talk Set that allows students to practice their presentation skills in order to discuss presidential candidates or candidates in a local election.


    Or use Clicker Board or WriteOnline’s WorkSpace to stimulate discussions about the candidates and the election process.


    Be sure to visit LearningGrids for many more ideas on how to support your learners.

  • Clicker Apps for Chrome

    We’re excited to have Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs available for Chrome! Clicker Apps are already extremely successful on iPads in many thousands of schools, and now Chrome users can benefit too.

    We’ve done far more than just version the iPad apps for Chrome – we’ve actually created brand new apps that properly integrate with Chrome and Google Drive, making it quick and easy for schools to implement in their domain. Clicker Apps for Chrome are designed for schools – they are set up using your usual Chrome tools so there’s nothing new to learn.

    Also, we know that wireless networks sometimes struggle to cope with many users, so we’ve made the apps so that they work with or without an Internet connection.

    It’s easy for schools to try out Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs, with 28-day free subscriptions available from Google Apps Marketplace.

  • Clicker Books

    On LearningGrids, we have published Clicker Books that cover a variety of curriculum areas for a wide age range. There are Clicker Books for older students to cover topics such as animal life cycles, coastal landforms, the Olympics, and the water cycle. 

    And we have also created lots of Clicker Books for younger readers – books that explore materials, the weather, the five senses, and colors, just to name a few.

    In addition to providing you with content to use in your classroom, we also try to publish resources on LearningGrids that demonstrate different ways that you can use Clicker Books.  As seen in the examples above, Clicker reading books can be designed with different layouts to match the needs of your students and to best fit the content.

    There are also many ways to design activities for students to make their own books using Clicker Books. Word banks to support their writing can range from a single tab which includes all of the words or phrases needed to write sentences to multiple tabs providing only the key vocabulary.

    Some of the Make a Book activities on LearningGrids include text already in place, allowing students to add illustrations or photos to match the text in order to demonstrate their understanding of important concepts. Other Clicker Books have been designed as speaking activities without any text. Students record information about the pictures that are showcased in the book. These resources can be used as pre-writing activities or as part of presentations on a topic.

    Be sure to visit LearningGrids to access almost 200 Clicker Books – with more resources added every month!

  • ISAAC (the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) held its biannual conference in Toronto last month. More than 1,200 visitors from over 40 countries made for a magnificent melting pot of AAC expertise and experience! We were there to showcase our AAC app, Clicker Communicator. Many delegates were new to Clicker Communicator, and we were delighted to receive so much praise for our first dedicated AAC offering.

    I wanted to share three of the features that our booth visitors liked best:

    1. Uniquely Accessible

    Clicker Communicator incorporates a revolutionary new accessibility feature called SuperKeys – designed to speed up access to the communication grids by grouping cells into clusters. It can be enabled at any time, and also used in conjunction with iOS Switch Control if required:


    In addition to working with the cells in communication grids, SuperKeys also offers support with keyboard access, giving rapid access to clustered letters which work in tandem with a symbol supported word predictor. Delegates working with higher functioning users identified huge time saving benefits when typing:


    2. Superfast Editing

    Although new to Clicker Communicator, many of our visitors were seasoned users of the Clicker Apps family, and they were delighted to find a very familiar user interface in Clicker Communicator. From a facilitator perspective, the speed and ease of creation and editing is a critical consideration – whether editing grids on the fly to enable real time communication, or when preparing resources for curriculum support, time is always of the essence. With Clicker Communicator, you can:

    Edit individual cells, including personalization of symbols, pictures, and photographs:


    Bulk populate a grid with a multiple selection of symbols in seconds:


    Select multiple cells as a group and apply instant formatting to all (background, text and border color, hide, pin, etc.):


    3. Free Content

    Alongside the functionality and support that Clicker Communicator provides as a creation tool, users have direct access to free content for the app through our LearningGrids resource bank. The selected resource opens instantly for immediate use, and our visitors praised this feature not only for its huge time saving benefit, but also for opening up a vast range of ideas and applications of the app.  

    Clicker Communicator is now available with three different symbol sets – SymbolStix, PCS (BoardMaker), and Widget, and it can be purchased through the App Store or via the Volume Purchase Program.

  • Did you know? – Clicker 7 Tips

    Did you know you can see what spellings were corrected in a Document?

    To analyze the current Document, open the View ribbon tab and click Analysis.

    The Statistics tab shows data about words, characters, and sentences in the Document.

    The Spelling Corrections tab shows an alphabetical list of misspelled words that were corrected by the Spell Checker. Click a misspelling to see the context in which it was made.

    Did you know you can add a Document to your favorites?

    You can add a Document to a list of favorites for easy access.

    To do this, open the Document ribbon tab, click the Favorites (star) icon and then click Add current Document to favorites.

    From then on, you can easily open that Document by clicking the Favorites (star) icon, or using the Favorites section of the Quick Start window that appears when Clicker 7 starts.

    All users have their own favorites list.

    Did you know you can save Clicker 7 Documents as Word Documents and PDFs?

    You can save a Clicker 7 Document as a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF file.

    To do this:

    1. Open the Document ribbon tab.
    2. Click the V next to the Save icon and choose Save Document As.
    3. In the Save Document window, click the Save as type box and choose Microsoft Word Document (*.docx) or Portable Document Format (*.pdf).
    4. Choose where to save your file and then click Save.

    To change how Clicker 7 Documents are saved by default, open the Options ribbon tab and click Preferences. On the Document tab, click the Default filetype box, choose a filetype and then click OK.

  • Struggling spellers are found in every year group, and it can often be hard to encourage them to work independently. Clicker is a valuable tool to support these children and unlock their writing, so here are 6 ways to steer them to writing success!

    Spell check the document

    Spell checking work is not a new idea, but the valuable addition of Clicker’s speech engine means that children can simply right-click on any word in the spell checker to hear it spoken aloud! This truly gives them the ability to independently investigate the options presented and select the one they wish to use.


    Use the word predictor

    The word predictor speeds up the writing process for struggling spellers, predicting both the current word and offering a choice of next words that might be useful. As it also uses the speech engine to read any word aloud with a right-click, it is perfect for independent work.


    Add words to the Word Pool

    Clicker 7 lets you add any word to the spell checker and predictor by using Word Pool. In the example here the child is trying to write, "I walk through the park," but the spell checker does not offer through as an alternative.


    To support children who make misspellings like this simply add the words to the Word Pool with their misspellings. The next time the spell checker is used here it offers through as an option. Targeted spelling intervention in one easy step!


    Turn on Instant Pictures

    When Instant Pictures in the document is turned on, an image will appear above a word or phrase when it is spelled correctly. This is an easy way for children to find out for themselves if they are right.


    Provide a Word Bank

    Offering banks of topic vocabulary or frequently used words will help children with the more difficult words they need to use. They can check the word by listening to it with a right-click and send it to their document with a left-click, removing the frustration of trying to spell it correctly.


    Use a Picture Bank

    For some children the addition of a picture above a word will help them to recognize the one they want to include in their writing. The picture does not have to be sent to the document with the word, it can simply stay in the grid to help with word recognition.

  • Clicker Board and Word Banks

    Clicker Board can be used as a classroom tool to collect and organize vocabulary, with the added advantage that the board can be turned into a word bank for children to use when writing.

    While working on a topic, have Clicker Board open on the whiteboard and use it as the place to add important words. To make it more useful you might have a number of pages within your board. For example if your topic is plants, you might have a Clicker Board that looks something like this:


    If you are developing vocabulary to use when describing characters, Clicker Board might look something like this:


    Add words to each tab, and go back and add more over the course of the lesson or lessons as the children come across them.

    When you create your word bank, the words will appear on the same tabs.

    Another way of using this idea is to create a board with alphabetic tabs. This might be useful when you want to create a general word bank, for example about the Romans or Vikings, about rivers, or about interesting adjectives. 

    The children then have their bank of words whenever they need it.


  • A New School Year…Get Set for Science

    Well, here we are again at the start of a brand new school year. We hope you are well rested and ready for all the challenges and fun that a busy year will bring.

    We have been working really hard over the summer break creating lots of exciting and engaging activities to help get your students off to a flying start this year. We have been particularly focusing on updating our bank of science resources for all ages – so look out for some fantastic resources to support your elementary science curriculum. 

    Already on LearningGrids you’ll find topics covered like Animals, Plants, Materials, Forces, Magnetism, Circulation, States of Matter… and many more! Activities range from simple matching to open-ended speaking tasks and demonstrating scientific knowledge.


    From Clicker classics like sentence building, reading books, and word banks to alternative activity ideas such as picture prompt discussion resources, sorting activities, charts, and investigation writing frames – all designed to help get your students thinking and learning scientifically.

    Keep checking the website regularly because, as ever, we’ll be working hard to make sure we continue to bring you inspiring ideas and classroom resources, focusing on curriculum coverage as well as topical and seasonal themes this fall.

  • Here is how I might plan a lesson around the topic of animal groups for kindergartners through 2nd graders using Clicker.

    First, I would always search LearningGrids for ready-made resources. In Clicker Explorer choose ‘LearningGrids’ on the Files tab and enter ‘animal groups’ in the search box.

    Searching for resources on LearningGrids

    We've found 59 resources! You could narrow these down using the age-slider and/or by selecting specific activity types from the top right.

    To introduce the topic, the very first resource in the list is ideal – ‘Find Out About Animal Groups’.

    Find Out About Animal Groups resource

    This set is a great way to introduce the concept of animal groups to the class. I might start by asking if anyone knows which group an animal belongs to and then click on the information buttons to get more detail. Depending on the grade of the class, you can always edit the activity to simplify the description.

    Next we have two Clicker Connect activities. As part of my differentiation I might choose which one to assign on a group basis.

    The first one is called ‘Animal Sorting’. The student selects a cell from the first grid and then clicks on each tab in turn to add in animals that belong in that group:

    Animal Sorting resource

    For more confident individuals I would use the ‘Animal Groups’ Connect Set where the students can write full sentences about different species.

    Animal Groups Connect Set

    As a plenary I might finish with a Clicker Board to visually sort some animals. I created this by using the paint tool to draw crossed lines on the background and then added cells for the groups and the individual animals.

    Clicker Board - animal sorting activity

    Tip: To align the cells on the board, CTRL and left-click on each box to select multiple cells and then CTRL and right-click to access the alignment options:

    Aligning cells in Clicker Board

    Please get in touch if you would like more information on how you can use Clicker 7 in your lessons.

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