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  • Teacher Notes in Clicker 6



    Are you making the most of our Clicker 6 resources? We know many of you download the free Clicker 6 activities published regularly on LearningGrids. Do you make use of the Teacher Notes which accompany these resources? If this is something you’ve never used, I’d recommend you take a look – it may get you thinking about how you could be making more of these resources to support you, and your students’ learning.

    The notes are presented in a specific format, and are designed to give an overview of the learning intentions, suggestions on how to introduce the activities, and ideas for further work. Let’s take Frog Life Cycle – Read as an example to illustrate this.



    On the start page or grid, where the resource title is displayed, click on the "i" button (you can see this highlighted in the screenshot above). A pop-up containing the Teacher Notes will open. Generally, these are set out in three clear sections.



    The first section, About the Clicker Set, outlines the activity and the ideas covered.

    The next section, Introducing and using the set, suggests simple steps to help you introduce the activity to your students. It offers some ideas for getting you started and tips for using the resource.

    The final More Resources section highlights other resources which may be of interest to you – these may be linked to the theme of the resource or to the activity type. A search term is suggested to help you find similar types of activities, or activities on the same theme. This section also lists any resources which have a direct connection to the current set. This means you can find and download differentiated or alternative activities related to the content, helping you to address the needs and abilities of all your students. Sometimes, additional “Powered by Clicker” resources are referenced which may be useful if you’re looking to go into a particular topic in more depth. And for those of you who like to create your own resources, there’s a note about Templates or Wizards which could be used to create similar activities.

    We appreciate how busy school life can be and we want you (and your students) to get the most out of our Clicker 6 resources. Hopefully, our Teacher Notes will help you to make full and meaningful use of the resources, as well as inspiring further ideas.

  • ESU Awards Update



    We’ve just heard back from the English Speaking Union’s Awards team – our Clicker Sentences app has been chosen as the runner-up for the 2013 ESU President’s Award!


    The ESU’s annual awards celebrate innovation and good practice in the field of English language teaching and learning. The ESU President’s Award recognizes and encourages the widespread and successful use of technology to enhance English teaching and learning worldwide.


    The expert panel judging the ESU President’s Award were very impressed with Clicker Sentences, describing it as “Clean and concise, with an effective and engaging design providing a real ‘fun factor’ for young learners. It makes good use of iPad technology and has a range of features to help young learners in their use of English, with particular emphasis on spelling and sentence structure.”


    If you’ve not yet had a chance to take a look at Clicker Sentences, you can visit our website to watch an introduction video.




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    In our tools designed for elementary school students, we have included the Sassoon font - a font researched and developed specially for children.


    The Sassoon font makes a real difference for a number of reasons:


    • The font is based on letter formations familiar to beginning readers and writers, for example, rounded letters. Therefore, a potential confusion with letter recognition is avoided as children establish their reading and writing skills.

    • The font is closer to the way children are taught handwriting, including such features as exit strokes at the base. Thus the link between reading and writing is emphasized.

    • Features of the font also contribute to its legibility on-screen. The slightly longer ascenders and descenders help with letter recognition as well as defining the word shape, and as such aid with word recognition.

    • The line spacing is also very slightly bigger than some other fonts, which promotes ease of reading since the text is less dense and the lines of text are more defined. 

    Within our software, children will be reading both their own text and other on-screen books, and this subtle support is really helpful for both young children and special education students.


    By including the Sassoon font, we are adding an additional option that enables you to fully take the needs of your students into account.  Of course, you can choose any other fonts too – as children’s skills develop, allowing them to choose their own font can also be a useful strategy to motivate them as they write.

  • Bett Awards News



    We are delighted to announce that we are once again Bett Awards finalists! Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs have BOTH been shortlisted in the ICT Special Educational Needs Solutions category, won last year by Clicker 6.


    The Bett Awards are a celebration of the creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The shortlisted products are seen to have excelled in technology support, with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.


    All the winners will be announced during the Bett Show in January, so fingers crossed!


  • Clicker 6 Staff Training



    We provide a great range of free Clicker 6 support materials on our website, but for those of you who would prefer an in-depth session with one of our Clicker experts, we have a number of training options available.

    While these do come at a cost, many schools find these sessions to be a very cost-effective way to get every staff member on board and ensure that their investment in Clicker has a significant and sustained impact on literacy standards across the curriculum.

    Online Training

    A one hour live training webinar for your staff. Simply log on using the details provided and one of our Clicker trainers will share their screen with you. Online training is available at a cost of $150 per hour.

    Face-to-face Training

    Hands-on training at your school for up to 25 staff members. The session will include step-by-step demonstrations by our Clicker trainer, and lots of opportunities to create Clicker resources for your students. Once your session is booked, the trainer will contact you to ensure that the training is tailored to the needs and objectives of your school.

    The price for a full-day’s training is $1,500*, with a half-day costing just $900*.


    If you are interested in finding out more about Clicker training or would like to schedule a session, please call us at 1-866-332-7425. Alternatively, you can email your inquiry to USinfo@cricksoft.com.

    *Plus travel expenses

  • Clicker Books Review



    Clicker Books has just been reviewed by the Educational App Store.  Along with Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs, it has received a five star review.  Very few apps receive five stars, so we are very excited to see this!

    “This is an app that teachers will love to teach with and pupils will love learning from. It can also be used in the home with the help of parents.  Right from the start, the app is very easy and intuitive to use as there are a series of examples and “how to” tools that help with a quick learning of the navigation and usage of the app.”

    Visit the Educational App Store to read the review in full.




  • Clicker Books



    Have you had a chance to see our latest app – Clicker Books? It is a great way for you and your students to make onscreen books. It is so easy to use and it includes all of the built-in writing support features that you would expect from Crick Software – speech, word prediction, word grids, and more.

    The curriculum team has been busy building lots of reading, writing, and talking books for LearningGrids. There are resources for you to use with your students to cover a range of topics including animals, colors, and numbersOwl Life Cycle - Read uses new photo-realistic illustrations to create an engaging informational text for older students. Younger students can read more about Rosie the dog with Rosie Likes or write about recess with At the Playground – Write.



    We have also recently added some seasonal Clicker Books sets. All about Fall – Talk is designed for students to record information about events and changes associated with fall. With Thanksgiving Traditions – Read, students find out about a group of children and their activities on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Traditions – Write provides a framework for students to write about their own Thanksgiving activities. With the “Different when rotated” feature in Clicker Books, we make books look great in both landscape and portrait views - your students can use Clicker Books in the way that is most comfortable for them.



    And remember - you can open LearningGrids directly from Clicker Books, making it so easy to access all of the new sets.

  • Special Apps, Special Kids – Clicker Sentences Review



    We have a new Clicker Sentences Review in the Crick Apps Reviews section of our website that was posted on the website, Special Apps, Special Kids. Amy Taylor, an SLP who is also a mother of 2 children with special needs, started this site to review and share apps that she has found helpful for her students and her own children.  The review goes into great detail, covering the features of the app along with what the reviewer personally likes about it.

    “Clicker Sentences is User Friendly!  I love how there is a built-in tutorial, as well as a set of ready-to-use examples to refer to when you are first exploring the app.  The interface is very easy to navigate as well- the screens are uncluttered, and there are easy-to-understand icons indicating where to access features.”



    You can read the review in full on our website.

    We’d love to hear how you are using Clicker Sentences with your students. Let us know or add a review to the app store today!

  • Clicker Books Examples



    Within Clicker Books, we have included examples to show a range of possible activities - you will see Read, Talk, Write, and Illustrate versions.


    Read


    We have created books for a range of reading stages, including simple books with captions, books with simple sentences, and books with informational text for younger and more advanced readers. Children can listen to the text and can track each word as it is highlighted, or read and record it for themselves.


    Any of the books can be edited, so you can, for example, simplify the text if that will suit your students – the new text will automatically be read with no extra set up.





    Children listen to the text or record themselves.


    Talk


    These activities are designed for children to make their own oral report or presentation.


    Children respond at a range of different levels - for example in the Animals of the Savannah activity they may record a sentence such as This is a giraffe, or they may use the information from the reading book to create a detailed report.



    Children record their information to create an oral report.


    Write



    As they write their own text, children use the keyboard and are offered the full range of Clicker support, including word prediction, vocabulary grids, and speech feedback.


    The level of support can be modified to the needs of the children - in the examples, we have included sentence building grids to show how early writers can be given all the words they need, and word bank grids to support writers using the keyboard.


    Children can also record their voice and can add or change the illustrations.


     


     



    Children are offered writing grids at a range of levels.


    Illustrate



    Children can add illustrations to any of their books – they can take a photo, paint a picture, browse, or add a picture from a picture bank.


    There are examples that show how children demonstrate their understanding of the text by adding an appropriate picture.




    Children add their own illustrations.


    LearningGrids



    In addition to the examples, find more ready made activities on LearningGrids, our growing library of resources accessible from within the app.

  • Clicker Apps



    Since we launched the first Clicker Apps in January 2013, many long-term users of our desktop software have begun to experience Clicker on a new platform.


    A typical app has a primary purpose that is central to its design. Once this core functionality operates well, any additional functionality is included secondly, provided it does not distort the app's main purpose. An app has a neat, unobtrusive, and intuitive user interface. Most apps make it easy for users to share content.


    To ensure we stuck to this principle of doing one thing really well,  we couldn't just "convert" Clicker 6 from the desktop to the iPad®. Therefore, we distilled the concept of Clicker and developed apps based on several of its key features. For example, the Clicker Sentences app functions in a similar way to the Sentence Building wizard in Clicker 6. Each Clicker App is designed in line with Apple guidelines, but still incorporates familiar elements and ideas that make it uniquely Clicker!


    Two common questions from Clicker 5/6 users who are new to the Clicker Apps are: "How do I save?" and "How do I close files?"


    Like many apps, the Clicker Apps automatically save changes as they are made. Additionally, files are automatically closed when a new one is created or opened. This is convenient and ensures that the user interface does not contain unnecessary icons or buttons.


    A final tip: if you cannot hear the speech feedback when using the Clicker Apps, your iPad is probably muted via the side switch. This doesn't mute all sound on the iPad but it does affect Text-to-Speech technology.

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