The Gumball Machine is a fun way for young students to practice recognizing coins and colors, but its main purpose is to show off new ways to use hidden toolbars together with regions in IntelliTools Classroom Suite®.
It looks like a very simple activity, but just wait until you see all its hidden secrets! On the surface, there is a only single toolbar with five coin buttons and a background picture of an old-fashioned gumball machine with the 25-cent price molded into the metal front plate.
Users must pick the correct coin to insert. If they choose the quarter, a gumball appears in the slot. Do it again, and the user gets another gumball… but of a different color. That’s the first hint that things are not as simple as they appear!
Then try inserting a different coin. It’s rejected, thrown off to the side, and a voice says “Sorry, that’s the wrong coin. Gumballs cost 25 cents.” Obviously, most of what’s happening is hiding behind the scenes.
A Peek Backstage
A step-by-step tutorial takes you on a detailed backstage tour, letting you in on ways to create an uncluttered but rich user interface, provide for different effects depending on user actions, move items without IntelliMation®, introduce a random element and deliver varied feedback.
This activity employs tricks with graphics, toolbars, and regions, so we’ll look closely at all of those features. More important, we’ll explore ways to make all three elements work together. Did you know that a hidden button selected by a region could place a picture in a specific location on the page? Pretty sneaky, and typical of the tricks that will be revealed!
The tutorial is loaded with quick tips derived from the hidden machinery of the Gumball Machine. You’ll also come away with plenty of ideas for new activities using the same techniques. I’ve put a PDF file of the tutorial along with the actual activity into the zip file you install into ICS, so that you can have both open as you work, but there also is a separate file of the tutorial to print.
An optional section of the tutorial gives you a chance to test your new skills by modifying the activity. For example, you’ll be challenged to change the price of the gum, so that a different coin is accepted. It only takes three changes, including a way to easily put a different price onto that front plate.
The activity comes with a custom IntelliKeys® overlay attached, and I’ve also included overlays to use with the modified versions you may construct with different coin sets. There are Dynavox® versions of all the custom overlays. See the Special Needs Access section on the System Reqs page for information on controlling the Classroom Suite version from PRC devices.
Two Choices For Using The Tutorial
Download the zip file of the activity, and also the PDF tutorial. An extra copy of the tutorial is part of the zip file of the download, and gets installed into IntelliTools Classroom Suite® when you import the zip file. You’ll see it in the same folder as the activity.
If you are working at a generous sized monitor, you can open that copy by double-clicking on it, assuming you have an application to read a PDF file. Then open the activity, try it out, and follow the tutorial to learn all its secrets. In case you DON”T have a generous screen size, print out the separate downloaded PDF version of the tutorial. Open the Gumball Machine in ICS, and follow the tutorial from the printed copy.
Bonus: Gumball Machine Art
When you download the activity zip file, be sure you also download the Gumball Machine Art file. It has all the clip art you’ll need to make the various modified versions of the Gumball Machine, but the images also can be used in any other activities you might build.
The set of fourteen different colored spheres I used for the gumballs are perfect for matching games and other color activities. I’ve also included a complete set of variations of the front plate with different prices embossed. These are what you need for modified versions of the Gumball Machine.
Your favorite part of this bonus will probably be the coins clip art. There are two complete sets, both Canadian and U. S. coins, including the Sacagawea dollar, the loonie, and toonie! These have all been optimized to load into ICS with a transparent background.
I hope you and your students have as much fun using and learning from the Gumball Machine as I did in building it, and that it leads to you to invent many, many new activities!
Applications needed:Acrobat Reader, IntelliTools Classroom Suite.
Subject area: Tip, Cause and Effect.
Level: Author, Grades PreK-2.
GumballMachineTutorial.pdf (3.6 MB) The Gumball Machine Tutorial to print. Acrobat Reader.
Gumball Machine Tutorial onlinef The Gumball Machine Tutorial online, ready to present to groups.
GumballMachineICS.zip (6.4 MB) Simple activity and tutorial about the combined use of hidden toolbars with regions in Classroom Suite v.3.0.7 or later. Note: This activity has multiple issues in v. 3.0.
GumballOverlays.zip (3.2 MB) IntelliKeys overlays for the basic Gumball Machine, the Gumball Machine with Canadian coins, and the Gumball Machine with six U. S. coins. Note: The basic Gumball Machine overlay is already attached to the activity in the download file.
GumballDynavox.zip (1.3 MB) Dynavox versions of custom IntelliKeys overlays for the basic Gumball Machine, the Gumball Machine with Canadian coins, and the Gumball Machine with six U. S. coins.
GumballMachineArt.zip (2.1 MB) Clip art for modifying the Gumball Machine activity, including coins clip art, fourteen different color gumballs, and alternate price front plates.