Free Materials For Teachers

Image©2011 ABS Cycle Between Paint and Design graphic
Cycle Between Paint and Design
Have you ever wished you could get IntelliTools Classroom Suite® to read out a text box while the activity is in Paint mode? It certainly would be handy for giving instructions in a coloring activity.

What about a finished activity in which a student has painted a scene and written about it? In showing off the finished masterpiece, pages look less cluttered in Paint mode, with writing tools hidden. But the student still needs to get the text box to read out.

When Paint Mode Is The Default
The Trucks activity set’s coloring book My Cool Trucks is a good example of an activity of this type. It’s set up with Paint mode as the default, so it’s easy for students to show off their work in Paint mode. Since you can’t click on a text box while in Paint mode, there is a button with a Read All action to read out the text.

But wait a minute! A button with a Read All action won’t function in Paint mode! How does it work? Instead of having the activity read the text in Paint mode, I set it up to switch to Design, execute Read All, and then switch back to Paint. It’s like a magic trick where things are not what they seem!

A Button To Read A Text Box
In most activities, I set text boxes not to scan, and instead use a button to select and read out the text box. It’s less tedious for scanners, and doesn’t change the experience for students using a mouse or IntelliKeys®.

To set this up, I open the text box Properties dialog, and under the Scanning tab take off the checkmarks for Auto Scan and Step Scan. Next, I make a button with the following actions:

Select object “Text box”
Read All

(Important: If you use this action, be sure you type in the name of the object carefully, as it’s case sensitive.)

A Button To Read Text In Paint Mode
That set of actions works great in Design mode, and by listing several text boxes in separate Select Object actions, each followed by Read All, you could extend that technique to read a whole page.

But to get the same effect in Paint mode, two more actions are needed. Here’s the set of button actions you need to do that tricky switch:

Select object “Text box”
Read All

Put these actions into a button that will display in Paint mode. The apparent effect is that the text is reading out while in Paint mode. In reality, the activity pops into Design mode just long enough to select the text box and read, then returns to Paint mode. As soon as the text is finished reading, students can continue painting.

It’s a nice trick whenever you have a text box on a page where students are painting on the background. If you want to have students paint and also write into the text box, you’ll need to know more tricks, utilizing toggling toolbars.

I’ll show you how to do that in a later tip, but for now, take a look at the Trucks coloring and writing activity to see these tricks in action. This trick is simple enough to work through by reading the post, but you can download a PDF version or see it online at the links below.

We usually build activities either in Design or Paint mode, but using both in one activity opens up many new possibilities!

Application needed: Classroom Suite
Subject area: Activity design.
Level: Author, Teacher tip.

Printable And Online Tutorial

DesignAndPaintMode1.pdf (1.4 MB) Design and Paint Mode 1 for Classroom Suite Tip to print. Acrobat Reader.

Design & Paint Mode l online Design and Paint Mode l for Classroom Suite Tip online, ready to present to groups.

April 11th, 2011 at 4:15 pm


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