2006 Conference General Sessions

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PICTURE IT AND PIXWRITER—SUPPORTING, INTERACTIVE AND FUN!
 

Presenter(s)
James Slater
Slater Software, Inc.
351 Badger Lane
Guffey CO 80820
Day Phone: 719 479-2255
Fax: 719 479-2254
Email: jim@slatersoftware.com

Presenter #2
Roxanne Butterfield
Slater Software, Inc.
Badger Lane
Guffey CO 80820
Day Phone: 719 479-2255
Fax: 719 479-2254
Email: roxanner@earthlink.net


Sentence Summary: Learn about both Picture It and PixWriter in this hands-on lab.  Create great materials with images from the web that support curriculum and involve students.


Participants will learn how to use Picture It and PixWriter available from Slater Software.  Picture it is the tool teachers can use to help children experience success with print, because pictures are added to text in sentence format.  This pairing of graphic symbols and print helps students understand that letters form words and that those words have meaning.  Moving from the concrete (pictures) to the abstract (text) is easier and learning is facilitated.  As children learn to read with the support of the pictures, their participation in the classroom increases, and their language skills improve.  Teachers simply type in the words that will be included in a document, and the computer does the work of automatically matching the graphics with the words.  Words, sentences, and pictures, they can be repositioned on the page and changed in size and style.

“I can write without really writing” said a fifth grader with severe learning disabilities when he first saw PixWriter.  This software allows beginning writers to communicate through written language.  Even if spelling skills, sound-symbol relationships, oral expression, or fine-motor skills are not fully developed, anyone at an emergent level of literacy can write words, sentences, stories and more.  By selecting picture/word buttons that are located at the bottom of the computer screen, whole words are printed, the picture paired with that word is printed, and the word is spoken.  All of the compositions can be read by the computer.  The vocabulary setup is easy to create and can be extensive or limited depending upon the requirements of the task and the abilities of the student.  A service provider or parent fills vocabulary buttons located at the bottom of the computer screen.  This vocabulary setup is then saved and presented to the child.  The child writes words, sentenc!
es or complete stories by accessing the buttons using the mouse, a touch screen,  keyboard, alternative keyboard, or single-switch scanning.

Both programs now have the additional capability of Spanish.  Teachers who want to present materials in a student’s native Spanish language can do so as easily as they could previously make them in English.  The programs allows for words and sentences to be typed and the automatic picture matching gives the student the clues needed for improving reading and writing skills in Spanish.  Bilingual teachers, teachers of students with disabilities whose native language is Spanish, and foreign language teachers have all appreciated this new feature.

Slater Software has added interactive activities to their website.  These are designed to encourage language and literacy development in students and to help teachers prepare lessons.  This lab will be the first time participants will be introduced to these new fun additions.  They will learn how to use the activities and incorporate them into their students’ daily literacy activities.

When teachers Picture It, their students achieve it.  Many of the files that are illustrated in Slater Software’s new Achievement Book will be shown and created by the attendees.  Attendees will learn how to use all the features of the programs to make materials which will meet the needs of their students.  Simplicity and flexibility combine to make the Picture Power Pack a powerful tool.   This lab will be appropriate for educators who are having their first introduction to the software, as well as those familiar with the program but wanting to learn about the new features.


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