The PowerPoint pen tool can be used to mark up any text provided in an Animated Step-by-Step resource, allowing a skillful teacher to highlight key literacy components as she reads the text. The pen tool is especially helpful when using Animated Step-by-Step Literacy Resources that have 'fill in the blank' literacy components (e.g., Mystery Animals, Mystery Fruit &Vegetables, CVC Mystery Balls, Beat the Clock, Eletelephony, Betty Botter and the 'alternate versions' of various poems such as Miss Polly's Dolly). Check out the Big Literacy Bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers. Obviously if you are displaying your ASbyS on an interactive whiteboard you would be using the pen tools of that platform, e.g., Smart Notebook, Activinspire.
Using the PowerPoint pen tool:
When your PowerPoint resource is in slide show mode, you can use the regular cursor to activate the page animations. When you need to write on the page, enter command p on your keyboard and the pen tool will be substituted for the arrow cursor.
If you control-click on the page (right click on Windows) while in slide show mode, you can access Pointer Options that allow you to change the color of the pen. (Note: a benefit for individuals with color blindness)
To exit the pen tool while in slide show mode, select the escape button (esc = upper left corner of keyboard on a mac). The pen cursor reverts to an arrow cursor.
I recently used the pen tool while playing Mystery Animals with three, typically developing girls (ages 3, 5 and 8). The youngest (Aubry) participated by announcing the color of the ball that rolled on the page .... the 5 year old (Isla) and the 8 year old (Eve) used the animal sound effects and the numbers of blanks provided for the mystery animal's name to help them problem solve the identity of the mystery animal. Once the ball opened and the mystery animal was revealed, the girls proceeded to sound out its name and fill in the letters. I was in charge of using the pen tool to document the letters. Eventually Eve took the helm to write in the letters.
I was heartened by the fact that everyone was engaged and that pen tool really helped to make the resource even more engaging.
…’til the next post …
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©2019 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant