Monday, June 4, 2018

Compress Pictures

Compress Pictures ... Who knew?  I'm pretty sure Microsoft knew. 

I recently discovered a Microsoft PowerPoint feature, Compress Pictures, that substantially reduces the memory of the currently available Animated Step-by-Steps®. I had always thought that the animations were the primary culprit for large file size, so I was understandably surprised when the pictures (that I had so carefully attempted to keep small) were not small. 

When the Compress Pictures feature is applied to resources, the overall memory of the files are reduced ... sometimes substantially!  Notice the shift in memory that occurred after the Compress Pictures feature was applied to two sample resources. 







If you are creating PowerPoint-based educational resources for your students, here are the step-by-step instructions for reducing memory size:


1. Open the PowerPoint resource.

2.     Under File on the Menu Bar, select Compress Pictures (Apply to all is the default setting)

3.     Select onscreen 150 dpi

4.     Save your optimized file with a revised name (I usually just add an R)





Note of warning:  A few of the pictures may render with opaque rather than transparent backgrounds, so you may need to redo some of the images to make the backgrounds transparent. The substantial reduction in memory, however, is well worth the additional 'touch up' necessary for some images.  



Recently, I did go back to optimize all of the Animated Step-by-Steps® (Regular, PCS, SymbolStix) in the Teachers Pay Teachers Store. If you have purchased Animated Step-by-Steps® in the past, you should be receiving notification of the availability of an updated version.  This should greatly alleviate any problems you may be experiencing running ASbySs on your 'almost full' iPads and computers.  : )

Here's hoping the reduction in memory will allow your ASbySs to run efficiently and smoothly on the full spectrum of options for displaying Animated Step-by-Steps® (interactive whiteboard, computer, iPad, graphic tablets).

…’til the next post …  

Visit my website   http://animatedstep-by-steps.com
Follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/@AnimStepbySteps
Follow me on facebook www.facebook.com/AnimatedStepBySteps
Email me canadiangoosse@gmail.com

©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vest Displays ... the SymbolStix versions

Last year I posted several Vest Displays reflecting the use of Picture Communication Symbols (Tobii/Dynavox).

Recently, I posted the SymbolStix (n2y) version of those displays.
Resources are available as individual titles or can be purchased as a money saving bundle.

The Big Vest Display Bundle - SymbolStix includes the following titles:


1. 6 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
2. Twinkle Little Star
3. Itsy Bitsy Spider
4. Wheels on the Bus
5. Aiken Drum
6. 5 Little Snowmen
7. Down on Grandpa's Farm
8. My Little Red Wagon
9. 6 Little Cones
10.Where's Your _______ ? 
11. Pizza
12. Apple Tree
13. 5 Green & Speckled Frogs
14. 6 Little Ducks
15. Old MacDonald Simple Version



…’til the next post.

Visit my website   http://animatedstep-by-steps.com
Follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/@AnimStepbySteps
Follow me on facebook www.facebook.com/AnimatedStepBySteps
Email me canadiangoosse@gmail.com

©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Rice Krispie Treats Have Arrived!!!!

Rice Krispie Treats are definitely a childhood favorite. In the process of making this Animated Step-by-Step version, I just HAD to make a batch … and of course I couldn't stop until I HAD eaten the whole pan … by myself … by 10 am the next morning. 



There is something about Rice Krispie Treats that makes them irresistable.  This is probably the only Animated Step-by-Step that could possibly knock, Helping Mister Potato Head off the Animated Step-by-Steps® best seller list. 

This simple recipe has three ingredients … butter … marshmallows … and rice krispie cereal. Most schools have access to a microwave (somewhere within the building), so its relatively easy to melt the butter and marshmallows … fold in the rice krispies …. pack that heavenly concoction into a greased pan … pop the pan into the refrigerator to chill and presto you have a delicious treat.  

You can even use a larger pan to make thinner rice krispie treats, then use cookie cutters to make rice krispie treats in various shapes. 






The Rice Krispie Treats Animated Step-by-Steps® are available in three formats: Regular, Picture Communication Symbols, and SymbolStix from Teachers Pay Teachers 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Bloom/Search:Rice+Krispie+treats 

…’til the next post … 

Visit my website   http://animatedstep-by-steps.com
Follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/@AnimStepbySteps
Follow me on facebook www.facebook.com/AnimatedStepBySteps
Email me canadiangoosse@gmail.com

©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator

Monday, April 2, 2018

Expanding the Use of Animated Step-by-Steps® to Dementia & Aphasia Therapy.

As a disclaimer, I've really NOT worked with clients with disorders such as Dementia and/or memory loss, but a recent article in the ASHA Leader (Toss the Workbooks! Choose treatment strategies for clients with dementia that address their specific life-participation goals by Becky Khayum & Emily Rogalski) made me wonder whether Animated Step-by-Steps® might be used to support therapeutic training with this population. According to the authors, "Instead of 'testing the person to identify impairments, then using drills to improve the impairment – person centered care is client-directed: Collaboratively written goals address the client's and family members' concerns, and aim to increase the person's participation in meaningful life activities".

In the Khayum & Rogalski article I was particularly interested in Case 2: Mrs Brown, a woman with mild cognitive impairment manifested as memory loss. Mrs. Brown's personal goal was to be able to cook her favorite recipes when she returns home after recuperating from a hip fracture.

Recommended treatment included:
-using visual and graphic cuing
-breaking the recipe into simple steps
-adding pictures
-using a large font
Wow! …. Check , check , check, check …. these are all strategies that an Animated Step-by-Step recipe already offers. Although assistance may be needed in reading the text up to the star, a simple swipe or tap produces an animation with sound effects that can support comprehension. In some versions of the resource, symbols appear to nurture improved comprehension and expression(through the use of Aided Language Stimulation techniques). 

Examples of Meaningful Life Activities


Making an egg salad sandwich for lunch …


Making no-cook playdoh for when the grandkids' visit …









Using an Animated Step-by-Step format to pace through the tasks of getting ready for bed.

Initially the client might perform each small animated step as they 'read-animate' through the page, but eventually they might be required to progress through several animations before performing the sub-steps. That is, you are systematically increasing the memory task requirements.

Several months ago I assisted Invictus Enterprises (a work program for young adults on the spectrum) in creating an Animated Step-by-Step Recipe to help pace their interns through the steps required for making gourmet dog biscuits. The verdict is in! … The Animated Step-by-Step PowerPoint recipe (displayed on a Surface 2 tablet) has proven to be an extremely helpful training tool. http://bit.ly/InvictusEnterprises


An Animated Step-by-Step Recipe, Brownies is available as a free resource on the Teachers Pay Teachers site (3 versions: Regular - no Symbols, Picture Communication Symbols, SymbolStix) so download the free resource and give this therapeutic approach a 'test drive' with your clients!



I would love to hear how Animated Step-by-Steps® work as a therapeutic tool with clients diagnosed with dementia and memory constraints.

…’til the next post … 

Visit my website   http://animatedstep-by-steps.com
Follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/@AnimStepbySteps
Follow me on facebook www.facebook.com/AnimatedStepBySteps
Email me canadiangoosse@gmail.com

©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator