Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Adding Symbols to Your 'Core 48' PowerPoint Display

In a previous post I discussed the ease with which you can ‘harvest’ symbols from your Animated Step-by-Steps® and add them to your ‘Core 48’ PowerPoint Display. It’s a relatively easy way to provide both text & symbol support to a lesson that might not normally have the benefit of these supports. 
      (blog post on harvesting symbols from ASbyS)
      (link to Core 48 displays on the TpT site)

For projects that are not based on Animated Step-by-Steps®, however, you will need to generate fringe symbols 'from scratch'. 

 If for example, you wish to add fringe vocabulary for this octopus art project (, you would need to generate and add activity-specific fringe vocabulary (e.g.,  octopus, legs, eight, cheerios, eyes, mouth, water, blue) to the ‘Core 48’ PowerPoint Display.  

This PowerPoint display might be projected on the interactive whiteboard during a group lesson or it might be displayed on an individual child's iPad

I typically generate my fringe PCS & SymbolStix symbols using a PowerPoint Symbol Template This template is made up of 16 cells with xxxxxxx placeholders that are precisely placed and reflect use of the simple font, comic sans.  You can download this free resource  from the Bloom Where You 're Planted Store on the Teachers Pay Teachers web site. Please note this free resource called PowerPoint Symbol Templates also includes templates for creating 3" Dual=Representation Symbols.
This strategy of using a template with xxxxxxx text place holders assures consistency of font
choice, font size and placement across the many professionals in your organization that might be 
generating similar shared content.

For PCS (Tobii/Dynavox)

1.  Type the text labels for your fringe vocabulary into your PowerPoint Symbol Template. Double
     click on the xxxxxx and type the text you wish to add to the cell (Note: do NOT delete the 
     xxxxxx’s … select and ‘type over’ the placeholder text) 

2.     Gather all the needed fringe symbols on a blank Boardmaker page

3.  Take screen shots of each individual symbol (save to your desktop).
     (In the past I was able to copy and paste symbols directly into PowerPoint but that seems to be no 
      longer possible). I typically use Snapz Pro X for screen shots, but you can certainly use the
      free screen shot capability of your operating system.

4.  Drag each symbol jpeg that you created into their respective cells on the PowerPoint grid 

5.   Each cell + text + symbol  is then selected (holding down the shift key) and is copied and pasted 
     (as a single unit) into the ‘Core 48’ PowerPoint Display. After the symbols  have been pasted on
     the page, you will be converting them into a picture.  If you place your cursor in the right corner
     of the image a clipboard icon will appear with a drop down menu. Select Paste as Picture. The
     cell + text + symbol will change into one consolidated image. The image is now one unit that can
     be sized to .8 inches.

6.   Drag this newly minted and sized (.8) image to the fringe zone and place over one of  the grey
      squares. Repeat the process one-by-one for all the fringe symbols. You can even add images of 
      the final product to facilitate conversational exchange. 

     7.  You can opt to add voice-output to the fringe symbols. For more information on using
          Audacity  to add voice-output to symbols please refer to a previous blog post.

     8.   Save each project as an individual PowerPoint, e.g., Art – Cupcake Liner Octopus Project.  
           Sort your projects into folders such as Food Prep, Art, Stories, Poems/Songs etc. allowing you
           to share the project and re-introduce it the following year. 

For SymbolStix (n2y)

     The process is similar to that described for PCS with the exception of not having to take screen
     shots of the images. 

     Add the text to the symbol cells on the PowerPoint Symbol Template.

     Drag and place symbols downloaded from the SymbolStix online portal into the PowerPoint 
     Symbol Template

     The remaining steps are identical to that previously outlined for PCS. 

Happy symbolizing your fringe zone on your PowerPoint 'Core 48' Display.

…’til the next post …  

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©2017 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator