Text from article... "With so much demanded of our youngest students these days, so much emphasis on testing and test scores, it is easy to forget that these young minds are still developing. These young students still believe in Santa Claus, still know that dragons can fly, and still have creative, imaginative thoughts just waiting to explode onto that blank page. Fablevision’s word processing creation, Stationery Studio, provides students in grades K-5 with inspired designs, templates, and standards-aligned activities to help get their ideas onto the printed page. Students begin on the Theme Screen to choose a category for their writing, then a specific graphic. Artist Peter Reynolds owns Fablevision and his drawings are part of the unique charm of the program.
The Studio contains over 200 layouts, including borders and shapes, or students can choose a blank page. A search engine is available. The next screen contains all the tools your writers will need to create both on and off the computer. Words on the Page The working page includes simple, one-click icons to choose styles for a particular activity. You can select line styles—to help with writing and neatness—or select no lines at all. The lines you select can cover the whole page or just the upper or lower half. (To write away from the computer, print the page with the lines and graphics only.) Icons are also available to easily change type styles. The software includes manuscript, modern, and cursive fonts in both solid and dotted formats. Your installed fonts are available from the font pull-down menu. As with grown-up word processors, icons are available to change font color, size, and orientation. Highlighting the text first is not necessary.
If your students require more than one page, the text will automatically wrap to the next page, along with the graphic. There is a 28-page limit. Working with Color The full-color graphics included with the Studio are marvelous just the way they are, but the program also gives your students the opportunity to “fill” any object on the page with the color of your choice. This tree, for instance, could be orange for use in the fall. However, if using color ink is prohibitive or not possible, you can also click on the black and white crayons to produce a “coloring book” page that students could color on their own. Additionally, you can “fill” all the areas with white. Then select a pale color and color the lines of the drawing. Doing this creates a watermark effect, which also saves ink.
The Import/Export Business You can also use third-party graphics with your writing, although there is no “import” function. You will need to copy and paste them from your regular application. Once on your page, the preference menu gives you the option of “Blending Pasted Graphics.” Essentially, this means to make them a bit transparent so as to see the Studio’s graphics behind them.
You also have the option to export any page as a graphic. This gives you the opportunity to use them on a web page, as a presentation, or any other use. Here are the choices for exporting. Each one has additional options for quality. Let’s Print! If you’ve been to any of my workshops, you know that I love making books, so the print options in Stationery Studio are one of my favorite aspects. Printing allows you to make great little books, shape books, postcards, table tents, and note cards. Even if you’re not a bookmaker, you’ll find that these options save paper and ink. You can also print a flipped image for use as a transfer.
Need an Idea? Stationery Studio includes dozens of activity templates aligned to state and national standards, plus you can save your own ideas as templates for future use. The software also comes with a printed book, Let’s Get Writing, by Dr. Peggy Stearns, who created the program. The website also contains ideas submitted by classroom teachers. (Be sure to check out “Imagine Stationery Studio at Your School” for great examples.)
This article courtesy of ON CUE , Fall 2008