Chart Students' Ideas

Inspiration is a diagramming and outlining tool that can help students and teachers organize and develop ideas visually. An intuitive interface allows students to easily create and modify concept maps, webs, idea maps and other graphical organizers. Students can switch between a diagram view, which shows a visual network of information, and the outline view, which organizes information in a more detailed textual format. Over 1,250 built-in symbols, photographs, and animated GIFs can be used to illustrate graphs. Images can also be imported just by dragging and dropping. Typing an Internet address in the program will instantly create a hyperlink to that site. Thirty-five built-in templates, in categories such as Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Teacher Planning, and Thinking Tools, offer bases for graphs.

For students in grades K-3, Kidspiration was designed with young readers and writers in mind. Its picture view feature makes it easy for children to categorize and illustrate their ideas. Writing view, which integrates with picture view, helps students connect their visual thoughts with words. From the thought webs and maps they create in picture view, students can expand their ideas into written expressions, and learn about organizing and planning for writing. Audio functions give students the chance to hear their work read aloud or to record their own words. All menus, buttons and other text are also audio supported, helping children read and navigate. Over 45 built-in activities in reading, writing, science and social studies support cross-curricular exploration, while an activity wizard makes it easy to modify activities to fit a lesson plan. Inspiration Software, Inc., Portland, OR, (800) 877-4292, www.inspiration.com.

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