Designing Wixie Templates for Primary Learners

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Nov 11, 2020 10:30:46 AM

Your Wixie subscription includes both a Curriculum and Templates library with over 1500 curriculum-based activities you can assign immediately or customize to meet your learning goals. You can also easily create and share templates you have created from scratch.

Your site's Wixie administrator may have set your accounts to run in the Primary interface. The primary interface has larger, more identifiable tools and options to help young learners navigate through Wixie. 

wixie-interfaces The primary interface is not the best interface for designing assignments because it does not give you access to key tools that help you develop robust and interactive templates.

Wixie makes it easy to change between the standard and primary interfaces on the fly. Simply select your Profile image or initial in the upper right corner and choose Switch Theme, to change to the Standard interface.


Key Design Considerations for Primary

The majority of your primary learners are most likely emerging readers who are developing fine motor skills right alongside new technical skills. As you design online assignments for primary learners, you can adjust features in Wixie templates to better support them. Here are a few big ideas to get you started whether you are creating a drag-and-drop practice activity or setting up an open-ended project.


You can add instructions to a Wixie template you create. These instructions show in the space beneath the tools when a template opens.

If you are adding instructions, use simple sentences with sight words so your students can read them. Text instructions are also helpful for adult caregivers assisting young learners in remote situations.


If your students can't read yet, don't worry. Teach them to use the Play button to listen to the instructions using the text-to-speech tools built into your browser!

If you don't like the text-to-speech voice and intonation, use the Record button to capture your own voice. 


Wixie also includes the ability to record video and add it to the page. Use the Video button on the toolbar and choose Camera to record instructions, like those added to the sample below. 

Click the Play button at the bottom to run this multi-page Wixie file, then select the small Play button the movie to hear this teacher explain how to use her Tens Frame template.


Objects, such as text and images, can be moved and resized on a page. If your Wixie activity uses dragging objects to assess student understanding, you can turn off scaling. This will ensure that your students do not accidentally resize the object when trying to move it.


To turn scaling off, select an object or objects, go to the Edit menu, choose Properties and deselect Scale

Turning on the Protect property for an object will prevent students from accidentally deleting it by hitting the upper left delete handle or by accidentally dragging the object off the page.


To protect an object, go to the Edit menu, choose Properties, and select Protect.


Keep It Super Simple, or KISS, is another great idea to help young learners focus on the task at hand. In some activities, students will need more than one of an item, such as an object for counting or using coins or base ten blocks.

Select an object you want to have replicate automatically. Go to the Edit menu, choose Properties, and select Clone. Now, each time a student selects and moves the object, it will make a copy.


Set a Default Image Library

If students are working on more open-ended projects, you may want to set a default image library. That way, when students select the Image button on the toolbar, the library will open to show a specific folder of images that supports your content objective.

To set a default library for your template, go to the File menu and choose Project Settings. At the dialog, navigate the folders in the Stickers library to find the one you want to display for students.


Students will still be able to navigate to other image options. But, if they select the Image button, this folder will open first. This can also be a helpful time saver for more open-ended templates that are simply a blank page with instructions.

Embedded content

During remote learning, many sites use Wixie as the main tool for their primary learners. If your students know Wixie well, you can use it as a one-stop shop to deliver content on the first page and have students respond on additional pages.

Use the Text, Image, or Video buttons on the toolbar to add content to a page.


Use the Video button to add a video to a page.


Use the Camera tab to record your own video with instructions, content, or a read aloud. You can also create instructional videos in other programs and upload them using the My Files tab.

If you aren't comfortable creating your own videos, use the YouTube tab to connect to videos found there. Use caution, since these videos often contain ads, and you may not have the rights to use the content in your materials.

Use the + button on the storyboard to add additional pages.

If you need to include information from another web site, you can add hyperlinks to text and objects that link directly to other content on the web such as articles, games, simulations, and videos. 

Add text or an image to a page. Select the object and add the URL to the Link field near the bottom of the options on the tools panel. 


Important: Once you have linked the image or text, go to the Edit menu, choose Properties, and select Lock. This will make sure the content of the link opens in a new window when the students select the image or text.

Note: You can also type a full URL in the instructions field. When you are in editing mode as a teacher, the link will not open. But, rest assured, students will be able to select the link and have it open content in a new tab when they use it. Creating a URL in the instructions area is helpful if you want to reserve more space on the page for students to work.

Sharing your efforts

With so many sites doing remote learning, many teachers have to design new curriculum every day! Once you have done the work to customize or develop templates for your primary learners, share them with other teachers at your school and/or district so they can use them in their own classes. You might even plan and work as a team to develop a shared curriculum.

Find the template you have created and use the three dots to the right of it to choose Move to. 


Navigate to your school folder (one level to the left) and choose Copy Here to share with the other teachers at your site. Depending on the permissions set by your district, you may also be able to copy to your district folder.

You can also share with other teachers by sharing the URL to the project you have created. Copy it from the URL field in your browser, or go to the File menu and choose Share to email to a colleague. When they open the URL, they can use the Log in button in the upper right to log into their account and then use the File menu and choose Make a Copy to add it to the My Projects folder in their Wixie account.

Topics: Wixie, primary

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