Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I have learned a lot!

I have only been blogging for three months....but already I have so many great memories and moments of excitements that sends me running and screaming around my house.  My kids are all grown so often I have my house to myself and that may find me running up and down my hallway with just my underwear on.  My hubby doesn't mind when I do that...he'd like to see me in my underwear more often (but that's different story).  Actually he is very supportive and never complains when I am sitting in our bed stalking or typing my own blog posts.

My best memories have to do with the WONDERFUL blogging friends I have found.  Bloggers who have noticed me and taken time to encourage me and given me great advice and tips.  Not only about my blog, but my classroom as well.  Insert Thank-You to Kristin at The Teeny Tiny Teacher (first one to comment on my blog ever!!!!), big screams after that, witnessed by my daughter and grandkids who happened to be at my house that day (no underwear...I had clothes on, although it might have been a swimsuit since we had gone to the pool that day).  Thank-you to Hadar and Deedee and Fran who answered all the questions I posed and gave me great advice both about my classroom (when I thought I would have 31 kinders this year) and my blog.  Blogging has made me a better teacher.  There are such talented ladies (mostly ladies) out there.  I have always said that my talent is recognizing a good idea when I see it.  Blogging has challenged me to come up with my own ideas.

I have always been good at finding something and then enlarge....decrease...cut it up and rearrange...making it my own.  The copy machine was my friend.  I have found so many great things on the blogs I stalked, some for free...some on teachers pay teachers.  I wondered how can I do that?  How can I share cool things I have made for my classroom when all I have is the cut and paste thing I put together with the copy machine.  I had never really made anything digitally.  That is the one thing I have learned to do....well at least I am beginning to learn to do it.  This book is the first thing I have made.  I used it to teach my anti-bully lessons.  You can read about it here.  You can click on the picture if you would like a copy.

If you are new, like me, you might not know how to do anything like this.  Here is what I have learned so far.

First:  Powerpoint is for more than making slide show presentations.  I used powerpoint to create this book.  Each page is a slide.  Powerpoint is easier to manipulate than word...there are other programs out there you can use to create things, but I don't have them.  So I am trying to learn how to use what I have.

Second:  I wanted to have a frame on each page to define my space.  I went to the drawing section on the home tab, where all the shapes are and drew a box.  Next I clicked on shape fill and for this book I clicked no fill.  Then I clicked on shape outline and picked my dashes first, then the line width, then I changed the color.  Actually I did that first, then I realized that even white fill was messing with my final product and I went back and set the shape fill at no fill.  Now I just do that first.

Third:  When I get my frame the size I think I want, I copy it to see if two frames will fit on one page.  Doesn't fit?  I delete it and only mess with my first one...making it bigger or smaller, then copy it again.  When I think I have it right I print it and check to make sure the page will fold the way I want. 

Fourth:  I have one page the way I want?  I duplicate the slide...lots of times.  Now I am ready to add pictures (clip art) and text boxes.  But before you add anything....SAVE IT!  Save it as a blank book or something (otherwise the next time you want to make a book you have to do the first three steps all over again!)  Yup...that would be me.  Starting from scratch for my next little book.  But I have learned my lesson.  Hopefully I get another good idea because my Hide Turkey Hide book is almost done and I have my blank book file just waiting for some brilliant inspiration to hit.

Last:  When you are finished and you want to save your book or activity choose to save it as a PDF.  You will then be able to upload to Google Docs or Dropbox or wherever you want to keep your creation and it will stay the way you made it.

 What do I have to look forward to now that I am on this blogging path??  Lots of friends...linky parties...better teaching and learning how to create a blog button and to use/buy/design a better looking blog. 


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