Happy Tuesday - I figure if I say happy enough times I will convince myself that I am actually happy instead of extremely stressed. I am taking a minute to link up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for her linky....
I want to share two quick things I tried thanks to the wonderful teachers that share their ideas and experiences with me (well, with everyone else too) online.
First up, The Hour of Code. I heard about this fantastic event from Alison at Rockin and Lovin Learnin and Matt at Digital, Divide and Conquer. The basic idea is to expose students to computer code writing - a skill that is not often addressed but is essential. Today I worked with a select group of students (10 students) from grades 4-8 to make animated cards. It was super fun and the students were 100% engaged. I will be running two more sessions at lunch hours for other interested students. I must admit I cheated a little today and had a friend who actually has a job writing computer code come in to help me out. He explained things to the students and gave background information that I just do not have. But the next two days I am on my own. If you have not checked out this site with your students I think you should try it for sure!!
Next is a little computer trick for PPT that I just found out about and can not believe I did not know and was suffering for soooo long. I read about this on a forum for teachers.
It is changing the default shape color on PPT.
When you create a shape on PPT does it look like this...
Blue, seriously blue. Have you changed it, so it shows up like this...
Then you make another shape and it shows up blue again. But you want your shapes to be have white fill or no fill, with a black outline, the way they should be!! All you need to do is format the shape so it has the color fill and outline you want, right click on the mouse and select "Set as Default Shape" and insto-presto every time you create a shape it is created the way you want (a.k.a. NOT blue). You have to re-set your default shape when you open a new file depending on your version of PPT - but that 20 second step is so worth it to me, instead of changing each rectangle or circle, arrow, triangle...I make in the same file!! If you save the file it saves your default shape too.
Sorry if those were two things you already knew but they are two things I am so thankful other teachers shared with me (okay and everyone else online!).
See you tomorrow for Workshop Wednesday and some seasonal reading ideas!!