Wednesday, July 22, 2015

i bought clipart...now what?

From time to time, I get questions about how to use clipart. If you are new to the world of clipart, this post is for you! I will do my best to go over every little step in this tutorial, but first, please keep in mind that not all computers are the same...so my screen might not look exactly like your screen!
using clipart
If you are reading this, you are most likely a teacher who bought the clipart to print out for decoration or something along those lines. This post will detail how to go about doing that if you don't already have a system in place that works for you. If you are considering being a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers and find this tutorial useful, I would love it if you could use my referral link by clicking here when you are ready to sign up.

Step 1:
Open a word processing application/program. This is usually Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. I'm going to take you through Powerpoint because that is what MOST people making resources use (including me). You are probably thinking, "Powerpoint? Huh?" Just trust me on this.

On my computer, I go to "Applications" and then to "Microsoft Office" to find a word processing program.
After opening up that folder, this is what I see. I open Microsoft Powerpoint. 
This is what comes up when I open Powerpoint. I click "Cancel" and do not choose any of these options.
 This is the next window that appears. It's an empty "slide" or page that has a couple of text boxes in it already. If you don't want your slide to be facing this direction (landscape), you need to change it NOW. If you want your page to be "long" as my mom calls it (portrait), go to "File" then "Page Setup."
 A window will pop up. If you want a "portrait" page, type in the dimensions below.
 Just click "Ok."
 Then your page orientation will be changed to portrait.
I click those text boxes and delete them. 
 Now I have a blank slate. 
When you downloaded your clipart, it saved somewhere. You are the only one who knows where you saved it. Some computers have a "Download" folder that things go in when you download them. I always make sure mine saves to my desktop so I can easily find it. When you find your download, it will be a "ZIP" file that looks like the one below (it has a zipper image on it and says "ZIP"). Open that up. Take note of my desktop background...it's my sweet baby boy :) Say hello to Oliver! 
 Now that you've opened your ZIP file, a colorful folder will appear. You can drag your ZIP file to your trash now; you don't need it anymore. Open the colorful folder that you now see.
When you open my folder, here's what will be inside. 

Logo: The logo is for people that will be using the clipart for teaching resources. If you use my clipart on free or paid items, you must provide me with credit by placing my logo in your document (most people have a page at the end of their resource thanking the clipartist(s) along with their logos).  This is similar to how an illustrator is given credit on the front of a book. If you are just using the clipart for yourself or your classroom, you don't need to worry about the logo. 

Terms of Use: The Terms of Use file also applies to sellers only, so if you aren't a seller, you don't need to read it. If you are a seller, YOU NEED TO READ IT if you haven't already. 

Preview: This is just a preview of what's included in the clipart file. It's purpose is to show people what's in the download.

JPG: These are the clipart files. These have white backgrounds on them. 

PNG: These are also the clipart files. These have clear backgrounds on them. They work best for people that put clipart on top of other clipart or are using a different color background other than white. Open the PNG folder.
 When you open the PNG folder, this is what you'll see. Now, again, not everyone has the same SETTINGS on their computer. I have my settings to show the clipart like this. At the top of the window, it says "View" and I've selected the first option so I can see the files and not just their names. On the bottom of the window there is a slider that allows you to change how big or small you see them.
Now, you should have 2 windows showing. The one on my left is the Powerpoint slide I got ready earlier. The one on the right is the clipart folder. Select a clipart file that you like and drag it to the blank page in Powerpoint.
 Now you should see the clipart arranged on the page! The little dots along the edges are used for resizing. Click and drag them out or in to make the clipart bigger or smaller on the page.
 Now that you've got your clipart on the page, if you want to add some words, click "Insert" and then "Text Box" to be able to type words on the page.
 Now you've got a Text Box on your page. Position it where you want it by dragging it and pulling it around.
 You can make the text bigger or smaller by using the dropdown menu shown here.
 Now you can change how the text font looks. For the purpose of this post, I am going to choose a font that you most likely have on your computer already. For people wanting to get into selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, I suggest you look for commercial fonts and follow the installation guide.
 After you've selected a font, just type. You can still play around with sizing, colors, alignment and location. If all of this is new to you, I suggest you spend some time playing around with fonts for a while. And don't worry, if you make a mistake, just click "Edit" and "Undo" and it will be able to go back a few steps.
 Now that you have your clipart and text, you are probably ready to print. Go to "File" and find "Print."

If you liked the little worm clipart, you can download it for FREE in my TpT (that's short for "Teachers Pay Teachers") store by clicking below. There are lots of other free items in my store...so feel free to check those out as well!
free school clipart
And if you haven't been to this site before, lift that rock up that you've been living under (joking!) and go ahead and get ready to be AMAZED. All you need is to sign up for an account (also free, and totally easy and it won't give your computer a virus or spam your email, I promise). You can't download anything without one, so take the plunge and you'll be able to download FREE things. Yep, FREE. And when you're ready, you can purchase something. Chances are, it'll be less than the price of a cup of coffee and you can feel good knowing that most of that money probably went to a teacher. I am a teacher (7 years in 2nd grade!), so my products are tried and true.

And if you are looking for a specific store that you already know the name of, it will pop up as you are typing, so just click on it when you see it.


Once you are there, you can choose to "follow" the store. This means that you'll be able to see when that store puts out new products. If you like that store's stuff, click the little star under their store name that says "Follow Me." You can use the main search bar up on top to look for all kinds of things.
You can use the store search bar to locate items in that store alone. Most sellers have categories on the left as well to help you search. Have fun and don't forget to leave feedback on all of your downloads...it's the polite thing to do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

a tour of my sub binder

As the new school year starts back up, I am thinking about time management. Every year, I do things to make sure I am managing my time efficiently. One of them involves writing sub plans for the year. Yes, the year. This isn't a new idea, but for some people, it may be! So, if you want to avoid writing sub plans each time you are out, read on! 
sub plans
Within the first 2 weeks of school, I have my entire substitute binder all ready. I can't really write all of my plans before the year begins, so I wait until I know my class, our ever-changing schedule and any little bits of info that you typically find out after school starts.
 This one seems pretty obvious, but keeping your plans in an obvious place can be tricky. I like to keep mine right next to the phone. That way, if the sub has a hard time finding them, they should see them when they reach for the phone to call the office! As you can see, I also label my sub binder spine and front pocket so that anyone can tell what it is.
sub plans
Just like you may like to keep a transportable class list behind your ID badge (if you don't do this already, you can start now--perfect for fire drills and field trips!), your sub may want an easily accessible class list. Slip a few small copies in the front cover of your binder and you're good to go. Pardon the blurry photo of mine, it's from 2 years ago and a blown-up iPhone photo. 
sub plans
I don't know how much prep time is given to you, but it's enough that I wouldn't want my sub to be twiddling their thumbs wondering what to do. So, I keep a little list ready. Whenever I have a task I know can wait until later (typically, it's filing or cutting), I write it on this list in dry-erase marker.  

*On the left you can see my attendance sheet. Normally, attendance is taken online (using PowerSchool). However, sometimes a teacher doesn't leave their computer behind (particularly when you are headed to professional development) or feel comfortable sharing computer login information (sometimes we have confidential things we can't share), so I keep about 10 of these sheets stapled together for an old-school attendance. Mark an "A" for absent and send to the office with a student. Done!  
sub plans
Behind my attendance sheets, I keep copies of this writing activity. It can be done really at any time, so it is a great time-filler and the kids love it! 
sub plans
I keep my favorites in a binder in the classroom library for the kids to read and use for later inspiration. You can download it free by clicking below.
I also keep this fun book right inside the binder as it is the perfect time filler (kids love to talk!!!!). If you're not familiar with it already, I recommend you grab it. It's also good for morning meeting!
This is sort of a no-brainer. However, if you forget it, it may be a pretty hard day for your sub! I keep our main schedule, our specials schedule, and our once a week RTI specials (where the kids go when grade-level teachers are meeting) schedule. I also throw in the district calendar so the sub can reference that for any reason.
On the first day of school, I take an up-close photo of each student. I use this photo for tons of things (on clothespin line for hanging artwork, student of the week poster, etc.). I am a visual person. If I were a sub, I'd like to be able to reference this list of names throughout the day, particularly when leaving a note about the day. I make the photos big enough to put a page of boys and a page of girls.
Next up in the binder, I keep the actual sub plans. I have a welcome/thank you page that has a few pertinent things, including phone extensions of office, nurse and neighbor teachers.
Immediately after my welcome page, I include my classroom routines, reward system (I have a few), jobs (they stay the same all year) and basic expectations. 
This one can be tricky. It may not work all year, but if you're lucky, it might!
Which is why I don't have my binder ready until 2 weeks after the school year starts. I am not sure what reading, writing and math activities my students yet. Here is the gist of what I include:

Reading: Although we use a program (Reading Wonders), I don't ask my sub to teach from it if I'm not going to be gone for more than a couple of days. Instead, I include directions for buddy reading and independent reading journals. Some years I throw in spelling practice directions as well.

Writing: I use a writing workshop model, but when I'm gone for a short amount of time, I don't ask my students to work on their writing (I guess I have control issues).  Instead, I use this time to pop in some social studies that we never seem to have time for.  For 2nd grade in Juneau, a bit of it is about community workers. Our library has a set of community workers books. The sub reads a book from the tub (I check out about 15 of them at the beginning of the year and keep them just for this) and students fill out response packet page (it has a place for a drawing and a writing prompt "_____'s are important to the community because_____"). I can't find what the books really are called, but they're basically something like this series. 
Math: I always teach a few basic math games at the beginning of the year. Our math block is typically an hour, which is enough time to really play a couple of math games and practice some math fluency. That's it!
I keep fire, power outage and lockdown procedures in my binder as well. I wouldn't want my sub to have to go find the special one the building provides that I keep on the exit door, so I keep everything and anything they'll need right in the binder. 
I made a basic blueprint of my classroom using shapes tools in Microsoft Powerpoint (you can also use Word). I labeled furniture and important areas that I reference in the plans ("The math games are stored in the blue tub on the long shelf under the word wall"). Don't assume every sub will know what everything is, even if you're descriptive! I write the seating chart in pencil so whenever I make a change I can quickly adjust it in my sub binder.
Most teachers know this age-old trick, but just in case you don't, I'll say it because it's not really something you learn about in school (is anything really?!). If you write on paper with a highlighter, it doesn't appear when you Xerox it. It's genius, really. I write my last name, number of copies, and my copy code (we have to input a 4 digit copy code to keep track of how many copies we make) in highlighter. I've also use sticky notes with this info, but this works as well.
And lastly, if you have any handy management resources, include those as well. Catchy attention-grabbing phrases can be new to a sub, so I like to keep this sheet in the back just in case.
So, there you have it. That's how I avoid coming in when I'm sick or home with my sick kids. Of course, there are times when things need to be adjusted #reallife , so I adjust my plans accordingly. But, once you get the "skeleton" of your binder in place, it's pretty easy to be gone for a day or two when you need to. I highly recommend taking the time to sort out a sub binder or sub tub at the beginning of the year!