Getting Moving with Task Cards (& Battling Indoor Recess)

Indoor recess.

I could really just stop there because I know you all understand the significance of those two words. Needless to say, we've had a long spell of days spent inside (I know I'm not alone in this!) and I'm looking for ways to get my increasingly restless students moving while learning.

One of our favorite activities this year does just that. And it's oh-so-simple to set up!

1. Grab a pack of task cards. 

There are so many wonderful ones to choose from out we used Coordinate Graphing QR Code Fun from Flapjack Educational Resources...
(LOVE these adorable cards!)

2. Cut up the task cards (okay, well everyone knows this part).

3. Cut up the answer key.

4. Tape the task cards and answers (all mixed up) throughout the room:
(this can be done very quickly in the 20 minutes your students are not in the classroom, also with a sandwich in tow as I learned today)

5. Pass out recording sheets and clipboards and you and your students are ready to go!

I spread the task cards and mixed up answers on three of my four walls, so the kids will have plenty of space (and walking room to really get moving).

The students solve the problem, then move through the room until they find their answer they just recorded, leading them to the next card to solve.

With QR cards like Tabitha's, it's even more fun to check the answers once finished (we're a BYOD school, thankfully):

So, nothing really big and something very easy to do. But you know what? My students LOVE when they walk in and see the cards set up like this and I love seeing them get re-energized while working. It's a win-win! Well, win-almost-win because nothing really beats outdoor recess, right? ;)

How many indoor recesses are you up to? This is our seventh or eighth...I'm starting to lose track!
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The Follow the Trail Giveaway is still going on this week! Please click on the green link to read all about an incredible resource from Teaching in Room 6 and to keep hiking!

quickly insert and line up images in Powerpoint

Hello! I'm back to share another little tip that has helped me a great deal when designing in Powerpoint.

Actually, it's several little tips that really save a LOT of time. I'm sure there are many who know this, but I'm hoping it will be of help to those just starting out in Powerpoint :)

The image replacing trick (that you will see below) is one I learned from my sister, Melissa, over at Fashion Craze, Learning Days. It is SO great that I still talk about it all the time (right, Melissa??).

These little tricks will not only help to place images in a file very quickly, they will also help you keep your file neat and consistent throughout.

So. Say you are ready to place a series of images and/or clipart in a Powerpoint file. Normally, to insert a picture, you must go to Insert, choose Picture, and insert an image for each image you need:

(you can also choose the Insert Picture tool button if you have it displayed in your menu bar):

This is pretty easy, but can be really time-consuming if you are working with many images in your file.

That's what makes these next steps so great!

First, insert an image or piece of clipart as you normally would:

Then, select the image and copy it (either from the Edit menu above or Command+C if you are on a Mac):

Drag this copied image just below the original one (you should be able to see the blue gridlines to help you line it up):

Now you have two images lined up perfectly:

But perhaps you need several pages of these you just have to do a copy and paste. Go to Select All (or Command+A on a Mac) to select both images:

Copy and paste these duplicates on as many slides as you will need for your various images:

Now for the fun part! Go to the first duplicate and switch it with a second image by selecting it and choosing Replace (as shown in the Formatting Palette below, on the right side of the screen):

Once you click on the Replace button, you will be able to choose any image you have and it will switch the picture to that exact location:

Then, you can continue going through the file, replacing all images until you have everything you need:
This allows all images to be lined up in exactly the same format, for consistency and neatness throughout the file! Plus it's wicked fast!! (Sorry, I was so excited my New Englandness slipped out!)

But wait, there's more! 

If you'd like to have LOTS of slides set up with the same image formatting, you can follow this time-saving step as well...

Once you've begun setting up the first couple of slides, go over to the slide menu bar (on the left-hand side of your Powerpoint file). Select all of the slides in this menu bar (either using Select All or Command+A as mentioned before):

Staying in that left-hand menu bar, hit Paste (Command+V on a Mac) to instantly set up identical slides:

You can continue doing this until you have all the pages you will need (I have up to eight pages now, as shown below, and it only took a couple of seconds):

Now, you can go back and do that oh-so-cool image replacing trick to put all the images you would like in your file.

It seems like a lot of steps at first, but it becomes very fluid and easy to set up your file once you get used to it.

Ok, I really hope that was helpful to some of you out there! I would love to hear how it goes, if you happen to try it out.

Do you have Powerpoint image-placing tips to share with us?

P.S. Those updated CRAFT signs you see in this tutorial will be shared here very soon...  :)

organizing fonts on your Mac

Hello dear friends!! I hope you have been having a very happy 2014 so far! 

I'm sure many of you know how to organize your fonts on your Mac but, just in case, I wanted to share this very easy technique.

Because, if you're anything like me, you have quite the font collection. Like at least a zillion, right? And that means you might find yourself scrolling endlessly through a list to get just the font I'm looking for. 

Well, on a Mac, there is a quick way to sort these fonts into folders!

Just head into your Applications and find Font Book:

Once you open Font Book, you will see a list of all your fonts, along with some folders that are already there (like Fixed Width and Traditional on mine):

To create a customized folder, click on the + sign at the bottom, left-hand part of the Font Book:

Then just type the name you would like for the folder:

(favorite fonts is my newest category, since I go through those phases where I use the same group of fonts for awhile)

Then, you can click and drag any font from the font list to your new folder:

The font can even be stored in multiple folders. For instance, I have this particular font stored in my Favorite Fonts folders, as well as in the KG Fonts folder where I keep all of my Kimberly Geswein fonts (❤):

Now when I design in Powerpoint, I can go to Font Collections, select the folder I need, and jump to that font quickly:

And that's that! I hope this was of help if you didn't know about this before...I would love to hear how it works out if you are organizing your fonts for the first time! 

I have 468 fonts right now, and that's after cleaning out of ton of old ones! How many fonts do you have? :)
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