Due to a change in jobs this blog is no longer active. It will be left here as a reference, but new comments will no longer be approved.
As the school year begins to wrap up, I have a few final things to share with you.
The first is a reminder about the amazing opportunities to network with other teachers in your grade level across the country, and beyond, through the teachers’ clubs on Ning. You’ll find discussion forums, blogs, and live chats available, where you can share lesson ideas, teaching strategies, classroom management suggestions, and more.
Next, is a list of great Mac keyboard shortcuts. These are ways to help you do something using your keyboard instead of going through various menus. One example of this that most of you know is Command/Apple + S as a way to save. An extensive list is available from the Apple website, Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343
Finally, every once in a while I figure out something on the computer, and then can’t believe it took me so long to realize it. I had not one, but two of those moments this weekend, while working on something in Pages.
The first was when I was once again annoyed by the fact that I had to go in and change the margin settings, remove the header and footer – that gives me more space in which to write, and change the font on a new document. I did a quick Google search (it’s really a great way to find help!) and realized that there was a way that I could easily set up a document the way I wanted, and have it be a template I could select to use each time I wanted to. Here’s how:
The next time you start Pages, look at the section on the left side of the Template Chooser (that’s what you see when you start Pages), and click one time on the header, My Templates. You’ll see the template you saved on the right side. Double click on that and you should be good to go.
The second moment occurred when I was tired of scrolling through a long list of fonts, and wished I could have the ones I wanted in a list showing in the Fonts panel. As soon as I looked up how to do it, and found it had to do with font favorites, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out sooner! Here’s how you can avoid scrolling through a long list of fonts, and set the size, style, and font face you like to appear in the Favorites collection.
Now whenever you go to the Fonts panel, click the Favorites collection on the left, and you’ll see whatever you’ve added to it. You can add as many fonts as you’d like, and no more scrolling through a huge list to find the ones that you like!
Welcome to Website Wednesday, bringing you some of the best of websites I’ve looked at recently that you can really use.
The Mathwire Blog is the math activity blog of a retired teacher. She shares great no-tech teaching ideas and templates, all designed for the elementary classroom. This blog is meant to keep visitors up to date on the most current Mathwire website happenings.
Mathwire is the parent website of the blog referenced above. The site provides no-tech materials that correlate with NCTM Standards, and have been field tested by classroom teachers.
10 Websites for Reading Children’s Stories Online is a blog entry from the MakeUseOf website (where I always find cool new things!). You may know about some of these sites that will read stories to your students, but chances are you’ll find one or two new ones, just like I did.
If you’re looking for resources to help explain the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to your students, you might want to look at these:
Understanding the Japan Earthquake - Explanation by a Smithsonian geologist
Devastation in Japan – From Scholastic News Online
If you find a resource that should be highlighted here, be sure to let me know!
Did you know that YouTube has some great video clips for younger students? I ran across a few recently that are perfect for primary grade classrooms.
Q Without U: http://www.youtube.com/user/BTLfanatic#p/c/9/5yqcZRjSGKI
When Two Vowels Go Walking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fb3Pdt8kxg
Both of those are from the Between the Lions channel, which is at: http://www.youtube.com/user/BTLfanatic#p/
A couple more videos you might find useful are:
Those two are from Mr. Harry’s Kindergarten channel. Don’t let the name fool you, there are some great videos for students well beyond Kindergarten, too. The channel is at: http://www.youtube.com/user/HarryKindergarten
FYI, another site with videos (not YouTube) is Mr. Thorne Does Phonics, which is at: http://www.mrthorne.com. It’s out of the UK though, so there’s the whole accent issue. It’s still worth a look.
Have you found any other YouTube channels that are helpful in the primary classroom? Share them in the comments!
One of the most common questions I hear when working with students or teachers is, “How did you do that?” There are a number of keyboard shortcuts for our Macs that you might find helpful. Here are the ones that I use most often:
Undo: Command + Z
Copy: Command + C
Cut: Command + X
Paste: Command + V
Save: Command + S
Print: Command + P
Quit: Command + Q
Send item to trash: Click one time on item, then Command + Delete
Forward delete on a laptop: Function key (fn) + Delete
Preview a document without actually opening it: Click on it one time, then press the space bar
Did you know that there are simple ways to type symbols that don’t appear on the keyboard? Here are a few that you may find helpful:
¢ (cent sign) Option + 4
÷ (division sign) Option + /
≤ (less than or equal to) Option + <
≥ (greater than or equal to) Option + >
≠ (not equal) Option + =
º (degree sign) Option + 0 (zero)
Don’t forget that the trackpad on your laptop has some great time saving gestures. The video below demonstrates ones for the newest laptops. Many of these gestures work with our older laptops, too.