Lately I’ve received a few e-mails asking some techie questions, so I thought I’d answer them here. Let me begin by saying I am BY NO MEANS an expert. I am just showing you what has worked for me.
Techie Tips for Teachers:
- Use PowerPoint instead of Word. Like many other bloggers/sellers on TPT, I create all of my visuals, graphic organizers, worksheets (EVERYTHING!) using PowerPoint. PowerPoint allows you to manipulate images and text with ease. It’s also much easier to navigate because of its user-friendly tabs. If you aren’t a PowerPoint user yet, you should try it out!
- Invest in some kid-friendly clip art, fonts, and borders/frames. There are hundreds of clip art websites/online stores. If you intend on selling your activities, make sure you check out whether they can be used commercially or not.
- When creating activities, add borders around your pages. A border nicely frames everything. It makes your pages look neat and tidy.
- Make your title larger than the rest of the document. This provides a nice focal point for your students.
- Don’t use more than two fonts in one activity. If you want your title to really stand out, use a different font than the body of the document; however, don’t use so many fonts that it is distracting/confusing.
- In the body of your document, use a kid-friendly font that can be read easily. (Trust me, I LOVE the cutesy fonts too, but if we’re trying to teach our kiddos proper letter formations, we should provide them with excellent models ALL THE TIME!)
- Add one or two clip art images on each page, but don’t overdo it.
- See if your school district offers any basic PowerPoint/techie courses (sometimes you can actually get paid for attending or you can earn credits toward your Masters degree).
Here are the answers to some of the questions I’ve been asked:
1. Can I create an activity in Portrait design using PowerPoint?
Yes, and it is very easy to do.
Open up PowerPoint
Click on the Design tab
Select Page Setup
2. How do you get rid of that yucky white border/background around an image?
The white border appears around JPEG images. I know that most (if not all) of the stores I mentioned above send you JPEG and PNG files when you buy from them. Use PNG clip art, if available, to avoid that yucky white border.
If you’re stuck and don’t have a PNG image, follow this video tutorial to get rid of the white border/background (I found this to be very helpful!)
3. Can I use (and save) landscape and portrait in the same document using PowerPoint?
I’m not 100% sure on this answer, but I don’t think so. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to open up two separate PowerPoint slides (one in landscape and one in portrait) and save them separately. Then, when I’m ready to turn the files into a PDF, I combine them using Adobe Pro X. If you don’t have Adobe, below you’ll find a great (and free) website that will combine the PDF files for you. I’ve used this site many times and it works very well. If you know of an easier way, please let me know!
4. How do I get rid of the white border around a page?
First, you will need to change your settings from 7.5 x 10 to 8.5 x 11.
To do this:
Open up PowerPoint
Click on Page Setup
Then, change the width and height to 8.5 x 11
(If printing, make sure you select “Fit to Screen” rather than “Actual Size”)
If you have any other questions (or if you know a better way to solve the landscape/portrait problem), feel free to leave me a comment below.
I hope this was helpful!
Enjoy your Sunday…Happy Father’s Day to all those dads out there!!!