Tried it Tuesday - Learning From Others (a.k.a. cyber stalking other teachers)

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!! 


  1. I had no idea you could change the default for the have just made my life so much easier! Thank you!!

  2. It's crazy how excited that PowerPoint tip made me! Thank you!!! :)

  3. Thanks for the tips! I am sorry you are feeling stressed. I hope the rest of the week goes well for you. Let me know if you need anything or anyone to talk to!

    Eclectic Educating

  4. That's an awesome PPT tip! Thank you SO much in advance for the time you've just saved me!

  5. How great is that tip!!!! Any seconds saved are so appreciated! Thanks! I'm sorry you're feeling stressed-anything I can do?
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. My version of PowerPoint for Mac reverts back to the blue shape after each new presentation. So do you know what I did to get around that? I find a beautiful background from TpT. Insert my shape. Change the colour, border, font, etc. to what I usually use. Then... I save this blank page with all of my favourite settings as a 'PowerPoint Template'. When I open PowerPoint, I click on 'New From Template' and voila! Just as I like it. Then all I do is tweak the background. Would that be helpful to you too? 7 more days... We can do it! :)
    Grade 4 Buzz

  7. Oh, my gosh!! THANK YOU for the tip!!!

  8. I love that tip! I always think, "WHY BLUE!" I actually scream it in my mind, hence the caps.
    Loving the tip from Buzz too!
    My Teacher Friend

  9. I'm so very glad you were able to try the Hour of Code today! I wish I would've thought to have someone come in and present first. I have one of my students that is able to write code in TEN different languages...who knew. He has shared his experiences with the class and tries to get them as pumped about it as he is. My next door buddy had a parent come in that went to M.I.T. and wrote code for our Navy Base. She started talking and it sounded like a foreign language to me. I tried to steal her away, but they wouldn't let me. Thanks also for the tip on the "blue" shape. I needed that!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  10. In the first part, you lost me at "computer code writing"...EEK! That blue shape in ppt is SO annoying! I have to try that trick on my Mac but saw Lisa's comment and may need to try that instead. You always have the best tricks.:) Try not to be too stressed...any hope for snow days this week for you?
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  11. That's really nice of you to spend your lunch teaching computer code. I wouldn't even know where to start (might make a good TpT product to teach people like me how to teach it)

  12. Thanks for the tip! I had no idea!!

  13. I'm so glad you shared that... because seriously... BLUE!?!??! Why?!?!?! LOL!! Thanks, friend!!!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I don't know why the blue is so annoying, but it is!

    Fit to be Fourth


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