Thursday, November 29, 2012

Undo Your Last Action in a Program!

Did you type over your text and lose it?  Or type text that you didn't mean to?  To take back the last move you did in almost any program (Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, Blogger, and so many more!), just use this nifty keyboard shortcut!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Add Another Website's Photo to Your Blog! (Without HTML)

This week's technology tutorial is one that is surprisingly very easy... how to add another website's photo to your blog (without HTML!).  I love using this trick when I do linky parties or when I link to someone else's blog (if they don't have the HTML code poster for a blogger button, that is!)

This won the poll, but only by a little bit!

Check out the finished product here:
Be sure to check out Dana's blog while you're here.... she has some great ideas and great items!
Also, please note that I used the tutorial above to add the image, but I had to add the link to her website manually!  The only thing the tutorial copies is the image, not the hyperlink!

 You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Docs.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

For next week's poll, I'll add another blogger option... how to add a facebook "like" box to your sidebar (look at my side bar for an example!)  Then your blog followers can click one button on your blog to become a follower on facebook!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Thinking Maps, and a Sale!

Being from NY, a lot of my students were exposed to the damage of Hurricane Sandy.  Many lost power, and some had family in the hard-hit areas.  I needed a way to explain the storm to my class and to help them cope with what happened.  I put together this Prezi for them, and I know the storm is passed, but it's a great way to explain to your class what others are still going through.

Click this picture to see the free presentation!

The presentation incorporates a lot of thinking maps, which are fancy graphic organizers that I am absolutely loving right now!  If you use this program, you know how amazing it is!  I put together a set of visuals and worksheets for the thinking maps which you can check out at TPT by clicking the picture below!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Great Shopping Deals Year Round (Not Just Black Friday!)

So I know this deal has absolutely nothing to do with teaching... but hey, teachers deserve to get some great shopping deals, right?  And, since today is Black Friday, I'm sure this is the exactly what's on everyone's mind! (Well, it's on my mind at least!)

Obviously everyone knows about Amazon, but do you know that you can easily find the price history of any item on Amazon to tell if you're getting a good deal or not?!

First things first, head to Amazon, and pull up an item that you are interested in.  I pulled up Avery 5160 Labels... my favorite! :)

Copy the link from your address bar (e.g.: ).  You can copy the link by choosing Edit > Copy, or by doing Control + C on a PC, or Command + C on a Mac.

Next, visit the website .  You can head there by clicking the picture below!

In the top right hand corner, there is a box that says "Enter Amazon URL or keywords to find products." Click in that box and paste in the web address that you just copied.  You can paste the link by choosing Edit > Paste, or by doing Control + V on a PC, or Command + V on a Mac.

Click "Find Products" next to where you pasted the link.  If you scroll down a little bit, you'll see a chart that shows the item's price history.

If you keep scrolling, you'll find a list of the dates when the item was highest priced and lowest priced, as well as the last 5 price changes.  

So... if you're looking to find out if you're getting a good deal on the item you can easily tell!  Right now these labels are pretty reasonably priced... perhaps I need to stock up.

But, wait... I haven't even told you the best part yet!  If you create a free account for the website, you can get email alerts when the item drops below a certain price!

Head back to the main website, .  Click "Sign Up" (in the top right hand corner, or towards the middle right of the screen.)

Paste back in your item link.  In that big maroon box, it says "Create Amazon price watches for: ...your item..." Right below that, there is a green box that says "Amazon."  In the desired price box, enter your desired price. 

When your item drops below that price, CamelCamelCamel will send you an email alerting you of the new price.  (For those of you worried about junk mail... I've used this option for a few months and I haven't noticed any additional spam from it!)

If you want to check which items you are tracking, you can always click "Your Price Watches" at the top of the page.

I entered in all of the Christmas gifts that I want to get people and set up to be alerting when the item drops within a dollar of its lowest documented price.  I've already gotten alerts for two of the items... and for my
printer ink!  I am absolutely loving it!

I'd love to hear about what items you're loving from Amazon that you're going to enter into the price tracker... and I'd love to hear about any Black Friday excursions you went on!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Change the Capitalization of Your Text with Ease!

This tip is probably the one I use the most!  Do you ever need to change your text to capitalize it?  e.g.:from "happy thankgiving!" to "Happy Thanksgiving!" to "HAPPY THANKSGIVING!"  It's actually surprisingly easy to do!

This tip works the best in Microsoft Word. It will work to some extent in PowerPoint, but instead of doing "Title Case," it will capitalize the words as if they were in a sentence.  It's definitely a nice trick if you want to change the way your text is capitalized!

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Make an Editable PowerPoint and Lock Down Clipart

Before I write up this post I want to take a minute to thank everyone for your sweet words on all of the other tutorials I've written!  I'm so glad that people are actually using them!

This week the winner of the poll was how to make an editable powerpoint!  For anyone who has purchased clipart online for your teacher products, you'll notice it always says that the images need to be locked down... but how do you lock the images down and still keep an item editable!?  Well... here's how!

This was a close one in the poll!

Now, onto the tutorial!

You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Docs.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!
You can also download those editable labels for free by clicking the picture below! 
 Again, this file is hosted on Google Docs.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

As for next week's poll, I'm going to add how to add someone else's picture to your blog without using HTML (obviously with still giving credit to the original photo owner!)  I'll show you a trick to do this without downloading the photo!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Select All the Text in a Document or Website!

This is probably one of my favorite tips!  If you want to select all of the text on a website or in a word document, this is the perfect little trick! 

Let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Take a Screenshot of Your Computer Screen!

Quick, quick... get this post up before midnight so it counts as a Technology Tuesday post!!!  The winner this week was the long awaited poll item... how to take a screenshot of your computer screen!


This option has been on the poll for a while and I am so excited that it finally won!

Here is the tutorial!

You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Docs.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

As for next week's poll, I'm going to add a how to embed videos in smart notebook.  I haven't done any Smart Notebook tutorials yet and I would really love to... so I'm curious to see how this one fairs in the poll!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Decrease Your Text By One Size

To go along with last week's tutorial to increase your text by one size, you can use this tutorial to decrease your text by one size!  If you want to get your text to fit perfect in a given area, this tip is for you!  It works in Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher. 

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Easily Add a Border to Your Pictures!

It's time for another late night Technology Tuesday post... how to easily add a border to your pictures!

 This was the closest poll ever I think!  It literally couldn't have been any closer! 

This tutorial uses the program Picasa, which is a free program offered by Google (and I just love it!).  You can download it here.

If you already have Picasa installed, click "Help > Check for Updates" and update your version.  It's not entirely necessary, but it may give you some neat new features!


You can download this tutorial as a PDF by clicking this picture!
Note: This tutorial is hosted on Google Docs.  To save it from there, just open the file and click File > Download to save onto your computer!

For next week, I'll add an option that's been requested by a few people: how to make an editable powerpoint that locks down clipart and other images!  For example, this freebie (which reminds students to write their name on their paper) locks down the border so you can't move it around or copy it to another program.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PBS Kids Play Review & 2x $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!!!

If you're familiar with how amazing the PBS Kids website is, that you'll absolutely LOVE PBS Kids Play!!  I have to say I was impressed with every single part of this website.... I barely even know where to start for my review!

It was so easy to create a class, and it's so easy for students to choose whose class they are in based on this cute logo.  This program was clearly designed for K-1!

When you're logged into the teacher account, it's so easy to add your students also.  You can pick a really cute logo for them so that they know which is theirs (even if they can't yet read their name).

You can even set a time limit for the student!  I absolutely love this!  I set up my students for 15 minutes, and after 15 minutes it kicks them out.  But... the best part is, if you want to let them stay on for a few more minutes all you have to do is enter your teacher password!  So the limit is set in stone... unless you want it to be otherwise!

Once you input all of your students, they can log in right away...they just click their picture and go!

When they click their picture, it automatically launches into full screen, so the students can't be distracted by any other websites or computer games.  So child friendly!

When they log in, they enter their room, and they can choose their characters. 

I chose my favorite characters... SuperWhy! :)

You pick which book you want to enter (I chose Little Red Riding Hood), and play a really cute game.... just look at how adorable these graphics are!  The wolf puts different obstacles on the bridge to keep you from getting to grandma's house, and you have to find the word that rhymes with the object in order to remove it.  Such a cute game to go along with the book.  And, obviously, since this program is meant for the little ones, you hover over each of the words to hear it read, so it builds word recognition skills as well!

I noticed a lot of my students choosing Curious George, so I decided to play that game next.  Curious George walks around town and you can pick exactly where he goes. 

I took Curious George to the bakery, and there was a fun sorting game waiting inside. 

I started at Level 1, and once I beat it a few times Curious George popped up to compliment me...

... and then I had the option to play Level 2.  I love how it shows progress for the students so they know that they're doing well!

Speaking of progress, there are so many options in terms of tracking progress.  This is the main area where PBS Kids Play differs from PBS Kids - both websites are educational, but PBS Kids Play tracks your students progress.

You can see at a glance how much of the program your student has completed:

You can also get a more detailed report on each student, which is awesome for your own analysis, as well as to share with parents at Parent-Teacher Conferences.

There's also a detailed class report where you can hone in on individual skills that a child has worked on in the program.

As if that wasn't enough.. there's MORE to this program! The kids get prizes in their treasure chest that they can use to decorate their room... which you know they'll love!

Also, you can assign students individual games based on their skills levels and areas of difficulty!  Love this option!

They also have really fun lessons to go along with the games!

And there are also printables to go along with the games! 

And did I mention yet that there is home access so all of your students can play the games at home and it will track their progress!?  This program literally has it all!!!

I absolutely love this program, as do all of my students, and I feel like there are so many more exciting features that I'm sure I haven't even uncovered yet!  Head over to their website (by clicking the picture below) to sign up for a 30 day free trial and explore the website for yourself!  I'd love to hear what other exciting features you find!

And now, for the exciting giveaway!  Enter the rafflecopter giveaway to win one of two $100 Amazon gift cards!  Click the picture to head to the PBS Kids Play Facebook page to enter!!!