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Four Fast Tips for PowerPoint Printables

Hello Blog Hoppers! It's Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files and I am SO excited to join the incredible teachers at Blog Hoppin'! This is my very first post and I really hope it will be of help to those of you who may be new to designing in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is pretty easy to use once you get used to it. But, like any designing process, it can become quite time-consuming, can't it?

So I'd like to share four fast tips to speed up the design process a bit for you:

Tip One: Replace Images
Inserting clipart can take some time as you navigate to the folder, select the images you need, drag to the right location, and so on. Luckily, the "replace picture" feature in PowerPoint makes this go a bit more quickly. This will work well when you are designing with clipart that is the same size.

For example, you want to include several different flavors of ice cream in your resource. To save time, you can copy the first cone and ice cream scoop and paste it. Then, instead of inserting a whole new image for a different flavor, select the flavor you want to change:

Then head to the "replace picture" feature found in your toolbox or toolbar:

Now you can quickly navigate to a different flavor and it will place it in the same exact spot, saving you lots of time!

Tip Two: Replace Fonts
Just as you can replace images, you can also replace fonts. This is really helpful if you change your mind and want to use a different font in your file. It is also useful if you are designing a file with multiple font options.

Back to that ice cream. You start out with a clean, simple font:

But you decide it doesn't look bold enough. For a quick change to the entire file, you can go to Format and then Replace Fonts:

This will make the following menu pop up:

Making sure you have your current font selected under "Replace", choose any font you would like under "With":

Now all of the old font will be instantly replaced! Please note that you may have to adjust the size and positioning after, as different fonts vary.

Tip Three: Create Templates
This is a HUGE timesaver I blogged about on my blog awhile back. How would you like to start a new PowerPoint file all ready to go, with the fonts you always use? Follow these steps and save tons of time in reformatting each new printable you create…

Start a new file and delete those standard text boxes:

Set up a new text box:

Change it to a font you always use, right-click the text box , and select "Set as Default Text Box":

Once you have all of your standard fonts in the file, go to File and Save As:

Finally, save the file as as a template (with a .pot extension):

This will be the template you open each time, so you have it ready to go just as you like. Be sure to save it under a different name, however, so you don't write over your original template! 

Tip Four: Duplicate Slides
This is another great way to save lots of time if you are creating printables with the same layout. After you have set up an initial slide, go to the thumbnail menu on the side (back to those ice cream cones!). Right click on the thumbnail and select "Duplicate Slide":

This automatically copies the whole slide for you:

Now you can simply swap out the text:

And images, just as we did in the first tip:

And that's it! Four simple tips that can really save you time when you design! Thanks so much for reading.


Well, hello!  Thanks so much for visiting the Blog Hoppin' crew today. You get to hear from little old me on this fine Thursday . . . Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory.

First up, you still have a few more hours to SCORE BIG in the BONUS DAY SALE over at TPT.  (That was a lot of caps, but it just felt right for some reason.)  All of the Blog Hoppers have oodles of great goods on sale.  

Alright . . . on to business.  I was searching my files trying to come up with something stellar to share this month and I dug up this gem.  I came out with this Freebie during the 11th hour of that special spring reading week and it didn't get too much play last year.  Well, I am here today to try and give it a fair shake.  So, without yammering on a moment more . . . I bring you a Silly Star-Belly Tea Party.  

Alright, so here's the 4-1-1 on this guy.  I was putting the finishing touches on a Crazy "Circus Cat" packet and I got to thinking about the "Doctor" and one of my favorite stories.  Those star-bellied creatures came to mind and the noggin started churnin'.  To tie into this great story, I came up with a fun twist on your basic tea party activity.  Sure, you can hold a card and look for its mate during a run of the mill match up activity.  BUT . . . what if you tape the cards to your students' bellies??!!  Um, yup!  Let's have a tea party Sneetch Style.  And, while we are at it, let's make it a FREE and EDITABLE party . . . how ya like them hardcover books??!

In this silly game, I pre made a set of star-belly sum cards.  The goal is for students to hunt around the room in search of kids who have the same sum on their tummies.  This may not be what you are looking for at this time of year, so I made it EDITABLE.  Maybe you want to roll with a parts of speech match up, synonym ditty, or a fact family hunt?? That's a-okay.  Simply open up the blank version in this download, toss some text boxes in the stars, type way, and print!

Sound like something you might want to use during that first week of March . . . hint, hint??!!  CLICK HERE to score this fun FREEBIE :)

If you are looking for other CCSS items that are cat related, take a little look-see at this 
collection.  This one was designed for 1st and 2nd grades (the standards are listed) and it has great "kitty themed" flavor.  

Alright, I'm in and out today.  I hope you have a great rest of the week. Thanks again for taking the time to pop in to see us!  I'll catch you again next month.  

Teachers are Heroes TpT Sale!

Yep! We love teachers! and if you love a teacher, you know how hard and dedicated they are to their kiddos! Teachers are heroes and TpT knows it too!
To celebrate, they are throwing a sitewide sale February 25! Not only will everything be 20% off, but you can add a sweet promo code for an extra 10% off too! Woot!!
So empty those wishlists friends! Find all of our stores below









How to follow the Iditarod Dog Sled Race!

It's Rachel from the tattooed teacher! Do you Iditarod? Maybe I can convince you! The Iditarod is a historical dog sled race that closely travels along the same trail sleds used to deliver life saving medicine decades ago.
Off and on, for the past 11 years, I have followed along the trail with my students. My first administrator was an avid fan and got several teachers on board. We each chose a musher (sled driver) and checked each day to see which of us was in the lead. Obviously, I chose the cutest one and unfortunately we didn't finish the race!
The next year about 8 classes at school followed along. It was great fun!
I wanted to give you a few steps to follow the race with your class!
First, choose a musher. You can choose one as a class, have teams chose one, or even have individual kiddos chose a team to follow! With my younger kids, we chose two (one for the girls another for the boys) and check their positions in the morning and again before dismissal. My fourth graders each chose their own. I just pulled up the list and let them pick. Afterwards they made trading cards and we sent them to a younger class to help them chose a musher to follow.

Next you'll need a map of the trail! I always projected a map of Alaska and traced it onto bulletin board paper! My fourth graders did the whole thing! They took great pride in our map. One year we even did a map to scale! Make little sleds to move each day and keep track of your teams! I like to have kids make a little dog sled team to keep on their desks, too!

You can see we added our trading cards, random pictures and glitter!

All that's left is following along! It's a blast to check in with your team each day. The Iditarod site has made the whole experience truly interactive and there are lots of resources for teachers.  Just a note that before showing any of the videos from the day-watch it first! I learned the hard way that these racers can get pretty riled up!

One of my favorite activities was our Great Reading Race! With my older students, I challenged them to read as many minutes as there were miles in the race that year. They kept up with a reading log and we charted and graphed each day. Like with choosing a musher, you could do this as a class, in teams, or individually. It really depends on your readers.

I had two class periods competing against each other this year!

In writing we keep musher journals. With my kiddos in second grade, I give them little activities and prompts to add to the journals and it is more of a way to learn about Alaska and the Iditarod. When I taught fourth grade, students actually write diary entries based on what we had learned about trail conditions that day! They were amazing!

You can go as in depth as you wish with this. It could be a daily little discussion at morning meeting or you can go all out and teach thematically!
I have compiled all the activities I've done into this little product!

 and for the younger ones, I made these math and literacy centers! 
I am currently working on a nonfiction unit for the Iditarod to use this year. It'll be posted soon!

The race starts March 7! I hope to see you following along too! I included a little something special in the file, too! If you own it, go and redownload it! And he's a cutie!

Sight Word Interventions

Several weeks ago, I blogged over on my blog about sight word interventions.

Here is what we are doing in my classroom!

Here we are... February!

Today's post could be titled:  All About Sight Words

We have stations in my class that support sight words already.  Here are a few:

We love the jumbo dice! These are from January.  You can see February's version HERE.
 We love making words in the pocket chart during stations.  You can find February's version HERE.

 Slight little typo that made me giggle, but it is still precious!
 We love a little bingo dauber games.  (This one is editable and you can see it HERE.)
And the easy Reader's Theaters are the first things my students grab for in their desert tub when they are finished with their station.  These are from A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  You can find her Readers Theater scripts HERE.   Seriously... love them!
Sidenote:  I have her current ones... I just didn't have a photo of them... #fail.
Then at my table we are working on building words as part of our guided reading warm up.
We love these sight word cards.  On one side they have the word written.  I learned about these from Mary at Sharing Kindergarten.  You can read more about them HERE.
 And the other side has images to help them recall the words.
 Wikki Sticks are fun!

 We also like to write the words in context... great for handwriting practice as well.

One thing I struggle with is tailoring my sight word instruction to each of my students.
Student (A) has different needs than student (B).  AND I don't want to spend time teaching student (A) a word if she already knows it.

Each week I assess my students on their needs.  Without ESGI it would be hard to keep track of it all.
I can quickly test them.
This is what the sight word test looks like.  I have words loaded but you can create your own list of words.
Then I can print out a report that gets sent home.

Before it goes home I jot down their weekly "goal." 

 I got a GAZILLION event bracelets on Amazon.  I love them because they don't break off the first 4 minutes of the day. 

You can get a 2 month FREE trial of ESGI by clicking HERE.

Now that I was armed with their specific word goals, I would scramble around for resources I could find to support them.  I decided a few months ago that I need to create something that could be tailor-made for each student.  I finally finished this!

It is super easy to use.   

Just type in a few words and select a theme.  The words will be imported into the document.

 If you go to the unit, you can get a free week by downloading the preview!