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Regarding being the "Queen of Organization", lol


Date: Mon Jul 21 2003 - 06:14:18 PDT

Since Judy made a point of mentioning my name so regally, I suppose I
should tell you what I have done this summer with the HUMONGOUS
collection of ideas, lesson plans, handouts, powerpoints, and so on that
I have been collecting from you all over the past year. I did discover
(to me) a great way to see at a glance what all I have. I realized
about 6 months ago that I needed to save what I find directly to a
powerpoint as I find it. So for the last 6 months I have been pulling
images into a huge number of powerpoints to group them together. Some
are ready to go, many are just collections that are put together and
need some further work if and when I decide to use them. Then I grouped
them into grade levels where I thought they might most likely be used
and saved them to CD's. I thought that was good enough, but I still had
to make my final selections for what I would actually use from all of
these treasures in my syllabus for next year. Here's what I came up
with that is SOOOO helpful to me:

I created a table in MS Word that had two columns and lots of rows. You
can always add more rows if you need to later, or delete them, so just
be generous at first because you will need a lot of rows if you have
saved a ton of stuff.

I had my CD index for a given grade open on one side of my screen, you
know what I mean...the listing of everything on that CD when you click
on the CD drive in "My Computer". Just the list of what's on it with
nothing actually opened.

On the other half of the screen I had my Word table open and titled
"Powerpoints for 2nd Grade" . This includes finished and unfinished
ones. All I did was click and drag the title of a given powerpoint into
one of the boxes of the table and the first image of the powerpoint
opened in the table like a little thumbnail!!!!! So now instead of just
having a list of words in my CD index naming all of my powerpoints, I
also have a visual index of MANY powerpoints for a given grade level all
on one page or two or more in this MsWord document. You can resize the
image when it opens in your table so you can keep adding images to the
table and fill up a whole page with little thumbnails. And guess
what!!!!! When you click on one of your thumbnails, the screen
automatically opens up your powerpoint slide show! You just keep
clicking and go on with your show until you end it, then return to your
thumbnail image index for your grade level. I was stunned that you can
do this! Being a visual learner, I can instantly see what I have with
these little thumbnails instead of having to try to remember what I mean
by what I titled a given powerpoint, such as "Ken's Mosaics", or "Judy's
Molas". Unforgettable as those lessons are, when it's just one of many
on a list, it doesn't sink in to me the way the thumbnail image index
does. So, I bought a notebook and some CD plastic sleeves for the
notebook. I divided up the notebook by grade level, and now I have the
word table with image index CD right behind the printout of the table.
I can truly see at a glance all of the new gems I have to work into my
curriculum next year. Now, as I decide which of the "gems" I really am
goingto useevelop, I pull it out on my desktop, finish working on it,
and drop it into a new CD that is my syllabus of finished powerpoints
per grade level for next year. All I will have to do is turn on the
projector and click away!! I will still have images out from my files
for kids to look at afterwards and touch, etc. Nothing to me replaces
the real thing, but I LOVE the way everyone gets to see an image large
on the screen during the discussion, not upside down from across the
table, or far away if you happen to be at the end of the table for
discussion. Last year was my first year to use the projector and I
probably worked up about 9 powerpoints over the year. I didn't put much
in that was new, as I spent so much time in this forum reading and
collecting that I was always just "on to the next read" and not really
able to organize them, know what all I actually had, etc. It just felt
like collecting charms for a charm bracelet that I would eventually
make. So, early this summer, I sort of swore off the list for a while
and spent time just organizing the TONS of stuff I had. Oh, I skimmed
the list and added some more during that time, but I had a pretty clear
direction of where I was going with all of it and knew I really needed
to focus on the time I knew it would take to make my collection useful
to me and not just a collection. It feels great to be so ready for next
year. My BIGGEST goal for next year is to have an excellent curriculum,
but MORE TIME FOR ME! After a year of killing myself timewise, I will
feel much more free next year. Can't wait! My notebook is PRICELESS to
me, and I have a backup of every CD and index in a box if I ever, God
forbid, lose the notebook. I also went through my gigantic favorites
collection and deleted broken links, things I knew I would never use,
and so on. My house is CLEAN!!!