How To: Create and Sell Clip Art

Creating clip art can be a lot of fun and a great way to spruce up lesson resources for teacherspayteachers, not to mention an extra source of income. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.
How To Create & Sell Clip Art

  • Find a program: one that is easy to work with to make your clip art. PowerPoint is a good starting point. It's not fancy, it's free and easy to use. I have been using this since October 2012 to create my clip art images and am very happy with it. 
  • Decide on a Subject : Skim through magazines, Google images, or look out the window for your inspiration. Once you know what you want to create and you have your inspiration, get crackin'.
  • Design Only When Inspired: Just like in writing, I believe our best work comes when we are hit with inspiration. Those moments when you don't go looking for an idea but are suddenly struck with one produces the best creations. Carry a pen and paper around with you or jot down notes in your iPhone. 
  • Explore your program: fiddle around, just play until you create something you love. Google specific questions you might have. 
  • Learn the Tricks: Keyboard shortcuts are fast and save you time. For example:
    • ctrl A = Select All  - Useful when saving your image to a PNG file.
    • ctrl Z - Undo Last Move
  • Price to sell: If you are just starting to create, have a couple pieces for free or host a giveaway. You want to build up a following and create a reputation as a competent and creative graphic artist. Once you build a following, you can adjust pricing as needed. 
Do you make your own clip art? What program do you use? What tricks do you have to share?

Minimalist iPhone

I just figured out how to delete useless apps like NewsStand, Stocks, Game Center, etc.! All those apps that I don't use and thought I had to keep. Check out this link to see how to do it. It's really as simple as going to a website which allows an X to appear on your apps and clicking on it.

Future reference, once you download a Software update all those apps you deleted will return and you will have to go through the process again. Be prepared and save the website to your phone's home screen.

Anyone else feel accomplished after de-cluttering your iPhone apps? :)

Safe Blogging?

We still need to be very cautious on the internet and unfortunately I think this will always be the case. I am constantly teaching my students internet safety and I think there are similar rules for adults as well. If you are toying with the idea of creating a blog but are not sure how much information is too much on the internet this post is for you.
  • Create a separate e-mail address for your blog. To make it easy, direct all e-mail to your main account so that you don't have make the extra effort of remembering to check it. 
  • Have an alter-ego:  I do think having your first and last name out there is or can be safe but I personally chose not to. 
  • Keep your home address private. If you wish to receive or send mail consider a P.O Box.
  • Use PayPal or Send Checks to a P.O. Box to direct blogging income. 
  • Be Diligent About Checking Copyrights: If you use graphics, frames, backgrounds, or special fonts be sure to double check the source's copyright information. You can also create your own graphics to avoid the hassle!
Any other ideas? How do you stay safe on the internet?

Alphabet Patterns + Giveaway!

Have you seen my new Alphabet Patterns? I'm so excited because I just love creating Printables!

Check it out in action! Modeled by yours truly of course!


To extend the activity: 
1. Call out a letter and a color. A is green! B is blue! OR...
2. Call out a sound. /B/ is blue! /C/ is red!

Choose the option that works best for your students. I included a color code (not shown) in the download. 

The first person to comment will receive the lovely Alphabet Patterns free direct to their inbox! Make sure to include your e-mail address. Ready, set, comment!

Googly Eye Organization

Project googly eyes is something I have been wanting to work on for a while. When preparing for or administering a project with little ones I want to have everything ready and organized in the easiest way possible. I want to know where everything is so that I can put all the supplies needed in one area the day before we need it. I also want supplies prepared before the project and easy for little ones to do as independently as possible.

Step 1: Gather all googly eyes. See how the ones in the red container are mismatched and all different sizes?

 Step 2: Sort by size.

 Step 3: Breathe a sigh of relief. Look how pretty! With this organization it is so much easier to find a matching pair of eyes to pass on to little fingers.

Step 4: Label! My favorite part. :)

 What have you organized recently?

PS: In the future I will only buy googly eyes presorted but the ones above were inherited from another teacher.

Minimalist Classroom: What You Don't Need

Teachers, new and seasoned, are under the impression that they need a lot of materials to teach kids in the classroom. However,  as teachers, if we truly had to we could teach with nothing but ourselves. After all before books, technology, even paper we learned through storytelling, playing, and discussing ideas.

As you look around your classroom, think critically. What do we really need to succeed? What is it that my students are benefiting most from? What has not been touched in years?

What You Don't Need:
  • Outdated Resources: Textbooks and lesson plans are constantly evolving to accommodate our ever changing world. If they don't match up, donate to another classroom, give it to the library or recycle. 
  • Books Beyond Repair: Can you put them in the art center or take them to the art room for students to create recycled art? Can you frame the book cover to hang in the book nook? Make a collage?
  • Items Unused For Over a Year: Offer it to a new teacher with limited resources or find another use for it. 
They say we only wear 20% of our wardrobe.
 How much do we use in our own classroom?

Could You Be Greener?
This is something I always want to push more in the classroom. Not to just "be green" but to use our resources more wisely and teach kids to not be wasteful. Reminding kids to use both sides of the paper is a start. How can we push it further?
  • Invest in personal whiteboards (Lakeshore Learning and Target supply them) Instead of always drawing on paper students can use whiteboards once in a while. I also use them with younger students to reinforce literacy skills by giving them a magnetic letter and having them draw something that begins with that letter. It's also a great tool to practice letter formation and if you buy boards with lines on the back, kids can practice writing as well. 

Recycle Broken Crayons
Recycle Broken Crayons
  • Save Broken Crayons: I encourage my students to save them so I can bring them home and melt them into new, colorful crayons. 
  • Save worn out Markers: Did you know that you can soak them in water to make homemade watercolors?
What's your number one tip for a greener classroom?

WDIW: Free Teaching Resources!

We Deserve it Wednesday: We deserve free teaching resources to help educate the children of the world! Because teachers and their students are worth it.

My most popular download yet! Letter A Practice for Pre-K, Kindergarten, Homeschoolers, or for kids who just need a little extra practice with letter recognition and letter formation. All you need are some colorful crayons, stamps and a pencil!

Free Letter A Practice by Miss. Whimsy

Have children start by pointing to the letter A. Can you find an uppercase A? Lowercase? Then, teach or review what sound the letter A makes depending on the child's ability.

Free Letter A Practice by Miss. WhimsyFree Letter A Practice by Miss. Whimsy

Free Letter A Practice by Miss. Whimsy

Click on any of the images to snag this free resource! There is something about scoring free stuff that feels so rewarding. And when it benefits children what could be better?

PS: If you like letter A, you can purchase the whole set here!


TpT Product Swap

Thanks to Jessica from Mrs. Sanford's Class for hosting a TpT Product Swap! I swapped with Lisa from Mrs. Bohaty's Kindergarten Kingdom and I cannot wait to try out her activities! Here is what I scooped up!

ABC Pancake Flip it! A fun literacy center
ABC Pancake Flip It
A super cute literacy center where kids flip over pancake letters one at a time, recite the letter and then record it on paper. Lisa also included lower case letters, and beginning sounds so that the game can be differentiated based on students' needs. I am so excited to try this game out for my literacy class that I am teaching this summer!

Gingerbread man Time to the Hour
Gingerbread Man Time to the Hour
I can't get over how adorable that gingerbread man is! Though Christmas has passed I had to snag this activity for its sheer cuteness! Activities in this product include:
  • Time to the Hour Memory
  • Where's Gingie's Home? Pocket Chart Game
  • Time to the Hour Cut and Glue
  • Time to the Hour - Make a Clock
  • Time to the Hour - Bingo!

A big thank you to Jessica for hosting and Lisa for participating in the swap and trading with me these adorable activities. If anything, it just got me that much more excited to finally get a classroom of my own so that I can put these activities to good use!

Automate Your Online Life

Wouldn't it be nice if we could schedule the tedious and plan everything weeks in advance? When there's a will, there's a way:
  1. Schedule your posts: If you are on blogger see Post Settings, hit Schedule, and set date and time. 
  2. Schedule your Pins: Use Pingraphy to schedule pins at times when the most people will see them. This is also handy if you are a "Pin Dumper" because it is an easy way to spread out your pins!
  3. Automate your finances: Most banks have direct deposit and automatic bill pay. Take advantage of these features and save yourself a trip to the bank as well as money for a stamp!
  4. Streamline your E-Mails: Take 5 minutes to unsubscribe from select e-mails on your social media. Go to each website, click on settings and be selective about what you are willing to sacrifice a minute of your life reading and deleting every day. Here's an example of my inbox:
    1. Pinterest: E-mails when someone comments on a pin or invites me to a group board. 
    2. Twitter: E-mails when I get a Tweet Reply or I am sent a direct message.
    3. Facebook: None. I check my notifications when I log in.
By choosing to opt out of less important e-mails, I can focus more on the ones that matter: Family, friends, and my blog readers. :) Further, by automating posts, pins, and my finances I make more time for offline interactions!

What do you do to make your online life easier?

WDIW: Less Stress

We Deserve it Wednesday: Weekly posts on taking care of you.

Stress is the most common, and most challenging feeling to alleviate. I think we would all be happier having a little less stress in our lives and a little more calm. How on earth do we do that?
  1. Locate: Find out where your stress is coming from and write it down. 
  2. Write: Go through each source of stress and think of some ways that might help to alleviate the distress. For example, a co-worker has become very bossy. I can either speak up or focus on the more positive parts of my job. 
  3. Focus: Stress can be habitual unless you redirect your focus to something more positive such as taking a step to relieving your stress. If every night you dread going in to work the next day because of a co-worker then every night you should write in a journal or read to take the focus away from the negative. 
"Nobody said life was easy, they just promised it would be worth it."

Some of my favorite ways to de-stress:
  • Bubble Baths
  • Write about my day 
  • List things I am grateful for
  • Yoga
  • Chocolate 
  • Skyping with my sisters
  • Taking a walk with a friend

What's stressing you out right now? What are you going to do about it?