Teachers’s Guides

What I like best about my website is that my webmaster Wess set it up so I can do most of the work myself. That means I have to learn the program, solve problems, and figure out how to get the pages the way I want them. Wess will help if I get stuck. Still, I like to figure things out myself.

Last month two teachers wrote to me asking what became of the attractive template I used for the Teachers’s Guides lesson plans to my books. That template was created more than ten years ago when I first set up a website. My friend Hannah Formolo created it. The template was a casualty of the last upgrade when we revised the entire website. It got lost somewhere and neither Wess nor I have been able to find it.

I began thinking: how can I solve this problem? What do I have to do to create a new format for the guides when I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. Really! I can’t match a tie with a shirt. Then I thought about Pages, Apple’s word processing program that I have started using for my writing. Pages has lots of interesting features that I still haven’t discovered.

I remembered that when the program opens, it gives you a choice of numerous prepared templates to use, depending on the writing projects you’re doing. I checked it out and found two that were designed for school reports. They had “placeholders,” stock illustrations that hold the place for your own images. I started thinking—I scan pictures from the books to make the story video and my Keynote presentations for school visits. What if…?

It turned out to be easier than I thought. I moved text from the barebones lesson plans and illustrations from the books onto the templates. It was mostly a matter of point-and-click, then some slight adjustments. And there it was! Lesson plans for Joha Makes A Wish and Medio Pollito in two new, exciting, original formats!

I did it all myself, sitting with my laptop on the living room couch, watching NCIS. If I can do it, anyone can! Even Wess was impressed. “Good job, Eric !”

That’s the exciting thing about technology today. It lets us do more and more by ourselves. The hardest part is psyching yourself up to jump in and do it.

Click HERE to visit the Teachers’s Guides page and check out the pdf guides to Joha Makes A Wish and Medio Pollito. And while you’re at it, click HERE to tell me what you think about the new look.

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