Picture of computer.




  1. Any time you want to move objects around, Excel is a great choice. They are not anchored as they are in Word, and thus are a lot easier to manipulate. Example: Make an Inspiration type diagram in Excel. Here is a link: http://rcs.rcps.k12.va.us/creativeways/conceptmap.html

Click here for my example.

  1. Excel is also great for making posters or newsletters for the same reason. Remember that while you may have a print program at school, your students may not have it at home, but they are likely to have Office or a similar application. Teaching them to make newspapers/letters this way means more of them can work at home.
  2. Instead of regular graphs, make pictographs using Excel!
Pictograph with book lines.


  1. In Slide Show, hit the B key for the screen to go completely black, or W for white.
  2. Remember to use the Pointer in Slide Show. Hit “P” and then select “Draw.”
  3. Remember Meeting Minder in PowerPoint.
  4. Make sure your fonts stay with your PowerPoint. In the File/Save As Window, click on Tools. Select Save Options. You will have some choices then, including to Embed TrueType Fonts.
  5. Soft shadows. Place an object behind another square or round object. Make it about 150% larger. Fill with the fill effect of black emanating from center out to edges being the same color as the slide background.
  6. Here is a great link for more PowerPoint tips http://www.bitbetter.com/powertips.htm#different%20backgrounds
  7. Make a Countdown Timer. Here is a site with instructions. Notice other good PowerPoint ideas at this site:
  8. Here is a demonstration PowerPoint.  You could have students make or use figures or other creations and then write story books about their adventures.



  1. Make a NASA patch. The teacher that shared this assignment tells students to design a patch similar to the official one. They should include names of two astronauts and also their own names. Here is another example.
  2. Drop cap is fun http://www.microsoft.com/education/DropCap.aspx




ere it is. When I started to prepare for this presentation, I had not paid any attention to the nifty trick called Drop Cap. It is pretty cool! Just type a letter. Then go to Format, and Drop Cap. You can choose to either drop the letter in or have it placed in the margin.

3. Open a picture in Word and then use callouts to label parts. This could be very useful in science. Click HERE for example.

4. Use Word Art and format the letters to have nifty pictures in them, like this:
5.  Have students take pictures or find pictures that lend themselves to poster ideas. Add inspirational messages or famous quotations. Use these to decorate your classroom instead of buying posters. Here is one example:
Love One Another


  1. Open a picture in Paint and add labels there. Students could tell a story with their pictures. HERE IS A LINK TO A DRAWING DONE IN WORD USING LABELS THERE, SIMILAR TO EXAMPLE ABOVE
  2. K-6 - have a student sit where he/she can't see the computer monitor and then describe out loud the coolest car/cutest teddy bear/scariestmonster they can. Another student draws that image in Paint and can only tell the speaking student to stop/start speaking and can't ask for clarification. Great exercise in listening and descriptive writing.
  3. Remember to make your own clip art in Paint. We have a number of new examples here:  http://www.shsu.edu/~lis_mah/documents/clipartportal.html
  4. Tesselations again! Here is a great web site for instructions: http://www.kencole.org/ctp/tessmenu.html He suggests making backgrounds out of tessellations. I gave it a try. OK I have a cranky mouse and not the greatest eye hand…your kids will do better!

5. Remember that I AM NOT AN ARTIST. That should be clear by now. With that in mind, here is my attempt at the calligraphic tool in Paint. For directions go to this excellent site which provides many other great Paint activities:
Here is my attempt:

Picture of bouquet of flowers.

6. Here is another site that is mentioned in my other presentation pages about Paint, but should be repeated because of the many great ideas:
I adapted her directions for making positive/negative letters to come up with this...the background is a student made one from my clipart pages:

Patterned letters speilling "Hello"


  1. Shift F3 for quick font change.
  2. Shift + line for horizontal or vertical
  3. I have always wanted a cent as well as dollar sign. Here is how to get one: Hold down the ALT key and type ON THE NUMBER PAD the numbers 0162. Voila! This does rule out laptops but gives you the symbol if you have the pad. Again, this is ALT/0162 to get ¢
  4. Parentheses around letters makes symbols as follows:
    1. C=©
    2. TM=™
    3. R=(r)
  5. Right click on a word to get a synonym.
  6. Picture toolbar--you can crop graphics there with newer MS Office Editions. Example, this was copied from Toolbar in a screen shot, then cropped to show just one component: Word toolbar
  1. Looking on the Internet for just a certain type of file, such as PowerPoint? Use Google Advanced Search and search just for Excel files, etc.