I'm so glad you're here.
This is where I share ideas from
my Grade 1 classroom.
But did you know that I also
create clipart and blog designs?

Be sure to check out my cute
Mix 'n Match Templates.

29 Nov 2015

Customize Your Pre-Made Blogger Template!

You can customize my pre-made blogger templates

As you know, I'm now offering pre-made Blogger templates. It's a GREAT way to go because you get a custom look without the crazy custom prices. And the turnover time is FAST!

But did you know that you can add some custom features to your pre-made template, as well?

With most templates the fonts and/or colours and a few other features can be changed.

"An Apple for the Teacher" is a good example. I painted the apples that run across the top and bottom of the blog and while the colours in this one need to stay the same, the images can be customized. 

This is the original with the 4 coloured apples.

Premade Blogger Theme with watercolour apple borders

And below shows the changes that Tasha, from Get Fit With Tasha Whitt, requested. Since her blog is fitness oriented we took out some of the apples and added running shoes, weights and broccoli. Fun, hey?  (UPDATE: We've changed it some more!)

But there's an even bigger change. Tasha really wanted a drop-down menu, so that's what we did for "Eat Healthy" and "Coaching".

Customized Pre-made Blogger Template

  Here's another example of how a pre-made can be tweaked. This is the original.


And here's a "customized" version. 

Sandy wanted to change up the colours of the hearts, as well as the font. Because she's a big corgie fan we also added a little corgi to her signature.  

I just LOVE how it looks with the changes. Be sure to click on her image, too. She has a well-established blog, formerly called Soaring Through Second Grade.

Pretty Pre-Made Blogger Template

Cute Dog Customized Blog Button by Barbara Leyne Designs
She also decided to add on a blog button.

AND, she wanted to change up the social icons. So we switched them from hearts to circles.

Custom Social Buttons by Barbara Leyne Designs
The price of a basic pre-made (with installation) is $35. 

The extra cost to make some changes is variable, but not all that much. It's been ranging anywhere from $5 to $15, depending on the request and the time involved.

I love making pre-mades and will be constantly adding to the stock.

In fact, here's my newest one:

Pre Made Blogger Template by GradeONEderfulDesigns.com  (aqua red and gray)

You can see a live demo HERE!

Did I mention that installation time is generally very fast? Usually within 48 hours (unless I'm out of town, then it might be 72 hours).

Thanks for stopping by!

27 Nov 2015

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Another Happy Tale

My report cards are almost finished so I thought I'd celebrate by joining Susanna and the gang with a Perfect Picture Book Friday review.

I've had this book forever, but just found it again the other day. I decided to read it to my class as a loose tie-in to our family unit and we all loved it! So happy to reconnect with a lost treasure.

book review of another happy tale

Another Happy Tale by Dorothy Butler and illustrated by John Hurford

Published by Crocodile Books, 1991

Themes: Families, babies, humour

Suitable for children 3 and up!

Opening Lines: Mabel and Ned lived with their new baby on a fine farm in the middle of a large island.

Summary: Mabel and Ned are loveable but completely clueless parents. The book follows a happily/unhappily format (very similar to the fortunately/unfortunately books) and tells a funny but sweet tale about their little baby's misadventures.

Why We LOVED It: I think the reason my class loved this book so much is because they were unfamiliar with this genre and were completely taken by surprise with the ridiculous parents AND the back-and-forth happily/unhappily element.  The baby's encounters with the pigs were pretty funny, and the ending was happily satisfying.

  1. It would be so much fun to write a class book on a different topic using the same happily/unhappily format. I can see the kids getting a real kick out of this!
  2. It can easily be used as part of a family unit as it lends itself to discussing different types of families (composition, homes, differing ways of looking after children).
  3. I happen to LOVE pigs so I think it would be fun to teach the kids how to draw one. Here's a lovely tutorial by Kathy at Art Projects for Kids.
pig painting tutorial

Be sure to check Susanna's blog for more great book reviews!

And I've got TONS more right here, too:)

Happy Reading!

13 Nov 2015

Blogger Tutorial: Search Gadget

I posted this tutorial a couple of years ago on my Ruby Slippers blog (I kinda miss my old name :)). Recently a reader was asking me how to put one on her blog so I thought I'd resurrect this post.

Here goes .... circa 2013:

Have you ever noticed this gadget in a sidebar?

Blogger Tutorial: Adding a "Search" Gadget

If you go to your layout page, click on "add a gadget" and scroll down a bit, you'll see this:

Blogger Tutorial: Adding a "Search" Gadget

Well, almost. My search box has already been added. If your box hasn't been added yet, then you'll see a little blue plus sign in the top right hand corner.

I strongly urge you to click that plus sign and add the search function to your blog. It's super handy for your visitors.

I was looking through a blog this morning and really needed to find a particular post I remembered seeing a couple of months ago. If the box had been there, then I would only have needed to type in a few key words and bingo! I'd get a list of all the published posts containing those words.

For example, on my running blog I typed in "Max" (that's my dog).

 And this is what popped up. Cool, eh?

Now clearly I blog about my dog too much :) but I think you get the idea. 

Please keep your readers happy and pop in that search box.

Stuck on something? Let me know in the comments and I'll try to do a tutorial just for you!

11 Nov 2015

Blogger Tutorial: Page Tabs

In the last two days I've had two blog friends ask me how to add tabs to their page bar.

It can be a little tricky to do so I thought I'd take the time to write a thorough tutorial.

First up, make sure you have the pages gadget:

Go to your dashboard, then layout.

You'll be looking at something like this. If you don't see the Pages gadget, then click on "Add a Gadget".

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

Scroll down to pages and click on the + sign.

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

When the gadget pops up, just click on save. You'll need to come back here later, but for now you just want to make sure the gadget is in place.

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

Now you need to add your new pages:

Once you've clicked "save" you're looking at your layout. Next step is to click on "Pages" on the top left and then "New Page".

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

Now you need to type in your page title. You can also add some content to your page (below in the white space) or you can save that for later. Be sure to hit "Publish" (orange button, top right).

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

Last step so that you can actually see your new page tab:

I think this is where most people get a little bit confused. "I created my page and hit publish, so why isn't it showing up?"

Because there's one more step. 

Once you've saved your page you need to click on "layout" (bottom left).

Then click the "edit" link in your pages gadget.

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

I just made a new page called "Test Page". There it is at the bottom. But it's not showing up on my blog because I need to click on it and save. Once I do that the new page is live.

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

See how it now shows up at the bottom. If I want to change the order of my page tabs, I just have to click/hold and drag the page where I want it to appear.

Here's what my page bar looks like now:

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs

One last cool feature:

So now you know how to add page tabs and rearrange the order. But suppose you don't want to create a new page? Instead you'd like to have a page tab that links somewhere else ... maybe your store or another blog you own. It could be pretty much anywhere.

For example, I'm not currently blogging on Grade ONEderful Designs. I probably will in the future, but for now, I'm only blogging here on Grade ONEderful. So on my design blog I added the tab "Blog". When someone clicks on it they'll find themselves back here. Cool, hey?

I've done the same thing with "Tutorials" because right now all my tutorials are on THIS blog. I also linked "Clipart" on my design blog to the "Clipart" page here. But I could have just as easily directly linked it to either my Etsy or TpT shops.

So here's how you can use external links for your own page tabs:

Go back into the pages gadget and click on "Add external link" (it's blue).

In the pop-up add your new page title and the web address or URL (it starts with http://).

Hit save and you're done!

Blogger Tutorial: How to add page tabs
The pages with an "X" beside them are the tabs that link to an external source. The pages without the "X" are internal pages.

I hope that was useful!

If there's something you're struggling with please let me know in the comments and I'll do another tutorial.

BTW, a blogging friend was asking me about the "Search" gadget. Look for that tutorial in a couple of days.

Take care!

5 Nov 2015

Math and Printing Remembrance Day FREEBIES

I have a couple of great Remembrance Day freebies for you.

Our class is working hard on learning to read numbers to 100 so I made up this 100 chart picture.  I gave the kids the black and white chart, then used this coloured one as my guide. I don't let them see the guide, of course, but I put a copy of the other chart under my document camera so that I can help them find the numbers.

I said things like, "Put your finger on 45. Now colour it black" and "Put your finger on 79. Go back one and colour it red."  You get the idea:)

We're only halfway through it but they're really loving it. The funny thing is they still have no idea what the hidden picture is :)   Gotta love first graders!

If you click on either image you can grab both 8.5 x 11 inch images.

Poppy Picture on a 100s chart

Poppy Picture on a 100s chart

Here's a great reading / poetry / printing practice activity. I've done this one for years. We practice reading the poem several times (choral, echo, in groups, in pairs, etc.). Then I have the kids copy out the words to the poem in their very best printing.

When they're finished they colour the front page and decorate the inside pages.

After they cut out the poppies I staple them together at the top for a little booklet.

You can click any image to grab the file.

Poppy Poem booklet for Remembrance Day. Best for Grade 1 and 2.

Poppy Poem booklet for Remembrance Day. Best for Grade 1 and 2.

Poppy Poem booklet for Remembrance Day. Best for Grade 1 and 2.

Poppy Poem booklet for Remembrance Day. Best for Grade 1 and 2.

If you're looking for more Remembrance Day activities, here are my Peace Plates (we're doing them again tomorrow). And there are more ideas on my Pinterest board.

Follow Grade ONEderful's board Remembrance Day on Pinterest.