Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday Feature: Tools for Teachers -- and Anyone Else who Likes Kids' Books

As I might have mentioned once or twice, this week is syllabus creation week at my house. Much of the body of each syllabus remains the same from semester to semester, which means the bulk of the hard work comes from adjusting the dates and the assignments. All of us need to do the first; some of us consistently do the second, creating more work than necessary for ourselves but, we hope, a better, more fruitful experience for our students.

When I'm not under the gun to meet a deadline, I love the process of coming up with new activities (which drive the syllabus changes). My creative side is in its glory when I'm combing websites, books and other resources for new ideas and new ways to keep things interesting.

One of the free downloads on
Though I no longer teach little ones, I love the work of Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Not only is she wonderfully creative, but she is generous with her work as well. In fact, she has an entire section of her website devoted to colorful, print-ready resources, ranging from posters and bookmarks to teachers' guides and activity sheets. They're colorful, they're fun and, best of all, they're free.

Even if you're not a kid and/or don't have kids yourself, the site is fun to check out. I particularly love the whimsical "found objects" art she creates. Like any great artist, she makes it look so simple, and it's tremendously fun to view the world through her eyes and, in the process, perhaps spark some personal creativity as well.

Wherever you are in the back-to-school merry-go-round, I wish you a great year with moments of the kind of joy Debbie Ridpath Ohi's art inspires.

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