Right now I'm working my way through the archives of dy/dan, an overachiever math teacher with great tips on design, useful assessment, and education in general. He writes like he takes himself too seriously, which is tiring sometimes, but his blog is full of information and I've learned more than I can say - and I'm only as far as September 2007.
Anyway, on either his blog or a blog he linked to, I read about a teacher that each year painstakingly develops a "class logo" for his math class. The idea struck me, and I decided to do the same.
I've recently realized how much I love graphic design and art, though I have no training. I love to build web pages and actually, when I excitedly told my SO about my turtle, he suggested that he subcontract out the design part of his webpage-building work to me! So now I've got another thing to do this year ;-)
Anyway, for my computer art my main tool is......Microsoft Paint. :-/ Yup, that flimsy little app that comes along free with any version of Windows. I also use Microsoft Fireworks, but so far I draw things so infrequently that I keep forgetting what I've learned about Fireworks. So in the end I work mostly in Paint, moving to Microsoft Word or Fireworks for a couple of tools that Paint doesn't have.
So. With only Paint (and Fireworks to tilt and shrink it) as well as some Webdings fonts to get pi, the approximately equals sign, the multiplication star, and a capital J to outline, we have: my class turtle!
Okay, its not much...but I made it in Paint! And its CUTE! I plan to use it all over my class, since I'm going to have a kind of "turtle theme" (just some turtle-y stuff popping up here and there, when its not expected)
Also, the tail is the outline of the letter "J", which is in my name.
Please note, I would like it if you would not use, share, and/or change my turtle. You are welcome to absolutely anything else on this blog, but my turtle's kinda personal.
Anyway, I plan to put my tiny turtle in different places on all handouts and PPT presentations, just to give a kind of unifying theme to my class.
Yes, its totally amateurish compared to the giants of dy/dan and the School 2.0 proponents he loves to hate, but its a beginning! And, it's cute. I like it. For my first year, at least, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."