When did you start designing curriculum?
I started designing my own curriculum from day one of my teaching career back in 2004. As an ESL teacher in a high-poverty school, I found myself lacking the resources I needed to effectively teach my students. I used what I could find, and supplemented with my own ideas and materials. A few years later I got the opportunity to go to an “Understanding By Design” training in California and became a curriculum design leader in my district. Later I became a curriculum writer and translation coordinator for a larger urban district. However, I didn’t start posting my resources online until 2011.
What program do you use to design your materials?
In 2011 I started designing materials in Microsoft Word. I choose it because it was the program I was the most familiar with. Little did I know that PowerPoint would be so much easier. I had heard several other designers mention it, but didn’t make the switch for another year and half. Now that I’ve switched, I’ll never go back. PowerPoint makes it much easier to manipulate graphics and copy templates and pages from one project to another. I also use some online programs like PicMonkey, Pixler, and Photo Bucket.
What type of computer do you use to design your materials?
After 6 years of using DELL laptops with English keyboards, I finally made the switch to a MAC laptop with a Spanish keyboard. Although it took al little while to get used to, at this point I can´t imagine ever making the switch back. Not only am I am able to switch back and forth between programs easier, the Spanish keyboard makes it much easier to add in Spanish characters.
Where do you get your clipart and fonts?
I use clipart and fonts from a large variety of sources, but my favorites are: Ashley Hughes, Educasong, Fonts4Teachers, Graphics from the Pond, Kevin And Amanda, Krista Wallden, Melonheadz, Pink Cat Studio, Scrappin Doodles, The 3AM Teacher, Whimsy Cips & Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. Within each product, we always include a credits page of the clipartists and font designers that we use.
When do you find time to design your materials?
When we first started, we were both working full time, so it was usually in the evenings after our kids went to bed, or in little spurts on the weekends or during our kids’ nap time. Now we design full-time and volunteer in schools during our free time.
What are the terms & conditions for your resources?
All of our resources are created and copyrighted by Nicole Sanchez. All rights are reserved by the author. You CAN print, copy and use them for your classroom. You CANNOT resell them, share them with others, or post them online (including personal, classroom & district websites). Doing so is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
How did you end up living in Yucatan, Mexico?
It’s a long story, but if you’re curious, you can read OUR STORY.