A (Very) Rare Work Related Post

I spent the last four days at an amazing professional development. Normally that would be an oxymoron, a fun professional development? You must be kidding! This one was very different. I would liken it more to a business conference, and I will likely never have an opportunity like it again.

Monday we flew to NC, no events where planned so we just went to dinner then the hotel.

Tuesday we headed to the first day of training. We were in a mid-sized town, 33,000 people, sitting in a gym. But the keynote speaker was Richard Culatta! For people in education, this is pretty big deal. Already I was impressed. Obviously Mooresville is doing something right, to be this high on a national radar. We heard from students, saw their amazing projects, listened to the superintendent. He happens to be the National Superintendent of the Year. Seriously. That afternoon we broke out into strands. This is where the conference paid for itself. We were given access to their learning management system, lists of resources, PowerPoint's, and direct instruction.

Wednesday and Thursday were more of the same. The direct instruction was similar to how we make our kids feel in class, so when it went on too long we lost interest. Especially with so many amazing new resources at our fingertips. Many teachers fear kids having the Internet in their hands all day. "They won't pay attention." "They will be on games." "They will be on inappropriate sites." These are valid concerns, but this generation is hardwired for multitasking! We multitask all the time. I'm watching Project Runway as I type this blog. I can have a conversation, enter grades, and check my email at the same time. Your students can do this even better. Will we still need to be vigilant? Yes. But you should always be vigilant in your classroom. Computers are not baby-sitters and should not be treated as such. If you already have strong classroom management, computers are unlikely to hinder that. You put forth your expectations, and you EXPECT your students to follow them. Just as you would without technology in your classroom.

Resource after resource. I can not wait to go back to my teammates and co-workers and share these websites with them. Our school is embarking on a 1:1 computer initiative this year, and I (along with many others) are feeling apprehensive. I worry that my subject will be lost in the shuffle of technology. This week put me a little bit at ease. The kids at Mooresville can still write, spell, and read. They also have advanced 21st century skills that make them more prepared for tomorrow's workforce.

If I sound like I drank the Kool-Aid, well, guilty as charged I suppose. I do not think technology is a silver bullet. It will not cure all the ails today's school. However, I do think it is one ingredient in the cure. It is now in our hands as responsible, caring educators to find the rest of the needed ingredients.

Here are a few of my favorite sites that were new to me from this trip: (I am actually going to use this when we present at school.) (You can follow the boards I've started curating at this link.)

I've Got Nothing To Say

I really have nothing to talk about, nothing to post about, nothing worth mentioning. So why continue? I don't really know. I am hoping that when work starts up I will get back to once a week fashion dump posts. Until then....well lower your expectations and we will get along fine.

I'm on vacation peeps.

Mickey Head Tie-Dye Tutorial

I came, I saw, I (eventually) conquered!

J's after my 1st attempt...A bit more rooster than mouse.
J's the 2nd time around. Still a bit off, but much more mouse-like!

In all my months of planning for our family trip to Disney, I have come across many diy projects. Some more realistic and adorable than others. I guess I got caught up in the magic of Disney, because the appeal of the tie-dye mickey shirt was more than I could take! I am also not a matchy-matchy person, yet I have made myself, J, and A Mickey head tie-dye shirts for the plane ride. (Disney Kool-Aide drinkers raise their hands!)

So if you have seen my pics on FB, or Instagram, or Pinterest, well here is a tutorial.
1st-- Rather than use a kit, go ahead and just get regular fabric dyes. I used Tulip brand this time around, and found the colors more vibrant than Rit. (Thanks to my lovely friend Cie for the advice out the gate!)I purchased purple, pink, aqua, and green. I also purchased four large squeeze bottles. I snagged these items plus my shirts (and A's dress) from Hobby Lobby.

2nd--Wash your shirts. No fabric softener!

3rd--Find your template. I did a google search, found one I liked, then stretched it to a size I liked. Print it out, cut it out.

4th--Trace the Mickey head. The placement on mine is a little off center, but thankfully tie-dye conceals a lot of mistakes!

5th--This is where I got a bit turned off this process. Take waxed floss and stitch around the Mickey head.

I used a straight stitch and gathered the floss as I went. In the pictures I have a lot of slack let out just to illustrate the stitching. If you have ever made a yoyo for a quilt or hairband, the idea is the same. As you pull the thread back through the material, pull it tight. (Thank you again to Cie.)

6th--After you have stitched the entire mouse head and have tied the thread off, the basic shape should remain, but it will be much smaller. Wrap this, just below the stitches, with two rubber bands.

 7th-- Dampen the entire shirt, including the rubber-banded portion. (If you used purple pen to outline your mouse head, and it bleeds when you wet the shirt, don't panic. It won't matter after you dump a liter of dye on it.)

8th--Now comes what I deem "the tricky part." Most tutorials I found all had perfectly rolled and twisted danish-like shirts. As you can see, I am not one of those perfect people. However, my lumpy, bumpy, dumpy rolled shirt still turned out cute. So roll your shirt as best you can. Make sure you keep the Mickey head out, I used it as a sort of handle.

9th--Criss-cross your rubber bands. I used three rubber bands in addition to the two around the Mickey head (so five total Math peeps!). I wrapped one around the entire rolled shirt. Then I made a pizza-like pattern with the remaining two bands.

 10th--The FUN part (unless you like a clean kitchen, in which case, this will be the not-fun-at-all part).  Pick one color for your mouse head. J's is green, mine is pink, and A's is purple. Saturate the heck out of that mouse! (Go ahead and pre-heat your oven now to 275.)

11th--Start coloring in your pizza pattern. I didn't want to end up with brown from uncomplimentary colors mixing, so I tried to keep the colors lined up with that in mind. You feel free to do what you like though!

Please ignore my grody pan. There is a reason it is being used to tie-dye on, not cook on.

12th--Bake these suckers at 275 for 20-30 minutes.

You can see where my previous shirt baking attempts were placed.
13th--(Geez this is getting out of hand with the steps!) Make a bleach gel pen. This is not a required step, but might be handy for future use! In one of your squirty bottles, mix several pumps of clear liquid hand soap and a tablespoon or so of bleach. I will be honest, I didn't measure.

14th--After the shirts are done baking, rinse them until the water runs clear. Do not twist or wring the shirt until the water is clear. This (sort of) helps the white part stay white.

15th--Remove the floss!

16th--(Optional.) Lay the shirt out with a piece of cardboard between the front and back layers. Take your homemade bleach pen and outline/trace where the stitches were. Let the bleach sit for as long as desired. If your mix is a good ratio, you will see instant lift in the color. When it has set for as long as you want, carefully rinse the bleach.

17th--Wash the shirts! Dry the shirts! Enjoy the shirts!! WHEW. If you made it all the way to this point, hurray. I promise, this is a lot of steps, but it is fun.

A's finished dress. (Bows need to be stitched.)

My finished shirt.