Sunday, May 14, 2017

DIY Graduation Cap

As some of you may know, The Teacher With The Fro recently finished her Master's degree in Literacy (B-Grade 6). Now that was a few months ago. However my school does not have a December graduation so I waited five long months but yesterday I finally walked across that stage!

Since this will be my last graduation (at least for the foreseeable future, but who knows) I really wanted to decorate my graduation cap.

Since I've never decorated any of my other caps in the past, I really had no idea how to but I didn't want to let the opportunity slip away because I knew this would be something I would look back on and be upset about.

In December I had decided I was for sure going to decorate. 

Step 1: deciding what to even put on it! 

Anyone who follows my personal instagram knows I'm big on memes so I was hoping to wait until about April and see what the recent popular meme was and somehow incorporate it with some clever phrase that would go viral for a bit.

I decided that wasn't working for me.

February is when I really decided to make The Teacher With The Fro into a brand. I decided while it may not go viral and make a lot of sense to other people, it represented me and who I am and it would be unique. Something I would look back on a be proud of.

Step 2: figuring out how to make it!

I've logged several hours online, mostly on pinterest, looking at different caps trying to get ideas for my design. After I got a general idea of what I wanted to do I had to figure out how. How do I get a colored background? What do I make it out of? How do I get it to stick to the cap? How to I get the letters to look nice?

Luckily I came across some very nice people on instagram who were willing to indulge me and answer all of my questions about how they made their caps.

Step 3: gather my materials.

One day I was intending to go to the gym but I forgot on the weekends they close at a different time. So I drove around the corner and ended up at a Jo-Ann Fabrics. I figured they would have things so I went in looking. I came out with some letters that I wasn't in love with, but they were all I had at the moment.

I wasn't able to pick up my cap and gown until the week of graduation (whose idea was that?!)

Once I got it and knew what color it was I have a better idea of what I had to work with but I still didn't really like the materials I had. After one more instagram conversation I ended up going to Michael's. Here's what I gathered:

  • A pad of 12x12 scrapbook paper (or it might just be regular construction paper)
  • Sparkly chipboard letters, one pack silver and one pack black
  • A hot glue gun and pack of glue sticks
  • A roll of rhinestones
  • A pack of swirly rhinestone designs
  • A pack of adhesive jewels
I also bought several other things for the several ideas that began swirling around in my head once I saw the vast amount of things Michael's had to offer. The above list is all of the things I ended up using.

Step 4: Get started!

  1. Place the 12x12 paper over the top of the cap, lining up at least one edge and corner.
  2. Flip the cap upside down, holding the paper in place, then cut the paper to fit your cap. You may want to draw lines for a more accurate cut, I just didn't do that.
  3. Draw a dot where your knob is (the thing you hang the tassel on) and trace yourself a general outline of how big the circle is.
  4. Take the paper off the cap and fold it in half on your dot but do not crease it.
  5. Cut a half circle which should create a whole circle since your paper is folded. Place your paper back over your cap to see if the hole is the right size. You want it to be just able to fit, so you don't see any of the cap under it. My hole was a little to big so I had to get creative to cover it up.
  6. Once you've fit your paper, take your hot glue gun and apply glue to each edge. Now is not the time to get stingy with your glue, you don't want your cap falling apart when you walk across that stage. Let your glue dry before moving on to the next step.
  7. After the background is dry I used the roll of rhinestones to line the edges and create a cute border.
  8. The next thing I did was lay out the letters in the order I wanted them in. My first plan was do the colors in an ABAB pattern. Which is how I realized my silver pack of letters was missing the F, of course, a letter I needed so I couldn't ignore it. So back to Michael's I went. I later decided I wanted "teacher" and "fro" to stand out so I wanted to do those silver and the rest of the words black. Which made me realize I was still short a few letters. Short version, I ended up back at Michael's two more times. Anyway I'm rambling, back to the cap.
  9. After I finally had all of my letters, I thought they were adhesive but the way I was pulling off the back, I was accidentally pulling off the entire back and not just the piece covering the sticky part, which is why I bought the hot glue gun because I thought I would need to glue each letter. Eventually I figured out how to peel the letters right and set them where I wanted them.
  10. Then I peeled off the rhinestone designs and placed them where I wanted. I had to cut some of them to make them fit but, thems the breaks.
  11. The last thing I did was use some of the adhesive gems to cleverly disguise the hole I'd made around the knob in the middle.
Here's a closer look at the finished product

Here are some other photos from my graduation!
A better look at my make up... I just learned how to do make up a few months ago but I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

The delicious lemon cake my boyfriend got me. My favorite but it's HUGE we'll be eating it for days!

A cute pic of me after my make up got wiped off during one of the games

My super adorable boyfriend

My parents and Me

My whole family. My brother finally made it to one of my graduations!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

You Work Where?!

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a first grader.

Today after I got finished teaching my after school class and the kids were waiting for the bus to go home, I was standing with them. I had on my jacket and all of my bags and my things to go home since naturally, I was leaving too. A kid looks at me and goes,

"Are you leaving?"
So I'm like "Are you leaving?"

"Why do you have all your bags and stuff?"

"Why do you have your backpack on?"

"This isn't your school."

"Why isn't it my school, I work here?!"

"You do? I thought you worked at Dave & Busters!"

"What??! Why do you think I work at Dave & Busters?"
He then grabs the Dave & Busters keychain on my car keys and turns it over to reveal a picture of me and my boyfriend on the back.

"Thats you and who is that?"

"That's my boyfriend."
Then he runs to another student and says "Miss Morton has a boyfriend and they go to Dave & Busters!"

The kid thought I worked at Dave & Busters

via GIPH

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Out With the Old, In With the New

I've still been working as a Teachers Pay Teachers seller for the past few months and it is a lot of work, especially since I don't have my own classroom to test my products in.

However my colleagues have been pretty supportive.

I recently have been embracing the power of social media, not only for marketing my products, but for networking and receiving feedback.

I didn't jump into this thinking it would be easy or that I would just know how to do everything and I still don't think that. I'm learning everyday, particularly on facebook and the TpT forum. I have learned a lot about design and what catches the eye of a potential customer and how to make my story stand out simply by asking for help. While TpT is a very competitive marketplace, I have found that most of the other TpT authors are a very helpful bunch and willing to share their knowledge! Thank you to everyone who has helped me thus far!

Since you're already here, have some exclusive access to my new products, free for the first 48 hours!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Break Party!!

I've recently had a lot of success with collaboration through facebook, instagram and teachers pay teachers. I've learned a lot of different ways we can all help each other out so I'm throwing my first spring break party!

Put away the margaritas and keep your tops on..

This is just a linking party. Click the button below and add your links to spring themed resources. Check out the rules before you add.

Click below to join the party!

Friday, March 10, 2017

DIY 1 Little Piggie Costume

Today was Celebrate Reading Day in our building! Many of the teachers swapped classrooms and did a "Mystery reader". What was supposed to happen is the teachers were supposed to give hints about what teacher (or character... I'm not sure) was coming in to read to them.... I missed that memo I just knew we were supposed to swap spots and read so when the teacher coming into the kindergarten class I was covering asked if my students guessed who she was I was like "uhh... what now?" 🤣

Anyway I absolutely LOVE to dress up for things especially at work because no one appreciated dressing up silly more than kids. I didn't realize we were supposed to dress up until about 2 days ago but I for sure wanted to be a part of it. I didn't want to spend a lot and I'm not really part of a grade level team exactly (being that I'm a sub), even though all my coworkers always make me feel welcome, so I decided to do a solo costume.

I can't take credit for this idea all on my own, my teacher bestie (aka my work bestie) helped me come up with it while I was discussing my dilemma with her.

If you're wondering why she and I didn't do a team costume it's because she was the classroom I was covering today so unfortunately she was  not at work to see out idea come to fruition.

I mentioned to her that I had some pig costume accessories at home which I purchased from Party City a few years ago, probably either for a lesson or Halloween who even remembers. The kit includes pink pig ears, a pink tale that can be flexed and hold it's shape, a pink bow tie (not sure since when pigs where bow ties), and a pink pig nose that oinks when you press it. Two comments I'll make about the pig parts:
  1. I'm not 100% sure how the pig tail is intended to attach. It's a child's kit so maybe the elastic could fit around a child's waist, but not these full grown hips so what I usually do is wrap it several times around my back belt loop. It hangs down but I do my best. A safety pin might help with that.
  2. The pig nose makes noises which means it has this small speaker it the back of it. I think it's poor design choice because it is a hard piece of plastic that presses against your nose with no give when you strap it around your face and boy does it hurt. It's hard enough for me to wear it being that I have glasses but this adds to the discomfort. Like I said though, I do it for my kiddos.

Since I was by myself, I had to figure out something to do. I wanted to do "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" but I couldn't think of a way to make a big pancake that would be sturdy (In hindsight I really could've just used construction paper)

We came up with the idea that I be the Three Little Pigs. But where are my other two little piggies? I made two missing persons signs looking for my two brothers. I needed people to be able to infer who I was since I was solo so the posters said "Last seen building a house made of sticks/straw" then stuck them on a big poster board I got from the dollar store and wrote "MISSING" on the top and "Beware of Big Bad Wolf" on the bottom.

I was a big hit with my colleagues and students! But some of my coworkers did some great creative costumes too check them out on my Facebook!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Sister's Keeper

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a kindergartner, featuring a first grader.

I spend most of my time in one kindergarten class. Obviously in a school there tend to be several sets of siblings. I went to a first grade class that I've spent some time in before so I know who the sibs are with my kinders. I go back to kindergarten and tell this little girl I was hanging out with her sister in first grade.

When I tell you she was so offended with me 🤣🤣

She actually called me a meany and pushed her back against me to push me out the class. 

I couldn't do anything but laugh because I was so surprised at her reaction.

Don't try to talk to this girl's sister!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's In the Cards

In addition to substitute teaching and being an after school teacher, I also am tutoring students once a week.

I know, I'm doing the most right now but now that I've graduated I want to utilize my extra time and be more of a part of my school.

I started tutoring with first and third graders. Our first activity involved one digit addition and multiplication, respectively.

For this game we used UNO cards and a recording sheet I made on my own.

Here's how it works

The cards were in a deck and the students drew the first two cards on the top.

I drew a + and an = on index cards, not my finest work but I was creating this on the fly.

When using the game with my third graders I just turned the + card to the side so it would be a multiplication symbol.

After you choose your cards you lay them out with the symbol cards so it forms a sentence, then record it on your recording sheet.

I allowed the students to have a white board if they needed it to work out the problems. I was secretly using that as a way to see what strategies their teachers have taught them to solve these kinds of problems so I could be on the same page.

I was so impressed with how engaged they were and how much they enjoyed the game I decided to create an entire bundle of ten math games that can be played with cards. Check them out on my TpT store!