Friday, August 7, 2020

"Booting Up" for Distance Learning

Teachers, parents, and kids are now "booting up" to start the 2020-21 school year distance learning.  As a teacher myself, and parent of 3 young ones, I definitely have a lot of anxiety about the how-to and best practices in navigating this new realm. I decided to embrace this time with a fun monthly dinner theme - "Booting Up" for Distance Learning!

Invite:  It was fun creating the invitation to look like a computer screen with pop up window.  I changed the pop up window buttons to read "Can't Make It" and "I'm There" just for fun.  I geared the text toward school language with "class session" but also tech-related items & text.  The invite was sent through email with the log-in information for our Zoom session.  

Party Details:  A glass of wine evenings after distance learning might be essential.  For this dinner I bought individual bottles of wine and created a label that read "Because Distance Learning." Just a funny way to laugh at the frustrations this situation puts on teachers and parents.

For a funny addition to a regular paper napkin, I made a sticker that spelled out Napkin in keyboard keys.  Above the keys, I added "Hoping Distance Learning Isn't Too Messy" to play off the fact that this sticker was attached to a napkin.  I truly am hoping distance learning isn't messy and that teachers, parents, and students can still thrive in this new dynamic.

Menu:  Distance Learning is all about technology, so I decided to make technology the inspiration behind my menu.  I went with technology devices/brands as these names are familiar and were easy to adapt.  I created the invite on Photoshop and tried to highlight the Tech names in a different color and used the would "bytes" instead of "bites" to match the theme.

The main dish was tri tip.  I called it DELL-icious tri tip, and it really was tasty.  I smoked it on our Traeger grill which is easy and always delicious. I love being able to put it on the Traeger and not worry about it while I prep everything else.  I also made homemade MAC and cheese using a friend's family recipe.  It was also tasty & my kids loved it too.  Lastly, I served roasted broccoli and baby carrots seasoned with Italian seasonings.  I called them Heartily Peppered Veggies to play up the HP (Hewlett Packard) link.  I had never roasted veggies like this, but decided to try it.  I may have to do this more often, as I thought they tasted great.

For dessert, I made APPLE pie bites.  This was a simple recipe with only two ingredients - sugar cookie pre-made dough and apple pie filling.  I drizzled caramel on the top as well, but it isn't mandatory.

I packaged these up for easy transport.

Favors: I put together two favors just because they were simple and easy.  I gave each guest an "ipad" which was a three notepad I bought three for a dollar.  I added an "i" to the front using my Cricut.  Definitely the cheapest ipad I've seen out there!

The second was a stress ball (thank you Leadership Inspirations) to help as the stress builds with distance learning.  I created a tag for the stress ball that was titled "Give Stress the Boot".  On the screen of the tag it read, "You've Got Distance Learning Under Control" with the control keyboard button instead of the word control.

We had a great monthly dinner even if it was from a distance. 

Best of luck to all the teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents acting as all of the above. I wish you all a stress-free distance learning experience!

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