Is it done yet? -Learning project week 2

This week my focus was on trying different “doneness” tests for meats. This is one of my biggest challenges while cooking. I am always afraid to undercook something so i usually end up overcooking it, then it doesn’t taste very good. I decided that this would be a good first step in my journey of learning how to cook.

This week I made three dishes, each with a different kind of meat. I used online recipes and articles to find the information that I needed to figure out how to cook these meats properly.

The first dish I made is lasagna using ground beef.

To make this dish I followed my mother’s recipe and my goal was to brown the beef without burning it. I followed the instructions from this article to help me out. This source offered some pictures that showed me how the beef should look when it is done as well as some tips on what to do while cooking it. I found this article very useful. Ground beef is actually one of the easier things to cook as long as you keep an eye on it. I used the colour of the meat as my “doneness” test in this case.

The next dish is oven baked chicken with lemon seasoning.

 

To make this dish, I followed a recipe for oven baked chicken breasts. This recipe is so easy to follow and it explains in detail every single step. One thing that I particularly enjoyed about this recipe is the how long to bake chicken breast section. This section gave me the exact temperature the chicken should be at while using a meat thermometer as well as what the chicken should look like inside when cooked. I also appreciate the tip of beating the chicken first so that it is mostly all the same thickness in order to cook evenly. My first “doneness” test was to cut a slit into the thickest part of the chicken to check the colour. It should be a light white with absolutely no pink inside. I then turned to the thermometer for my second check. I had no luck with the cheap thermometer that I had purchased as it did not work in the chicken. I did some research and found that it would be best to use a digital thermometer instead.

The third dish I made is barbecued steak.

For this dish, I followed instructions for perfectly grilled steak.  These instructions offered a recipe but I decided to go with a mix of seasonings I know my family likes since they are who I was cooking for. The instructions for cooking were very clear. My steaks turned out to be perfectly cooked by following the instructions. For the “doneness” check, I cut a steak to check the colour, I was going for medium so a light pink. I then tried the thermometer again and it worked better with the steak than it did with the chicken. It took a really long time though,  so once again a digital one would be better. I got my steak to 160° F which is medium according to the thermometer.

Overall my first week of cooking was pretty successful. Checking for “doneness” is a skill that I will have to continue to work on as I make more dishes for my project.

 

 

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Twitter & #saskedchat

I had a twitter account in the past that I used maybe twice and then forgot my password for. From the limited amount that I used Twitter I didn’t really like it. I didn’t know how to properly use it or find accounts to follow that actually interested me so I lost interest in the app. For EDTC300, I created a new Twitter account that I plan to dedicate solely to education related posts.

Over the past week I have been exploring Twitter and I’ve come to realize that it’s not as confusing as I had originally thought it to be. So far I have enjoyed creating a professional profile for myself by sharing ressources that I have found as well as exploring the ressources that others have shared.

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of taking part in the #saskedchat which is a live Twitter chat that discusses education in Saskatchewan.  We were able to access this chat using TweetDeck which allowed us to keep up with the questions and posts from all the educators participating in the chat. I really enjoyed this experience and I was happily surprised to see the number of participants. The questions we were asked were relevant to new teachers and I found them really helpful and informative. It was nice to hear the opinions of other pre-service teachers as well as teachers with years of experience.

The chat was overwhelming at first and I was struggling a little to keep up with the questions. However, once I found my footing it was a fun experience and I look forward to participating  in #saskedchat again in the future as well as other live education chats.

 

Feedly?

This week we were given the task of finding education related sources using an RSS reader. I had absolutely no idea what this meant. I proceeded to create a Feedly account and discovered that there are so many useful articles and blogs right at my fingertips. Feedly is fairly easy to navigate and it didn’t take me too long to type in some key words such as education technology and technology in the classroom which led me to a ton of interesting information.

These key words that I used allowed me to browse through articles and blog posts that are about integrating technology of various sorts into the classroom in different ways. I found that my attention was mostly drawn to articles and posts written from the perspective of teachers. I was able to find a few sources that are written by teachers to follow. I find these very helpful because they are easy to follow and they offer practical tips and tricks to use in the classroom.

Here is a picture of my Feedly page after I put in my key words

One source that particularly stood out to me is a blog post by Kathleen Morris on teachers’ communication with parents via email. This post talks about the benefits of using email as a means of communication with parents when it is done correctly. Kathleen offers 12 easy tips for teachers to follow in order to maintain a professional interaction with parents. Some of these tips may seem to be common knowledge, however, it is important to pay attention to every detail so as to not offend or misinform a parent.

As a new teacher, this is something important to be aware of. Technology has become our primary means of communication, so to be able to use it in a professional manner is ideal as long as we have a guide to follow.

Introducing me

Hello my name is Brooke George. I am a third year student in  the BAC en éducation élémentaire program. I am originally from the very small town of Bellegarde in the south east corner of Saskatchewan which is about 2.5 hours from Regina.

I enjoy reading , baking and dancing. I danced competitively since I was three but stopped when I moved to Regina. My passion is language and I am very grateful to be pursuing my education in french. I had the opportunity to be placed in a grade three classroom for my pre-internship this past semester and I absolutely loved it!

Here is a picture of me outside of my pre-internship school, École St. Angela Merici

In regards to my experience with educational technology, it is fairly limited. During my internship I had the chance to work with seesaw. I found this very useful and pretty user friendly. I also have a little bit of experience with blogging from my own education. I used WordPress to do weekly blog posts for ESC 200 and 2010. However, I do not feel overly comfortable using it and still don’t know all the things that I can do on my blog.

I feel that blogging is a very useful tool in education to connect with other professionals and share ideas. Blogs can also be used in the classroom as an outlet for the students to write reflexions and share their ressources with their classmates as well as other students.

Technology is not my strong suit, and it stresses me out as something that should take me 5 minutes ends up taking me 20 so I look forward to learning from and with you all. Find me on Twitter to follow along with my progress!

Intro to my learning project

Welcome to the beginning of my personal learning project! Throughout the next couple months, I will be using online ressources to learn a new skill. I have put a lot of thought into what skill I want to learn for this project. Initially, I thought about possibly furthering my learning of the spanish language but then decided against this idea. I then thought something maybe a little more fun like arm knitting. I did some research on this skill, and eventually decided that it required me to purchase too much materiel that was a little out of my price range. I decided to be a little more practical and the idea came to me. I decided that I will be learning basic cooking skills for my learning project.

Why cooking?

Cooking is a skill that I have never been overly comfortable with. Lucky enough for me I have never really had to do much of it as my roommate loves to cook and does most of it for the both of us. However, it is a skill that I eventually want to have and be able to enjoy. I feel that this will be a challenge for me because well let’s just say my skills in the kitchen are very limited! My goal for this project is to be able to make simple and delicious everyday meals.  I plan to start off slow with simple skills and dishes and then to progress to a full meal that offers a bit more of a challenge.

Over the next couple months, I plan to focus on something different each week that will eventually lead me to reach my goal.  My plan starts with :

  1. Learn different doneness tests for meat and chicken. (This is one of my biggest problems while cooking. I always seem to overcook things in fear of them not being cooked enough)
  2. How to make a tomato sauce from scratch.
  3. How to successfully make a cream based soup
  4. Simple rice dishes such as risotto and fried rice
  5. How to make an apple pie
  6. Make a roast chicken meal with a homemade gravy

I am looking forward to starting this journey and finding ressources that will make the learning process easier for me. I am excited to start cooking and sharing my journey with you all!

Stay tuned for more posts 🙂