Wrapping up my learning project

Now that the spring semester is coming to an end, it is time for me to reflect on my experience during my learning project for EDTC 300. As most of you already know, I chose to learn how to cook for this project. I chose cooking because it is a useful skill that I have been wanting to work on for a while. I was not disappointed with my choice. Over the past six weeks, I have not only learned how to cook a variety of dishes but I have also learned how to use technology to find helpful resources that made my experience so much easier. This project also helped me get a lot more comfortable with using WordPress. I learned how to add photos and hyperlinks to my posts which made them a lot more interesting to read! So to bring my cooking project to an end I am going to break it down week by week to review everything that I’ve learned and accomplished.

Week 1: Intro to my learning project

This was the very beginning of my journey. In this post, I explained in detail my reasoning for choosing to learn how to cook. I also laid out a plan of the dish that I would make each week, getting progressively harder as the weeks went on. This helped me to be able to meet my goals and get to my desired end result.

Week 2: Is it done yet? 

This was probably my most challenging week, as knowing when various meats are cooked is something I struggle with. To test out some different resources I found, I made three different dishes this week. I learned that pictures and estimated cooking times are what helped me the most. The oven-baked chicken breast recipe was especially useful this week as it had an entire section dedicated to showing how to know when they were cooked.

Week 3: Way better than Ragu! 

Week three was a homemade tomato sauce. I really enjoyed making this as I can use it for so many different things in the future. I loved how fresh this sauce tasted compared to store-bought sauces. This recipe had a video that I followed along while cooking which made it really easy.

Week 4: Comfort food from scratch 

This week I decided to make two kinds of random dishes. The first one was cream of broccoli and cauliflower soup and the other was homemade apple pie. Both staple dishes that I thought would be useful to know how to make. Cream-based soups can be tricky to make so I was glad to have found this video that I was able to follow and cook along with! Next came Desert! Apple pie is one of my absolute favorites so I really enjoyed making this. I learned that the quality is all in the dough. I found a super easy sour cream pie dough recipe that turned out to be delicious!

Week 5: How to make risotto 

This was definitely my most adventurous week! I had never tasted risotto before and I didn’t even really know what it was but at the request of my bf, I decided to give it a shot! I really enjoyed making this dish because it was so new to me. It was also a special week because Katia had asked us to make our post into a learning tool for others. I decided to make a video tutorial and made it look kinda like those you see on cooking shows by using fancy dishes and such. I had fun with it. This was my first time ever making and editing a video for Youtube so I learned a lot and got familiar with iMovie in the process.

Week 6: Winner, winner, chicken dinner

This week was the grand finale of my learning project. I made a full roasted chicken dinner with all of the fixings for my family on Father’s Day. I enjoyed this week as it was more challenging to have several things going at once. I found myself turning to my mom for advice more often this week. My biggest challenge with this was trying to make sure everything was done around the same time. This site helped me out a lot with this as it told me how long my chicken would actually take to cook.

Main takeaways from this whole process:

  1. Commenting is not so bad: I wasn’t really on board with having to comment on my classmates’ blogs consistently for 6 weeks. However, as the course progressed I found myself checking in on blog hub every day to see how others’ projects were coming along. I thoroughly enjoyed following others’ learning journeys and reading their posts helped me out a lot when it came to writing my own.
  2. I am capable of more than I think: I was very nervous about having to teach myself a new skill using online resources. I tend to shy away from trying new things on my computer so this project was a real challenge for me. I soon discovered that it is much easier than I thought. Katia really guided us through everything we would need to be successful in this class and for that, I am very thankful.
  3. There are so many helpful resources available online: Youtube videos and video links from recipes are what got me through this project. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to find exactly what I needed. It turns out that a lot of people learn how to cook online so most of the questions I had, were already asked and answered somewhere and all I had to do was find them.
  4. Cooking isn’t so bad: This is probably the most important thing I have taken away from this project. The goal I set for myself at the beginning was to learn to like cooking. I feel that I have a good start on this now thanks to EDTC300. This project gave me a reason to push myself to try things that made me uncomfortable. I have now seen how easy it is to find resources to help me out and make cooking a lot less difficult.

Thank you to Katia and all of the other EDTC300 students who have followed me on this journey! The helpful and supportive comments were always nice to read and they kept me motivated and excited to continue on with my project.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! -Learning project week 6

For the last week of my learning project, I decided to go all out by making a full roast chicken dinner for my family. This actually worked out really well because I was able to make this supper on Sunday, which happened to be Father’s Day.

My full meal included a roast chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, fresh asparagus from the garden, peas, and some stovetop stuffing.

The first step was to prep the chicken and get it in the oven as I knew it would take a few hours to cook. I followed this juicy roast chicken recipe. This called for me to season the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff some celery and onions inside as you can see in these two photos.

Although this recipe was very simple, I still had a lot of unanswered questions, as this was my first time ever cooking a chicken. I found this site that offered me tips and techniques for cooking chickens of various sizes. This was a lifesaver as it told me how long the size of chicken I had should take in the oven.

Once my chicken had been in the oven for about an hour, it was time to start on all of the other elements of my meal!

I found a perfect garlic mashed potatoes recipe that made for very creamy potatoes, just the way my family likes them! As per making the gravy, I had no idea how to do this. I found this recipe which seemed simple enough. It consisted of adding some drippings from the chicken with water and flour and bringing it to a boil. Way easier than I thought! When my gravy was almost done something looked off to me… my gravy was a light brown/ white-ish colour. Very unappetizing! I did a quick google search to answer my question and I found that a lot of other people had the exact same question. I find out on this site that there is such a thing as gravy browning which essentially just changes the colour to make it look more appealing. Luckily for me, my mom had some of this in the fridge.

The last few steps were to mash the potatoes and set the table!

Overall, I was very happy with my meal and I was proud of myself for pulling it off! The biggest challenge I faced this week was time management. I find it very difficult to know when to start things so that everything is done around the same time. Although the recipes and resources I used this week helped me with this a little, there are so many variations when cooking that I’ve come to discover that this skill comes from experience. For this reason, I was glad to have my mom there to give me some suggestions here and there.

My summary of my overall experience for my learning project is coming soon in my next post, stay tuned!

My contributions to the learning of others

Well, it is time for my final networked learning post. In this post, I will share with you a few ways that I have contributed to others’ learning on three different platforms; Blogs, Twitter and Slack. I tried my best to be as active as possible on all three of these platforms by sharing resources, commenting on blogs, and asking/answering questions. At first, I found it kind of difficult to keep up with all three of these things every day but as the course progressed I got more used to it and learned to appreciate all of the help and support that was available on these sites.

First I’ll talk about blogging. I was very involved in commenting on other’s blog posts especially the learning project posts. I found it so interesting to read about everyone else’s’ journeys. I offered words of encouragement and helpful tips when I could.

Here are just a few examples of some of the comments.

Next up is Twitter. I used Twitter to share useful resources and articles that I found on Feedly. I always spent time retweeting my classmates’ posts when they shared something about which I had something to say or add. I always enjoyed answering all the questions in #saskedchat and reading Tweets from other professionals that I follow.

Here are some screenshots of my activity on Twitter.

And last but not least, Slack! Slack was such a useful platform to use for this class. It was ideal for asking questions and helping out others. I shared a few resources on here and If I had a problem this is where I went for help. Whenever possible, I also tried to help out my fellow classmates when they were in need.

By using all three of these platforms on a daily basis, I learned that there are so many resources and supports available to teachers in the online community.  I had no idea that educators were so active on Twitter and this is definitely something that I will continue to benefit from throughout my career.

 

Summary of learning

Here is my summary of learning project for EDTC 300 created with PowToon. This was my first experience working with this site and despite a few minor setbacks, it went pretty good. I am quite happy with the end result!

Hope you enjoy!

Coding with Anna and Elsa

This week for EDTC 300, we were given the challenge of learning how to code. When I first read this in the weekly plans I was really freaked out. I thought to myself there is no way that I will be able to code with my tech skills!

In class, Katia talked about two different coding sites that we could try out, Hour of Code and code academy. Both these sites proved to be a lot less intimidating than I had thought. To try out coding for myself, I decided to go with an hour of code activity from code.org. First off I had to pick a game. I went with a game geared towards grades 2-5 called code with Anna and Elsa because I absolutely love Frozen!

Now it was time to start coding! It started out very simple, making basic lines and shapes. The instructions told me exactly what to do.

We then moved on to some steps that were a little more complex. The thing I really liked about this is that with each new aspect introduced, there was a video tutorial that popped up to explain what was going on which really helped me figure things out.

 

the game became a bit more complex, I will admit that I made a lot of mistakes! I am afraid to say it but some of them actually took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out haha 🙂  I used the hint button a couple times to help me out

Towards the end of the game, I was able to make various snowflakes and more complex shapes. It was really cool to see my little Elsa and Anna characters move around and create things!

My final task was to create a winter wonderland pattern of my own! Here is what I came up with.

At the end of my hour of hard work, I was rewarded with this congratulatory certificate.

Overall, Hour of code is very user-friendly and is a great site for students of all ages. I learned that coding is not as difficult as I thought it was and that there are all different types for all levels of abilities. I can now see the benefits of implementing coding in the classroom. It teaches students how to think in a logical patterned way. This particular game is a great way for students to practice working with directions (left and right) as well as various angles. Coding is definitely something that I plan to use in my future classrooms to help students gain skills in problem-solving and critical thinking.

 

How to make risotto-Learning project week 5

This week for my learning project I learned how to make basic risotto. For those of you who may not know, risotto is a classic Italian rice dish. Risotto is fairly simple to make as long as you follow the instructions very carefully. What I learned while making risotto for the first time is that patience is everything!

I actually didn’t know what risotto was and have never tasted it before so I was unsure whether or not I would like it. My bf requested that I try out this dish as it is something he really enjoys. So I gave it a shot!

I followed this easy basic risotto recipe for this dish. I really liked this recipe because it put the instructions in really simple terms and it took me through everything I had to do step-by-step.

This week I will share with you a video tutorial I put together while  I was making this dish! Hopefully, it will help anyone who is brave enough to try making risotto for themselves.

Overall I think that my first attempt at making risotto went really well and I learned that this is a dish that I actually really enjoy. This will definitely be something that I will be making again!

Fake news and digital literacy

In the past few weeks, we have discussed a lot about digital literacy. This week, we learned about fake news and how having good digital literacy skills can help us decipher between what is real and what is fake online.  For this week’s blog post, we were asked to think about what teaching about digital literacy may look like in different subject areas or grade ranges. As I am an elementary teacher I will be focusing on younger students. Given that I have been placed in a grade 3/4 classroom for my internship, this will be the grade range that I will use as an example for ways that digital literacy can fit into the curriculum.

The article by Peter Pappas, talks about critical thinking as being one of the most important skills to have to be able to identify fake news. Critical thinking or critical evaluation of the information is something that students develop throughout their entire life. Most commonly it is in high school that students will really learn how to be critical thinkers.

So what does this mean for me as a grade 3/4 teacher?

When I put some thought into this I realized that there are many steps that can be taken with young students to start developing the skills they will need to become critical thinkers. This reminded me of a French-language arts, grade three, lesson that I taught during my pre-internship. For this lesson, students worked on their abilities to differentiate fact from opinion. The activity I did with the students to introduce this topic was to give them each a sentence  that they would then have to place on the board under the fact section or the opinion section and then after each sentence was placed we discussed as a class, what hints we saw in the sentence to be able to place it in the correct category. The lesson was a success and the students were able to begin their understanding of fact and opinion.

The What’s News: Fake, False, Misleading, Clickbait, Satire, or Carefully Reported?, article that Katia shared talks about different things to look for when deciding if something we are reading is real. One thing mentioned is to look at who is saying what is written. This directly relates to whether or not what is being said is fact or opinion. A couple things that young students are able to identify are things such as; how the sentences begin. Are they using words like “so and so” thinks that or “these people” assume that? These are all clues the students can find that indicate that what is being said may not be true or correct.

Although I did not do so in this particular lesson, it would be very useful to extend this lesson to teach students about identifying fake news online. The article by Dr. Alec couros and Katia Hildebrandt offers some great advice on how to do so.  One of the tips mentioned that I find particularly useful is using real-life fake news to teach students. This is something that Katia had also talked about in class on Thursday. I think that this is important because it teaches students the complexity and the trickiness of the fake news that is out there. In practising these skills from an early age, students can really begin to develop and understand how to properly analyse everything that they read.

When teachers incorporate digital literacy in the curriculum starting at an early age, the goals from the NCTE framework become much more manageable and realistic to accomplish. Especially in today’s society where kids are using technology from as early as 2 years old, it is never too early to start teaching about digital literacy!