Author Archives: Nikki Reynolds

About Nikki Reynolds

Welcome! My names Nikki, If your here I'm assuming you want to know a little bit more about me, I'm currently on my journey towards becoming a an elementary school teacher. Born and raised in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.

Leaving In stitches

For the past 10 Weeks as most of you may know I have taken on the challenge of learning to Embroider through resources I found online.  At the beginning of this journey I might have been a bit naive believing it would be a lot less time consuming and tedious than crocheting or knitting. When  I first started I imagined it wouldn’t take that long to create a simple picture. Boy was I wrong, along with finishing this semester I also managed to finish watching every episode of Gilmore Girls, most of those episodes spent mindlessly sticking my needle to my embroidery hoop.

At the start of my learning journey I Put Down the hook and picked up the needle.   something Ive been thing about doing for awhile. In my First blog I talk about my reasons for wanting to learn how to embroider and I share a fun fact about how my Grandma used to embroider along time ago. I also share how using Micheal’s coupons helped save me 45% off my haul of supplies to get started

After gathering my supplies I Got Started, learning 3 basic stitches from a video made by Lovecrafts, and worked on creating a Pinterest board filled with ambitious pictures I’d hope to one day emulate.

all 10 Stitches

Later after learning the first 3 basic stitches from the Lovecrafts video, I learned the hard way about Always putting your needle away, that needle pricked me good.. After finding my needle I proceeded to finish learning  the 7 significantly harder stitches,making it an even 10 stitches. 

  After learning those 10 basic stitches I decided to conquer  A to Z using 4 out of the 10 stitches I now know. Using a Video from Wandering Threads embroidery  to guide me along the way. This is where I realized that Embroidery takes a lot longer than I expected, from start to finish The whole thing took about half a season of Gilmore Girls to create( about 7.5 hours).

my first cactus!

 Lighting The cactus is where I write about my  struggle to transfer a Cactus picture I found on DMC onto a black canvas, a rookie mistake I won’t repeat twice. I also finally get a Needle threader that changed my life for about a week. I also premier my first  DIY learning video where I showcase my new threader in action. As an added bonus It also features my first cactus that took about 2 Gilmore Girls episodes(1.5 hours) to create.

What a mess!

After coming around the mountain of homework and midterms I start working on creating two more cacti and a mountain outline. This is where my floss becomes  so entangled because I attempt to use two colors at once causing me to get bored and frustrated abandoning my scenic cacti picture forever. 

3 puffy clouds

After abandoning my Cacti I  take my head out of the clouds, and find a dreamy tutorial on creating puffy clouds using the Public Library Database,  a source I recommend to anyone trying to learn a new DIY skill, they even offer weekly classes for free. , so far my fluffy clouds are my favorite thing I’ve created.

Embroidery 101 takes us back to basics where I put  my new found Videography skills, and Windows movie editor to use, to teach you how to do 4 of the main stitches I’ve been using the most.

 To wrap up  my final learning project post I wanted to do something I’ve been dying to try, create a Time lapse video of my embroidery.   It also gives me the chance to finish one full picture to have since the cacti were a bust. To create the time lapse I used a logitech C922  streaming camera with a program I downloaded called VideoVelocity3 that records your video in time-lapse format. The program was easy to navigate and as an added bonus was free! After creating the video I used the Windows movie Editor to add music and the title before uploading  it to Youtube

creating the sunset sky

As you can see I’ve come a long way from lopsided letters to fluffy clouds in the setting sky. While I still have a long way to go to become a master embroiderer, I’ve gained a lot of experience in a short amount of time.  I’m really glad I chose to learn how to embroider for this project, with all the motivational comments from my peers cheering me on it made it easier to continue on. I know as this class wraps up, I will continue learning more stitches and creating new pictures.

The start of something Bigger

As we wrap up the end of the semester it’s time to wrap up my blog posts for this class, sadly making this my final blog post for EDTC300. For this class to be the most beneficial for all of us, it required us to work as a network, one that goes beyond showing up to class once a week for Zoom Room. To really get the most out of this class we really needed to work on creating our Personal Learning Networks also know as PLN. 

One way I helped to contribute to the learning of others was by making sure I was reading a number of my classmates blogs and commenting when appropriate weekly.
While i did comment on lots of other blogs, one blog that particularly stood for me was Selina’s blog. She decided she was going to learn how to decorate cupcakes, but she seemed to be having a hard time finding a good buttercream recipe for decorating. I happen to make a lot of cakes for family members so I gave her a link to my favorite recipe and let her know that Icing lasts along time in the fridge.  As you can see by these comments pictured below. 👇

I also contributed to other classmates learning by answering questions from within our Slack community when I had the answers, and by sharing resources I found while working on my own learning project. Some of these Resources I shared were things like virtual Piano lessons, or simple things such as sharing a link to a coupon for Micheal’s along with probably one of my most favorite new learning resources the Public library online resources that I talked about more in one of my previous blog Head in the Clouds . You can also see some of the ways I contributed from the pictures below 👇

Follow me https://twitter.com/MsNikkiReynolds@MsNikkiReynolds


Another Way we worked on our PLN was by utilizing twitter to learn about and share new resources and to connect with other educators and people who use twitter. One of the ways I did this was by sharing resources and the odd Caturday post with the hashtag #EDTC300. At the start of the semester Twitter was something I really didn’t like, to me it was annoying and I never really understood the purpose or how it worked. But after using it pretty much everyday since the start of January I’ve come to see how beneficial it really is to creating a bigger PLN. After class is finished I plan on continuing to keep up with my Twitter account so I can continue to grow my network. Will I tweet everyday? probably not but I will make sure I am commenting on interesting posts and sharing interesting resources with my followers. As you can see from my twitter profile I started my account in January 2020 I now follow 90 people and have 50 followers which might not sounds like a lot but I started with 0 in January. Feel free to click this link and follow me if you don’t already!

Throughout my time on Twitter these past four months I contributed to my classmates learning by commenting and interacting on numerous posts by my classmates. as you can see by these photos below. 👇

While this class might be over my learning about technology and how it can be utilized within the classroom is just beginning. I cant wait to see how large my PLN will get.

Do you code here often?

Coding is not something that I’ve ever been interested in, but my boyfriend is in school to become an Electronics Engineer so for the past couple of years he would continue to tell me what hes working on for class and I’d have no idea. I used to only ever use the computer as a last resource when I can’t do something on my phone but over the past year or so I’ve been using my computer more and more. To learn a bit about what my boyfriend was doing I bought 1 subscription box to Creation Crate, they send you one project a month to build and they progressively get harder.  I thought it would be a fun date night project my boyfriend on the other hand thought of it as more like more homework, building the actual lamp with the wires and board was fun to do together but when it came to the coding it became MY JOB, soo I downloaded the program it suggested and got to work following the instructions from the booklet, after about an hour I thought I was done, I plugged the lamp into the computer and to my surprise it didn’t work. I swore I followed the instructions to a T but little did I know the brackets they put around certain words were also supposed to be added, after a little fixing we tried again, and it still didn’t work. So by this time my boyfriend decided he would help and go through the code I coded, after searching for a while he finally found the one comma I missed. The lamp now works and I now understand why sometimes when he’s sitting at the computer the odd cuss word comes flying out of his mouth when the coding he’s spent hours on doesn’t work properly.

 Quiet honestly I thought that was enough coding in my life. It’s so tedious and time consuming, so when we were tasked to code something for this blog post I was dreading it. Sitting at the computer for hours on end is the thing I like to do the least. For my First Attempt I used Code Academy I created a free user account and decided to start the beginner code lesson on coding and variables, I Used the Screencast Chrome extension to record me following the tutorials on how variables work you can check that out here.

After finishing my first lesson (and Acing the test,) I decided to try out a second source called Studio Code. Studio Code is a bit more user friendly and also offers free accounts. After Signing up you can browse through plenty of different coding programs, such as learning to code games like Flappy Bird to Art programs and Basic Apps. I decided it would be fun to learn how to make an App! 

To start off Studio Code breaks down how to make an app in very basic steps, with video tutorials along the way to help you if you get stuck. After going through all 10 steps of learning how to create an app you are given the option to create your own app. So for the past 2 hours, I  worked on creating this cheesy little app, on Covid-19

you can click this link 👇https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/Zt8egYnfU9nMM04YskJ0zHA8oYmmOMl6B5All0ugI6M

 or Scan this QR Code, to access it!  👉

After Creating this App I can see why coding is such an important thing all students should learn. When children are young we teach them where paper comes from and how food is made but we really never learn how games or even apps are made.  I think by giving children even a glimpse into how these things we use everyday are made, gives a new sense of appreciation to all the hard work that is needed to create these things. I myself will probably not voluntarily code but I now have the tools to do it , if  I needed to.

Final thoughts..

Throughout this class we have been challenged to dig deep and challenge our common sense knowledge of what curriculum really means. I’ve created this video to showcase how my knowledge of Curriculum has evolved throughout these past four months.

Online Classroom Resources

Here you will find links to different online resources for the classroom

Video maker/ editors

Assessment tools

Coding / maker programs

Code Academy http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/

Miscellaneous tools

Fact of Fiction

In today’s world most of us are getting our information from the internet via a social media app or a search engine such as Google. But how do you know what to believe and what not to believe with this very growing wealth of knowledge? And How do we teach our students and children at a young age to learn the difference between what is real and what is fake via the internet. At one time if we wanted to know about something we would have to look in an encyclopedia and now with a click of a button we have access to Wikipedia and any other source imaginable.

A good place to start is reminding our students and ourselves if we read something we should also fact check what we read before deciding what we read must be real. One way to do this is by using resources that are known for fact checking.  Tru Libraries gives a really great list of websites available for fact checking, you can also check them out below 👇

  • FactsCan
    FactsCan is an independent and nonpartisan fact-checker on Canadian federal politics.
  • Canada Fact Check
    Canada Fact Check is an independent news platform dedicated to transparency, democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility in Canada.
  • Politfact
    PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials. Has a US focus.
  • Snopes
    The definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.
  • FactCheck.Org
    A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion. US focus.
  • Fact Checker
    Put out by the Washington Post, this fact checker focuses on political stories from the United States.
  • TruthOrFiction.Org
    Covers urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin
  • Reverse Image Search

Another option EDCan suggests would be to bring practice materials into the classroom and have students try and figure out what is real and what isn’t real. By being able to work out these sources within the classroom students will slowly build on their skills to decipher whether or not something is real or fake. 

John Spence also suggests Using the five C’s of critical consuming:

1.Check the context, when was the article written?

2.Check the credibility does it

3. Analyse the construction of the article, is it propaganda or speculation

4.Corroboration make sure its not the only source making this claim

5. Compare what other sources are saying about what they are reading.

With using even just a few of these tips and trick the average person should be able to make a more informed decision before always believing what they read.

If Not I’ve also included this informational video on how to spot fake news as well!


Embroidery 101

For this Weeks blog I thought I would show you how to recreate the three main stitches I’ve been using for my embroidery projects so far. The Running Stitch, Back Stitch, and Chain Stitch. I’ve also added a bonus fourth stitch the Satin Stitch, so you can see how the puffy clouds from the previous blog post were created.

To Start embroidering you will need a piece of material, big enough to fit your embroidery hoop, a needle and Embroidery floss and what ever pattern you want to create. I would recommend learning a few basic stitches before jumping right into a pattern though.

To Create the video I used the webcam on my Laptop to record the video. I then used the windows movie editor to add a filter, the Title screen, text box and background music. The movie editor was really easy to navigate, the only down side is that it doesn’t allow for more than one text box.

Math Trauma

The thought of going to university always scared me. I knew whatever I ended up taking I would inevitably have to take a math class maybe even more than one. I have Math Trauma, anxiety that  I didn’t know was a real thing until I took my first university math class. From the very first day of that math class, I automatically would get frustrated and shut down trying to relearn even the basics. I shed a few tears at home and would express my inability to learn math to my partner. He would sit down and try to explain things to me from a different perspective and I would always just shut down. It took alot of patients and deep breaths for me to be able to sit down and actually learn the math that is required of me to become a teacher but once I got over the anxiety it became easier. Growing up math was never my strong suit, adding and subtracting sure, but X+Y=C mumbo jumbo and multiplication was always something I HATED. Being told to recite the times tables quickly from memory as a young child was very oppressive to me, and something I still can’t do at the drop of a hat. I sat at the dinner table many nights growing up crying over my math homework because I didn’t understand what was being asked of me. My parents tried to help but it was always something  I struggled with the concept of different aspects, it didn’t always make sense in my mind. There was always only one correct way of doing things, and no other way was acceptable even if there happened to be other ways to get to the same answer. 

I think what  Gale talks about in her lecture about making math relatable is a great way to help students of all ages learn math in ways that make sense to the individual instead of math as something academic cold and inflexible. We use fractions and division in our lives daily and it’s a great way to incorporate math into the curriculum without forcing mandatory worksheets and tests as the only way to learn math. One of the biggest Eurocentric ideas about math is that math needs to be written down in the tradition number sense that 12345… ect are universal and mean the same thing to everyone no matter where you live and this just is not true. Especially when we think about the Inuit people and their meanings of words and numbers and how different numbers also have different meanings.. Sometimes there isn’t even a  Inuit translation that would equate to the Eurocentric mathematical definition. Some numbers have means that serve a purpose that pertains to the lives of the Inuit. Which does not mean that the Inuit people are any less of a mathematician than the rest of the world they just have their own ways of doing it that is just as correct as the way other people do it.

Head In The Clouds

For this week’s blog, I was feeling a bit bored with my Cactuses and the thought of picking it wasn’t bringing me inspiration. So Instead I decided to check out the learning source I shared in the Slack resources for EDTC300. The Public Library has a whole online database dedicated to DIY, to access the database all you need is a library card and your pin. After logging in it takes you to a website called Creativebug, where there is a whole database of different projects to choose from. After choosing a project it gives you all the information you could possibly need including lists of materials, videos, photos, and comments questions by other people who have created the project and the average time it takes to complete the project. Some of the projects they have on the website are fairly new and have a weekly video, that you can do live each week that it comes out. Each weekly video continues building on what they taught the previous week. After a bit of browsing I came across a video on creating textured clouds, taught by an embroider goddess Lauren who sells and creates her own patterns.

Chain stitches

within the first 4 minutes of the video I learned so much. One being the correct type of needle to use when using full floss called a tapestry needle which is a lot larger than an ordinary embroidery needle that I have been using.

After free handing some clouds onto my fabric, the video instructed me to create Chain stitches across the bottom of the cloud, after a quick refresher on how to do this stitch (which was included in the video) it was fairly easy to accomplish.

Filling in the clouds

After chaining the bottom of a couple of my clouds I moved onto the next step which is filling in the clouds , as you can see from my picture its fairly simple.

Starting in the middle of the cloud you angle your stitch diagonally and do simple satin stitches all the way across following the contours of the cloud, when finished one side you start in the middle again and work your way to the other side. 

This video was refreshing to try and really got my creativity sparked again. I am now filling in the background as well. I will definitely be trying out a few more projects from the library data base especially because its free, I give the whole experience 4 out of 4 clouds!

Cyber-stocking or Cyber-sleuthing?

For this week’s blog we were asked to investigate each other online I got the honor of looking into Brittany krogsgaard! From what I found her online presence seems to be professional. She does however have 2 Facebook pages one more professional, which I assume she probably started when she entered university. The other Facebook page seems like it’s from her childhood, maybe kept around for the nostalgia of some of the photos.. From my cyber sleuthing I was able to find out that she grew up in Gull Lake,  and was a lifeguard at one point. When googling i found out that she had been a member of a website called ask.fm, but when clicking the link it says she deleted her account. She also has a YouTube channel with a couple of videos, a small Pintrest account and the usual twitter and her E-portfolio

I think cybersleuthing each other is really beneficial to opening our eyes to seeing how the world sees us. This is especially important when we are working as teachers, because employers, students and parents of students will most likely be googling us. Having a presence on social media makes us more accessible but also has the ability to put us under a microscope, where every little thing we post can be read the wrong way. Just as Monica Lewinsky points out in her TedTalk when people find things on the internet about other people, they can make assumptions and take to public shaming, even when they have no context. This is a great reminder for all of us to go and  scroll back and see what we have been tagged in or posting.