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.

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, 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. 

Looking beyond the lense

Within my schooling I was taught to view the world with a view that was very eurocentric. We never talked about other cultures, and I don’t remember there being any representation within any of the books we talked about. I think one of the best things we can do to unlearn these biases is to acknowledge that we have them and educate ourselves in areas that we might not know about. Acknowledging that we don’t have to know all the answers and that there is more than one correct answer sometimes is a great start to undoing our common sense. 

Growing up I can’t really remember any single stories from my childhood that really affected me the way that Chimananda talked about it. But then again this is due to the white privilege I behold. Even though I am part Cree my skin is white and my eyes are blue. I grew up in a white community and mostly white school. My mom taught me about my Indigenous culture but mostly I grew up feeling white. I once thought that my ability to braid was because I was part Cree, and Indigenous people wore their hair in braids a lot. I wonder if I thought this because it was one of those single stories I learned about as a child. The only Indigenous representation I had as a child was Pocahontas and she wore her hair in a braid. There were no books read to me or supplied to me to read about being part Cree and part white, that part of my identity was never embraced. As educators it’s our job to make sure students are feeling represented.

She’ll be coming around the mountain

(when she comes)

Well first off I have some sad news, I broke my needle threader.. I don’t think it was made to take the full thickness of the embroidery floss. I attempted to pull the floss through the threader and proceeded to rip the wire right off instead, and bent the needle in the process as well.  At least it was well used for the couple of weeks I had it. 

This week I continued embroidering my piece from last week, I got a little distracted this week with midterms and an essay looming over my head but I managed to get a few more cactus stitched along with the starting of the mountains. I attempted to go off the book this week and attempted to use not one but two needles at once with two different colors to accomplish making a two toned cactus.  

However, using two threads became extra difficult because they kept getting tangled together creating a huge mess on the back half and I ended up wasting so much thread. 
But the outcome of the two toned cactus made the headache of a mess worth it.

My third cactus was fairly easy. I used the running stitch to outline to give it a different texture, not sure if i’m done with it yet thought I might add to it still at a later date. 

Lastly I’ve been working on the mountains! Hence the song lyrics that are inevitably stuck in your head after reading the title of this blog. However I don’t think that I am a huge fan of these particular mountains that I’ve stitched so far. I think it might be the middle one mostly, I might redo it, so I can manage to make the peaks more defined. Hopefully by next week I have the whole picture finished!

Personally Responsible Citizen

I finished high school 12 plus years ago, and I can relate to the teachings of the “ Personally Responsible Citizen” in high school every year had a mandatory amount of volunteer hours to help us become a responsible member of the community, i still to this day donate blood when I can and give to my food bank. We learned to honor our country by standing and singing O Canada every day followed by the Lord’s Prayer. One time in Elementary school our teacher didn’t think we respected the anthem enough because we never stood at attention well enough and didn’t sing loudly enough so we recited it again and again continually standing for what felt like an eternity until the teacher thought we learned enough respect for what it stood for and why we were supposed to sing it with pride each day. Also in Elementary school we participated in multiple fundraising activities and learned how to be a good Catholic. It taught us to be good responsible citizens, but it never taught us to question things or wonder why we were only fundraising for things and didn’t actually try to change anything. As Joel says in this Video “ Everyone Wants kids to know the basics but also how it links to the real meaning in community and society” This is how we need to be thinking when we are teaching students to be Citizens. I do however think it’s naive to ever think that it’s possible not to teach about being a good citizen within the classroom. When we teach we teach students from a very young age to take turns, share and be nice to your other classmates, when they get older we start expecting them to follow classroom rules, respect the teacher and get their work done. These are all aspects of creating The personally Responsible Citizen. The Grade 1 Social Studies Curriculum, states it right in the curriculum, “ Social studies provides students with opportunities to make connections between their own and others’ lives, communities, cultures, and environments, and to take action in relevant and meaningful ways that give students a sense of accomplishment and a belief that they can make a difference.” we are supposed to be teaching our students how to make a difference and become more than just a personally responsible citizen.

Lighting The Cactus

For my next project I browsed multiple pictures till I found one that appealed to me. Lately I’ve been feeling cactus’s and I found the perfect picture of mountains cactus’s and the moon and stars and it was free! You can check out the full picture Here. After printing out the pattern I attempted to follow the instructions that came with the picture but failed terribly, I think using black fabric made it extra difficult. Essentially there is two options one is easy if you have the material that being Transfer paper, you trace the pattern onto the transfer paper and then push it onto the fabric and then trace it again pushing down leaving a pattern to follow. The other is printing out the pattern and then using a Light source being it to trace the pattern. Since I don’t live anywhere near a craft store and have 0 access to transfer paper I attempted using a flashlight to see the pattern, It didn’t work… I then tried to use the backdrop of the TV, it also wasn’t a great light source, I ended up tracing the printed pattern with red pen and then stood on a chair in my kitchen holding it up to the fluorescent lighting to get a faint outline.

After Tracing the pattern I used the printed instructions that came with the pattern to figure out what stitches I need to know! Luckily it’s all the beginner stitches I learned in the previous Blogs! The instructions say to use black and yellow floss, But since I chose to do it on black fabric I figured I could choose multiple colors of green and grey. The first cactus I created took about 1.5 hours. I’m hoping to finish the Whole picture for the next week!

For this week I thought i would show you what I  finally bought, a needle threader!! It’s the most useful tool you could have. I picked mine up at Micheals for about $4 and it was worth every dollar. I created a video with my Samsung phone and then edited it by removing background music and adding pre-loaded music options with the video editor pre-loaded onto the phone, i then uploaded it to YouTube and then Embedded it into this blog so you can see how it works. The Video editor on my phone gives me options to add a filter, remove the background noise and add music and ended up being pretty easy to use. I do wish that I had a stand or something so I could easily film myself actually stitching but I flip my fabric back and forth so much trying to make sure I put the needle in the right spot that I can’t get a good angle where one would actually be able to see what I’m doing. The other thing I wish either YouTube Editor or my phones editor had was a speed up/ slow down option but maybe there’s a different video app for that. If anyone has any suggestions I’d gladly take them!

Treaty Education

For me I find this a tough subject to write about but one I can’t wait to learn more about so I can teach students and adults about the importance of Treaty Ed. I am part cree, I am from Pasqua First Nations, but I am also a Ukranian White settler as well. I grew up going to school before Treaty Ed was incorporated into the curriculum. As a Cree person I decided to do a presentation on First Nations people in elementary school. It was for a Heritage Fair and I wanted to do a presentation on my heritage. So myself and a couple of friends got together and researched First Nations people from books available in the school. We asked my mom to make bannock and we created a diorama on how first nations people used to live. Most of our information was from european history, and nothing from an indiginous perspective. Other than maybe whatever my mom helped us with. I knew about treaties growing up,  but I didn’t know what they meant or that Treaty 4 was bigger than just FortQuapple. Most of my moms side of my family lives in Fortquapple and I grew up going to the powwow and participating in Treaty 4 activities. I got my $5 a couple of times but I never knew the significance of any of this until I started my University Education at the age of 30. Which is almost embarrassing to say, but I think it shows the importance of why teaching Treaty Ed is so important. 

In my elementary school growing up there was one other girl for a couple of years and then myself for the only indiginous representation within the school. I was the “brownest person” in my class and I’m not even that brown, I have blue eyes and look like I just got back from a beach vacation all year but all my classmates knew that I was Cree. So growing up in a predominately White school I can see how Treaty Ed is important, I grew up not knowing anything about Indiginous culture other than what my Family had taught me.  Fellow classmates, only learned about perpetuated stereotypes/ racism from family members and media and what we did learn in school was European History. So many times in my life I heard about how Indiginous people need to “ just need to get over it. It was along time ago, It shouldn’t matter anymore” when it came to indiginous people getting “handouts” from the government and that it’s not fair. This is why Learning about Treaty Education and realizing that the land wasn’t given away it was meant to be shared, and how we all need to honour the treaties. And in order to Teach about Treaty Ed and Indiginous Education  “We must work backwards to see how we can proceed forwards.” in order to create a more empathetic population of people who will know that we can’t just “get over things” we have to be able to teach the history of Indiginous people and the treaties and residential schools.

Being able to incorporate Treaty Ed also helps give students like me an identity, and a deeper understanding of the history behind the treaties and what they stand for, and that they go beyond just one town within Saskatchewan. 

A to Z

Well I don’t want to admit it, but I didn’t learn from my previous mistake.. I swore I put my needle away yet somehow i’m missing one from my pack and cant seem to find it. Fingers crossed Its not sitting somewhere waiting to stab me.

 After learning all 10 stitches in the previous blog I figured  I would now conquer the basics of the alphabet. After browsing a couple of videos and websites on how to do lettering the first 4 stitches I learned earlier seem to be the most popular. I chose Wandering Threads Embroidery to guide me on my path for learning basic lettering. She uses the same 4 stitches  along with a few tips and tricks and photos for easy following.

Back Stitch and Running stitch

For the first row of the alphabet A to E I used the Back Stitch, and then for letters F to M I used the Running Stitch. While it is neat to see your stitches become something other than a line, I hope eventually it gets quicker. After about 40 minutes I’ve accomplished stitching lets A to M.

 I’ve also realized with longer Floss tangles and knots become an issue, when not careful pushing/ pulling the floss through the fabric. 

Embroidery in the car

N to V was Created using the Split Stitch and Required twice as much time as the first two rows. I began taking my embroidery with me everywhere to get in a few stitches here and there so I could finish the whole alphabet this week.

W to Z and the EDTC300 hashtag were created using the final stitch on her blog called the Stem Stitch. The stem stitch was probably one of the most difficult stitches to keep straight but became my most favorite. It almost looks like a twisted rope and is the easiest to see.

Finished product! A to Z and #EDTC300

The whole thing took about half a season of Gilmore Girls to create, so about 7.5 hours. I assume a more intricate picture might take even more time.

Next week I plan on learning how to transfer patterns onto fabric and hopefully start an actual picture!

Joining the Twitterverse

Twitter has been, a social media tool I’ve attempted to resist over the years. When twitter first started I signed up but found the user interface a lot more complicated compared to Facebook so I never actually set my account up. Last semester one of my teachers invited us to join twitter so we could network with other educators. Again I signed up, downloaded the app and then never got any further. It wasn’t until I started this class that I actually got the hang of it. Is it my favorite social media tool? No, but I do find myself more confident in my use of it and I do see the benefits. I think with more practice and time I will become a new addiction and maybe even get moved to my home screen. I still find it a bit overwhelming at times but using everyday definitely helps. 

Getting to be a part of the Saskedchat, really opened my eyes to the networking possibilities and made me appreciate Twitter for the networking tool it can be. I think it was amazing to be part of a live chat with people from all over Canada on the same subject, and having it open to the public for anyone to join makes it a great resource not only for teachers but everyone. Having the ability to talk with other educators on important subjects is a great way to network and Bounce ideas, and questions off people within the same community.  I think having apps such as Tweetdeck makes the user interface of twitter even easier to use, by making things more organized/ customize-able. 

As for using Twitter in the classroom I think it’s a great resource for teachers to share with parents what’s happening in their  child’s class. My one friend is a pre-k teacher in Moose Jaw, she has a twitter account for her pre-k class and shares photos of the students participating in all sorts of activities. I think it would even be a good resource for future pre-k students by having parents show their children what kind of activities they can look forward to doing when they start school. I think also as a future educator being able to see what actually happens in the classroom, can give you ideas to use in our own classrooms one day.

As for my Twitter social life, I plan to continue to network and grow my network even after this class ends.

We are all treaty people

According to the Levin article we can see that curriculum is influenced by many people. Sometimes its influenced by a certain person in politics since they have the power to persuade other people to agree with them in order to get what they believe is a necessary part of the curriculum. Other times politicians have to make choices and policy based on what people belive is true rather than what is true, as to not upset the public. To me its surprising that the minister of education can be given so much power to make decisions on what is the most important issues are when it comes to everyone’s education. When they wrote about how the  minister of education went to government with two issues they said “you can have one of your issues fixed but not both and you can choose which one” it makes it seem like the government doesn’t really care, that they have more pressing issues. When in fact education is one of the most important issues.

After Reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, I got the impression that incorporating Treaty education was something that the government decided we needed in order to make a mends so to speak.The document to me sounds fairly generic, with a very basic view

 I think it wasn’t something that was organically introduced,it seems like more of one of those pressing issues that gets okay-ed to keep the voters happy.  While I do think that teaching about Treaties and Indigenous people is very important, I think with Treaties and Indigenous education it needs to be something were knowledgeable and passionate about to teach it in a meaningful way instead of in a forced manner, where all were doing is checking the boxes. To teach about what it means to be treaty people we need to understand what it actually means to be a treaty person.