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.

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, 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!