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.

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.

Media in the classroom!

When we think of teaching students in the digital world we have to be aware of the fact that knowledge is at the fingertips of every person now. We can learn things just by typing it into a search engine on our phones now. By having access to this technology we are able to learn more now than ever before. Which can have its benefits for sure, but also can have negative impacts. 

Videos such as the numa numa guy dancing become a viral sensations that become almost a cultural phenomena that gets replicated around the world make people more connected, as more of these videos become duplicated and replicated again.  While some are innocent such as the numa numa dance or the soulja boy dance, there are other more dangerous videos as well that become viral sensations. Such as the tide pod challenge which more and more people attempt to replicate, not knowing the dangers of such challenges. 

I think as educators we need to teach our students about how not everything they watch or read on the internet is true and they need to be cautious about what they are posting and sharing as well. Because everything posted on the internet weather deleted or not is there forever, and sometimes we tend to share too much. I think this is something we need to really engrain in our students minds that not everything they read is true and factual. We  as educators also need to be aware of what we read before sharing as well. I know a lot of people tend to read things from different links that get shared around on Facebook, and believe what is being shared to them. “ It must be true it was on a news website or it must be true it had 10 000 likes.” Or even something as simple as a photo on instagram, might portray a perfect life,body or otherwise when in reality its all filters and setups in order to get likes and shares. It becomes an unrealistic popularity contest with no winners.

 I think for us educators technology can be incorporated into the classroom in many positive ways as well and is something we need to embrace. Students are going to have phones or computers and have access to the internet and instead of fighting it we should be using it as a tool.  One way to do this is to have web based learning you can as we are next week invite classes from other parts of the world to participate in a discussion in your classroom. It could be a great learning tool to show how people all around the world live. Even right now, classes can connect with astronauts up in space. Having the tools and resources to have almost everything at our fingertips is something we should be taking advantage of. Instead of not knowing something we can network with other teachers ask questions, get ideas and enrich students time in the classroom.

Learning from Place.

 The culture of the Albany First Nations people along with other nations have lost so much of their traditions because of colonization the fear of losing everything was definitely felt by the Elders of the Nation.  After reading the article we can see how the First Nations people are able to share the information they thought would be lost for ever with their youth. Through this program, the youth were encouraged to seek information, and work collaboratively with the people of the community. By doing this we can see how the Albany nation are able to reinhabit the river and bring back all of its names the river once had. By creating these experiences and sharing this information with the youth, the culture and information they once thought would be lost can be learned again and continued to be shared for more generations. 

One way to adapt these teachings into my own teaching would be to reach out to Elders in the area and ask questions about the history of the land and any cultural significance it could have. I would then ask the Elders to join us in the classroom and outside to teach my students about their way of life. I think another important thing would be to bring the Cree language into the classroom even if it’s just small phrases or words. I would also make sure to acknowledge that we are learning on treaty for territory. I think teaching about and honoring the First Nations culture in a respectful way is a great starting place.

Put your Needles Away!

By the title of my blog you might know where I’m going with this, but for everyone’s safety put your needles away when your not using them! Maybe even buy a cute little needle case or pin cushion. Don’t be like me and unknowingly grab your couch blanket ( blanket for being warm and cozy on your couch) finding the needle you used before as it stabs into your hand, and then in a state of shock throw the blank and needle away from you. Losing the needle you didn’t know was lost once again.

After finding the needle and struggling to re-thread  it yet again.. I started the second half of the video from the previous Blog.

As I began to watch the other half of the video, I start slowly realizing the second half of the video is getting significantly harder. I’ll probably have to get familiarized with them again, once I actually start a real project. but least I will hopefully have the basics down. 

The Chain Stitch: a bit more complicated and involved a bit more skill, but was essentially a stitch involving weaving the needle underneath your stitch before creating another stitch.

The Lazy Daisy Stitch: involved me pricking myself more than once and creating the most sloppy looking half flower, but it requires less tension apparently compared to the other stitches, and like I said in the previous blog I tend to strangle my yarn so that could be why.

The Fly Stitch:  I really enjoyed this one, It makes little V shapes and is good for filling in plants!

The Satin Stitch: Is used to fill in spaces with color, and was also super easy to figure out and one that I’ll probably use a lot.  

The French Knot Stitch: Pretty simply, and just requires wrapping the thread around the needle and going back through. Great for adding Texture and creating little rose bud type stitches.

The  last and final Stitch from the video the Long and Short was by far my least favorite, It’s so tedious and at the moment makes no sense to me, as to why you would want to use it when compared to Satin stitch since they are both used to fill in spaces.

Keep coming back for more updates, Next week I plan to attempt the Alphabet!

Finding sources to Follow!

After getting a Feedly account I started searching hashtags that I thought were relevant to teaching such as #Edtech #Education #Math #Creativity. I then read the starting of different articles relating to these hashtags  I looked for ones that had a high number of followers and began following the ones that I thought would be relevant and helpful in the classroom when I get to start teaching. 

One of the other sources I started following was  Emerging Education Technologies, They have a following of about 8 thousand right now but I think their following will grow immensely over time. they provide links to articles such as which help us as educators see why we need to be adding things like coding to the classroom. Students in today’s future won’t be finishing school to get a factory job that requires basic life skills, instead most careers in life requires a knowledge of computers or technology of some sort. Even those who are more creative can get jobs in the field of technology and learning more than just how to use a computer or phone but how the apps  they use work, can help inspire students to want to learn more.

One of the sources I found was  I Learn Technology They have over 36 thousand followers and some great information regarding apps that can be used in the classroom. Their blogs contain photos and examples of apps and ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. One of the authors of the blog seems like she is a big advocate for children having personalized learning for every student. I think following her can help find multiple resources for teaching. 

I think Feedly is a great way to help find and read about new information regarding Education technology, or what ever you want that might be otherwise overlooked or missed on the Twitter feeds.

Getting Started!

 After assembling my supplies I began a “quick” search on Pinterest. Which in reality if you never used Pinterest means that for what innocently started as quick search on How to Embroider, Embroidery for beginners turned into a few hours of mindlessly looking and then eventually pinning pretty pictures of other peoples embroidery as inspiration. I’ve linked my Pinterest Board as well to this blog, so if your also interested in embroidery you can check out the pretty work other people have created along with  actual helpful links I’ve managed to pin as well. 

After a bit of research, I am now able to successfully put the fabric into the loop, and have learned that the string used to do embroidery is called Floss not string. Also that floss is made up of multiple strands of floss and some stitches require you to pull said floss apart into smaller strands of floss. Also when it’s suggests to get a threader for your needle GET ONE. It took me 5 minutes to get my floss into the needle and I had to pull my floss apart into a half section just to get it through the hole.
Instead of my usual jumping in without reading the instructions I figured I would actually take the time to watch videos and learn a few basic’s.

After watching the about half of the video I tried out the first three stitches. So far the video seems easy to follow along with and simplifies things so even with my left-handed backwardness I felt like I could follow along.

The three stitches I learned:

The Three Stitches I’ve learned so far!

Running stitch: a line that has small gaps in between stitches

Back Stitch: Which is very similar to running stitch but is solid and most commonly used for outlines. 

Split stitch: Essentially the same as the back stitch but you push the needle through the previously stitched section giving it a continuous look compared to the back stitch. also usually a thicker floss is easier for doing this stitch.

What I wish I would have known before starting: Make sure your floss is long but not too long, I pulled it off the needle SOO many times.. It has gotten easier to put back on thought.. Still, next time i’m at Michaels I will be getting a threader to make my life easier.

Week 4- The “Good” Student

To be a good student means that the student learns in the particular way the teacher teaches the information the teacher needs to get across. The student also does not question what the teacher says but instead absorbs the information willingly. Or as They state in chapter 2

“ A good student is one that learns the required material and does what is required to show that they have learned it efficiently.”

 The only one who really benefits from this common sense style of teaching are the students who have proficiently been able to adapt to these methods of teaching are the ones who will be privileged by this common sense way of teaching students. This usually includes students who have already been taught by this method. The students who question what they are learning or have difficulty learning in this structured manner, tend to dislike school and become seen as the problem students. When teachers fall into this Common sense way of teaching it makes it impossible for the teacher to understand why the student is failing or misbehaving.