Category Archives: ECMP 355

If I Can Code, than YOU can code

When I was in Grade 10 and 11 I took information processing, mostly because my parents were against spares and my school only offered one class per class period. So I spent grade 10 taking info pro 10, and grade 11 taking info pro 30. During these classes I got to learn about excel, powerpoint, and like every other imaginable program that the computers with windows 98 could possibly have on them. My teacher has been teaching these courses since my school got computers (or close to), and by some weird chance she took a computer science class in university. So even though the curriculum said nothing about coding, my entire class learnt how to code with HTML, and surprisingly we were pretty good at it. Coding is just like math, you have to type in the proper function to get the computer to respond.

This class gave me an opportunity to code again, while kinda code. Rather than type in functions and use brackets, and all the other symbols, that make such an impact on the coding, I  used a program that eliminates any problems (well most problems).

I got to use Hour of Code, to relearn my coding. While Hour of Code was not as advanced as I am used to, it did give me insight into how coding can be used in the classroom.

There is an aspect of math in all coding, especially in the Anna/Elsa program where angles, shapes and patterns are a necessity of the program as well as vital in math.




Helping others learn… through my own learnings

As a future educator I know that I will be constantly teaching other, it is the entire point of the profession. I also know that I will never stop learning, while I like to think that  all educators share this same ideology I know  that they do not. Others for many years to come will hopefully learn off of my own learnings. This may sound like a good thing, but sometimes I learn things that are completely out there and even confuse myself with it, never mind confusing a bunch of people that are actually depending on me to learn.

This class is no exception to my journey of learning. This class is also no exception to me contributing to the learning of others (at least that is what I am hoping).

I have been taking part in #saskedchats since my experience in ECS 301, which has built my twitter following up quite a bit. This at the very least gave the appearance that more people were paying attention to what I was tweeting about, it also made me nervous  that people were actually paying attention to my tweets. I have a few tweets that I am actually proud of, both of these tweets contain resources that will help me, and my classmates with internship, pre-internship, teaching but they also provoked conversation.

Blogging is something that I have become more comfortable with over the past few semesters, I actually like  blogging because I finally feel like I am writing stuff that I want to write and not just what the professor is assigning. However, I get why others can find it scary, and frustrating at first and a little maddening. I would like to think that I did my part in helping my classmates find blogging less intimating and as more of a way to give a voice to teachers.

helping jessica

When I managed to find time, I  actually would read almost every blog post that was made during the week. I really wish that the blogs posted on our blog hub page provide only a glimpse of each person’s post because it was hard to read everyone’s posts on the page, it also made it hard to go back to past posts since some of the posts were very long (good reads, but long).

This images that are provided are only a small portion of contributions that I made, while I may have not tweeted a whole pile, I still tweeted what I found to be important. My posts (with the exception of these past three weeks), were regular and I tried to provoke thought and conversation with in each post and comment.

This class gave me a chance to learn, but it also gave me a chance to provide learnings to others.

My Journey of Baking, from hatred to dislike

I started this baking project with the goal that I would become more confident with three tasks, 1) following directions 2) handling stress 3) the actual baking aspect.

This project has taught me a lot more than that. Just looking primarily at the baking skills I have developed, I can now using a piping bag to ice, I can make my own strawberry sauce, I can put together cake, and decorate cookies, I actually made a from scratch angel food cake, and was able to make meringue. These were all major proud moments in my learning project. I cannot believe how good some of the recipes turned out.

There are skills that I was not expecting to learn, such as the ability to read directions, connections between multiple recipes, and time management.

This learning project was about baking, but the amount of connections that I made to teaching was surprising. I am not talking about the fact that I can now bring cookies to my class on holidays, let’s be honest that I will probably still buy candy. I am talking about how I now learn how important writing a clear recipe, or lesson plan is for those that reading it. I may understand what is being written, but  I need to write my lesson plans in a way that if I need a sub, they can read my lesson plans. Another useful skills is going with the flow, I know that as a teacher not every lesson will work out perfectly, some times I will run out of supplies, or a space will be double booked. This is something that stresses me out. However, managing to figure out recipes, fix mistakes and handle it when stuff just does not work out, is something that I have really become more accepting of. Wait time, in baking there is a lot of wait time, also know as the baking and/or cooling part, sometimes you need a lot of wait time and sometimes you only need a little. This is the same for students, some of them get a concept on the first try, some of them need a few more examples. Some students will know the answers right away, some will need a few minutes to think about the question. Wait time feels like the world has stopped turning, or at least it did until I started to appreciate wait time while baking. Now wait time means that something is getting done, even if you cannot see it immediately, students are thinking, they are problem solving, and hopefully only a few of them are day dreaming (just like that one cookie, no matter how many times you turn the pan it takes being alone in the over to actually get baked). It is OK to not be perfect, I am a perfectionist, I like my lesson plans running smoothly, my class organized, and everything to happen as planned. Yeah that world is long gone. Just like the meringue that wouldn’t stiffen, there are times when everything I do will go sideways and nothing will work and I will want to cry. But I won’t, at least not in front of students. It is OK to make a mess, so this isn’t something that I really learnt, mostly because I am very good at making messes. But it is OK when your classroom is a mess during art class, or when there are scrap papers everywhere during a productive math class because a mess can be cleaned up!

I learnt a lot more from baking than just the skill of baking. But the most important thing that I learnt is how easy it is to find strategies online, my favorite is the blog Joy the Baker. The blog provides lots of strategies for baking, simple strategies like measuring out your ingredients in advance, and tons of other hints in her Baking 101 category. You can find any recipe online, so that was never a problem but I find that I still like my family’s recipes the best.

I started this class hating baking, now I just dislike baking. I like it more when I get to use short cuts like store bought cake mix or frozen tart shells. This makes baking easier and less stressful. Is baking something that I will eagerly do to eliminate stress, NO, but it is something that I could do if I needed to. Which to me is an accomplishment.

Layered Baking that requires Little Baking

I have came to the realization that layered desserts (pretty sure that is not the right term, but I like the way it sounds) are my favorite to bake, because YOU BARELY HAVE TO BAKE!! My level of excitement when I found out that I only had to do a small part of actual baking, I did a happy dance. Which embarrassed my boyfriend as we were in the Wal-Mart aisle when I realized this, but I did not care, because I BARELY HAD TO BAKE!  I decided to do two recipes that my family enjoys quite a bit. Every Christmas I get to enjoy a fantastic trifle with my mom’s family, usually it is because we always seem to forget about dessert until last minute, and we always have cake mix in the cupboard and whipping cream for the fruit salad. I know that they are fairly easy to make, and tasty, and quick. All of which makes me very happy. I found a recipe online, I have stopped paying attention to the websites were I get the recipes because I would rather focus on what I am baking rather than where I found the recipe I am baking.

The second recipe I decide to make comes from Christmas with my boyfriend’s mom’s family. Anyone who knows me, knows that I HATE trying new food, like no matter how good it looks I will do anything to get out of it. However, my first Christmas with Tyler’s family made me super nervous and I was way to nervous to tell his favorite aunt that I would not try her baking. So for the first time, I willing tried something new, it contained chocolate so I wasn’t like I had to have my arm twisted too much. For the first time, four years ago, I experienced chocolate sex in a pan (not sure who came up with that name), but it was really good. So I decided to make it for my final baking attempt.


Both the recipes turned out really good. Something I need to figure out is how to accomplish baking without using every dish that happens to be in house. For these two recipes I went through seven bowls, 6 measuring cups, and like two dozen utensils. The entire kitchen was a mess within the first five minutes of me starting.

If I could bake without cleaning I may enjoy it more.

Teaching internet safety is as needed as teaching math

In class we have talked a lot about cyber bullying and how social media is taking control of others lives. In my own personal experience I remember one situation where friends and I were hanging out, and one of our friends was missing. One a not great photo of her, we made nasty comments, mostly out pure fun, thinking she would not be hurt. She was not hurt…until some of the other other people in our class started commenting stuff that was very nasty, and not in fun. It took all of two days to go from us goofing around, to her being the joke of the school for almost two weeks, and being inconsolable. This might be a small example, but what we dealt with at age thirteen is now being dealt with at age 8 or 9.

In our ECMP class people constantly say that Social Media does not really work for those under 13 because they are not of age to have it. Every person I know has a Facebook account, regardless of age. I have a lot of friends with new kids, and the first thing they did was create their newborn baby a Facebook account. When I asked them why, every single one of them responded with, its easier to track the kid’s growth. We grew up with our parents taking photos that needed to be developed, my parents have books and boxes filled with photos. My friends take photos, videos, posts about their kids, and they tag their kids in it. Their kids now have access to everything that happens as they grow up.

This is kinda of a great plan, but they are also exposing their kids to social media at a young age, in fact they have a digital presence before they are ever born. At what age do they learn about the safety, about predators, about all the negatives of social media and the internet.

Monica Lewinsky learnt this at the age of 22, Walter Palmer at age 55, and Amanda Todd at age 12. Each person, and many more have experienced the negatives of social media, but these are lessons that they learnt one their own. No one actually taught them these lessons. New generations should be taught these lessons. This is both the responsibility of the parents and the teachers.

We cannot expect people to learn about internet safety if we do not teach internet safety. It is kind of like how we cannot expect people to learn math if we don’t teach math.

Stop using the excuse that there is no “digital citizen” curriculum so you do not know what to teach!

Where does digital citizenship fit in the curriculum, the answer to this question is the same answer when asked where treaty ed fit, or critical thinking, or problem solving “fit” into the curriculum. Digital citizenship fits everywhere into the curriculum because it is not a lesson you teach but a way to teach a lesson. Students are going to use social media, most kids that we will teach will have a digital identity before their first birthday because parents share all the happy moments. I do not know a person under the age of five who is not all over their parents’ social media. We use it as a way of communication, to allow friends and family to see all “important” information that must be displayed. Why do we worry so much about new generations using technology, they grow up with it, they understand it. I worry about the parents who got it in the middle of their life and do not understand the power of it. My mom was looking at my facebook once, and all the sudden she started getting mad at me because one of my friends shared a half naked picture of some chick – this friend happened to be Victoria’s Secret, whom I happened to like their page, most of their pictures are of women in revealing clothes, but she did not understand this, she also did not understand how I can stand to see “naked” girls all over my facebook. The idea that I can scroll by something, without judging it seemed to confuse her, as well as all of her friends. We don’t need to teach digital citizenship, we need to integrate as additional learnings that happen but not because we have a single unit planned out to teach it.

Using the Saskatchewan Curriculum, in particular the health curriculum and because I will be teaching this during my internship.

Health curriculum

USC 1.3 (a,c,e,g,h); USC1.5 (c,h); USC2.1 (a, d-g); USC 2.4(a,b,e,g); USC 3.4 (a,c); USC 4.3 (a,b,c,k,l); USC 4.5(b,c,d,g,h); USC 5.4(d,e,f,h,i,k,l); USC 5.5 (b,d,e,f,i,k); USC 5.6 (a,b,c,d); USC 5.7 (c,d,e,i,j);  USC 6.1 (b,f,j,l); USC6.5 (a,b,c,d,f,h,i); USC 7.6 (a, b,e,d,g,l); USC 7.7 (a,c,d,f,h,i); USC 8.5(a,d,g,h,i); USC8.7(b,f); USC 9.1 (c,e); W4(b,c)

In every grade you can find a place for digital citizenship to fit, so there is no excuse to not include it in lessons. If we want our students to use technology for assignments, they need to know how to use it safely.

No shortcuts in baking with meringue

This post is a little late, one thing that I was not prepared for during this semester was being so busy, not with school but with all of the extra responsibilities that I seem to have piling up. My normal baking day is Saturday, but on June 11th I was preoccupied watch my cousin get married to his high school sweetheart, something that I decided was a higher priority. I did manage to bake on the 12th, but until today have not had time to make a post  until today.

Meringue is one of the simplest recipes  I have ever used, its egg whites and sugar maybe a few more ingredients but really its just egg whites and sugar. Sounds simple enough… right well it was not. Since I got home late on Sunday, I was trying to condense the time needed to make the meringue, the recipe for the meringue on Lemon Meringue tarts, which actually is a lemon meringue pie recipe, and meringue cookies was very similar. Me being the smart person that I am thought why not just take the egg whites that I need for both recipes, combine them, split the thickened mixture in half and add the remaining ingredients to their respective halves. This might have been one of my stupider ideas. Problem 1, they did not split anywhere near half which made the rest of my measurements whack. Problem 2, making meringue sucks, like a lot.

I started with making the lemon filling of the tarts (I cheated by already having a pre-made pie crust), which was really easy. The one weird part of this recipe is that once I had the lemon, butter and sugar mixture boiling, I was supposed to add a small amount of it to the whipped egg yolks, stir it, than add it back into the lemon, butter, sugar mixture. So I am not really sure what the point of the one step was, if someone knows a little clarification would be great.


IMG_1899This was added into the empty tart shells, which I fill 3/4ish of the way full, which actually looked a lot more like 100% full but apparently they were not.

To the top of the tarts I  added the meringue, which is where all the problems arose.

IMG_1904 Because of my super duper smart idea of making all the meringue at once backfired, and than I realized that we were out of eggs to make more… on a Sunday… in Craik… every store in town was closed… oops. So I had to improvise, which in this case meant getting my dad to help me. When I googled strategies how to fix this I FOUND NOTHING! How is it that no one else has never been in a situation that requires making meringue stiff… I feel like there has to be more than just me that is bad at following directions.

IMG_1895 My fantastic solution was to mix it until it got kinda stiff (which actually never happen, because it was more like whipped cream the stiff meringue) but I just went with it and piped it on the the tart.



IMG_1901I have gotten much better with the icing piping thing, but still struggle with having the stacked look.

IMG_1907 The lemon meringue tarts turned out fantastic, this might be my favorite thing I have baked this entire learning project.

The meringue cookies were literally icing sugar, a lot of icing sugar, and egg whites. Supposedly it should have whipped stiff, but these turned out even more runny than the other meringue. So while they tasted kind of OK, they did not look anything like what they were supposed to.




When information is a click away…why do we need teachers?

I grew up in between two generations. The generation older than me is expected to know very little about internet safety and how easy it is to access the questions that youth have. The generation younger than me does know everything about technology and how to access every single question they could possibly have using the internet. My generation is a mix, some of us know a lot about technology and how to use it and other know a limited amount. It is shocking for those that know me to know that I fall into the later category. I have never been able to decide if technology is something that I like or that I would rather not have. I know that I am dependent on using technology, that is just the reality we live in, but that does not mean I enjoy it.

You can google anything, but that does not mean what you find is reliable. You can find anything on the internet. Below are lots of myths that can be found,

While all of these sites prove that the myths are wrong, there are way more sites that actually provide “evidence” that these myths are true.

Being able to google the answers, being able to find anything on the internet DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. But it does make everyone think it is true.

Why do we have anti-vaccination ideologies because false information was published, and enough people believed it that we now have a problem.

I am from Craik, I can easily google Craik. When I google Craik I get multiple sites. The first is Wikipedia, which appears to be accurate until you look further into the information, the last time the website was updated was March 27th 2016, three days after the Eco-center burnt down, but there is no mention of this, or the fact that the Craik Weekly News has no existed for at least three years. The other information that can be found on Craik is from Urban Dictionary, which while slightly entertaining is not factual information.

6350077128_ac636b4be6      Brett Jordan via Compfight cc

On the internet we can find valuable information, but we can also find opinions, misconceptions, lies, myths, and ramblings of every person and their dog who has an computer.

I had one of my believe-everything-they-read-friends, tell me that I should not become a teacher because in a few years everything students need to know will be on the internet. The truth is that she is not wrong, I can teach an entire unit from the internet. Flipped classrooms utilize the internet to teach students, so they can practice skills in the classroom. This does not mean that the internet can teach students, it means that the teachers can teach MORE to the students.

Teachers have the added responsibilities to teaching students how to recognize false or unreliable information on the internet, and why not everything on the internet is true.

3 Pies+ 1 Kitchen+ 3 not great recipes= One stressed out Brooke

Alligator Pie, Alligator Pie

If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna die,

Take away the green grass, take away the sky,

but don’t take away my alligator pie.

I have always loved this poem, enough that I was able to type it purely from memory. Growing up it was always something that seemed so happy, which is something I really needed while I was trying to bake pies on the weekend.

I have started to notice something, even though I am always convinced that the recipe will not work out, it always seems to, or at least it does as I make adjustments based on how bad I am at following recipes.

I made three different pies; Apple Pie, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a crisp topping, and Banana Cream, all of these will have a homemade pie crust.

The making of the pies was not my worse experience baking, but I did learn one thing. The recipes I found online using all recipes were really off on their measurements. Eight apples was more like four, one pound of rhubarb really needed to be one cup, and one cup of strawberries instead of 2 pints. The recipes did not state how to cut the apples, rhubarb, or strawberries which made it a guessing game.

If someone happens to know of a good strategies for rolling out pie dough, I would love to hear them because my arms really hurt the next day.

I figured out a way to combine all of my segments into one large video; however, my sound is slightly off and I am not sure why. If anyone has any suggestions on video editing that would be great.