Under the Sea

Hello everyone! Welcome back or welcome to another blog post in my series of sugar cookies and royal icing. Last week I created crowns that were inspired by Walt Disney’s classic film Sleeping Beauty. This week is slightly similar in the sense of inspiration. If you read the title you may have already made an educated guess on this weeks theme, The Little Mermaid! If you are not familiar with the movie The Little Mermaid, the plot is based around a mermaid named Ariel making a deal with a wicked sea witch named Ursula. In the deal, Ursula makes Ariel human but takes away the power of Ariels voice so that she is no longer able to speak or sing. In the time that she is human (three days) Ariel must make Prince Eric fall in love with her. Now, I am not mermaid shaped cookies, or sea witches, but I am making something deeply inspired by the film and its setting: seashells!

Using the same sugar cookie recipe as my prior weeks, as well as using my trusted royal icing recipe, I felt as though I was set for success. Lately I have been feeling a little bit beat by my own learning project. Rather than my cookies and designs becoming progressively better, they were becoming all on the same level of satisfactory and I felt as though my improvements were becoming slim to none. This week I knew that I needed to step up my creations and have faith in each process. I worked slowly and thoroughly through each process, adding extra icing sugar to my royal icing batch to make it thicker and easier to lead, and then creating a new batch of icing and converting it to make it thick and non-flooding. If you read my learning project blog post from week three titled Welcome to Cloud 9 you may remember that I did a layer of flooded icing and then a thick layer of puffed icing. That is exactly what I wanted to do again this week with the slight change of using two colours instead of one, adding edible pearls, and using a more advanced design. The seashells have been my hardest design yet as they have more ridges, smaller crevices, and then a sharper shape at the bottom. I made sure that my icing would be extra thick for this batch and was ready to create my product.

First later of royal icing!

On Monday night I baked the cookies, let them sit in the refrigerator for an hour while I took my puppy Scarlett out for a walk, came back and cut the cookies, let them bake in the oven, went to another class as they cooled, and after class I added my base layer of icing. After my base layer was complete I left them it on a cookie case overnight to ensure they were completely hardened, and then added the ridges and the pearl to each individual cookie once I woke up in the morning. Once I completed the cookies and the ridges were hardened, I stood back and for the first week since week number three I was truly proud of my creation. This week I also created my first ever Instagram reel! I am proud with how it turned out and I hope all of you will give it a watch as well since I spent more time than I am willing to admit on it! I added music, different processes, and the final product in the reel, please let me know what you think of the reel in the comments below!

Instagram reel cover photo. If you want to watch the reel, I have it link where it is mentioned above and here as well: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMfQhlNBjIc/
Final product! Under The Sea sugar cookies!

Once again, I took the cookies to the staff at work and was greeted to some lovely comments written on the white board in the staff room about my cookies. I have found a new love for my learning project and I hope that that reflects in my final project for this week! For weekly updates on my learning projects, educational recommendations, and more follow my Twitter! I hope you all come back to read next weeks blog post, stay safe and healthy everyone!

Some comments left about my creations in the staff room at work!

Technology and Creative Thinking

Let us begin with a brief overview of YouTube and its large progression over the past sixteen years. YouTube is a video sharing platform that has gained popularity over the years and has become one of the most popular platforms on the internet. YouTube was first launched in the year 2005 and all began with a video titled ‘Me at the zoo‘ which lasts for a total of nineteen seconds and contains a man standing in front of a heard of elephants at the San Diego Zoo. Coming across a video title that actually has something to do with the content of a video nowadays is hard to come by especially since ‘clickbait’ has become a very common tool to get views and engagement on a video. YouTube has also created a platform for regular everyday people to create a name for themselves by uploading consistently on their own YouTube channels and gaining an audience based on their personalities and the creative ideas they come up with. When someone, such as myself, comes across a channel they enjoy they can subscribe to that person so that they are notified every time that channel uploads a new video. For example I am subscribed to a few channels and watch their videos every time they upload, and every time I watch a video they earn a view from me as well as Adsense from me watching the video and viewing the ads they have placed throughout. YouTube started as a platform to upload videos and turned into a website where users can earn thousands of dollars through brand sponsorships, AdScense, money per view, selling their own merchandise, and even creating their own brands, promoting it and then making money through this as well.

Now, when it comes to using YouTube as a tool within the classroom I find that it could be very useful as it holds great informative content that contains valuable information. Whether you are teaching or learning about anatomy, greek mythology, number theory, the history of Shakespeare, etc., there will always be content based on what you are searching for. As stated by Michael Wesch in the video An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube “9,232 hours of footage is uploaded everyday” meaning that all hours of footage are accessible to anyone who has access to YouTube, and this was statistics all the way back from the year 2008. Since then the footage per day being uploaded to the platform has changed to 720,000 hours a day which works out to 500 hours every minute. This is a lot of information to take in, but you may be wondering, how does YouTube as a whole effect teaching as well as the outcome of my future classroom?

As a future educator I see the benefits of bringing YouTube as a whole into my classroom, doing my research on the videos I present to my students, as well as make sure it will benefit the learning process for them as well. In Educational Technologies 300 we spoke about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to social media. However, as an educator I hope to teach the importance of being safe on the internet, not just on YouTube but on all forms of the internet that students may come across or feel as though they should make a public account. These forms include Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and whichever new forms of social media are released within the years I teach. Twenty years from now the world of social media and the concept of the internet will not be the same as they are today, but how it will differ is beyond me at this time. When I was in elementary school we had a box television on a cart that also had a CD and VHS player, this was as close as we had been to getting information in video format, but the teacher would have to watch through movies and tapes just to find information that would be valuable to us as learners. Now teachers are able to put a certain topic into the YouTube search engine and they are given dozens of results and informational videos based on the search, which in my opinion is a great advantage.

There will always be advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the internet. We, as future educators, need to be aware of the trends, social media platforms that are taking off, what the students we are teaching are interested in, and how their presence online is affecting them personally. As for schools in general, from Kindergarten to University, I personally feel like technology has had a very strong and positive roll. Throughout the time we have had so far within the pandemic technology has allowed for classes to continue, for community to be built, and for us to stay connected even when we are apart from one another. We meet through zoom, hand in our assignments through school websites or email, connect through Twitter and Slack, and write out our thoughts on blog posts. Without technology this would not be possible. It helps each and every one of us as future educators in understanding how the world of education can still progress and benefit with technology. Now that we have each dealt with the negatives of a pandemic we will be able to carry out learning and be more educated on how to implement different platforms into our classroom diligently and appropriately.

To complete this blog post, let us share our favourite YouTube channels, they can be educational or channels you prefer to watch on your spare time, and a brief description. Maybe we will be able to connect through shared favourites or even be treated to a new channel that we have never discovered before! I will begin: Emma Chamberlain (vlog style, fashion, cooking), Mia Maples (home renovations, hauls, trends), Good Mythical Morning (taste tests, reviews, games). Please leave your top channels below! Thank you all for reading!

Make It Pink! Make It Blue!

Hello everyone, welcome back or welcome to another blog post in the series of my royal icing and sugar cookie collection! We are getting closer to our final week of our learning projects everyday, and I am beginning to think about what I want my final project to be! Of course I want it to be my biggest and best piece of work out of all nine weeks, but this weeks outcome I have become quite proud and fond of. I have also found that through my weeks of creating and decorating cookies that my favourite part is sharing them with the people around me, and seeing their reactions to my creations. Sometimes I find myself disappointed in the final product, however, when I take them to staff members at work they always see the best in the final product and seem grateful, which in my opinion makes it worth the trial and error!

If you know who I am, you will know that I am a huge Disney fanatic and try to bring the magic of Disneyland into my everyday life. Whether this is playing the Disneyland esplanade music all day everyday in my apartment, watching vlogs of others enjoying Disney World or Disneyland on YouTube, or creating copy cat recipes of my favourite dishes served on park property, I always strive to bring a touch of magic into my life especially since a trip to the parks is a no-go at this time. This weeks sugar cookie creation was inspired by Auroras crown from the classic Disney film Sleeping Beauty. You may realize that I did not make the crown in its classic golden colour palette, rather I did a play on the famous quote “Make it pink! Make it blue!” by indeed, making it pink!

Aurora from Walt Disneys Sleeping Beauty. Photo credit: BraBrief on Fanpop.
The sprinkles I found at my local grocery store.

This week I would like to focus on the decorating process by saying I went back to my original royal icing recipe that uses icing sugar, an egg white, cream of tartar, and food colouring. This was one of the best decisions I have made over the past couple of weeks since it stayed on the cookie right where I had originally placed it, making it a huge success as I was dealing with runny icing the last few weeks. I also took a quick trip on my lunch break from work to my local, small town Co-op grocery store and found some new sprinkles that got me so excited to use the crown cookie cutter I purchased at the beginning of this learning project. The entire time I was baking these cookies I watched Disney World vlogs on Youtube, which really set the tone for good vibes and pixie dust floating through the air.

Once the cookies had been baked and cooled, I made a pearlescent pink shade of royal icing, put it into my trusty ziplock bag, cut the corner off of the bag, and began the decorating process! I began with creating edges with the icing so that my icing would not flood off of the cookies, put royal icing into the centre, flooded out the middle with a tooth pick, and then added five large sprinkles in differing colours and sizes onto the top of the crown. The large pink sprinkles that I placed onto the middle portion of the crowns were my absolute favourite and I am so happy that they added a jewelled effect to the crown. Once the royal icing completely dried after about an hour, I moved them onto a travel tray and then took them to work to share with the staff. Not only were they excited to see yet another tray of cookies, but working on Wednesdays have become their new favourite shift!

My completed crown cookies inspired by the Walt Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty.
Packed and ready to take to work! Happy to say that they loved them!

Thank you guys for joining me again for another week of my learning project! A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week. A word of caution though, they will both make you hungry!

Thank you for visiting my blog, see you all again next week for another creation! Want in on fun sneak peaks each week? Follow me on Twitter!

Sunshine, Springtime and Ice-Cream, oh my!

Hello reader, hello sunshine, hello warmer weather! I hope you are all thriving and have been taking in the beautiful weather over the past week as the sunshine and blue skies have come out to play. For my fellow bloggers that live in the Regina area, this means that opening day of Milky Way Ice-Cream will soon be arriving, and I cannot express how excited I am for a cookie dough twister. For those of you who have never been to Milky Way or even heard of the spectacular summer time ice-cream shop, then I am here to say if you ever get the chance to go, GO! With that being said, my learning project this week was highly inspired by all things sunshine, springtime, and ice-cream! Welcome to my learning project week number five!

If you have never visited my blog before, then you have never been introduced to my topic which is making sugar cookies in all kinds of shapes, as well as attempting to master the art of sugar cookie decorating with royal icing. Last week I worked with a new ingredient as well as a mermaid tail cookie cutter. If you are interested in reading about last weeks adventures, or even any before that, they are all listed under my EDTC 300, Learning Project tab or you can click right here for last weeks post specifically. Without further ado, let us begin this weeks decorating eleganza extravaganza!

A quote that I kept repeating this week during the royal icing process. It all works out in the end, you just have to keep moving forward!

This week I used the same sugar cookie recipe that I have used throughout week two to my present week of baking cookies, however, I decided once again to try a new royal icing recipe that I was directly linked to from my trusty cookie recipe. My cookie cutter of choice for this week was an ice-cream cone which helped me decide that I wanted the tops of the cookies to range in different pastel and spring colours. Skipping the baking process this week as it all went smoothly without any problem, I allowed for the cookies to cool and the decorating began. I am visiting my mom at the moment which means I had to pack all of my baking necessities, yet I still forgot the piping bags which means I had to get a little bit crafty and cut the corners off of ziplock sandwich bags. Once I followed the instructions and the recipe for the new royal icing I divided the mixture into four bowls. One quarter pink, another quarter blue, and the last two were split into a green/yellow and then a tan portion for the cone. I put the tan coloured icing into a ziplock bag to begin piping and could tell by the consistency that it was going to be too watery. This was slightly upsetting since I know which icing recipe works, yet I tried for a different one. I moved forward and added more icing sugar to the other three colours hoping to thicken it enough to stay on the cookie without having the icing flood off of the sides and onto the counter.

Once the icing dried with the sprinkles in tact, the icing was smooth and not overly hard.
All four colours of icing, plus both types of sprinkles I ended up using!

After the cone section of the cookie dried I went in with pastel blue icing, covered the top portion of the cookie, and then to make it a little bit more visually appealing I added sprinkles for added texture and colour. I repeated these steps with both pink and green/yellow icing, added two different kinds of sprinkles, and the final result was both cute and delicious. This batch of cookies was much larger than the batches I had recently created, so I ate one blue ice-cream cone, packed up the other thirty eight cookies, and drove down to my summer job and left them in the staff room so that others are able to enjoy my creations as well! I have decided to stick with my old royal icing recipe using cream of tar-tar and egg whites despite being so excited to use meringue powder due to the fact that it is thicker, and does not run off the sides of my cookies.

The cookies in their final stage, right before the icing was dry!

I hope that you all enjoyed reading about my learning project this week, as every week is like stepping into a new adventure and learning about new do’s and do not’s in the baking world. Go outside, enjoy the sunshine, get your favourite Starbucks drink and take the day head on everyday! Spring is here to play, and so am I, I hope you are too! I will see you all next week with another update. If you are wanting to read some extra content here is my first blog post based on my learning project, and here is my Twitter account! See you all again soon!

The completed look, ready to taken to my summer job and enjoyed by others!

Mermaids and Meringue

Welcome back or welcome to another week and another update on my learning project which consists of making sugar cookies and decorating the final product with royal icing! In my last learning project post Welcome to Cloud 9 I explained how I was waiting for my meringue powder to arrive so that I would be able to create a different recipe and consistency with my royal icing, while becoming impatient for my Amazon order I went to Bulk Barn and behold, they got meringue powder in! The adventure for my ingredient has officially come to an end and I have a feeling you are all as relieved as I was since you no longer have to hear about it (for now). This blog post will be a little bit different since I will not be explaining my learning project, rather you will be able to watch it here on YouTube and read about the video editor I used called Animoto!

Not only is there a blog post from me this week, but there are also two videos to go along with it (you only need to watch one as they both contain the same elements, just a different editing software was used for the videos). I first used iMovie to lay out my idea, incorporated my favourite non-copyright music, and had some fun with the project. If you wish to watch the iMovie version it is right here. However, I have been using iMovie to edit my YouTube videos for over a year now so I went on an adventure to find another video editing software that I had never used before, and that is when I found Animoto. I spent hours trying to figure out how to upload videos onto Animoto and finally resorted to looking up other videos on how to use the video editor, sounds ironic but it worked, a special thank you goes out to Sally from How to Create a Video with Animoto. After I finally figured out how to use the new editing software and explore the website as a whole. I compiled a personal list of the positives of using Animoto as a classroom tool and also how to get around in the quickest/easiest way.

When you first visit Animoto you will be greeted by different templates the software has previously created for its users. There is also an option to start with a blank canvas. I personally recommend using a template if you are a beginner.

First off, if you prefer to use videos rather than pictures when using Animoto, the easiest way to put them into the website is to download each video off of your phone or camera, then transfer them onto your desktop, then enter your desktop through Animoto, click the video you would like to use on your slides, and then enter them in. It is easier than it sounds and after you do it once you will be flying through the next videos you would like to upload. Now, if you are only interested in using photos it is much faster as you just download them straight onto your laptop, open Animoto, and then download them straight onto your slides. All of your photos and videos will be shown on the right hand side of your screen and you are able to drag each individual file onto your preferred slide. Once you have them all in the order you desire you can add text, a border, or even layer other images and videos onto the same slide. I did not personally attempt the layering strategy but it would just be as easy as dragging two individual files onto one slide once you have chosen the correct layout to do so.

Here is an example of a template Animoto provides for its users. Once you click on the template this is how it will be presented to you before you change and add your own details.
As you can see from this example of my own experience with Animoto, all of my pictures and videos I have personally uploaded onto the software are sitting on the right hand side of the screen.

Another tip I have for using Animoto for the first time is choosing a template that has already been created. There are dozens of outlines to choose from. The options range from different aesthetics, colours, topics, and you can even choose a blank canvas. After you have clicked on the slide you have full range of control when it comes to the videos/pictures used, colours pallets, text fonts, and borders. As stated earlier, you have full creative control when choosing a template, even though the outline is there to guide you and lay out different ideas for you, you are free to change the slides appearance and move around both the text and images. Once you have completed your project Animoto has a wide range of non-copyright music to chose from, all you have to do is click the song name on the left hand side of your screen in the music library to listen to it, if you like the song press the add button to add it on top of your video! Lastly, if you are wanting to upload the video to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or even email it to someone then click on the export option in the right hand corner of the screen and all of the options are open to you. Once you have clicked your preferred route of upload it will automatically upload within two to three minutes and you are all set. Your work even automatically saves for you so that you are able to visit it again later in your library!

Animoto provides you with non-copyright music of all genres and even moods. When creating my video I chose the mood happy, clicked the instrumental option, and then listened to snippets of the songs suggested to me until I found one I enjoyed. I ended up choosing Good Day Raggae Sun by Gor Mkhitarian.

When it comes down to applying the tool Animoto into the classroom, I would recommend it to both future and current educators as well as use it as a tool for myself. I defiantly see this version of editing software as an application for the teacher to use rather than the students. The reasoning behind this is Animoto is slightly difficult for students in elementary school to use. The uploading to different areas of both your computers documents and the slides provided by Animoto may be both challenging and frustrating especially for young children. I am in the elementary school program so this would not be a software I would allow my own students to use, but rather for the teachers to use on their own to bring something different and intriguing to their lessons. I find Animoto especially useful for the online classroom world as you would either be able to share your creation over zoom to your students or link it in an email to send to their parents. The layouts that Animoto provides would be beneficial when creating an informative based video on either an event or upcoming information within their school or classroom. Animotos can be altered to hold the information necessary and photos/videos you took yourself to bring a fun and informative video that both the student and parent would be interested in. Unless you are willing to pay for the professional version of Animoto, you will unfortunately be stuck with non-HD videos and a water mark in your bottom right hand corner. If these two negatives do not bother you, then feel free to give it a try both within your personal and educational lifestyles. This was not a big downside and can be overlooked by the user.

Thank you for reading this weeks learning project blog post, this post was created to inform you, the reader, of the editing software Animoto as well as some tips and tricks I learned along the way. If you are wanting to watch my own Animoto based on the topic of my confectionary creations, I will link it again here! Thank you all for visiting my blog and reading my post, I hope that you enjoyed it and I will write again next week with another update! Stay safe and healthy.

Here is week #4’s final project! If you wish to see more visit the video I have liked above!


Hello everyone and welcome back to another blog post, this week my post will be focusing on the popular social media networking app called Twitter. Twitter is well known for its celebrity usage and even connecting/replying to some of your favourite celebrities. However, that is not the focus of todays post, rather we will be exploring the ideas and ways that Twitter as a platform can be beneficial to education students/teachers/and used as a professional tool!

At the beginning of January 2021 I began an Educational Technologies course through my university as part of my journey to becoming an elementary school teacher. Before taking this course I did not have a Twitter account, I knew about the app and how it worked but I did not find myself in need to create an account myself. Ed Tech however had us create our own accounts to help us stay connected and see the importance of surrounding ourselves with others in class, especially in a time where the closest we get to having a real conversation is through zoom once a week. Through my account I have learned how to connect with fellow peers, participated in a #SaskEdChat, posted my own tweets/links, responded to others within my class, and post links to each of my blog posts!

One of my absolute favourite parts about using Twitter is posting articles that I find. I find educational articles based on elementary education, mental health, ways to use technology in the classroom, and other education tips and tricks that I would be happy to incorporate into my own classroom in the future. Most of the resources that I share I wish my teachers would have used in the classroom to benefit us as students. Once I tweet the links to the articles with the hashtag #EDTC300 other students in the same class, along with the professors, are able to not only read the articles but also reply to my tweets with their personal opinions on the topics and how they feel towards using the shared strategies as well. In about a year (hopefully) I will be working in an elementary school and I am looking forward to using my Twitter account to connect with other teachers both in Saskatchewan and Canada as it will be beneficial to see their classroom adventures and preferred techniques.

Last week I took part in a #SaskEdChat on Twitter, viewing the participation in a professional developmental experience I feel as though it benefitted me widely. After being able to reflect on the experience I found myself thinking hard about the answers to my questions, while also having fun and putting honesty behind my answers as well. Not only students from my course took part, but teachers and students from other classes took part. This was useful to me as I was able to see answers from all walks of life and all levels of professionalism. Each tweet sent into the #SaskEdChat was eye opening and allowed me to expand my own answers and even “heart” tweets that I wanted to look back on later. I highly enjoyed it and plan on joining again next week as a new topic is introduced and explored in depth.

I hope that you all enjoyed today blog post, and I hope to see you all back again to read my next one! Stay warm out there, spring is coming!

My own Twitter feed, my handle is @Sydney_kawa and is always linked in my posts!

Welcome to Cloud 9

Hello everyone and welcome back (or to) my weekly learning project. This week is very exciting as I decided to try something new when it comes to decorating sugar cookies, which is double layering! This means thats I used the usual flooding method when it comes to frosting each cookie, but after it hardened I added a second layer that appears three dimensional compared to the first layer of flooding. The disappointment of the week is that my meringue powder has not arrived in the mail yet, but that set back has just allowed me to use both the same cookie recipe and royal icing recipe as usual. Without the introduction of any new recipes I was able to incorporate my own ideas to further my designs when it comes to presentation. The presentation I find it the most important aspect to myself personally, and is the most rewarding part.

This week I decided to use the cloud cookie cutter since it has more curves that move inward and outward than either of previous cutters (circle and cacti). This week rather than mixing, rolling, and putting the dough into the fridge for one to two hours, I left in the dough in the fridge for forty eight hours to see if it would help the shape of the cookie as well as the flavour from sitting and becoming harder/chilled thoroughly. With that being said, after the dough chilled for an extended period of time I cut the cookies and they were more fragile than usual. It is safe to say that you live and you learn, but as soon as my fingers hit the dough it began to warm resulting in it becoming soft and easier to remove from the cutter.

Using my cloud cookie cutter for the first time. I love the Toy Story vibes they give off!
Blue icing! One drop of teal food colouring goes a long way.

While the cookies were baking in the oven I whipped up my royal icing (same recipe as my first two attempts) and coloured the icing blue! I was originally going to go with white and add edible glitter but edible glitter is harder to find than one may think! Safe to say another order has been placed on Amazon. So, I went with a beautiful blue colour and the idea to double layer my cookies came into my mind (so not finding glitter worked in my favour). I added the first layer of royal icing to my clouds using the flooding technique and allowed the icing to dry. With the left over icing in the bowl I added an extra cup and a half of powered sugar making it extra thick and controllable and put it into the piping bag and hoped for the best!

Dried, flooded clouds.

My first two cookies were not coming out well for me. I did not cut the hole in the piping bag big enough resulting in the icing coming out stringy and not in the pattern that I was leading the bag in. I decided to cut the bag slightly bigger, but it was the same story. However, third time was the charm and success was mine! At least I had hoped so since my wrists were getting sore from squeezing the piping bag and keeping it steady at the same time. Once I completed my second layer of icing to create dynamic on the clouds, I was happy with five of the designs.

Week three was a creative and fun experience for me and I highly enjoyed the creative process it allowed. Even though there were no new recipes or ingredients, I felt confident within the finalized design and would love to add texture and edible glitter in one of my remaining six weeks! Not only are the cookies delicious but a little bit cute too!

Week three cloud sugar cookie, final product.
Cloud close up! Yum!

Next week I have a goal to try to do a two toned cookie along with trying to section off different portions on the cookie. If this does not make sense to you, make sure to come back next week to get the full run down! If you want to see sneak peaks of my weekly learning project be sure to follow me on Twitter! If you have not read week one or week two yet I highly suggest you do so, and I would appreciate it very much! I will see you all next week with another new blog post! Thank you for reading, stay warm and take care of your car batteries (hehe)!

Feedly and Blog Appreciation

I have had this blog since my first semester of University back in September of 2018, so if you take a look around my site you will be able to see how I have grown both as a student and future educator. However, I never truly realized how many blogs were being contributed to every week with followers who were invested in the information and resources that the creator had to share. Not only are blog creators sharing useful resources, models, ideas, integrations, etc., but they are also sharing the positives and negatives that go along with each one. For example, if a blog is sharing a link with you based on a professional site that speaks about classroom management, the creator of the blog can recommend that specific website to you and then educate the reader on how it personally worked for them and their classroom. I find this intriguing and informative as the reader is able to benefit from both a resource and personal experience.

Over the past several days I have been exploring Feedly and finding educational blogs that would best support me in my future classroom while also benefiting me as a student. It took me some pondering and google searches to truly understand how to find blogs that would pertain to me, as a simple search of ‘Elementary Education’ and ‘Educational Technologies’ was not going to cut it. Once I began to become successful with my search and appropriate topics arose I found myself reading off of several blogs a day, officially narrowing it down to my preferred topics and creators. I chose this content based on which blogs would personally benefit me in the long run, allow me to grow and learn with each post, and incorporate strategies that I want to add into my own classroom. I also found it important to focus on not only the blogs information but also its relevancy, followers, the number of posts per month, and just how active they are with updating resources and answering comments under their posts. Within Feedly I have created two categories.

A screenshot of my two separate categories along with the blogs I have followed in their proper places!

First I have the Elementary Education category that has three blogs listed beneath it: Ashleighs Education Journey (teaching resources, active account, multiple posts a month, a good following, math/social distancing resources), Elementary Matters (research based models, ideas, resources, active account, classroom management, focuses on grades 1-3), and The Inclusive Class (strategies, teaching students with disabilities, inclusion, active account). Each of these accounts carry knowledge and instruction that can be implemented into both my present and future. The other category I found most suitable to create is the Ed Tech category which also displays three enriching blogs: iLearn Technology (integrating technology into the classroom, benefits of using technology/online resources, active account with a very high following, all grade levels included), Edutopia (resources for teachers, students, administrators, parents, etc., project based learning, successful practices, enables connection between educators), and Cult of Pedagogy (theory and thinking as educators, classroom management, teaching practices, multiple resources: videos, podcast, store, blog, etc).

Focusing on iLearn Technology in particular, I have decided to follow this blog for a series of reasons. Like I mentioned previously iLearn Technology has many benefits such as incorporating and support information/resources for all grade levels from elementary education all the way to secondary education. So, not only is this blog supporting me at this particular moment in time as a student, but it also supports me once I have achieved my goal to become an elementary educator. How notable is iLearn Technology that I am able use it as a student and then pass it on to my own very young students within only a matter of a year and a half! The sources that iLearn Technology holds is relevant (especially during the global pandemic) as it supports educators with proper resources to allow for suitable and beneficial interactions with students both inside and out of the classroom. Which is very important both now and in ten years, as connection benefits our ability to learn and grow at a high rate.

Uncovering the Recipe for Success

Hello everybody and welcome back to my second week of learning how to bake delicious sugar cookies and decorate with royal icing! Earlier this week before I began the mixing, cutting, baking, and decorating process for this weeks project, I ran a poll on Twitter and asked all of you which design you would like to see for this week. For week one I used a simple circle cookie cutter, this week I still wanted to keep it simple but add a cookie cutter with a more diverse pattern. The cookie cutter options that I incorporated in the poll were of the following shapes: a cloud, cacti, and a mermaids tail. With sixty four percent of the vote, cacti won!

If you read my post from week one, Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing, you may remember that the recipe I used ended in failure. The cookies did have one positive as they kept their assigned shape, but when tasting the cookies the positive outlook went out the window and I was left with forty unpleasant baked dough disks. The cookies reminded me of an old baking soda flavour, almost as though the dough was stale even after using all fresh ingredients. This week my main objective was to find a recipe that not only tasted amazing but also kept its shape, was easy to roll out, and had a smooth consistency. After a quick text conversation with my mom about the sugar cookie recipe failure, she sent me a link to a sugar cookie recipe titled The Best Sugar Cookies that one of her coworkers had previously used, and I am happy to announce that it was a victory!

Throughout this weeks process I had a helper in the kitchen.

I began the process with setting out all of my ingredients and then in two separate bowls I combined the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. I followed the recipe as precisely as possible as I wanted the finished product to not only look pretty but also be edible this time around. Once the ingredients were combined into one large bowl, I kneaded the dough into a smooth ball and then divided the dough into two halves.

All the dry ingredients whisked together (flour, baking soda, salt, sugar).
All of the wet ingredients mixed on high for two minutes to be light and fluffy (butter, vanilla, egg whites)!

Once the dough was halved I placed each portion onto a piece of parchment paper, rolled it out to be around a quarter inch thick, moved the dough onto two baking sheets, and placed both trays into the fridge for two hours. I am also happy to report that this week I purchased a real rolling pin so I no longer needed to roll my dough with an empty bath and body works candle. During the time frame that the cookies were chilling in the fridge I reread the recipe over six times just to ensure that I had not made a mistake (and I also went to the gym hoping that the cookies would turn out and I could eat several of them that evening).

Both halves before going into the fridge for two hours to be chilled. Rolled and prepped to be cut!

Once the dough was completely chilled I took out the trays and began to cut the dough sheets into cacti shapes. Once complete I moved each individual cookie onto another baking sheet and placed them into the oven at 425 degrees for eleven minutes. As they baked I used the same recipe as last week for the royal icing as I know that it works well. I have ordered meringue powder off of amazon (so that I am able to try another royal icing recipe and method in the upcoming weeks) since Bulk Barn, Walmart, and the Co-op grocery store do not carry it due to Covid-19 and the products manufacturer. I added in a couple drops of lime green food colouring and one drop of teal food colouring to the icing mixture to make a smooth and vibrant green. The eleven minute timer came to an end, I pulled the baking sheet out of the oven, and transferred them onto a cooling rack for twenty minutes.

To end off my second week of my sugar cookie and royal icing learning project, I got to finally complete my favourite part of the whole process which is decorating each cookie. I decided to decorate nine cookies again this week, scooping the icing into piping bags and dispersing the mixture onto the cactus cookies. Once the base portion of the icing was dried I went in with another layer of icing to add lines for texture, or on other cookies I applied some magenta coloured icing to create flowers. Once again I allowed them to dry and am happy to annouce that I was thrilled with the taste and texture of both the cookie itself and the icing, as well as the way the icing dried on top of the cookie.

Week two final product!

Next week I will be using the same sugar cookie recipe, but a new cookie cutter will be introduced as well as a new royal icing recipe! If you would like to participate in the choosing of next weeks cookie cutter you can follow me on Twitter! I will see you all back here next week with another learning project update! Thank you for reading!

EDTC 300 Self Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to, or back to my blog! My name is Sydney Kawa and on this platform you can expect to see weekly updates on my weekly learning project alongside professional posts I have created during my journey to becoming an elementary school teacher. I am currently in my third year second semester of the elementary education program, and am taking many classes including EDTC 300 (Introduction to Educational Technologies and Media).

When it comes to educational technology I can honestly say that I do not have a diverse understanding or great knowledge on the subject. In fact, this is my first time creating a Twitter account that allows me to be surrounded by other educators and education students and see in real time what is happening in the education world within Saskatchewan and Canada as a whole. I have never followed news sources that automatically connect me to new information in Saskatchewan’s education system and was not able to see what others, who are enrolled in the same program as myself, have been encountering/encouraging. I feel like EDTC 300, as a class, is bringing me closer to my peers as well as real life events that take place within a very important field of my own life.

This is my third year blogging, if you dig deep (or simply click on the menus I have created at the top of my blog) you will be able to see posts that I made back in my first year, first semester of University! I truly enjoy the process and am working on making my blog space more enjoyable to look at aesthetically and am still learning new ways to create an organized space where others can come and learn about who I am and the projects I am currently working on. Along with enjoying the blog process itself I also find it very intriguing to read about my peers who are also taking EDTC 300 at the moment as well. Since we are not all sitting in a class together at this moment in time, due to the global pandemic, I find reading others blog posts bring me closer to knowing them and learning about who they are along with their interests and skills. Along with research I have completed on my own to further enrich myself I have found many sources including 20 Tools for Online Teaching which I personally found interesting and of appropriate use during this time.

An online source that I came across upon further research.

I hope that you all enjoy my weekly blog posts and are able to learn about me, as well as come along on my journey of learning how to perfect both sugar cookies and decorating with royal icing! It is so nice to meet you all and be part of our own blog community, I cannot wait to read about you all as well!

A photo of me so you can put a face to the blog! Hello everyone!