Welcome back to my blog for my wrap up post for my learning project. I hope that you all enjoyed following along week after week during my sugar cookie decorating process. From the first week of my learning project, to my very last I have felt so accomplished and pleased with what I have learned throughout the past ten weeks. I remember being introduced to the idea of our learning projects back in January and I never thought I would have come so far in such a short amount of time. The journey from week one where I created circular sugar cookies with polka dots and hearts that tasted absolutely awful, to creating buttery smooth unicorn sugar cookies showcases the skills and confidence I have gained. With the assistance of online resources, posting my own content on different platforms, and trial and error I have made it to the end with some pretty magical sugar cookie designs!
Reflecting on my Learning Project:
Week One: Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing
This week I outlined my plan for how I was going to complete my learning project week by week, as well as my inspiration for why I chose to learn royal icing cookie decorating in particular. Alongside with that information I broke down the steps and strategies I used to complete my first batch of cookies and my lack of proper tools. I also took my time to explore different online platforms for advice on how to make the best batch of dough. My first creation was a circle. The resources I used during week one were:
Week Two: Uncovering the Recipe for Success
During week two I ran on poll on Twitter to help me decide which cookie design I should dive into next, the winning results was a cacti shape. I reached out to one of my moms co-workers for her sugar cookie recipe as my recipe from week one was not edible. During this week I attempted to create texture with my royal icing. I also tried chilling my dough in the fridge before cutting it with the cookie cutter for the first time, which aided in the shape of the cookies staying firm while baking. The resources I used during week two were:
Week Three: Welcome to Cloud 9
On my third week of our learning project posts I continued along with the same royal icing and sugar cookie recipes that I used the week prior as it turned out the way I wanted and I was satisfied with the final project. However, I tried to make a thicker version of the icing recipe to create swirls on my cloud cookies but it did not turn out. It was also the only time within my learning journey that I used two tones of icing. My third creation was blue fluffy clouds. The resources I used during week three were:
Week Four: Mermaids and Meringue
Week number four was one of my least favourite weeks (alongside week eight) because of the final outcome. It did have a positive though as I got to try out a new creative online resource called Animoto. I outlined the steps and my personal thoughts on the editing application with support from screenshots during my time on the website. I uploaded my first video (of many) throughout this learning project onto YouTube, as well as another version of the video created with a different editing software, iMovie. It was also my first time ever using meringue powder, and my creations were mermaid tails! The resources I used during week four were:
Week Five: Sunshine, Springtime, and Ice-Cream, oh my!
Moving on to week number five, this was the first week I took my sugar cookies to work and was able to share them with others around me. My creation this week were ice-cream cones and I used four colours which is a much larger amount than my previous weeks. I was not staying at my own apartment during this time so I used ziplock bags instead of piping bags to flood the icing and tried a new royal icing recipe to broaden my horizon. I had a slight issue with the icing but I pulled through in the end using my own tricks to fix the situation. The resources I used during week five were:
Week Six: Make It Pink! Make It Blue!
On week six I went back to the royal icing recipe I had been using from weeks one to four. This was also the first week I began incorporating aspects of Disney into my learning projects which I think allowed me to be more creative and devoted to my decorating process, resulting in the creation of Sleeping Beauty’s crown. I added large pearl sprinkles for the first time as well as added links to other students blogs for the first time as recommended during my evaluation/check in! The resources I used during week six were:
Week Seven: Under the Sea
Week seven is where I carried through with the Disney theme, this time through seashells. I added more dimension to my posts through creating an Instagram reel which I learned how to create through both YouTube videos and articles on the subject. These creations ended up being my favourites up to this point and it was the first time I felt proud of my learning project as I knew I could continue pushing myself. The resources I used during week seven were:
Week Eight: Flower Power
On week number eight I was still feeling excited from my previous creation. I found an inspiration photo on Pinterest to help guide my way for this week, the goal to was make flower shaped sugar cookies. I ran my first poll using my blog itself by asking my readers what they thought my week nine sugar cookies were going to be. This week I made the most batches of icing throughout all ten weeks due to the fact that I needed different textures and thickness, I used a recipe off of TikTok to help me with the process. I also discovered a YouTube video to help guide my flooding and decorating technique. The resources I used on week eight were:
Week Nine: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I went into week nine thinking this would be my final learning project post, however I had more tricks up my sleeve. This week I used five separate colours of icing and used my most difficult cookie cutter (so far), a rainbow. I created a video that included the whole process on my YouTube channel that I edited using iMovie. I also used Twitter once again to create a poll, and managed to create my own version of a royal icing recipe that flooded perfectly without any bleeding of my pastel colours. For inspiration I dived head first into the cookie decorating TikTok world. The resources I used on week nine were:
Week Ten: Something Magical
On my final week of my learning project I decided to create unicorn heads. For the first time I used pearl dust in my icing to add a pearlescent/glittery finish to my cookies, plus tried a layering technique while decorating. I found my inspiration off of Pinterest, purchased my first decorating pen, and made my first TikTok. My last post for my learning project was full of firsts. I also uploaded two vlogs with the full process (including buying ingredients at the store) on my YouTube channel that I edited with iMovie. The resources I used on week ten were:
My Online Learning Experience:
Like I have said before, what a perfect time to be taking a class that focuses on educational technology and how to use technology to the best of our advantage. At this time, in a global pandemic, we are being connected through technology now more than ever and are expected to be able to use it for all things education. We are taking EdTech 300 through zoom after all! From the comfort of my own apartment I am able to learn how to use the internet to the best of my ability whilst also learning how to educated my future students properly and safely.
Throughout my learning project I learned a lot about myself and what I expect from myself week after week, I hold my standards and personal goals very high. Every week I received amazing feedback from my fellow students that made me feel good about my creations, and I found that engagement helped me feel more connected to them. I also enjoyed the independence aspect of the learning project to keep me motivated. I could only rely on myself and I was in full control of where I wanted to take my project every week whether I needed to slow down or look for more resources. I was able to depend solely on myself for it all.
Before I began my learning project I was not sure if ten weeks would be enough time for me to catch on to where I wanted to be in terms of royal icing decorating. I definitely reached some peaks and valleys, and landed myself on a grand peak on week ten. I am very proud of the progress I made, and definitely feel confident in my achievements. Ten weeks was enough time for me to see a large change in my skills, and I would not have pushed myself to learn these techniques without this learning project being introduced.
What I Am Going to Do With My New Learned Skills:
Throughout my learning project I shared my blog posts to my Twitter account where I received great feedback from my peers. Some of my fellow students have asked me whether or not I was going to sell my sugar cookies after I conclude my learning project or not. At this time I do not think it is something I will be able to do often. Although I have been asked to create sugar cookies for a baby shower as well as a young boys birthday party in the upcoming months, which I could not say no to! I want to continue to implement my new found hobby into my life moving forward. Creating and decorating is a passion of mine and helps fuel my inner motivational source. If I create I am able to propel myself forward in other aspects of my life as well.
I also do not want to loose the skills I have worked on so hard over the past four months. They say after twenty one days of doing something it becomes a habit, and looking for new techniques and ideas for sugar cookies has defiantly become a habit of mine. This learning project has also taught me the benefits of having patience and working through unforeseen circumstances which will aid me in my teaching career. By being able to take a deep breath and brainstorm different ways to approach an issue is a great skill to have, especially when working with young students who will need you to support them and aid in their problems.
When scrolling through my learning project from week one to week ten I cannot help but be proud of the progress I see, as well as know that I dedicated time to bettering myself both within and outside of my learning project.