Here is a little edible delight for all you Keto followers out there. The idea to do a fruit pizza came from a post shared on Twitter from a fellow classmate….if you are reading this please let me know who you are….I did not tag the post…..:( My partner follows the Keto diet with me tagging along when the urge strikes. I am not very good at any kind of restriction, but I try to do the best I can to support him. I have busy making fruity arrangements over the past few weeks while he observes. I figured this week I would broaden my audience a bit with a Keto dessert that he could actually eat! This weeks dessert was not leaving to a new destination, it was staying home to be devoured!
The Keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet where fruit is for the most part restricted. The exception to this is a small amount of berries, because they are lower in sugar content. I came across a tasty recipe from one of my favorite Keto sites: All Day I dream About Food. I have used multiple recipes from this site and feel with a name like that we must be kindred spirits.
This Fruit Pizza turned out amazing and was enjoyed by everyone, not just Dan. Next, week back to more edible arrangments to say thank you to essential workers! This one involves baking, ice cream cones, and carved strawberries! Stay tuned. 🙂
“Dessert is a necessity of life.” ― Adrienne Posey
I have been thinking and reflecting about the assigned blog post this week. I am a stickler for projected deadlines and here I am 2 days later sitting down to write. I have sat at this computer on multiple occasions to write this week and stared at the blank white screen, expression through written word is a love of mine. The irony of this was not lost. My unwritten silence was deafening and frustrating, especially with what is happening around us and the gross mistreatment of POC, specifically George Floyd.
This morning I participated in an inspiring chat on Twitter called #CrazyPLN. The topic was “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable! Holding Thoughtful Connections, Educating Hearts.” I realized that it was OK for me to not have all the answers right now…I just need speak out, not be silent, to be honest and transparent with the right intentions. This personal statement reiterated that if I believe this personally, then I must take action and model it professionally, drawing from the support of my PLN on social media.
The question posed this week: “Do teachers have a responsibility to model active citizenship and anti-oppressive education in digital spaces?” The answer seems simple – yes. But why? This is what had me needing to take time and reflect upon. I want to make sure I am educated about what it is I am making a statement about. Choose my words wisely and authentically. Silence is not an option, but ignorance can be hurtful, intentional or not. While reading the article recently posted in the education post I read this statement: “We must commit to teaching in a way that totally disrupts and dismantles the system of oppression we have been operating within for over 400 years.” I needed to take time to reflect on my own personal bias and what I can do as an educator and an individual to be aware of those culturally engrained bias’. I need to acknowledge that I am part of the system and by not speaking out I am silently agreeing with the side of the suppressor. How could I teach, respect, support, empathy and love for my students and not stand up for their rights? Social justice is not only about equality but EQUITY (link provides image), it is about compassion and empathy, it is about caring for others more than I care about my myself, it is about acknowledging my place of privilege and a systematic injustice and using my voice to speak for those who are unheard, it is modelling the behaviour I want to see and expect from my student’s, it is about taking a stand and shedding light on the social injustices that continue to suppress POC.
During my years as an education student, we have continually been advised to be careful and rethink social media accounts, to the point where I felt I should delete any social media I was a part of. I now realize that access to technology is a privilege in itself. Rather than be scared of what may happen if I post or say the wrong thing, I need to be proactive in ensuring I am using those platforms in a professional manner. If I live in fear of saying the wrong thing or making someone uncomfortable, I will never be able to be a part of the change the world needs. If I do say something that after being enlightened I regret, it is more important to model the power of an apology and that it is ok to be wrong, as long as you take the steps forward to right those wrongs. This is why I have decided to not be scared to speak out and speak up about the uncomfortable topics, including racism, anti-racism, social injustices. I will do this by first educating myself and creating opportunities for the hard conversations in and out of classroom with students and well as parents, learning and unlearning through listening to people that are mistreated, underpaid, underrepresented, by reading and sharing resources, ensuring I am representing POC, admitting my place of ignorance, understanding that ignorance is bliss only when you have the privilege to look the other way, and support those being oppressed by posting on social media modeling a need for change and backing up what I teach by putting my words into action both off and online. This models the digital literacy our students need living in an online/post-truth world.
I would like to share a Facebook post from my cousins wife that resonated deeply with me, and gave me the courage to write this post. Her name is Michele Charles Gustafson:
AFTER THE BLACK SQUARE: It’s time for more. Go beyond posting a square without really knowing what it means or saying “I don’t see color”.
DO MORE: See that all of this does apply to you – town, country, city, rural, Canada, the US, and beyond. If you’re living, it applies to you.
DO MORE:Stop a friend who tells a racist joke about any minority. Halt a conversation that diminishes any difference. Commit to learning the reason for the pain of the one who’s had enough instead of looking at the behavior that comes from the anger. There are stories you don’t know (…). There is traumatic pain you not comprehending (…). This kind of “doing more” is the work inside the heart and the spot for the real change if that’s really your aim.I won’t pretend, Folks. I’m exhausted from dredged up pangs & pains, of slights, looks, comments, assumptions, expectations and judgements all a part of life as a person of color. This last week made me replay every last one I’ve experienced over my 42 years. (You know the feeling of grief after a death? Yes, like that.) Exhausting. It’s not an equal life. I need you to know that – no matter where we live, what smile we put on at the time you see us, or if we’re seen as “one of the good ones”. It’s not equal. And it’s exhausting. If you can’t see your way certain to “DO MORE”, or if what I’m sharing with you makes you uncomfortable in any way, that’s a signal to explore why. There’s more to your story in all of this. Bias is subtle, silent, and in you. In some cases, it even looks like thinking it’s not a part of your reality. It is. Look deeper. Explore it. That’s where lasting change starts – in the heart. ~MCG
In last week’s post I experimented with making a video clip using an app called iMovie. I found it easy to navigate in terms of creating a simple video clip from a single video. This week I wanted to further enhance my skills in creating videos to document my learning process. After asking for suggestions from my peers in our Slack community I decided to try a recommendation from Tracey called InShot. I had not heard of this app before and was curious to see how it compared to iMovie. InShot not only offers the creation of videos, but picture editing and photo collage options. I hope to take more time to explore these options in the future. I currently use PicCollage for photos, but like the idea of having 1 app that suits multiple purposes. The images below show some of FREE options this app offers. Text color, font, music, stickers, tools, layouts, filters, effects….many free monetarily. Some require a little of your time in terms of watching ads to acquire that sticker you had your eye on. Add-ons such as add and watermark removers, and specialty stickers, filters, music and other options are available for purchase, but not necessary to complete basic projects.
With this app I was able to choose multiple short videos and upload them as one video file and splice and edit from there. The screen displayed easy access to editing options such as splicing, adding music or text, deleting unwanted segments, changing the speed or volume of the video segments as well as recording your voice to accompany the video with explanations or narrations. I decided to add text and music to the video I created this time and found it really added depth to the overall product. I will continue to use InShot for videos and collages as it serves multiple purposes.
Some examples of my video making process.
Last week I bought a bag of granny smith apples….my favorite! I just happen to love them with caramel sauce. I have never made caramel sauce from scratch and decided this would be my learning goal for this week. however, I wanted to find a way to incorporate the sticky treat into my fruit arrangement theme. My first thought was to make caramel apples, but i also wanted to scaffold on my chocolatiering from last week. While scouring the internet for recipes, one of my favorite pastimes, I came across a delicious idea….Caramel Apple Nachos! I found a couple recipes and a couple YouTube videos I liked and took tips from each. There was one particular blog site that I came across and favored called All Things Mamma. She supplied a detailed recipe with ideas for additional toppings as well as a printable version of the recipe and a video to watch. Sort of like a one stop shop! The one thing it did not supply was a homemade caramel sauce as she used a sundae topping, but I was able to find a simple recipe that turned out amazing. Hope you enjoy my process journey collage and video compliments of InShot as much as the Parkland Co-Op Admin staff loved their thank- you treat.
I also tried out the app Canva this week, but was set on a video. Truth be told I am quite fond of the videos for showing the process of cooking and arranging. Canva does offer some unique options for recipe cards that I want to explore to make my boys family recipe books.
Any suggestions on video apps to try out or suggestions for an edible arrangement you have send them my way and I will try and check them out. Thank you for joining me on this pretty cool techy meets kitchen project 🙂
In our discussion in class last Thursday, we talked about what technology is, how it has changed, and how it has shaped the world we live in today. The quote “Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born” – Alan Kay used in the presentation class, Digital Lives, had me reflecting on my introduction to internet around the age of 15/16 and how it opened up access to people beyond the tiny village and surrounding area that I lived in. Children today are born into a digital world on a much larger scale. It was interesting to reflect on idea that children today are born with a digital footprint! I have heard the saying that children are born with devices in their hands. Today’s generation has access to the world at their fingertips, something that was unimaginable in my childhood. A digital life is an everyday part of their culture. It is sometimes hard for me to understand the need to be so connected on this level at this stage in my life. However, I do understand the need to embrace the world we live in and all it has to offer, and enjoy the luxuries that technology has allowed me to access: unlimited access to information, connecting with family and friends who are living in different communities, the ability to learn about differing cultures and perspectives beyond the view of the people who wrote the required textbook, the opportunity to see the world regardless of finances, the ability to have a voice……this is where the concept of participatory culture comes into play. I had not heard of this term previous to this class.
I was able gain a further insight while watching the video An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube by Michael Wesch. The idea that as a culture we do not just enjoy, we participate. YouTube has created an environment where memes and imitations are created and recreated by everyday people and uploaded for the world to view, I also see this in today’s youth with the Tiktok phenomenon. These platforms provide an environment where new forms of expression can be celebrated, provide a sense of community, allow for global connections and empower individuality, all through the process of “connecting the dots.” It is mind-blowing that a culture has been created through staring into a “dot” or lens as a way to communicate. In reality, talking to or expressing ourselves to an unknown audience…..my thoughts previously were that it was silly but I understand that I need to be aware that this is how our younger generation is choosing to connect and build relationships. Now that I have broadened my social presence in the digital world via Twitter and blogging, I can relate on a new level the importance of connecting with like minded people in a participatory way through social media. It is a matter of individual needs and perspective and the idea of “networked individualism.”
An idea for the classroom: In art class, my pre-internship teacher asked the students to create or reinvent some form of art that included dance or theatre. Students signed up for when they wanted to perform their chosen piece. This could be done alone, in partners or a group. It was an “EU” assignment and not mandatory. Students were also asked to share where they came up with the idea. I was able to see a dance performance imitating a music video as well as a dance performance that was learned at dance class. I can see how a Tiktok imitation may end up on the list of performances now that I have taken some time to “lurk”.
Back to the beginning of my blog……”What do you see in the picture?” Do you see a bunch of dots, colors, a pattern perhaps? Maybe when you look a little longer you can connect the dots to form an image. I think it is OK to realize that social media and YouTube and other alike platforms may not be for everyone and not everyone is going to express themselves in the same way. To take that even further, we are not all going to have the same thoughts or takeaways on the idea of whether participatory culture is positive or negative. Each of us, as well as each of our students, are going to participate in a way that is meaningful to us. Will there be challenges around oversharing, authenticity, social comparison?….of course, but there will also be a freedom of expression, tools to create lifelong learners, and connections between strangers that the likes of “Gangham style“, “Numa Numa”, and random “flossing” breakouts imitating the game Fortnite have created space to provide a sense of belonging in participating.
In a sometimes unforgiving world, a place, as Michael Wesch describes, to escape from trauma, be silly, spread joy, and to celebrate the new and un-impossible. The importance is not what platform our students and youth are choosing to use to connect and build relationships with, it is that we are aware of how they are using those platforms as parents and educators. We need to educate on authenticity, empathy, digital citizenship, critical thinking, and how our digital footprints can follow us in either a negative or a positive way? It is up to them to take all the information they have and connect the dots to build a digital community that is meaningful to them.
Welcome back to my edible arrangements creation journey. I decided to continue developing my skills with fruit art by making chocolate covered strawberries. I must say that my biggest takeaway here is that the art of melting, or tempering, chocolate is a science! This YouTube video by The Sugar Geek Show (below) provides an easy to understand video explaining the process of the breaking down of crystalline structures by agitating using LEGO. (her blog site is a must check out for baking enthusiasts) This would be a great relatable resource to show students! I like to challenge myself to get creative with the required outcomes so this may one for a science class in the future. I loved that this video also gave me the breakdown of how to choose the right chocolate for tempering. I wanted to achieve that shiny coating that is so beautiful. I also learned that not all chocolate is equal.
Even knowing what I did after watching the above video, I experimented with the process in the microwave first as it seemed like the easier way to melt the chocolate quickly. I love when I can save time and have less cleanup! The Pinterest article I found assured me it was possible, though it would not be tempered as in the above video. Really, how different could it be??? I followed the wonderfully laid out step by step instructions given using milk chocolate but found the results to be undesirably gritty. However, the dark chocolate turned out beautifully shiny as I had envisioned.
The taste testers for my practice batch were a few of my nieces and nephews. As they pulled the treats off of the plate, that I had forgotten to put parchment paper on, half the chocolate was left behind. My nephew noticed that they chocolate looked like it had raindrops in it! An impromptu learning opportunity on patterning/imprinting presented itself. I have made note to try this with students in the future in a science/art setting. I love that I have an authentic teaching experience to takeaway from my learning.
Even though the dark chocolate tempered nicely in the microwave, I still wanted to test the double boiler method and temper the chocolate to see how the results differed. A bit of a science experiment! I decided to document my experience with a video to expand my digital horizon. Being the rebel that I am in the kitchen, I decided to mix white and dark chocolate to see what would happen to the tempering process. This would also cut down on the bitterness. You will have to watch my video to find out what happens and see the final product! (below)
A big thankyou to the Medical Clinic staff for all you do! A special shout out to Dr. Henley for the photo op. Dr. Henley is a motorhome travelling rural physician who just recently starred in a “doc”umentary called Mobile MD on City TV.
Reflection: Making a video challenged me more than I thought. After taking the time to edit and splice and use fade techniques, I had to cut the video because the file was too large to upload from my phone. I later realized I should have saved it to google drive and then upload from my computer. I am feeling like this is rookie knowledge. I am desperately need to up my tech game! Regardless a 4 minute video is probably long enough for engagement purposes. All in all I am pretty proud of the fact I created, converted, and uploaded a video. I will gladly take any tips you have for an easier way to do this:)
This image sums up perfectly how I felt when being thrown into the twitter world. Honestly, everything about it seemed so different from any social media platform I had previous experience with. The “tweets” were short, which I related to being vague and uninteresting at the time. It also seemed all posts led to another source, which I will admit I found annoying…I realized that my use of social media was that of a mindless scroller, or lurker as I learned recently they call it in the Twitter world, thumbing through Facebook posts, but not really taking time to read anything that was longer than the screen allowed to be visible or did not have a picture. I found myself sharing posts I had not yet read so that they would appear on my feed to read later, without knowing the full content.
Back to my overwhelming #saskedchat Twitter experience. This experience is where I realized the full impact the Twitter world could have on my professional development. Though I found the experience intimidating and hard to follow at first, it was amazing to be a part of an educational community! I was able to take part in another live chat, @COLchat tonight and I was less panicked and able to keep up answering the questions. Guess this goes to show the importance of practice and perseverance, a trait we want to model for our students. Twitter has enabled me to start building a professional learning network or PLN by connecting with like-minded people and sharing resources and ideas that will benefit myself and my future students.
Dr. Alec Couros made a great point in his video Using Twitter effectively in Education by stating that sharing information rather than hoarding it can put small pieces together to form big ideas otherwise known as “idea collision.” We can use this theory in the classroom by having students collaborate by posing questions on Twitter as we did in the live chats. There are many other ways Twitter can be utilized with students and parents including details of upcoming assignments, class information, sharing of resources, formative or self-assessments etc., which can all be done through lists to ensure privacy. One idea I came across and love is using Twitter to teach through play. Students collaboratively write a poem with the educator writing the first two lines and then the students contributing a new rhyming line for creative writing. I am surprised at how many ways there are to meaningfully use this platform in an educational setting.
The mediator of the #saskedchat, @kellywchris tweeted “Everyday is a PD day!” This simple statement had me reflecting on my Twitter experience thus far, and I realized that this is what Twitter has brought to my professional life, a social platform of experienced and future educators, administrators, and field experts that I have access to on a daily basis to ensure I am continually learning.
Honest Confession: I had no idea that the #Hashtag had an actual purpose, I thought it was a just a fun social media literacy device! I have recently learned that use of the #hashtag, or “pound or number sign” as remember it, is indeed a new literacy……“Twitteracy” is knowing how to connect via the #hashtag….who knew!
I will admit I have not taken much time since children to explore what it is that I enjoy doing! I have willingly put my hobbies to the side to become chauffeur, sports fan, hunting companion, fishing buddy, head chef, school tutor, coach/volunteer and everything else that goes with being an involved and active Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I would not change those moments for anything, but I lost of bit of who I am as an individual along the way. As I said in my previous post, I once had a love for party planning and turning sugary treats into themed edible décor. After completing my first arrangement, I once again felt that satisfaction of turning food into an edible work of art.
Prior to diving in to my newest potential hobby quest, I researched what I was going to need for supplies. I had already decided my Mom was going to be the lucky recipient of my first creation. (strategically chosen as she would love it whether it was a total disaster or not, plus it was Mother’s Day) The next step was taking the directions I had found and put them into action. There were only 5 simple steps to make a fruit bouquet. Four in my case, as I had already decided to pass on the art of chocolatiering for another time and focus on shaping and arranging the fruit.
I was more excited about cutting fruit into shapes than what is probably normal (but what really is normal right?). My partner laughed as I pretty much squealed in delight when I cut my first flower shape successfully. I learned that although it was not what I would describe as difficult, there was more to factor than I expected. Lessons learned: only cut the fruit as thick as your cutters, thinly sliced fruit does not stay on a stick, raspberries and blackberries fall apart easily, metal cutters would most likely make a cleaner cut, it is not as easy to “skewer” a fully loaded stick of fragile fruit into a hard pineapple top, presentation is essential, and on a personal level, my need for symmetry gets in the way of artistic expression. My partner literally had to remove me from the arrangement and reassure me it looked amazing before my continuous meddling ruined what I had just spent an hour and a half creating.
Important Takeaways: I love making the fruit bouquets, my Mom was absolutely delighted with her Mother’s Day gift, my boys, family, and friends were amazed with the end result, I had someone ask if I was going to start selling them after I posted on Facebook, leftover fruit peices make an amazing fruit salad, and most importantly this new hobby/skill gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment which sparks an excitement to create more…….next up…..chocolate dipped strawberries for a couple special essential workers 🙂 Stay Tuned.