Hanging by a Thread

One of the main goals I had for this learning project was to eventually be able to create clothing for myself. I have limited material so I’m a bit limited in what I can create. I decided that I would start off simple, create something that didn’t take too much material, and create a pair of shorts. Up until this point, most of my creations have been functional, if not very pretty, and so I figured that if I do my research and follow a video, I would be able to do the same with a simple pair of shorts, right? Wrong. This was the first time that I have experienced my project turning out completely useless, for me at least. So without further ado, follow along with my process of creating shorts that I really can’t wear. Hopeful Beginnings I went into this project with a ton of optimism and motivation. I was determined that I was going to get this right and have a new skill set. Spoiler alert, things did not go the way that I had planned. I watched several different videos in preparation, carefully looking for one that made sense and included fairly detailed instructions. After my first attempt at making a mask, I figured I would try to follow along to something a bit more visual, because I had found myself struggling to interpret the directions in the correct way. Eventually, I found a video that I liked The steps seemed clear, it used materials that I had access to, and it seemed to show each step as it went along. Nothing could go wrong! So with that, I got started! Step One: Cut out the fabric The first order of business was finding a pair of loose shorts that I could use to trace and create a pattern to follow and cut out. Believe it or not, this is where the problems started, although I wouldn’t realize until it was far too late. So I got my shorts, and I traced out the pattern. I folded it one way to create the front pieces, and folded it the opposite way to create the back pieces. Once everything was cut out, I had four pieces and was ready to start sewing. Step Two: Start Sewing After cutting out all of the pieces, it was time for me to get sewing! This whole portion went really well. I sewed two front pieces together down the curved side, and then did the same for the two back panels. Next was sewing the front and back together. I sewed down the straight side seams and then sewed the crotch to create the space for the legs. Running into Trouble Sewing went well, but I decided that I should probably try the shorts on just to make sure that everything looked okay. And this is where this project completely stopped and fell apart… The shorts did NOT fit. At this point I was very frustrated, mostly with myself. This was definitely the result of my own errors rather than the video I was using to follow along. I made the decision to stop at this point and not complete the shorts, there were a few steps left but there really wasn’t any point in continuing to create something that just wouldn’t function for me. For Next Time Once again, my main focus for the next post will be increasing the size of my pattern. I will be sure to draw my pattern with more space at the top, the size seemed to be fine except around the waist portion. Overall, I think that I prefer learning from a video rather than a step by step website like I had used previously. Despite the issue that I ended up having, I was able to go back and reference the video to see exactly what the instructions outlined. It was much better to have a clear visual in addition to verbal/written instructions for me!

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Talking about Twitter

In my very first blog post, I mention being a little bit social media averse. I have a lot of social media accounts and I check them regularly, but I almost never post things myself. Before this class the last and only time I had tweeted was in 2018, I haven’t posted on Instagram since 2017, and my Facebook has been all but abandoned since 2016. So I knew how to use twitter but making tweets was very much brand new. Over this process, I have found that I quite like twitter and the quick, simple, uncomplicated format that it allows for sharing thoughts and ideas. I have so far, been slacking on the resource sharing and interaction aspect of twitter so that is something I am going to be working on going forward. Getting involved with #saskedchat Last week our class participated in our very first Sask Ed Chat, and although I loved the experience and was able to connect with several other educators, I relate to a lot of the sentiments expressed by some of my other classmates about the experience. Both Haley and Kassia mention feeling overwhelmed by the whole experience and I definitely agree with that. Everything was so fast paced and using TweetDeck was so different than what I am used to considering I typically tweet from my phone and exclusively use that app for navigating twitter. Things were not all negative though! I had a great time and was able to learn some new strategies and pocket some new advice that I had never considered using before. I also felt fairly prepared and confident to answer the questions as well! I have not spent a ton of time in the classroom, but I am taking this class post-internship and I come from a family of teachers so I have used and had the chance to see some of the strategies that we were being asked about in practice. I will definitely be taking part in more of these whenever I have the time! It was a great experience. Bringing Twitter into the Classroom This topic, of bringing Twitter into the classroom or your practice as an educator really stumps me! I definitely think it’s something educators should be using to network and for ideas but as someone approaching this class from an elementary education standpoint, I would definitely not be using twitter in my those grades, so I don’t really know where I would start! Question Time! Even though I am not getting my degree in Secondary education, there’s a chance I will end up teaching in older grades, so for those of you with more experience or coming from the perspective of someone learning to teach those grades: What are some ways that someone could use twitter or social media in the classroom? Do you think it’s possible? What considerations would you need to make? Feel free to drop your answers in the comments here or shoot me a tweet over on my account!

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Learning to Search: Using an RSS Reader

Getting Started This week I started using the RSS feed Feedly. If you’re like me, you had absolutely no clue what an RSS feed or reader was, and if I’m honest it sounded very complicated and a little scary. Luckily, I could not have been more wrong! A RSS reader’s main purpose is to help organize and compile websites and blogs that you might be interested in. I used Feedly to do this and finding websites to follow was as simple as typing in a topic I was looking for. I started off with three pretty broad categories to organize the content that I was looking for: Classroom Ideas, Education, and Edtech. Finding Trouble I struggled a little bit at first to find feeds that resonated with me and that I felt could be applied to my focus of elementary education. I was eventually able to get the hang of it, it was mostly a situation of learning what and how to search the relevant subjects. I found that the more I narrowed it down the more options that popped up. I had been searching up broad topics such as “education” and “elementary education” and there were a surprisingly few websites that showed up. So I narrowed it down to individual grade levels and had much more luck. I also kept an eye on some of my classmates twitter accounts to check out some of the resources they were finding and strategies they used to find relevant and helpful blogs. Help Me Out! Even though I was able to find some resources that I liked, I don’t have a whole lot to look at and have been struggling to find more things to eventually use in my practice. So I want to ask: Have you found any resources that you really like, or websites and blogs you’ve found really interesting? If you have, please drop them in the comments or pop over to my twitter and share them there! I’m looking forward to finding some new resources to check out!

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Learning Project Week One: And Sew it Begins

Getting Started This week, I got started on learning how to sew! It is something I have always wanted to try, but never seriously committed to learning. I have done a fair amount of hand sewing throughout my life, mending holes or fixing buttons every now and again, but I have never used an actual sewing machine to make something new. My Grandma has done a lot of sewing over the years and she taught each of her four children the basics, so this year she gifted a sewing machine to each of our families. I figured there was no better time than now to get started on this journey! The first order of business was to actually unbox the sewing machine that I will be using for the duration of this project. Luckily, my grandma had already done some of the work of setting up the machine for me, so I didn’t have to worry about that just yet. The second thing I had to tackle, finding supplies. After a quick Facetime call and trip out to my grandparents farm, I had most of the necessary supplies to get started. This is where I ran into my first problem, of what is sure to be many. I had no idea where to go from here. So I took to the internet and started to create a list of resources, videos, patterns, and lessons for me to use and reference throughout this process. If you’re interested in looking at or using any of these resources, you can access the list here. Next Time: Over the next few days I plan on really digging in and getting started. Most of the websites and videos I have looked at so far suggest starting with something really simple so you can get a feel for your sewing machine; with that in mind, the beginning of my learning process should look something like this: Practicing stitches and seams on some smaller pieces of fabric without using patterns (i.e. making pillows). Using a simple pattern to make a piece of clothing (i.e. a top with only one or two pieces). Using a more complex pattern (i.e. a shirt with more pieces, adding pockets or zippers). At this moment, I am avoiding putting too many expectations on myself. I want to give myself enough time to really get good at a skill before moving on to something harder so I have held back on planning anything more than a few weeks in advance. Some thoughts I had a hard time figuring out where to start with this whole project. I debated whether or not I should jump right into practicing my sewing or if I should first take more time to read up and prepare. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the options that I had and information that I needed to learn. I did eventually choose to take it a little slower, but I want to know: Did you experience any of the same doubts or cluelessness that I did when you first started your project? And for any of you more experienced in sewing: Is there anything I should know or keep in mind while I am learning this skill or anything that you wish you knew before you got started? Finally, I will be giving updates on my twitter account and through the EDTC300 hashtag, so if you haven’t you can head over there and check that out.

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Beginning my Blog

Learning to Blog: Trial and Error Welcome to my first true blog post! I’ve posted a few things here and there on this site throughout my last four years of education, but this is the first time I’m really getting in to the spirit of blogging. Even with the (very minimal) experience I have with blogging, I am still a bit intimidated by the whole format, so I’m trying my very best to keep an open mind. Despite that, I am diving in head first and going to give this my best shot! I am a little bit social media adverse so even though blogging has always been intriguing to me, I never really knew how I would navigate operating my own blog, so this will definitely be an invaluable learning experience for me. Even in the short process of creating this first blog posts I’ve run into some roadblocks. From attempting to format the post in a way that makes sense, to writing in a less formal format, and to inserting pictures without throwing off everything I’ve already done I’ve learned a lot and realized I still have even more that I’ll need to learn. Get to Know Me: Some Fun Facts Here are some quick fun facts about me, if you want to learn about me in a bit more depth, you can check out my About Me page! I am in my fourth year of Elementary Education. So long as this semester goes well, I will be a 4th generation Elementary teacher. I have two cats, though one gets treated more like a baby than a cat! I am an avid reader. The last time I counted I had over 200 books. A Few Final Thoughts I am looking forward to continuing to learn about and practice blogging, despite how daunting this whole scenario seemed at first. Even though I know I have a long way to go in getting a handle on this format of writing and posting, I am definitely feeling the fear lessen quite a bit. Do you have any tips or resources for someone who is so new to the process of blogging? Feel free to share in the comments or send a tweet to my account!

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