Do you find zoodles in the zoo?

When many people think of zoodles they think of the animal shape noodles in a can. Well there are no zoo animals in these zoodles. This is kind of a made up recipe with the Instant Pot. Many people on several of the Facebook pages have been posting about how amazing zoodles are so I decided to try!

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Many people spiralize their own noodles but really, who has time for that!? At Costco I bought already spiralized zucchini and squash noodles.

First, I sautéed them in a frying pan with olive oil and garlic to give flavour. Sautéed for approximately five minutes. This can be done in the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. However, I find it easier to do it in a separate pan and transfer the zoodles.

Next, I put a cup of water in the Instant Pot pot then the steamer basket and poured the zoodles into the steamer basket.

I then steamed the zoodles for two minutes and they were perfect.

While the zoodles were steaming I poured a Four Cheese tomatoe sauce and ground beef I had already cooked from a previous meal into the frying pan to reheat.

Once the zoodles were done. I removed the steamer basket from the pot and poured the zoodles into the meat sauce. I sprinkled cheese on top before eating.

I was amazed but zoodles taste EXACTLY like real noodles. Mac and Cheese is my favourite food in the entire world. I am happy to have found a healthier option that I enjoy just as much and they are keto friendly, just for Julia.  Check out her “Zoodles ARE the New Noodles” post from last week!

Buying the package at Costco is a little more expensive so in the summer I hope to spiral my own garden zucchini and make this recipe. However, because of the convenience and time saving of purchasing from Costco. . . this may never happen ha!

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Breaking Down The Single Stories

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How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?

I believe school has played a critical role in shaping how I read the world as well as the biases I have learned and the lense through which I see things.  A few negative biases that I believe I learned through attending school in a small community is around culture diversity and varying abilities. Unfortunately, my elementary and high schools did not have wide diversity culturally.  Upon reflection, I think those students who were culturally “different” from the majority most likely felt that that they did not fully belong.  In addition, many students with limited academic abilities were often pulled from regular classes as integration was not followed for numerous classes which, I am sure, had a negative impact on some of these students.  As an Early Childhood Educator, I have worked with many immigrant families and children of extremely diverse backgrounds and abilities all of whom possess unique positive characteristics and who can teach those of us in the “majority” many important lessons.

Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

In lecture, we listened to a Ted Talk and in which the speaker spoke about travelling to Guadalajara, Mexico.  She shared the single story of how she thought Mexican people lived and what they were like but after visiting Mexico she realized that her views were not at all true.  I related to her comments in so many ways. Last May I travelled to Guadalajara Mexico as part of a University Class. Not only was the single stories of Mexican people proven incorrect while living with a Mexican family for three weeks, but also some of my impressions of the country in general.  Safety is just one example.  My family and I were concerned about how safe the trip would be due to frequent negative media coverage.  However, at no time, did I ever feel unsafe during my stay.  This experience made me realize that we need to be aware of the single stories we hear and from which we unconsciously develop negative biases.  We need to ensure that we are basing our opinions on the truth.  I want to bring awareness of this into my classroom and teach my students to look at and learn about situations, people, etc. from all sides before making a decision.

Creepin’

Just as Eric Church says in his song “just a creepin’” the internet can be full of creeps.  However, we can also be the people doing the creeping. Carol Todd shared an incident where she received a message from a lady and did some creeping to find out more about her. To her surprise she basically found this lady’s entire life story. I liked the following analogy Carol used. She said that leaving all of your social media open with no privacy settings on is like posting an ad in the supermarket with all of your personal information on it. I have never thought of it like this before. It is important to integrate technology into the classroom but it is also just as important to teach internet safety. Carol shared another scenario where she was working with a group of students. She asked them if they would open their house door to a stranger? The students said “no”. Carol then asked a follow up question, “Do you answer stranger’ messages when they message you online?” The students answered “yes” with the explanation that they just want to talk. This to me is the scariest of all and again reaffirms the importance of teaching internet safety. This puts into perspective why Carol continues to educate people of the possible dangerous online scenarios in order to keep the #AmandaToddLegacy alive.

Monica Lewinsky fell in love with her boss, the President of the United States, at the young age of 22. She asks the audience to raise their hands if they did notregret anything they had ever done at age 22. No one in the audience raised their hands. However, her mistake was not like any others. Overnight she went from a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide. Despite this happening before social media, people could still comment and email. This unusual situation can happen in many different forms to people of all ages and now with social media it can potentially even be worse!

Carol shared with us that it is crucial for us, as future teachers to do whatever possible to help protect our students. We need to find resources and have them available. She uses the example of Kids Help Phone. This is a resource available 24/7 and is expanding its platform to provide a texting option as well.

Listening to Carol speak reaffirms that technology is inevitable so we need to use it in the classrooms however, we also need to be smart in the way it is used.  We need to educate our students on how to be safe online and what resources are available for support.

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Cracked The Code!

I finally cracked the Instant Pot yogurt making code. Ever since the beginning of the semester when I chose to do my learning project on the Instant Pot I started to perfect Instant Pot yogurt. I am proud to say I have finally done just that!

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There are two ways to make yogurt. The boil method and the cold start method. I chose to perfect the cold start method as it cuts down several hours off the preparation time.

The cold start method requires using ultra pasteurized milk which means the boiling process can be skipped unlike the boil method where regular milk is used. The ultra pasteurized milk brand I use is Natrel 3.25%.

Making yogurt requires two ingredients and that’s all!

Milk and yogurt for the starter with live active cultures. I used oikos. Once you make your own yogurt you can use that yogurt as the starter.

My first attempt:

  • I poured the Natrel milk into the pot and 1 tablespoon of Oikos yogurt as starter and whisked together.
  • I used the yogurt button and set the time for eight hours.
  • I chose eight hours as this is what many people recommended in the reviews as they say it is less tarte.
  • After eight hours I immediately moved the pot to the fridge and let sit in fridge for another eight hours.
  • After eight hours in the fridge it was thick but not of greek yogurt consistency. I did not strain as reviewers said it would thicken up as it sat longer in the fridge. However, mine did not!

My second attempt:

  • I poured the Natrel milk into the pot and used 1 tablespoon of the home made yogurt I a week previously as the starter.
  • I used the yogurt button and set the time for eight hours.
  • However, it did not work. After eight hours it was warm milk. I had no idea why!?
  • After reading several people’s comments and reviews on the facebook page I found out that you have to make more yogurt in a week or less as that is when there are still live active cultures. Any longer than that the active cultures disappear. It also said you can freeze some yogurt or the whey (which is what you get when straining).
  • I was able to salvage this yogurt by just putting in a tablespoon of oikos and setting it again for eight hours.
  • After eight hours, I moved the yogurt untouched to the fridge for another eight hours.
  • After spending the day in the fridge it was the same consistency as the time before. I had a mesh strainer which is what I had also read to use but the yogurt ran right through the mesh strainer in seconds. So I was back to the drawing board.
  • I used this yogurt for smoothies, etc. Which I must say it is the best yogurt for smoothies and tasted so much better.

My third attempt:

  • I used Natrel milk and Oikos for the starter.
  • After reading reviews they said to use cheesecloth to line the strainer or setting the time for 11 hours does the same thing. I decided to try to set the time for 11 hours.
  • After 11 hours I moved the yogurt to the fridge to chill all day before touching it.
  • After it had chilled all day. I moved it to containers. It was definitely greek yogurt. It was almost like sour cream consistency however, was very tarte.
  • I thought there has to be a better way!? I froze some of this yogurt.

My fourth attempt:

  • I used Natrel milk and the frozen yogurt as the starter (I let melt first).
  • I set the time for eight hours again.
  • After eight hours. I moved to the fridge for the day.
  • In the evening, I lined my strainer with cheesecloth and poured the yogurt into the strainer lined with cheesecloth and moved back to the fridge for overnight. As reviews said this will create the best results for thickness.
  • In the morning the yogurt was thick like greek yogurt and less like sour cream and a lot less tarte.
  • I then distributed the whey into ziplock bags to freeze as I wanted to try that as the starter next time. I had 4 1/2 ups of whey from straining the yogurt.

My fifth and FINAL attempt:

  • I used Natrel milk and one of the ziplock bags of whey (approximately ½ cup) I let melt first.
  • I whisked the two together and set the time for eight hours.
  • After the yogurt has incubated in the Instant Pot for eight hours I immediately poured it into the cheesecloth strainer (without mixing) and then let chill for the day.
  • IT WORKED!
  • I followed some reviews and poured the whey into ice cube trays to freeze.

When eating the yogurt I added a fruit compote made in the Instant Pot. The process to making the fruit compote was featured on my Say Cheese(cake) blog.

I made a video of the yogurt making process. This video is just of my fifth and final attempt at cracking the yogurt code!

It may have taken me five times to crack the code however, I learned so much from each attempt. After each time I had to go back to the Facebook group to reevaluate and read the hundreds and hundreds reviews.

I decided to broaden my technology tools and make a video. The thought of making a video made me nervous as I really had no idea what to do and thought it would be very difficult. I decided to just use iMovie as it was already on my computer. I came to realize it was actually not that hard! I started placing all clips and deleting the parts I did not need. This also did not take nearly as long as I had originally expected. I then experimented with the variety effects to add to the video. I sped it up four times. However, I could not figure out how to add a background song. I then tried to mute the video of sound completely and thought I had muted so that there was no sound at all.  But that did not seem to be true when I uploaded it to Youtube.   Watching the video, I realize there could still be improvements in editing the clips, transitions, the camera angle when taking the video, etc.  Even with it not being perfect and a lot of room for improvement it makes thinking about making another video way less scary. It also gives me a better idea of how I should angle the camera when videoing next time.  It doesn’t matter how many stop and restarts are done as you can just edit it all out. I also, feel that a video is a great way to show others the true process of making the recipe. It amazes me how you can cut a 24 hour process down to a minute to truly show the yogurt making process thus allowing viewers to feel that they are in the kitchen with you!

What is Wilderness?

Newberry’s article, the Canoe Pedagogy, discusses how Environmental Education has become thought of in a very Canadian, western way. Instead, Newberry believes we need to be engaging our students in the colonial historic past of how our land and outdoor world came to be when teaching Environmental Education.  It is important to go beyond simply enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us and learn that the wilderness is so much more than just the vast untouched areas far from where we live.

When I was in high school I participated in a trip where we explored Stanley Mission and Nistowiak Falls. Looking back, this is exactly the Environmental Education that Newberry says we need to go beyond. We hiked and gazed at all the natural beauty surrounding us but never talked about the rich history surrounding these sites. And truthfully, until now, I never really thought that there was anything wrong in this.

While growing up, I spent a lot of time at Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park.  My family has deep roots in this special place. As a little girl, I considered Waskesiu to be the wilderness.  It is an area six hours north from my home and is completely surrounded by boreal forest which is full of wildlife.  However, during middle school, my class participated in a Heritage Fair. My visual this week is pictures of my Grade 8 heritage fair project board.  I chose to do my project on Prince Albert National Park, how it came to be and to learn more about the boat business my Grandparents operated there in the late 1930’s.

The project allowed me to acquire a deeper understanding of the colonial history on how Prince Albert National Park was founded originally and how it became a place in which people lived, visited and appreciated.  My learning continued to be strengthened by yearly trips to the National Park, canoeing on the various lakes, visiting the museums, hiking along the Kingsmere trail to Grey Owl’s cabin on Lake Ajawaan and many more activities.  Although, my colonial learning of the outdoor environment did not come from a designated Environmental Education class, I was able to learn about past history through visiting the park, reading and talking to people about the past.  While completing the heritage fair project I was able to compare what I thought was true about the park to what colonial history actually formed this place that I have grown to love and cherish. This reflection changed my perspective of the so called “wilderness”.

The map of Saskatchewan – Prince Albert National Park is 65 miles north of Prince Albert, which is referred to as “The Gateway to the North” and often considered to be Saskatchewan Wilderness in the Western way of thinking.

Class Textalot

This week I partnered with Julia Papic to explore the benefits of using texting in the classroom. While reading several articles about texting in the classroom, I found two articles that gave really great ideas on activities explicitly using text messaging and how they benefit student learning. The first article states that “text speak” can be used to enhance and build foundational reading skills such as syntax, word recognition, grammar, etc. The second article suggests that texting may help students to write more quickly and fluently. This is an interesting perspective that I had never thought about before but undeniably think it makes sense. These sites support the idea that there are numerous educational opportunities to use texting in the classroom that I will be sure to test.

 

Inuktitut Math

  1. At the beginning of the reading, Leroy Little Bear (2000) states that colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldviews. … Typically, this proposition creates oppression and discrimination” (p. 77). Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?                                                                                                         As a student who never excelled in math led me to dislike the subject.  I still dislike math.  In fact, this was the one class I was most stressed about having to take as part of my post-secondary education.  Looking back, I truly believe it could have been different if more of my teachers took the time to slow down and provide more explanation. I was fortunate to be able to go home and get the help I needed there or through several family friends who were math teachers. However, this is not possible for every student. It was not just me that was struggling in these math classes which as a future teacher now realize that this is a large sign of how the information was being taught (or not taught).  Unfortunately, changing teaching strategies to successfully reach all students  requires extra time and effort that realistically teachers do not have. However, even just taking the time to do a few extra questions as a class on the board would have helped the majority of us immensely. Society seems to have this stigma about math and the underlying message is, “I suck at math.”  Therefore, we need to be able to help students push aside these negative thoughts in order to learn effectively.  I will never forget my Grade 10 math teacher who surprisingly was also my favorite teacher as his goal was to ensure that he worked as hard as every student to help them understand. Each class for the entire period he would work his way through the textbook doing every question on the board. If you needed help you could do it along with him, or if not, you could work ahead. This methodology, not to mention his silly math jokes and metaphors, are things I will never forget. That is a simple teaching strategy but so effective that it can change many students view on learning math. I have never thought that math might be discriminatory against certain students.  However, upon reflection, the examples given or the words or situations used in word problems may put some students at a disadvantage.  For example, the examples and word problems use scenarios common to the dominant culture in society which would put the FNMI and immigrant students at a disadvantage.  These students many not be able to relate to these situations in their lives.
  1. After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.
    1. Changing the traditional calendar. They figured out that the Inuktitut calendar is not either lunar or solar. The traditional calendar is based on natural, independently recurring yearly events. The name of each month comes from animal activity or from nature. This is how they learned their months.
    2. Measuring various items using parts of the body (finger, foot, palm, etc.)
    3. Oral numeration in Inuktitut is very different. Teaching student’s oral numeration in Inuktitut as well.

Ravioli to Rave About (but not a time saver)

I can’t believe I am going to say this but I finally made something in the Instant Pot that would have just been easier to make the old fashioned way.

I made Ravioli Lasagna

Ingredients

One package of Spinach Ricotta Ravioli (or your favourite flavour)

3 Cups of Marinara Sauce

2 Cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Cups of Italian Blend shredded cheese

First, I used pam on the spring form pan. Then put a layer of ravioli on the bottom

Next, I covered the ravioli with marinara sauce.

Then, I covered with the shredded Mozzarella and Italian blend cheese.

I repeated all three steps two more times.

I then put 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot pot with the trivet. Covered the bottom and top of the spring form pan with tinfoil. Used a tinfoil sling to lift in the pan and cooked on high pressure for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes it was cooked perfectly.

Don’t get me wrong it tasted good. It was a pile of cheesy goodness and who doesn’t love that!?

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In my Go Bananas post I talked about how much I was enjoying learning through the Instant Pot Facebook pages. I still am enjoying learning through this online medium. However, when cooking this recipe I realized something about learning this way. There are several Instant Pot Facebook pages. Most people in these groups are people just like me…learning. There are thousands of recipes shared daily and the comments on so many posts can be overwhelming at times. Connections made with others are done almost primarily through the comments following the recipe posts.  However, it is just random people sharing all of these recipes that they came across from a random google, Facebook, twitter or Youtube search. When asking questions, you are asking someone who is also experimenting with their Instant Pot, and who may have only tried the recipe once and posted about it. This can be great but can also be awful! I quick searched Quick Ravioli Lasagna in the Instant Pot Community Facebook page. Immediately the page filled with posting about ravioli lasagna. This is great but who has time to read all of the comments attached to every single post. Of course, I read comments in quite a few of the top posts as they are the most recent. Oddly enough all comments for many scrolls down the page are all good and it was good with no mention about it being a time saving recipe. A few members even said it truly is basically no work.  However, I found this way more work and time than if I had cooked it using the stove.

This learning is all part of what how the online community works. It is contributions from many individuals (academic or not) and the only way to truly figure out what is the truth, what works and what is accurate information is to test it out personally (when applicable) or to do more research. This is also important to teach to our students. Understanding and acknowledgment of failure (or poor results) is okay and is a part of life but how are we going to use that learning to grow and change in the future?!

 

“We are all treaty people”

Hello,

This is a point of view that is unfortunately still shared by too many educators. My advice would be to have another conversation with your co-op teacher acknowledging her opinion but also providing the reasons why it is important that all students, regardless of race, receive treaty education as this is the only way to work towards reconciliation. Remember last year in class when we watched Dwayne Donald’s video in which he discussed the word “culture”? Dwayne said that most Canadian students believe they do not have a culture and are apologetic for this, whereas indigenous people are seen as being intensely cultural. Share with your co-op teacher what problems arise from these feelings and from the lack of treaty education creating what Dwayne refers to as a “learning disability.” Explain that this lack of education creates not only a learning disability amongst our students, but in our society as a whole. Not talking or learning about indigenous issues does not allow for the deconstruction of the past and positive change for the future.

Share your belief that, “We are all treaty people.” The true meaning of this statement cannot be learned or valued if we do not teach Treaty Ed to all students regardless of their race or colour. Reconciliation means that we must work together to move forward. We must acknowledge what has happened in the past and work towards a better future for all. As stated in the Grade Three video that Claire Kreuger showed, “We are all treaty people as long as the sun shines and the grass grows.” We are all on this journey together! Decolonization and reconciliation can only occur by learning from our historic differences and working towards a shared future together. Treaty Education for everyone is the first step.

Laura

Wasting Water Creates Wastewater

I grew up on a farm outside of Indian Head where we hauled drinking water from Indian Head and only used the tap water for cooking, showering, brushing teeth, etc. We had a dishwasher that eventually became a “snack holder” as our well water did not clean the dishes at all. I was taught at a young age to conserve the most amount of water as possible.  Running an empty dishwasher as pictured below or letting the water run while brushing my teeth a huge no no!

Clean water is essential to live. I had no idea that the City of Regina had done an upgrade before reading the article in advance of the field trip.  It was 181 million dollar upgrade that came in under budget. The 57.1 percent of the residents who voted felt that the upgrade through the public-private partnership will save money in the long run and Mayor Fougere agreed.

Fougere also said, “We are building for the 21st century, this is the job of city council, to provide a safe environment and the infrastructure for a growing community.”

Fougere’s comment relates to Kimmerer’s quote from his Witness To The Rain chapter in which he says, “If there is meaning in the past and in the imagined future, it is captured in the moment. When you have all the time in the world, you can spend it, not on going somewhere, but being where you are. So I stretch out, close my eyes, and listen to the rain” (Kimmerer, 2013, p. 296). We need to think in a broader perspective of what will not only help us now but what will help us in the years to come. Clean water is important and after reading the article and having the tour, I realized how much more the improvements will sustain our city and residents. However, we can also help in the process of creating less water waste by doing such things as not running our dishwashers or washing machines empty, shutting the water off when brushing our teeth and many more.

Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.