#knitterintraining : The first steps

Hello everyone!

This week, I have taken the first baby steps in my journey to learning how to knit.  Unfortunately, my hectic schedule, which involved a few trips up to Saskatoon, did not permit me to find time to actually sit down and start knitting.  However, I did manage to pick up some knitting needles, yarn, and start looking for resources that might be useful on my journey.

First things first, I learned that there are a variety of different knitting needles.  Not all knitting needles are one size.  Some are smaller to deal with smaller yarn, and some are bigger for thicker yarn.  This is already something new to me, as I thought the only difference in knitting needles was the material they were made out of.  I had a lot to learn.

For the sake of my first needles and yarn,  I went for what I would call a medium thickness yarn, which called for size 18 needles, which is all shown in the picture.  This yarn was suggested by a friend of mine, Kealey, who learned how to knit last year and said the yarn was easy to work with for beginners.  Supposedly, the smaller yarn can be difficult to work with because it’s harder to pick up with the needles, and the bigger yarn can fall apart on you if you aren’t careful.  This is all stuff that is new to me, and it’s been exciting to learn so far.

Finally, let’s talk about resources.  My first thought when I decided to learn to knit was YouTube.  I mean, the amount of DIY projects on YouTube is crazy.  You could learn how to build a functioning car on there if you wanted.  So far, I found one channel that I don’t mind, and that shows promise.  I plan on using this channel, and perhaps adding other channels to my repertoire as time goes on, in order to get the most information possible to learn.  Additionally, on my first post, my classmate, Andrea, suggested a website, that I also plan on incorporating into my learning.  In my opinion, these two resources will provide a strong basis to start knitting, and learning the basics of casting off, and perhaps even making my first item (likely a potholder).

Thanks for reading!  Hope you all have a great week!


Two Tweets a Day to Learn the Way

Hello all!

Over the last week, I have delved face-first into the wonderful world of Twitter.  Granted, this is not truly my first experience with Twitter, as I believe my account was originally created in January of 2017 in order to follow certain classes on Twitter, but it is truly my first attempt at using it as a tool for growth.  Many people who know me would know that I am not a fan of posting on social media.  On Facebook, I may share a post that expresses my opinion every once in a while, but as I have a lot of friends on that form of social media that do not necessarily share my views on controversial topics, I often end up stepping on some toes.   In fact, I am pretty sure a handful of people have unfriended me because of my views, and I have done the same to others, as it just isn’t worth getting into arguments over social media.

Anyway, back to Twitter.  During this last week, my tweet volume multiplied exponentially.  I wish I would have seen the number before today, but I never thought to check.  I will look into twitter analytics to see what they can tell me.  However, I’d be willing to wager that, at most, I had 50 tweets on my account, and those were mostly retweets.  Now, as seen by the picture, the amount of tweets I have made is well over 100, and is going up daily.  I have found the discussions I have on Twitter to be a lot more stimulating than I thought they could be, which has me constantly going back for more.  When I was told I had to try for at least 2 tweets a day, I was disappointed.  There was no way I could go from 0 to 2 that quickly.  But, I proved myself wrong.  I have been having regular discussions about a variety of topics over the last week, and wouldn’t be surprised if there were days when I made closer to 20 tweets.  Talk about a massive change!

My first experiences on Twitter also included a SaskEdChat moderated by members from my cohort, Raegyn and Erin.  Needless to say, it started off as a trial by fire, but I quickly became accustomed to the rapid fire nature of it all, and thrived.  It was exciting, and a good learning experience.  I hope to partake in more ED Chats during my careers, perhaps finding others that cater to different interests.  I have seen that some of the people I follow partake in an ed chat about games in the classroom, and I may just join that one one of these days!

Hungry for Feedly

Hello everyone!

Although I had to miss last class due to being out of town, I still took the opportunity to check out an RSS reader.  In my case, I looked at Feedly.  I was rather impressed with the ease of access of all these different blogs and information relevant to me.  It’s like a Google Search, but a lot more controlled.
Anyway, I haven’t added  lot of blogs to my Feedly just yet, but I have gotten a feel for the site.  When selecting blogs, I first went by my interests. So far, the blogs I have followed are mostly involving education technology, or the future of teaching.  I am not sure if anyone noticed, but on my original picture of myself, one of the hashtags was #revolutionary.  Personally, in my lifetime, I would like to help change how we teach children. I want every child to succeed in school, and to do that, I believe education itself needs to keep evolving until it fits every child’s needs.  Reading about progressive approaches is of great interest to me.  Finally, the interest that rounded my preliminary blog choices out is TEDxTalks.  I find TED to be a very valuable source when it comes to hearing from professionals in the field.  Additionally, some of the talks can provide a valuable “lesson starter” for various subjects.  From what I have noticed, most of the TALKS on the education channel are different lessons, but also different speeches pertaining to the teaching profession.  It has me really excited to use as a tool, and I’m slightly disappointed I hadn’t heard about it until now.

In addition to this, some of the other blogs I have follow at this point seem to be good tools to open up my mind to different ways of teaching.  It seems to be an incredibly powerful tool to find different adaptive measures for the classroom, as well as building on my toolkit of instructional strategies.

In the future, I believe I will be looking for more book related blogs.  I enjoy reading, and getting decent recommendations that can help me grow is one of the most exciting feelings in the world!


Hey all!

As those who follow me on twitter may already know, for my learning project I have chosen to learn how to knit.  Now, my choice to knit is coming from a few different places.  First of all, it is something I have never done before.  When I was younger, my grandma taught me how to crochet, but all I ever managed to make was a small ‘necklace’ of white yarn.  I wore that necklace everywhere, until it broke.  Aside from that, I have never worked with anything even remotely similar to knitting.  Second of all, it is what one of my close friends, Kealey, did for her learning project, and she highly recommended it to me.  I can definitely see the benefits from knitting, especially as a teacher.  It can be a valuable tool for self-care and relaxation after a stressful, something essential for all teachers.  Third of all, one day, I was sitting in a tire shop getting an oil change.  While sitting there, there was a lady who was knitting mitts and a toque.  She was telling another lady that she knits entirely for fun, but every year, when Winter hits, she donates a bunch of mitt and toque sets to Salvation Army.  I thought this was a really powerful approach to a hobby.  She was able to turn it into a way to give back, which is something that is appealing to me.  Finally, I wanted to do something I use in the classroom someday.  Knitting can be an interesting tool to show students allowing them to use it in their representations for projects.

My process is simple.  I know nothing about knitting.  Therefore, I have decided to take more of a linear approach to learning.  That means, starting with simple stitches and creations.  Perhaps a potholder to start.  And as needed, I will learn more stitches and patterns in order to expand my arsenal.  To do this, I will employ two primary resources.  Firstly, the Internet.  There are how-to videos for everything on YouTube, whether it is ‘how to pet a cat’ to ‘learning how to knit’.  It will likely be my most valuable resource.  Additionally, the Internet has a variety of helpful websites that I will look into using.  If/when I find a channel on YouTube I like, or a website I like, I will share it with the class!

My other main resource will be my friends and family.  As mentioned earlier, one of my friends already learned how to knit in the context of this course.  In addition to her, my mother and sister are both capable knitters.  I have plenty of people in my life to ask questions to if YouTube just isn’t cutting it for me.

All in all, I am absolutely stoked to learn how to knit.  I think it’ll push me out of my comfort zone, but will allow me to pick up a valuable skill in the process.

Start of Something New?

Hello everyone!

As some, or most of you should know from our zoom conferences, my name is Daniel “Danny” St-Jacques.  Although, I tend to introduce myself as Daniel at first, I do prefer for people to call me Danny.  I just feel more like a Danny for some reason.  I currently live in Moose Jaw, with my mother, father, sisters, and animals.  By animals, I mean 2 dogs and 3 cats.  You might say we have a pretty full house.

Educational technology has been a struggle for me.  Not because of a lack of ‘tech skills’, but because it is something I have never really used before.  In fact, like many people, I have been using computers since the age of 4-5.  Okay, maybe not many people from my generation, however I have heard that some children of the younger generation have already mastered navigation of their parents’ devices.  That being said, it is evident to myself that I will need to step up my game, and knowledge, in order to use technology in the classroom in a meaningful way for these students.  Otherwise, engagement might just drop because they will all know everything I am going to teach them.  Which is problematic in its own way.

When it comes to blogging, and any online posts, I have always been reluctant.  People who speak to me for periods of time know that I can be very opinionated.  And having an opinion on the Internet can be highly problematic when others don’t share the opinion.  And personally speaking, I do not enjoy conflict, and will avoid involving myself in it when possible.  In this case, my best bet has always been to keep my mouth shut.  Or my fingers off the keyboard I suppose.

Despite my reluctance to post anything online, I have opted to dive into this class in full.  I feel like for me to learn or take away anything from this class, I need to fully  jump into the material.  As such, my twitter will serve as a method of getting out what I am doing, and hopefully become second nature to my career as an educator.

Engaged Citizen – Semester End Representation

Hello everyone,

With the semester coming to an end, it’s time for me to post a digital story of my pledge over the course of ESST 317.  I struggle using the word final in regards to my pledge, because it isn’t really terminal.  I still fully intend to maintain my pledge, and live through it every day of my life from here on out.  It has been said my many people, notably Justice Murray Sinclair, that education caused the assimilation in the first place, and it is through education that the bulk of reconciliation will occur.   This is something I really took to heart, as it positions me as someone who can really make a difference in the grand scheme of Canada.

On a slightly unrelated note, I would like to share a song with anyone reading this.  The song is a source of inspiration in regards to my pledge, and what I see as my position as a future educator.   It is called “People Live Here” by Rise Against.  Although I doubt it was written with reconciliation in Canada in mind, the lyrics always invoke strong images about why reconciliation is important.  I invite you to listen to it at the link shared above.

Thank you,
Daniel St-Jacques



Active Citizenship Pledge- What kind of citizen I am?

Going over the article What Kind of Citizen?, I have found that my active citizen pledge touches all 3 pillars of citizenship.  The first, the personally responsible citizen, is because I am participating in something without really questioning or planning why.  That is to say, because I have decided to participate in reconciliation (which I hope every does, as reconciliation is something that affects us all), I am being a personally responsible citizen.  I am doing something to contribute to a greater good without questioning it, and without planning it.

On another level, my pledge can also be see as participatory.  What would have been participatory would have been if I had participated in UR S.T.A.R.S. more and facilitated more Blanket Exercises, which is still part of my pledge.  In this case, I would have been actively participating in the community to help students, and community members learn and live through a representation of a story, which is instrumental when working towards reconciliation.

Finally, my pledge can also fall into the justice-oriented citizen category.  My approach of writing letters to significant politicians and people in office would have fallen into this category, as my letters would have contained questions about what is being doing to target systemic oppression, and how they believe it is important.  Albeit, in this case, the letters never got written, and although I plan on it, they likely won’t be written until the new leader of the Sask. Party is chosen, so that it may potentially get an answer from the major parties that affect us here in Treaty 4.